Southern California is known for sunny skies and an almost perfect climate. A hidden gem, nestled on a mountaintop just outside the hustle and bustle of the big city, is a place in SoCal where seasons change and it’s noticed. Big Bear is a four-season community at 6,700 feet, and the best place to celebrate fall in Southern California.

Soroptimist International of Big Bear Valley, Inc. celebrates the best of the changing seasons with its Hearth and Home Tour set for Saturday, Oct. 3. It’s a chance to peek inside four mountaintop homes decked out for fall and the holidays. Guests will be made to feel at home as they wander through, maybe gathering decorating ideas to consider for their own homes.

SIBBV, a nonprofit service organization, has hosted the home tour for 35 years. This year the tour adds a new twist. Instead of being held in late June, the tour has moved to October to celebrate autumn as only Big Bear can. Guests can tour homes by day, and enjoy Oktoberfest in the evening. And those who enjoy high-altitude exercise can participate in the North Shore Half Marathon before the Hearth and Home Tour.

The four homes will embrace the seasons, decorated in fall colors, for Thanksgiving, Halloween and even an early Christmas. Guests will enjoy the sights and smells, yes smells, of the season. The scent of apple pie, cinnamon, pumpkin, maybe even a Thanksgiving turkey will greet guests as they arrive at the homes on the tour. They take a guided walk through each home as SIBBV hostesses point out the highlights. Guests will be made to feel at home as they wander through, maybe gathering decorating ideas to consider for their own homes.

Each of the four homes featured on the Hearth and Home Tour is unique. Decorating styles, construction styles, size and landscaping create a distinctive Big Bear abode. Guests will learn the history behind the homes, who designed and built the home, the decorator and the homeowner’s special touches. New this year, SIBBV will have apple pies available for purchase, boxed for guests at each location, so you can take home a sample of the season. And guests can enjoy cider and special treats such as pumpkin bread while waiting to enter the homes. The cider and treats are compliments of SIBBV. Soroptimist International of Big Bear Valley’s new cookbook, Taste of Big Bear, will also be available for purchase at each home. Recipes from SIBBV members, former members and Big Bear residents fill the pages and beg you to try the scrumptious dishes.

The Hearth and Home Tour is a fundraiser for SIBBV, which supports a number of causes related to the betterment of women and children in Big Bear and beyond. Tickets are $25 per person, no children. Tour hours are 9 am to 3 pm and tour locations are found inside the ticket booklet. Tickets are available the first week of September.

Guests should prepare to be wowed by the abundance of fall in Big Bear. Expect sunny skies with a nip in the air. A light sweater or jacket is advised.

Visit www.siofbigbearvalley.org for tickets and more information.

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