Big Bear City

Unincorporated town nestled on the eastern shoreline of Big Bear Lake.

Welcome to Big Bear City

A charming town on the east shore of Big Bear Lake, this urban oasis is perfect for anyone who wants a quiet, peaceful lifestyle away from tourists

Big Bear City is a charming, unincorporated town nestled on the eastern shoreline of Big Bear Lake. Mostly residential, this bustling area is primarily composed of smaller homes and cabins laid out in a traditional square block fashion. Despite its proximity and similar names, Big Bear City is its own niche, urban community that stands apart from the adjacent, incorporated city of Big Bear Lake.

While the town is almost 30 miles northeast of San Bernardino, it still benefits from being surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest and supports all kinds of wildlife. You’re likely to see plenty of squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and coyotes nearby. On rare occasions, you might even spot gray foxes and bobcats. Because of its secluded, residential vibe, a quiet life in Big Bear City might be preferable for those who would rather avoid tourist-heavy Big Bear Lake.

What to Love

  • Close to Big Bear Lake
  • Surrounded by forest
  • Abundance of wildlife
  • Mostly residential
  • Urban oasis
  • Quiet and laid-back

People & Lifestyle

Small and urban, Big Bear City doesn’t have much to do in the way of commerce since it is predominantly residential. Most residents buy homes in this area since they tend to skew less expensive than in neighboring Big Bear Lake.

You get all the benefits of living in the valley and close to the mountain resort town without the heavy tourist traffic or commercialization. Residents can choose whether to venture toward the lake area or stay behind in the comfort and quiet of Big Bear City. It’s a beautiful place to live with lots of cabins and smaller homes available.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Established in 1924, Brown Bear Gift Shop is a one-stop-shop for souvenirs, novelty items, and gifts for locals and tourists alike.

The owners of family-operated Big Bear Outfitters take pride in the price and quality of the products sold at their store, which is conveniently located in Big Bear Village. They sell all kinds of themed products, including beanies, magnets, sweatshirts, hoodies, accessories, shoes, t-shirts, and more.

Browse a carefully-curated selection of stylish women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories at local boutique O KOO RAN. Featuring an array of trendy choices ranging from casual to dressy, O KOO RAN has become the go-to place for a unique selection of items that reflect Big Bear’s mountain resort aesthetic.

Thrifty shoppers will love perusing the eclectic assortment of items at Big Bear Valley Hummingbird Inc., a local non-profit dedicated to raising funds to provide services for children from low to moderate-income homes.

Offering a commanding view of the surrounding Big Bear Lake and mountain range, The Pines Lakefront is an upscale restaurant serving a varied menu of dishes that include seafood, black Angus beef, and an assortment of game meat like wild boar and venison.

Things to Do

Gold Rush Mining Adventures doubles as a fun place to shop and a fantastic family-friendly activity. Tucked inside a fitting mine cave environment, visitors can search for treasures in a themed exploration pit, dig for items in hidden spaces, pan for gold in running water, and even break open their own geodes.

Escape room enthusiasts and hobby detectives will want to check out the Big Bear Escape Room. While temporarily closed due to the ongoing pandemic, this escape room is expected to reopen in the near future. Currently, they have three themed rooms: Bear Valley Search and Rescue, Holcomb’s Lost Gold, and The Big Bear Asylum.

One of the most significant events in Big Bear Lake is the outdoor Summer Theater Festival. Held in Big Bear Village, audiences are treated to theatrical performances while relaxing in chairs or perched on hay bales beneath the beautiful Big Bear skies.

Schools

Big Bear City is primarily served by the Rim of the World Unified School District, which consists of three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

 
 
 

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