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Big Bear Lake

When most people (even locals!) refer to the Big Bear Valley, with the seven mile long lake as its centerpiece, they call it simply “Big Bear.”  But there are a variety of distinct areas within the Valley, the most well-known of which is the area known as “Big Bear Lake.”  It is located on the south shore of the lake itself, in the western end of the overall Big Bear Valley.  It extends from the dam on the west, to Moonridge and the Big Bear City boundaries on the east.

In the early days of settlement of the Valley, the center of commerce was a handful of small businesses, eateries and lodges in what was referred to as simply “town” – and that area is now the redeveloped, picturesque “Village” that serves as the focal point of the Big Bear Lake area.

In 1980, boundaries were established, and the Big Bear Lake area was incorporated into the self-governing “City of Big Bear Lake.”  Other areas within the Valley remain unincorporated and served by the County of San Bernardino supervisorial district and services.

Within Big Bear Lake proper are all major shopping venues in the Valley (including major chain retailers and unique shops and boutiques), a huge assortment of restaurants and bars/clubs, three full-service boat marinas, the Snow Summit resort, Alpine Slide and Snow Play at Magic Mountain, the Bear Valley Community Hospital and a host of medical and professional services, and residential neighborhoods offering everything from the quaintest of cabins to the most exquisite estate-size homes.

The roads in Big Bear Lake are maintained (including snow plowing) by the City of Big Bear Lake, which also provides water and trash service.  Natural gas is provided by Southwest Gas Corp, and electricity by Bear Valley Electric.  Landline telephone service is provided largely by Verizon; internet and DSL is available via Verizon and Charter, with the latter also providing cable television to the area.  Both Dish Network and Direct TV satellite service are operational in the area.

Big Bear Lake is governed by the elected Mayor and City Council, and construction and development are overseen by the City’s Department of Building and Safety.  The incorporated area is served by the City of Big Bear Lake Fire Department, with three stations within the City area, including the new state-of-the-art and fully-staffed station on Big Bear Boulevard near Main Street.  The department provides top-notch fire and EMT services to residents and visitors, as well as establishes and implements the general fire prevention/protection master plan for the Valley as a whole.

In addition to the multitude of recreational activities available, Big Bear Lake offers a wide variety of events and activities, including top-rated professional performances at the Performing Arts Center, located near Boulder Bay.  Some of the most popular and well-known events held annually in Big Bear Lake include the “Big Bear Fun Run” antique, classic and hot rod car show, “Art On The Lake”,  Old Miners’ heritage parade, numerous nationally sanctioned ski and snowboard events, and Big Bear was twice the finish venue for the AMGEN Tour of California world-class cycling event.

No matter what your taste or budget, there’s a home for you in Big Bear Lake!  The area offers condos and cabins, mid-size family homes, and luxury estate-size masterpieces!  Just about any style you love is available, but there’s plenty of mountainy log-style and full-log homes from which to choose for that real “lodge” feel!  Love Tudor or Victorian or Bavarian architecture?  We’ve got that too, as well as everything in-between.

A short two-hour drive from Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as the Palm Springs area, Big Bear is Southern California’s premiere resort destination.  Offering four distinct seasons, residents and visitors alike enjoy the changing landscape and the many activities each season has to offer.

Take a minute to explore the various areas and neighborhoods in Big Bear Lake, and surely you will find something that suits your “mountain dream” to a tee!

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