Cover Photo by Joshua Chun
We have to admit this pandemic thing we keep hearing about is pretty cool for us pups, not sure what it means, but our parents sure are around a lot more these days. This past year has been pawsome as mom and dad never leave us at home anymore since the world turned upside down. Over the past year, we have been road tripping pretty much every weekend, and we love it! A few weeks ago, our parents told us we would be heading up to Big Bear Mountain, and we could hardly contain ourselves.
A quick 90-minute drive from home and we had arrived. With the wind blowing through our fur we pulled up to our vacation rental and the excitement rose to a whole new level. The fresh mountain air never smelled so good, and our mischievous little squirrel friends poked their heads around what seemed to be every tree. We overheard mom and dad say that our home away from home for the weekend was booked off of the Destination Big Bear’s website, and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. This pet-friendly mountain condo rental was perfect for us and included all the things we love; a natural gas barbecue for those yummy T-bone steaks, a wood-burning fireplace for the crisp evenings, and easy accessibility to Bear Mountain & Snow Summit.
Once we settled in, we gathered around the fire to discuss our plans for the weekend. There are many activities available, from hiking trails to pontoon boat rides, segway tours, and even a plethora of pet-friendly restaurants to visit in Big Bear village! One of the first things mom and dad did was go to www.bigbear.com to check out the best places to enjoy the great outdoors. A list of hiking options was the first activity to catch our eyes, and we decided to start our day by checking out Mill Creek road and The Pine Knot Trail which were highly recommended. The hike offered beautiful views surrounded by Mother Nature at her finest.
After a few hours of checking out the beauty of the land, we had built up quite the appetite so we headed straight to Big Bear Village to see where all those great smells were coming from. The first stop was Amangela’s Sandwich and Bagel House for a tasty lunch outdoors. Sitting outside offered just the right amount of people watching. Our lunch was delicious and we enjoyed a few bites of mom’s Turkey Pesto Wrap while dad had the French Dip which he said was too good to share.
Next, we headed up to Castle Rock Trail to burn off some calories and enjoy a vigorous climb. We quickly realized this was one of the most popular hikes in town. It seemed like everyone had the same idea that we did. The journey to get there was one we will never forget, the perfect backdrop of dense forest comprised of pine and oak trees made for the ideal path to our destination. After posing for a few panoramic photos we pointed our snouts downwards and headed back to the parking lot for a much-needed nap by the fireplace.
On the way back to our vacation home we decided to stop by the Bone Yard and Grill to pick up a to-go order for dinner which consisted of a Lemon Rosemary Chicken Flatbread, Grilled Shrimp Tacos and some very hard to resist BBQ that made our mouths water.
The next morning after a restful night’s sleep we made our way up to Snow Summit to take in the fresh mountain air and of course, we may have chased a few squirrels along the way. The blanket of flowers cascading over the mountain above was creating a serious buzz everywhere we looked. We walked around the mountain base area for a good hour and were then told it was time for us to head back as mom and dad had plans to explore Big Bear from the air! Big Bear Helicopter took them out for a super fun tour where they got a birds’ eye view of Bear Valley and the surrounding San Bernardino mountains; yes we may indeed have been a little sad that we were not allowed to go with them. As they told us all about their helicopter adventure, the sadness was starting to set in, it was clear from the look in their eyes and the suitcases on the bed that it was almost time to head home.
Our parents know us all too well and the only way to distract us from our despair was to mention lunch. The sun was shining as we headed off to our final stop, 572 Social Kitchen and Lounge. One of the most popular eateries in the entire Big Bear Village this dining establishment has everything you could want, from fresh salads, pizzas, burgers, poke, sandwiches, and more. Local restaurateurs Gus and Nancy Gonzalez along with their partner Rick Rey are changing the food scene in Big Bear one restaurant at a time and wow are they doing a great job. Our last meal was one to remember as we sat on the pet-friendly outdoor patio. From the Cali Burger to the Chopped Salad each bite we scored was delicious and we have to admit, it made the ride back down the mountain that much more manageable. Until next time Big Bear, we will return soon!