On September 11, 2000 my oldest sister moved from Worcester Massachusetts to Riverside California. Because of this, I spent many summer vacations visiting her. But my first pick of where to go first is Big Bear. The gist is you drive 7,000 feet up a mountain and at the top there is a man made lake. But its much more than that. If you are the type of person who enjoys beautiful scenery, the smell of thousands of pine trees, small town charm then I strongly suggest you visit.
Depending on then you plan on going there could be some obstacles. If you plan on going in August, when the weather is extremely hot and dry then you will want to bring plenty of cooling liquid so your car doesn’t over heat. If you go in the late Fall, and Winter months the law states you must have chains on your tires in order to have clearance, but even then you may not be able to make it up. But even when the weather is perfect you still face some hurdles, the roads are windy and steep. But please! Don’t be discouraged!
Aside from that, there are turnouts so you can park and enjoy the view. Personally I love the view at 5,000 or so feet. You can see so much, and the to see the number of pine trees in just that area is astonishing. When you first arrive, you head to the visitor center and parking area, there you can get pamphlets about activities, history and events. Some of the activities you can take part in are skiing and tubing in the winter months, and hiking, fishing, boat rides, biking camping, horse back riding, and many more for the rest of the year. Some of the events are the Antique Car Show, which is a club. Art on the Water, New Year’s Torchlight Parade, and Big Bear Lake fireworks Show.
If you or the people you’re with aren’t much of the camping type, there are plenty of restaurants from deli’s to fine dining, a movie theater, and shopping. The food portions are generous, but the prices are cheap. And did I tell you about the locals? They’re something else. They know people by name, they treat you just like if you were their neighbor for years, and help in anyway they can.
But for me, it is the view and the feeling I get when I go. It’s my favorite place and it always puts me in a great, happy go lucky mood. The lake is tree lined with sand, grass and pine trees. There are parties, cook outs, and quiet evenings. You aren’t limited to what you can do, for it being a small community it must be doing something right to have the amount of visitors they receive. I’m sure you hear this a lot but there really is something for everyone, including 6 years and under.
All in all its a great place, its far away enough from the city but not too far that you think you’re in Siberia. And if there is too much nature and not enough city, if you drive further you will find a Walmart, Starbucks (of course) and gas stations. I really hope you and the people who read this enjoy my essay. Big Bear is my second home, in a sense. Every time I go I forget about whats worrying me, and the scenery just makes my heart pour out.
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