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Green Guy’s Perfect Day: Mammoth Lakes, CA

by Jason Kessler

In California, if you tell somebody you’re going skiing, chances are they’ll ask “Mammoth?” That’s not because there’s a separate, gargantuan version of the sport called Mammoth Skiing. It’s because the most popular ski resort in California is Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I found my way up to Mammoth to check out the Sierra Nevada Resort (née Lodge), a newly renovated property that used to play host to the Rat Pack and now aims to serve a new generation of winter sports enthusiasts with completely remodeled rooms, three destination restaurants, and a mini-golf course that looks like it’s seen better days.

I started my day at Rafter’s, the only restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort that serves breakfast. I scarfed down a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich in hopes that it would fuel my day and I’m glad I did. There wasn’t anything fancy about the sandwich, but it came in handy on my next stop: Mammoth Mountain, where I proceeded to snowboard for the first time in almost twenty years. The good news? I left with all my limbs in tact. The even better news? It was so much fun. My instructor, Jill, was the perfect blend of cool boarder girl and motivational coach. She got me up and down the bunny hills with ease and didn’t skimp on the compliments. Overall, I can’t wait to get back on a board.

After snowboarding, it was a race against the clock to see how quickly my muscles would cramp up. That’s why I headed directly to the Double Eagle Spa at Snowcreek Athletic Club. It doesn’t quite fit the profile of an “organic spa,” but for a spa in the back of a gym, it was a welcome addition to my day. The Creekside Signature Massage eased my aching muscles and left me rejuvenated to enjoy the evening.

Before I headed back to the resort, I stopped at a new store in town. It’s called Bleu Handcrafted Foods and owner Brandon Brocia is doing amazing things with food that I never expected to find in a sleepy mountain town. Specifically, his house-cured pancetta is delicious and his hand-crafted salami is so popular that it sells out immediately when each new batch is ready. For great craft beer, wine, cheese, and charcuterie, this is the right place to hit up.

As the sun goes down in Mammoth, the mountain folk are looking for two things: good food and good drinks. Jimmy’s Taverna has both. This Greek hotspot sits on the outskirts of the Sierra Nevada Resort and shares a building with Red Lantern, a Chinese restaurant. Jimmy’s serves fresh Greek seafood, delivered daily, along with other Greek classics. I loved the octopodi, Greek-style octopus served with capers, olive oil, leeks, chickpeas, lemon, and oregano. In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of the authentic Greek items on the menu. This may just be the best restaurant in all of Mammoth.

After dinner, you can hit the 24-person hot tub at the resort or just head back to your room. If you’re as lucky as I was, you’ll have one of the fireplace suites where you can sit back and relax in front of the stone-faced fireplace and wonder just how sore you’re going to be in the morning.

What are your favorite Mammoth resorts? Tweet us @OrganicSpaMag #perfectdaymammoth

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Sierra Nevada Resort
164 Old Mammoth Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Mammoth Mountain
10001 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Double Eagle Spa at Snowcreek
Snowcreek Athletic Club
51 Club Drive
Mammoth Lakes, CA 935466

Bleu Handcrafted Foods
3325 Main Street, Unit C
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Jimmy’s Taverna
248 Old Mammoth Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

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