spotlight : bear valley winter escape
Bear Valley is one of those last hidden gems and an easy drive from the bay area. It's part of the sierra mountains, but an hour closer than tahoe (without traffic, and substantially more with it!). Not much has changed over the last twenty years that we've own a cabin there, but there's just something about driving up that immediately evokes a sense of familiarity and calmness that's hard to beat.
The views here are absolutely breathtaking - in both the summer & the winter. It's amazing to see so much undeveloped land just a few hours from the bustling bay area, where there's a house on every square inch of available land.
This view is from the top of the ski mountain on the front side. It's such a picturesque place, where every angle is beautiful and no matter how many trips we spend up there, we still admire the view every time.
It's quiet. Unlike tahoe, there's no casino, no golf course, and only two restaurants (the pizza place has been known to run out of pizza dough, ha!). The roads aren't plowed in the wintertime, so you have to snowmobile to the cabin, which is so fun & always an adventure. It's quirky and endearing, like that, and feels like a true escape from our city life. But there's a quaint ski resort with small lines, and a slew of pristine lakes that we enjoy in the summer.
This is the lodge, where we spend every new years eve listening to a local band & watching the fireworks.
It's community-based. Most of the locals up there have lived there for years, which makes it feel like going back to your favorite camp as a kid.
From sledding to snowmobiling - we're never short on activities to keep us entertained & in love with the beautiful outdoors.. not matter what age you are! That would be sheer happiness on Kevin's face.
And of course, the cabin is a perfect retreat - with a fireplace that heats the house every night after being out on the slopes, a view that is a reminder of how beautiful this place is that we live in, and cozy decor that just soothingly says "relax".
The living room is the heart of the cabin. It's open to the kitchen, the bar, & the dining area and we spend hours here playing euchre or other fun games, watching movies, and working on a constant puzzle which gets hung downstairs once it's finished.
And it's a great place for the entire family.
Let's just say, the pups also love it up here. It was quite the effort to get them to stay long enough for a picture.. Children.