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Where to Sleep + Eat + Play in Mammoth Lakes, California

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Discover the go-to accommodations, restaurants and entertainment options at Mammoth Lakes, helping you make the most of your family's winter adventure.

Pinterest photo of Where to Sleep + Eat + Play in Mammoth Lakes, California

Beyond the foundation of our love for Mammoth (the 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, 28 lifts, pure air, and endless, ancient pine forests) are the modern conveniences, such as hundreds of accommodation options, great food, and The Village, which features spas, non-dive bars, and excellent opportunities to people watch by outdoor fire pits. And then there's the year round twinkle lights covering much of the town - yes, please.


While it has a thriving youth culture and party scene, Mammoth also offers numerous family-friendly events and conveniences, making it a prime destination for adventurous families, or those who just like cozying up by the fire in a snow-covered cabin.



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Where to Sleep

Living room in large cabin in Mammoth Lakes, California

As a resort town, almost every structure you see in Mammoth has a room, or more, for rent. Whether you're looking for an economy hotel, upscale resort, studio apartment, or big ole cabin, Mammoth has something that is sure to please your entire brood.



Airbnb


This is our go-to option, as we can get a comfortable, (usually) updated place that suits the exact number of people we're traveling with. If you want variety with the style, price and location of the rentals, book your Airbnb (or VRBO) at least two months in advance.



From an economical standpoint, these rentals are unbeatable as they almost always have a full kitchen, allowing you to eat in for many of your meals. In addition, many of these spaces have up-to-date entertainment systems (often with Netflix + Amazon), and games and movies. Unless you want to be able to walk to the lifts, or The Village gondola, location isn't much of an issue as almost all Mammoth rentals are a 5-15 minute drive to the mountain's numerous lodges.


The Village Lodge Mammoth

The Village Lodge in Mammoth Lakes

The Village Lodge is a laid-back, yet upscale, home base for travelers who want a mountain chic ambiance, like to be at the center of the action, and don’t want to hassle with driving to the slopes. With a prime location in the heart of Mammoth, this resort is able to offer a free on-site gondola that delivers guests directly to Canyon Lodge, and easy access to numerous boutiques and day spas.


In addition, The Village is like an edible playground with high-quality eateries ranging from Italian to sushi, plus numerous varieties of dessert. Adding to the sweet taste of convenience provided by this renowned lodge is the 5-mile radius shuttle service, childcare, DVD movie library, outdoor fire pits, in-room fireplaces, fitness room, game room, laundry services, media, pool and hot tubs. They've succeeded in the enviable feat of having it all.



Snow Creek Resort


If you want towering pine trees, a sprawling golf course and views of Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Rock, and the Sherwin and White mountain ranges to be the backdrop of your stay, check out Snow Creek. This resort is a luxurious 449-acre alpine village with finely-appointed one to four bedroom condos (many of which offer garages and private hot tubs), a 9-hole golf course (that's fun to sled on, but don't tell them we said so), and a 30,000 square foot athletic center that includes the Double Eagle Spa (try a facial), tennis courts, racquetball courts, wellness classes, and indoor and outdoor pools.


Located within the Snow Creek Meadow Preserve, this community was crafted with Mother Nature in mind, highlighting rugged wonders such as the glimmering Mammoth Creek that winds through the area. Although the resort creates the sense that you've landed in a secluded, frosted oasis, Snow Creek is only a 5-minute drive to The Village, and a 10-15 minute drive to many of the Mammoth Mountain lodges.


Westin Manache Resort

One of the most elegant hotel options in Mammoth, the Westin accommodates any size of family, as they offer standard rooms, two-bedroom suites, and everything in between. In addition to the chic ambiance (not too mountain-y, with the exception of the views) and impeccable service, this resort is incredibly convenient, as it's located across the street from The Village, and the gondola that drops you at Canyon Lodge.


Making the suites all the more attractive for families looking for comfort and usability, are the gas fireplaces, kitchens or kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, Heavenly Beds (yes, please), balconies that offer jaw-dropping vistas, and beloved Wi-Fi. And if your furry family needs to tag along, the hotel has pet-friendly suites. Other wonderfully opulent amenities include in-room massages, a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs galore, and a tricked out fitness studio.



Mammoth Mountain Inn


If your family wants to spend every possible second on the slopes, this inn will be your jam as it's located at the base of Mammoth's Main Lodge slopes, offering ski-in/ski-out access and in-room boot fittings. And when the lifts close, a large outdoor hot tub and cozy, fireside seating arrangements in the lodge await. Standard rooms to two-bedrooms condos are offered, in addition to a standalone chalet that sleeps six. Sweetening this spot are the unbeatable deals, including the Lift+Lodge package that provides a lift ticket and gondola ride (that takes you to the summit) for every guest on the reservation, every day of your stay.



Tamarack Lodge and Resort

Room at Tamarack Lodge and Resort in Mammoth Lakes California

The ideal haven for a digital-detox, the historic Tamarack Lodge and Resort is a screen-free (not as painful as it sounds), mellow and meditative escape, offering the classic cabin-in-the-woods experience. Resting on 6-acres, and being the place to go for cross-country ski gear, maps, trails and guides, Tamarack is the optimal location for families who would rather not downhill ski.


Beyond cross country skiing, their prime position on the shores of Twin Lakes makes it an epic spot for sightseeing. While this resort is only 7-miles from Mammoth Mountain, the numerous amenities, including a gourmet restaurant, make this a vacation destination unto itself, maybe even convincing you to not leave the premises for the duration of your stay.



Where to Eat + Drink

Breakfast spread in Mammoth Lakes

There's something about shlepping around kids and an arsenal of snow gear, then careening down snow-soaked slopes that inspires a lumberjack appetite. Mammoth has heard the call of the skier's stomach, serving up an impressive array of eateries that wrap you in coziness, coat your mouth in yumminess, and offer enough carbs and melted cheese to keep the children from rioting. And there's caffeine as far as your fatigued parent eyes can see.



Black Velvet Coffee

Mammoth Mountain coffee art

The science of good coffee is taken to a new level at this amiable, hipster “caffeine lab.” Because of the 8,000+ foot altitude in Mammoth, Black Velvet had to adjust the classic espresso chemistry and are always tinkering with their brewing methods and taste profiles, ensuring patrons receive cutting-edge, opulent brews that fuel their mountain adventures. For children who are not yet espresso aficionados, fresh, perfectly over-the-top baked goods (including cereal-covered waffles) are provided.


Shea Schat's Bakery

Baked goods in Mammoth Lakes California

To make sure our under-butts don't lose their attractive layer of cellulite, we have a family tradition of indulging in Schat's Bakery the morning we leave Mammoth. The abundance of flaky, butter-filled goods soothes the sting of saying goodbye and allows us to stock up on homemade candy, pastries and cookies for the ride home. To minimize our guilt, we'll also grab a few of their sandwiches, which are made with fresh bread and veggies, in addition to high-quality meat and cheese.



Good Life Café


While they offer good lunch and dinner options, Good Life Cafe is where it's at for breakfast. Go here to find affordable, well-portioned and expertly prepped favorites like omelettes, scrambles and oh-so-fluffy pancakes, in addition to sumptuous twists on classics, like the Gobbler (turkey) Benedict, or Crab Cake Benedict. We'll usually grab an early morning meal here and leave so satisfied we don't need to eat again until we grab a 5pm early-bird-special with all the grandparents in town.


Zpizza


A pizza (maybe with some veggies thrown on for good measure), a delivery, and a stack of paper plates = a slice of heaven for many parents, especially those who have been braving the snow with children all day. If you're so done with wearing anything but pajamas, and would rather do a naked snow angel than cook, order a Zpizza.


This joint has an eclectic menu that will allow you to please the kid with an aversion to everything but pepperoni, the gluten-intolerant and occasional vegan one (they offer a cauliflower crust), and you, the parents who want to mix it up with something delicious and different like a Tuscan Mushroom or Provence pizza. And because pizza can sometimes come with a side of parent-guilt, rest assured that their pies are made with certified organic tomato sauce, non-gmo flour, cheese from grass-fed cows, and preservative-free pepperoni and deli meats.


Mammoth Brewing Company

Mammoth Brewing Company beers on tap

The place for apres-ski, and some communing with locals who use this as their hub, the Mammoth Brewing Co offers a tasting room, eatery, and laid-back environment that's especially lovely during the Spring skiing season when you can sit outside. There's usually around 15 beers on tap, in addition to some delicious root beer that kids love to pretend is a brewski. And then there's the eatery with stick-to-your-rib fare that, when followed up with a soak in a hot tub and a warm bed, is divine. Our favorite options are the hopped tots, BBQ chicken pizza, naan tacos, crispy chicken griddle cakes and the Damn Good Burger.



Nevados


While you might want to skip Nevados if you have younger children, this is an excellent choice for date night, if you have someone to babysit your brood (Care.com can be a good option.) Nevados is often our go-to for a birthday or anniversary celebration that makes it easier to say yes to a splurge. As one of Mammoth's premiere fancy-pants restaurants, you can expect white table cloths, a lot of silverware, and a server that knows all the things about all the wines.


But Nevados strays from classic luxury dining in one area - portions. Instead of portions that appear to have been made for ants, they offer up just-right servings that won't stuff you, but also won't require a stop at Taco Bell afterwards. So treat yourself and your honey to some innovative American cuisine, picturesque mountain views, and an excuse to put on something besides water resistant pants - you deserve it ;-)


53 Kitchen

53 Kitchen and Cocktails date night restaurant in The Village at Mammoth Lakes, California

This is a fun choice for a laid-back date night as 53 Kitchen has excellent food and cocktails at a fair price. The ambiance is chic without being stuffy, and the servers are personable. A few times, it took awhile to receive our appetizer, but our main dishes always came soon after - we saw it as a good excuse to order more alcohol. Our favorite dishes are the pretzel bread and crab cakes, sweet tea brined crispy chicken, and red quinoa and Farro salad.


If you're starving after the slopes, fill your bellies and save some dough by catching the happy hour between 3-5pm.