There’s nothing quite like living in Los Angeles.
The sun is out around 363 (or so) days a year, palm trees, film studios and parties and events happening every single night. But just as much fun as it is to live in Los Angeles—it’s pretty amazing to drive out for a mini-vacation for a few days.
And whether you live in Southern California or just want to seem like a local, don’t miss a trip to Big Bear. Only about two hours away from the City of Angels, Big Bear is a woodsy retreat with some of the most stunning scenery in the state.
WHAT TO DO: Since there are no shortage of activities, the big question is what season you will be here.
In the summer, go for the kayaking and stay for the fishing. And the hiking and the horseback riding. In the winter, you’ll go skiing. And the ice skating and the Alpine sliding.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are a number of nice hotels in Big Bear but truly one of the big draws of visiting this woodsy wonderland is relaxing at a Bed and Breakfast.
THE ALPENHORN BED & BREAKFAST
Charming and run by the loveliest couple, Johann and Evelyn, the Alpenhorn Bed & Breakfast is a rustic oasis in the heart of Big Bear. You can walk over to the Big Bear Village nearby where you’ll find most of the shops and restaurants. Or walk up the road to hike through a trail through the mountains, which offer mesmerizing views of the town and the fabled lake. It’s also just a quick, one-mile drive from Snow Summit. And in the summer months, you can walk over to grab a kayak to make your way across to the other side of the lake.
Then after all that hiking, biking, and skiing you may enjoy—you can come home to the B&B. And this is the truly unique aspect of a B&B—and the Alpenhorn B&B in particular. You absolutely do feel at home. From the Lindt chocolates and fireplace and the handmade lavender bath salts that are waiting for you in your in-suite Jacuzzi, everything is picture perfect.
Beautiful woodcarvings are a favorite throughout the Big Bear Lake area, and several can be spotted throughout the picturesque grounds, which also features a babbling creek and a romantic swingset to cozy up with your loved one.
Owners Johann and Evelyn are such lovely and welcoming hosts. In the evening, they served hors d’oeuvres to their guests—and a few minutes into a conversation with them, you will feel as if you’ve known them for years as they imbue the B&B with such warmth and a sense of community. It will be equally as fun to get to know the other guests who are staying in the B&B over wine, hors d’oeuvres and a gourmet breakfast.
BUT HOW’S THE FOOD?
Delicious! And so healthy. What else could you want from a SoCal retreat. Options change daily but may include handmade raspberry scones, freshly squeezed OJ, overnight cooked oatmeal with granola baked at home, bacon and a fluffy omelet for a hearty breakfast to jump start the day. In the evening, you may feast on such hors d’oeuvres as shrimp, chicken wings, asparagus with pesto and chocolate cookies that are made from ancient grains so that you can feel like you are being healthy even if you are indulging in a sweet treat. (It’s all about balance!) Everything is so delicious you can make a meal out of them.
And, let’s not forget the wine, which comes from Johann’s native South Africa.
On certain nights, the B&B even offers an official dinner so be sure to inquire about that when booking!