Up in the San Bernandino Mountains is one of the best places to spend a day trip or weekend getaway when visiting Southern California, Lake Arrowhead. It’s funny, but a lot of people drive right by Lake Arrowhead on their way to Big Bear not realizing all the fun things to do in Lake Arrowhead.
With tons of entertainment, delectable restaurants, and a gorgeous lakefront, the destination offers fun for the entire family.
If you’re looking for a few ways to enjoy your time in Lake Arrowhead, check out our list below of 17 affordable and fun things to do in Lake Arrowhead!
Our Guide for Things to do in Lake Arrowhead
As a mom of 6 with kids ranging from 1 to 20, finding activities that everyone can enjoy can be a challenge. But, when we head to Lake Arrowhead, we always have a blast. Here are some of our favorite things to do in the area!
Where to Stay in Lake Arrowhead
Quickly, before we get started on all the activities. If you are staying in Lake Arrowhead, check out this Airbnb we stayed in. It was completely remodeled, so it’s basically brand new and rates are super affordable. Check out some of our other favorite Lake Arrowhead Airbnbs here!
What are the best times to Stay in Lake Arrowhead?
With so much to do in Lake Arrowhead, there’s never a bad time to visit. However, the summer months are particularly popular and offer the most activities for families.
Go On A Hike
Hiking is one of our favorite things to do in Lake Arrowhead! There are several great hiking spots, though one of our absolute favorites is Strawberry Peak.
This peak is one of the most iconic in the San Gabriel Mountains and the highest one in the region at 6,614 feet.
You also might get to see tons of strawberries around the peak, which is where it gets its name. If Strawberry Peak is too strenuous for you, you might also consider a hike to Aztec Falls.
Rock Climb during your hike! For adventurous families, try rock climbing in the San Bernardino Mountains. There are several companies in the area that offer guided rock climbing tours for all skill levels.
Visit Skypark at Santa’s Village
This might seems like a winter activity, but Skypark at Santa’s Village has so much to offer. You can enjoy mountain biking, shops and dining all in this village.
It is one of the highlights of visiting Lake Arrowhead in my opinion. They even have bike lessons for those wanting to learn to mountain bike. Check out all the details here.
Swim In Lake Gregory
Lake Gregory is a wonderful alternative to Lake Arrowhead, which is a private lake. You can take a dip in Lake Gregory and swim/play all day. To get there, you’ll need to head to the town of Crestline, which is about 20 minutes from Lake Arrowhead.
Once there, you can purchase a day pass for lake use, as well as admission to the blow-up waterpark or one of the many water rentals, such as boats, aqua cycles, or kayaks.
Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour
This is a must-do when you’re in Lake Arrowhead. It’s a scenic tour that takes you around the lake and gives you a different perspective of the area.
This tour is perfect for families with young children, who will love the gentle rocking of the boat and the beautiful views of the lake.
Enjoy an ATV Ride
One of the coolest ways to enjoy the mountain by far is with an ATV ride. We took our first ATV ride on an excursion in Jamaica and since then the kids were dying to go again.
Enjoy The Mountain is a company that is there to ensure that people enjoy the area responsibly, which is why they have set up fantastic ATV rental tours. You’ll be able to take in a view of Lake Arrowhead that you would find difficulty in trying to explore on your own.
Mountain History Museum
I always love trying to incorporate some education and learning in our family trips! That’s why we recommend checking out the history of the San Bernardino Mountains at the Mountain History Museum.
Kids will love learning about the area’s past through interactive exhibits. Learn more about the museum here.
Go Mountain Biking
We are not huge mountain bikers, but friends of ours absolutely love it and love the trails in Lake Arrowhead. There are plenty of cool spots to go mountain biking in Lake Arrowhead if you visit during the summer. Plenty of cross-country skiing trails open up for mountain biking.
One of the best places to try out your luck with mountain biking is the Rim Nordic Ski Area. Tourists often flock here because of the epic views and one-of-a-kind trails.
Explore Heaps Peak Arboretum
For $5 you can enjoy a day exploring some amazing trees, amazing plants and flowers and just a wonderful relaxing day.
The Heaps Peak Arboretum is a great way to enjoy nature and see all the native plants from the Lake Arrowhead area. (Find out more here)
Explore Lake Arrowhead Village
Lake Arrowhead Village is the central point of the town. Here you’ll find unique dining, exciting shopping, and wonderful entertainment.
The restaurants here are to die for, one of our favorites being Papagyos, which has a gorgeous outdoor patio for summer enjoyment.
In the winter, we recommend checking out The Jetties, which offers warm comfort food. We also love, Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company, Lulubelle’s Bakery, and Dogwood Tavern.
Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find a variety of events taking place, including summer concerts, Oktoberfest, and the Wooden Boat Show.
Check out the Big Bear Alpine Zoo
Do your kids love animals? The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is home to over 100 animals and is a must-visit for families. Take a tour of the zoo or enjoy skating with the kids at the zoo’s ice skating rink.
BONUS TIP: Drive the Big Bear Alpine Zoo – For those who prefer to stay in their car, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo also offers a drive-through tour. Get up close and personal with the animals from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Tour on the Big Bear Alpine Zoo – Another thing you can do at the Zoo is take a guided tour of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo and learn about the animals and their habitats. Kids will love seeing the animals up close and personal.
Rent a Boat
If you decide to spend the day in Lake Gregory, we highly recommend renting a boat. Boats are fun for the whole family. You can bring drinks, snacks, games, music, and tubes and enjoy a relaxing day on the water.
There is also plenty of trout available in the lake, perfect for those who want to try their hand at fishing. There are so many awesome things to do in Lake Arrowhead when it comes to water activities!
Tour The Tudor House
Once owned by Bugsy Siegal, the Tuorr House was once a destination for the rich and famous to take part in drinking and illegal gambling. Nowadays, you can enjoy a delicious meal, get a couple of drinks, and catch a show.
There are plenty of special events that take place at the Tudor House, too, including the dinner theater, brunch, and band showcases. See the days and times that they are open for business on their event page.
Summer Concert Series
The summer concert series at the Lake Arrowhead Village is a great way to spend a summer evening with the family.
This outdoor event features live music performances by local bands and artists, and takes place every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer. Learn more about it here.
Visit Wildhaven Ranch
Wildhaven Ranch is one of the biggest animal sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centers in San Bernardino. The Ranch sponsors various events throughout the year, helping to educate visitors on protecting and taking care of wildlife.
You can tour the facility on the weekends as well. We highly recommend taking the private tours for an up-close and personal experience.
Enjoy A Jeep Tour
While there are many ways that Enjoy The Mountain helps people get in touch with their wild sides while visiting Lake Arrowhead, one of the most exciting ways they do so is through the Jeep Tour.
You can book a private tour with the whole family and enjoy scenic views and offroad trails throughout the Lake Arrowhead region.
Go for a boat tour on the Lake Arrowhead Queen
Since Lake Arrowhead is a private lake, the easiest way to sail on the lake is visiting the Lake Arrowhead Queen. Tickets run $26.95 for the boat and historical tour along the lake.
Learn to Water Ski
One of the more fun things to do in Lake Arrowhead is water ski on the beautiful lake. McKenzie Water Ski School offers lessons all summer long and since the lake is not busy, it is the perfect place to learn to water ski. Lessons range from $50 and up depending on the type of lesson you need.
If you enjoyed our list of things to do in Lake Arrowhead, check out more fun things to do and places to visit in Southern California below!
Map of Things to do in Lake Arrowhead
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Frequently Asked Questions about Things to do in Lake Arrowhead
What is Better Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear
Personally, I love Lake Arrowhead. There is so much to do and the people are incredibly friendly. Big Bear does have skiing and snowboarding but is often overcrowded.
Is Lake Arrowhead worth visiting
Yes! Yes! Yes! Lake Arrowhead is one of those little finds that once you find about it, you almost don’t want to let other people know about it because it is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets
Where do you stay in Lake Arrowhead
Airbnb’s are the typical way to go. Our favorite is this cabin which is perfect for families.