The Art of the Getaway - NBC Southern California

With springtime comes the urge to ditch the desk, escape the traffic and feel earth instead of concrete beneath your feet. You picture yourself zorbing in New Zealand instead of sitting in meetings, or crossing the Sahara by camel instead of walking the dog.

But before you empty your bank account and book the next flight to Marrakech, consider how easy it is to satisfy your inner thrill-seeker right here at home. Scroll down to see the adrenaline-filled adventures that await at Big Bear Lake.

Leave the beaten path

It's almost impossible to worry about to-do lists when you're eye-to-eye with a magnificent apex predator. At the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, you can meet the only grizzly bear family in captivity and learn how rescued animals can be released back to their natural habitats.

Make it a habit

The key to the perfect getaway? A destination that's easy to get to and hard to leave. Big Bear Lake, situated within comfortable driving distance of Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, has 300 days of sunshine every year and all the adventure you could ask for.