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The Jewel of the San Bernardino Mountains

Big Bear Lake from Snow SummitOkay. You have thought it all out. You have spent a great deal of time working the numbers and speaking with your friends and family. You are ready to take the next step and purchase a cabin in the mountains.

Of course you already know about Big Bear Lake, as it is one of the premier vacation destinations in California. As a matter of fact, you have probably been there numerous times since you were a child and have a ton of great memories. You are already leaning towards Big Bear as the logical place to buy, but since this is a big decision, you need more info. You know that there are a great many other communities in The San Bernardino Mountains to choose from, and you want to be sure.

So, you start investigating.

Once you begin, it becomes apparent that there are far more areas than you anticipated. Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Arrowbear, Running Springs, Green Valley Lake, to name a few. It starts to become a little overwhelming trying to weigh the pros and cons between all of the areas.

Let me clear it up for you. Your first instinct was your best instinct, and here’s why.

First off, Big Bear Lake is a public lake. This means that anybody is allowed to put their boat on the water and have a good time. Lake Arrowhead is a private lake. In order to use it you must be a property owner. Actually, only some of the homes in Lake Arrowhead have lake rights. You could buy a little place there, and still not be able to put your boat on the water. Even if you are lucky enough to get a place with lake rights, your friends and family still will not be able to put one of their boats on the water.

Another thing you may not be aware of, Big Bear Lake is approximately three times the size of Lake Arrowhead. If boating, fishing, wake boarding, water skiing, or any form of water sports is something you and your family enjoy, Big Bear Lake is the best place for you.

If you enjoy winter sports, Big Bear Lake is by far the best area to be. Boasting the two best resorts in Southern California, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, no other area even comes close. Both resorts have some of the best snow making ability in the world. This means when the other resorts are closed or only partially open Bear Mountain and Snow Summit will both be offering fully open mountains with superior runs and snow quality. If you were to purchase a home in any other community, you would be looking at between 40 minutes to an hour of driving just to get to the parking lot of one of our resorts. There is one ski area between here and there, but it is not even close to the quality skiing offered by Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

Even more important than the beginning of the day, is the end of the day. Do you really want to drag your sore and cold bones to the car, only to have a long drive ahead of you? How much better does it sound to be only five to ten minutes away from home and the hot tub?

Finally, one of the biggest reasons to purchase in Big Bear is the access to all the modern conveniences. When you are preparing to go out to dinner, would you prefer two or three places to choose from or dozens? When you want to go to the movies, would you like a couple to choose from or have two different theaters with several screens to choose from? If, God forbid, you get hurt, would you prefer having to drive all the way down the mountain to get care or would you prefer a community that has a full service hospital and emergency room that is equipped with a helicopter if you need to be airlifted to another facility?

In addition to these services, Big Bear also has numerous automobile repair shops, super markets, sled hills, gift shops, coffee shops, snow board and ski rental shops, a K-Mart, car wash, two hardware and building supply stores, and just about everything else you could ever want or need. And all of this is available without having to leave town.

Once you do the homework it becomes clear, no other mountain community even comes close to Big Bear Lake.

Izzy Barden


  1. If considering a purchase in Lake Arrowhead, consider the following…You will end up skiing or boating in Big Bear, you will find more to do with your family for less in Big Bear, we have a dozen public launch sites for your water craft, oh yeah we have 2 resorts for snowboarders and skiiers and we have more trails and other summer activities than Arrowhead can muster. Not to mention its less expensive to dine, park and party in Big Bear all year round.
    So find yourself a great agent in Big Bear who knows the area and can point you to the best deal.
    Perhaps make that weekend trip to Arrowhead for some fine dining or a nice walk around the shops. But for heaven’s sake, get your butt back to Big Bear where everything you want is a 5 minute drive away!! Michele Holloway, Realtor.

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