Three hikers walk a trail

Top 10 Affordable or Free Vacation Ideas for this Autumn

Posted: 09/04/19

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
  2. 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. Fishermen of all types will find something to their liking in the pristine waters of the lake. Grab a fishing license, tackle, bait and a chair and you can fish from the shoreline such as on the Stanfield Cutoff bridge or Grout Bay.
  3. 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!
    1. Join the Zoo's Flashlight Safaris in the fall! You will follow a pair of expert guides through the zoo with your flashlight (be sure to bring your own) and observe the nocturnal habits of the zoo's wild residents. Cost is included with regular admission.
  4. 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. Oktoberfest has reduced pricing on Sundays.
  5. Scavenger Hunt: Urban Adventure Quest is a fun way to learn about the history of Big Bear while doing some sightseeing. This 1-1.5 hour walking tour of The Village and beyond with your smart phone will challenge you to solve clues to work your way through the tour.
  6. Visit and local animals: 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!
  7. Free Nature Walks with The Big Bear Discovery Center: The Big Bear Discovery Center's free Nature Walks are most Saturdays and Sundays. The walks provide visitors an opportunity to learn about the local plant life, wildlife and interesting historical facts about Big Bear. This activity is ideal for families and individuals who want to gain a greater appreciation of the San Bernardino Mountains. Nature walks are not strenuous and designed for all hiking skill levels. Check this Discovery Center's website for Nature Walk schedules and locations.
  8. 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.
  9. Enjoy glow bowling: Glow bowling at the Bowling Barn starts at 8 p.m. and has great music to go with it.
  10. Go for a photo hike: Why experience the beautiful views that can be found along any of Big Bear's hiking trails only once? By taking a photography hike through the woodlands and numerous trails of the Valley, you can preserve the experience and beauty of Big Bear for years. Be sure to pick up your Adventure Pass, $5 per day (if paying with cash), at the Big Bear's Visitors Center.

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