Three friends hike along a Big Bear trail during fall. The oak forest is bright yellow and fallen leaves are scattered.

Top 10 Affordable or Free Vacation Ideas for this Autumn

Posted: 09/04/23

We put together a list of the top affordable or free vacation ideas to help you plan your next vacation.

Big Bear is Southern California's only four season resort offering a true autumn getaway with plenty of activities to enjoy. Big Bear offers a unique vacation that is also very affordable! We've a list of our favorite free and/or low cost things to do this autumn season in Big Bear.

Top 10 Affordable or Free Vacation Ideas for this Autumn

  1. See Fall Colors: A stroll through your neighborhood or around The Village is sure to impress with the vivid hues of turning oaks, maples, aspens, and more!
  2. Rent A Bike: Take in Big Bear's autumn beauty on two wheels! Rent a bike to cruise the neighborhood or nearby trails. Bear Valley Bikes, Goldsmith's Sports, and Paddles & Pedals all rent Spring through Fall.
  3. Souvenir Shopping: The Village at Big Bear Lake is home to some of the cutest, quaintest, and most unique shops you could dream of. Comfy sweatshirts, Big Bear mugs, windows stickers and more offer a cute keepsake without the hefty price tag.
  4. Must Have Menu Items: Take in the beautiful autumn hues while you enjoy an ice cream cone or freshly baked pastry from The Village or Sister My Sister Bake Shop.
  5. Hook a number of different fish from the lake: Big Bear Lake is one of the top rated fishing spots in all of Southern California. Along with rainbow trout and large and small-mouth bass, you will also find catfish, crappie, and blue gill. Grab a fishing license and some tackle and bait to head out on your autumn fishing adventure. Learn more about Big Bear fishing.
  6. Visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo: The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven to heal or live if they are unable to survive on their own. Visitors are able to see a variety of alpine wildlife, such as snow leopards, bald eagles, wolves, grizzly bears, bobcats and even an arctic fox!
  7. Oktoberfest: Every fall, the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest offers great times and fun for everyone! Enjoy live music by authentic bands shipped strait from Germany, all you can eat beer and brats, stein holding and log sawing contests, kids activities, and more.
  8. Scavenger Hunt: Urban Adventure Quest and Mountain Room Escapes offer a fun way to learn about the history of Big Bear while doing some sightseeing. These walking tours of The Village and beyond will challenge you to solve clues to work your way through the tour.
  9. Visit Local Farms: At the Baldwin Lake Stables and petting zoo, you can get up close and personal with friendly animals, your little ones will be entertained for hours for very little money. Just pay for the feed and you're set!
  10. Kayaking on Big Bear Lake: Kayaking in many of the bay areas on Big Bear Lake is an enjoyable way to experience the beauty of nature and serenity spring. Kayak rentals at many Big Bear Lake's marinas start at approximately $20 with an easy way to get to the water without having to haul equipment from a rental shop.

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