Content Produced in Partnership with Mammoth Lakes, California
My family and I set out to explore Mammoth Lakes, California, and quickly discovered the iconic ski town in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is best during midweek. We had beautiful winter conditions, no traffic, no lift lines and, best of all, no waiting lists. Here’s how you can have a great time, too.
Breakfast at the Food Cache Cafe
452 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
With a “fuel for active lifestyles” slogan and kombucha on tap, I knew right away that this organic food café was my kind of place. We ordered the delicious breakfast bowl, which includes your choice of protein, brown rice, onion garlic, kale, cremini mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, egg whites, plus an organic free range egg to top it off. The kids shared their S.E.C. Breakfast which includes two whole wheat English muffins with sausage, eggs, cheddar cheese and avocado (yum!) with an included fresh squeezed orange juice. Did I mention it’s all organic? It’s a great fit for active families trying to stay on track while they’re on vacation.
The Mountains Are Calling: Go Backcountry Skiing
Mammoth Mountaineering Supply at 361 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
No chair lifts and no rope tows. Just you and your human-powered adventure that take you through the mountains. We headed into Mammoth Mountaineering, the climbers’ candy store, to rent backcountry Alpine touring skis and skins. The knowledgeable staff knew exactly what we needed and had us on our way into the mountains in no time at all. We headed just south of Mammoth to McGee Creek for a ski tour around the Sierra foothills with gorgeous views of the surrounding peaks. While it took about a 10 minute drive to get there, the skiing and the serene wilderness more than made up for it. As this activity is recommended only for those with backcountry wilderness, snow travel and avalanche experience, there are other great options for those who want to learn and gain experience. At only $150 (the price of a lift ticket) Sierra Mountain Guides will accompany you out into the backcountry for 4 radical hours with your very own experienced mountain guide!
Sierra Nevada Resort
164 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
We arrived back in Mammoth Lakes to check into the Sierra Nevada Resort by 4pm. Instantly, we loved the beautiful, rustic lobby and its massive fireplace. Our jaws hit the floor again when we walked into our cozy and spacious family suite. The room had all the necessities we’d enjoy at home, including a decent-sized kitchen and bar equipment as well as a coffee maker, oven, microwave and full-sized fridge. It was a true delight to stretch out like a starfish on the California king bed, too, in a sea of blankets and pillows. Yep, this is how all vacations should be!
Dinner at Mammoth Rock n' Bowl
3029 Chateau Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Mammoth Rock n’ Bowl has 12 state of the art bowling lanes, a fine dining restaurant called the Mammoth Brasserie, as well as an exceptional bar and bar menu downstairs where you can eat, drink and be merry while you bowl. The staff was young, fun and helpful and got us all set up for dinner and bowling downstairs as we were with our 2 and 4 year olds. We kept things simple and ordered Baja fish tacos, pasta for the kids, Shirley Temples and multiple pitchers of water. We rented shoes for the four of us, got our game all set up and spent the next hour taking turns on the bowling lane. The kids loved it and so did we.
Breakfast in the Suite
With such an awesome and convenient kitchen right in our room, I was so excited to have a relaxed breakfast inside. I had made a pitstop at the local health food store, Sierra Sundance, the day before for some of our favorite breakfast staples like coffee, cream, cereal, milk, eggs, and a few smoothie items. It was a great decision that helped us get prepared for our next family activity: ski school!
Mammoth Mountain Ski School
I couldn't wait for this one as my son, Bodhi, had never been on skis before. More eager than me, of course, was Bodhi! We headed over to The Village Mountain Center to rent Bodhi skis and ski boots. Within 10 minutes we were out the door and on the gondola heading up to Canyon Lodge. Bodhi got teamed up with the best ski instructor on the mountain and just a couple hours later, he was making j-turns, skiing backwards aka “fakey” and had a smile across his face.
Late Lunch at Rafters
202 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Just steps away from our room at the Sierra Nevada Resort was the very yummy restaurant Rafters. After a day out on the slopes, we had all worked up an appetite and eagerly dove into the juicy burgers and crispy French fries. In fact, we liked Rafter so much, we ordered take out for dinner that night, too! We were wiped out from a day on the mountain and got to snuggle together in the room for a nice, quiet family afternoon in as the mega storm rolled in.
MEGA DUMP ALERT!!! As it snowed several feet of snow overnight, we were literally trapped inside our hotel room with views of our buried vehicle outside. With incredible views of the Sierra Nevada completely covered in a fresh blanket of white snow, it was impossible not to have a smile stretching ear to ear.
Woolly's Tube Park & Snow Play
Shuttle Stop #19 on Minaret Road (Halfway between The Village and Main Lodge)
This is can’t-miss family activity! Not only did the kids have a blast, but the adults did as well. I caught myself giggling with excitement a number of times. If you want to have the time of your life sliding mach speeds down some fast and steep hills, do not miss the tube park. You might even be lucky enough to find Woolly himself sliding down the hills, too!
Happy Hour at Giovanni's
437 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
One of the best family restaurants in town, Giovanni's has an array of Italian-style dishes to make all taste buds happy. As I was already on an adolescent “high” I decided to order the Sloppy Gio off the happy hour menu. A big mess of Italian meat sauce smothered between two pieces of cheesy garlic bread and $4 later, and I was one stuffed and satisfied momma.