There is nothing I enjoy more than vacationing, even if it’s a mini getaway to a nearby mountain town. Since moving to San Diego a few years ago I haven’t been to the mountains, one of the places I miss most in Northern California is Lake Tahoe so I decided to round up the travel crew and escape to Big Bear for the weekend.
We left San Diego around 6am for the two and a half hour drive up to Big Bear. We drove right to the Pine Knot Trailhead for a great seven-mile hike through the woods.
With hardly anyone else on the trail Emma enjoyed running free and leading the pack. There is something so peaceful about being in the woods without traffic, noise or other people around.
After hiking for three hours we worked up a hunger so we went to Big Bear Lake Brewing Company for lunch. There was a little bit of a wait for the dog-friendly outdoor patio, but it was worth it! I ordered the chicken Cesar wrap and the red ale. It was SO good! All the food here was amazing. I highly recommend this place!
After lunch we went to Captain John’s for some lake kayaking. Tip: search Groupon before you go. We found a great deal offering two hours of kayaking with the kayak rental for just $17. The service was great and kayaking along the lake was a blast. My only regret is not bringing my phone to get pictures of how amazing the thick forest of trees looked surrounding the lake. Kayaking out was a blast, coming back in against the wind was a little challenging. At one point, we crashed into an island and couldn’t set back out with the waves crashing against us. We were drenched in freezing cold lake water so it was a good thing we didn’t bring our phones after all.
After all that action we made our way to home for the night which we thought was going to be a cheap hotel. It turned out to be the cutest little mountain lodge with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, awesome cable and a fireplace. A fireplace! The price was extremely affordable, the décor was bit outdated, but it had everything we could have wanted and more. I highly recommend this place! They even had cabins that could sleep up to eight people. I will definitely be returning here for another group trip to Big Bear.
Since we were surprised with a fully prepared kitchen we went to Vons and bought a variety of craft beer, soups, breads, desert and breakfast stuff for the morning. we played Cards Against Humanity, ate dinner together and shared laughs late into the night. It was a beautiful evening.
Sunday morning we awoke with breakfast sandwiches before loading up the car and venturing out to hike #2. Sunday’s hike was another seven-mile trek through the Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak with beautiful aerial views of the lake along the way. We started at 9am and only saw a few other people on the trail, mostly on our way out. Some parts of the trail were steep and tough, but the view from the peak was well worth the struggle. This hike took us about three hours and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a workout with amazing views.
Have you ever been to Big Bear? Leave me some suggestions for my next trip up!