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Staying on or near the water during vacation is a great way to enjoy the local scenery to the fullest, but there aren’t many rental houseboats in the Big Bear, CA area. However, Big Bear vacation rentals on or near the lake offer just as wonderful an experience when you want to make the most of your time up in this idyllic lakeside town.

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Lounging Lakeside

If you aren’t able to book a houseboat for a Big Bear vacation, you can still get plenty of time on the water by focusing on rentals in the right parts of town. Big Bear Lake proper is a good place to start. Locations closer to the mountains, such as Sugarloaf and Moonridge, aren’t in the best spots for maximizing your time on the water. Boulder Bay and Fawnskin are better small-town options in the area that provide quick access to the water. For an even more isolated experience, try to find lodgings on the North Shore of the lake, where tourist traffic coming into and out of the Village is less common.

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Getting Out on the Water

Though these accommodations may not actually be on the water, vacation rentals in the Big Bear Lake area offer easy access to a range of fantastic recreation options focused on marine activity. Boat rentals are available at a number of marinas dotted around the lake, including on both the North and South Shores. Power boats, pontoons, sailboats and smaller craft — such as kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards — are all fun options that can facilitate sightseeing, activities around the lake. If you’re adventurous, you may even want to go paragliding.

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If you’re unfamiliar with water-based recreation activities, you may want to do more than just rent from a local marina or outfitter. Some tour guide companies in Big Bear Lake offer services such as private chartered fishing boat trips and group cruises aboard larger boats, including some novelty options like a pirate ship and paddlewheeler.

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Walking and cycling around the perimeter of the lake is also a good option when you want to get close up to the lake but don’t necessarily want to get wet. The Alpine Pedal Path, which covers more than three miles of lakefront on an out-and-back paved pathway, is a particularly good option for visitor groups that may include younger or older family members and those with mobility issues who might not be able to take in some of the more rugged activities in the area.