National ski tours, mountain-bike races, and one of Southern California's largest Oktoberfest gatherings are just some of the events held year-round. Contact the Big Bear Lake Resort Association, 630 Bartlett Rd., Big Bear Lake Village (tel. 800/4-BIG-BEAR [424-2327] or 909/866-7000; www.bigbearinfo.com), for schedules and information. They also provide information on sightseeing and lodging and will send you a free visitors guide.
In Lake Arrowhead, contact the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce (tel. 909/337-3715; www.lakearrowhead.net). The visitor center is in the Lake Arrowhead Village lower shopping center.
The south shore of Big Bear Lake was the first resort area to be developed here and remains the most densely populated. Hwy. 18 passes first through the city of Big Bear Lake and its downtown village; then, as Big Bear Boulevard, it continues east to Big Bear City, which is more residential and suburban. Hwy. 38 traverses the north shore, home to pristine national forest and great hiking trails, as well as a couple of small marinas and a lakefront bed-and-breakfast inn.
Arrowhead's main town is Lake Arrowhead Village, on the south shore at the end of Hwy. 173. The village's commercial center is home to factory-outlet stores, about 40 chain and specialty shops, and the Lake Arrowhead Resort. Minutes away is the town of Blue Jay (along Hwy. 189), where the Blue Jay Ice Castle skating rink is located.