When you have traveling dogs who are used to exploring new places on a regular basis, and then you suddenly hit the brakes and park your rig for a few months in the sunshiny warmth of Southern California, those dogs can get bored. Of course you take them on daytrips, and make sure they get plenty of exercise, but it's not the same when their daily walks are past the same trees, bushes, and rocks that they've been sniffing week after week.

At least, that's what we tell ourselves. And to atone for this perceived injustice, we like to leave the motorhome behind and plan a weekend getaway -- you know -- for the dogs' benefit.

We're spending the winter near Palm Springs, so the options for a fun jaunt are superb. San Diego, Santa Barbara, and all the beaches in between are within striking distance, as are Vegas and Phoenix. But we were looking for a dynamic change in scenery as well as weather, so we chose to drive up to Big Bear.

Big Bear tree filled hills and water

Perched at an elevation of nearly 6,800 feet, Big Bear is the local ski resort of choice in Southern California and a playground for summer activities like boating and hiking. With a plethora of hotel and vacation rental options, restaurants and coffee shops to suit every taste, and events scheduled throughout the year, there's never a bad time to visit!

While there are several RV parks and campgrounds in the area, our goal for this trip was a complete shift in surroundings, so leaving the motorhome behind was an integral part of the plan. I had my heart set on a cozy little cabin with a wood-burning fireplace and comfy sofa where we could curl up and watch the snow fall through the massive pines -- and that's exactly what we found!

Cabin with snow covering the roof and ground.

Locating pet-friendly rental properties online has become much easier in recent years -- we've even started including them on GoPetFriendly.com -- and finding this little gem didn't take much searching. Even the timing worked out perfectly -- we arrived on Thursday afternoon to clear skies and that weather held through the day on Friday, which was ideal for exploring downtown and taking a drive around the lake.

Buster in front of wood burning fireplace inside the cabin

On Friday night, the temps dropped and the snow moved in. So Saturday gave us the taste of winter we were hoping for, and Buster was tickled to find a frosty wonderland. (This is all about the dogs, after all!) He's always been a fan of the snow and it did our hearts good to see him bounding around and playing like a puppy.

Buster playing outside in the snow with the cabin in the background.

Flurries continued on and off on Saturday morning, so we kept the fire stoked while Ty enjoyed his favorite wintertime activity ... napping beside the hearth. Ty's never been a fan of being wet or cold, and at 13-years-old, he's earned every bit of cushiness we can give him.

Ty laying in a dog bed in front of the wood burning fireplace in the cabin.

By Sunday morning, the roads had dried and we were all ready to head back to the valley for a return to summer. This little getaway was just what we needed to satisfy our wanderlust for a while longer, and remind us how lucky we are to be able to change our surroundings at the drop of a hat.

If you'd like to follow more of Ty and Buster's adventures, see what they're up to now at GoPetFriendly.com!


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