There is an often-repeated cliché about Southern California, that it is the lone place where you can get a beach tan and ski on the same day. Whenever I hear that phrase, my mind immediately turns to Big Bear Lake. The small community nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains is little more than a two-hour drive from the sunny beaches of Santa Monica, but it feels like a world away.
That feeling of escape has made Big Bear Lake a choice destination for Californians for decades, but it has also made the town a favorite stop for visitors from around the world. With snowy winters giving way to temperate summers filled with hiking, biking, and boating, the resort community has a lot to offer vacationers from anywhere.
And living in a vacation rental allows guests to get a better sense of the entire town’s charm, since many hotels here are located in one area around the lake’s southern shore. These vacation homes let you live like a local and bring you as close to Big Bear Lake’s charms as possible. Check them out: