Plan Your Vacation

Californians Can Enjoy Thanksgiving and a Ski Vacation Too in Mammoth Lakes

A stay at the Sierra Nevada Resort offers affordable suites and an epic Thanksgiving buffet

Sierra Nevada Resort’s classic mountain lodge styling — including at the tasty and comfortable Rafters Restaurant (right) — plus all that great Mammoth snow make for a perfect Thanksgiving getaway.

Mammoth Lakes, California – October 15, 2019 - For Californians considering options for an easy Thanksgiving getaway, Mammoth Lakes in the state’s Eastern Sierra is a spectacular choice with a variety of outdoor activities and affordable and comfy accommodations at the Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa. For families or friends seeking something a little different and hoping to avoid the pains of shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning that go along with a Thanksgiving holiday at home, skiing at Mammoth Mountain followed by a Thanksgiving feast at popular Rafters Restaurant, part of the six-acre Sierra Nevada Resort in the heart of town, is the answer.

With lodge rooms starting at $119/night for an early-season November stay, and 560-square-foot Fireplace Suites – including leather armchairs in front of a stone fireplace, a resort-style kitchen and luxurious bathroom with soaking tub and heated floors – starting at $199 per night, a Mammoth Lakes holiday is the perfect alternative to the same old, at-home Thanksgiving. Or to host a group, consider reserving one of the resort’s luxurious three-bedroom chalets with full kitchens starting from $529 per night. (All rates based on availability; taxes and fees not included.)

With Mammoth Mountain opening for its winter season on November 9, and typically accruing a strong amount of natural snow compared to most resorts, skiing one of the top resorts in the U.S. is just a short nonstop plane ride away from L.A. and San Francisco. Sierra Nevada Resort makes it simple to get on the mountain with perks such as lift tickets available for purchase at the hotel, gear fittings with on-site Black Tie Ski rentals and a free shuttle to and from Mammoth. And in addition to the typically good natural snow, Mammoth boasts one of the biggest snowmaking operations of any U.S. West Coast ski resort, ensuring a super start to the holiday ski season.

Spend Thanksgiving Day skiing at Mammoth Mountain followed by après at Duke’s bar, a favorite of two-legged and four-legged patrons alike.

Spend Thanksgiving Day skiing at Mammoth Mountain followed by après at Duke’s bar, a favorite of two-legged and four-legged patrons alike.

Other Thanksgiving Day options for the active traveler include the Turkey Trot, a fun, mostly flat two-mile race that starts from the Sierra Center with a new course through the streets of Mammoth Lakes this year (and with a Mammoth Lakes Turkey Trot beanie for swag). Bike enthusiasts can opt for the free 20-mile gravel/fire road Thanksgiving Day bike tour hosted by Eastside Velo Cycling Club.

After a day of outdoor adventure or perhaps just sightseeing and shopping around town, unwind with cocktails at Duke’s Bar & Fireside Lounge in the hotel’s lobby. Named after John Wayne – who visited on fishing trips in the lodge’s early days – Duke’s sports Old Hollywood memorabilia, a reminder of when it was a Rat Pack escape-from-L.A. hangout.  Or enjoy a Swedish massage at the resort’s onsite spa, an ideal après activity.

Now that everyone has worked up an appetite, the good news is that Rafters Restaurant, a popular and family-friendly hot spot at the Sierra Nevada Resort, will be offering their beloved Thanksgiving buffet from 2 – 9 p.m., with Rafters’ culinary team making sure that whatever time guests are ready to eat, the holiday feast is hot, fresh and ready. To say that the fireside buffet holds something for everyone is a massive understatement. Guests can start at the Iced Seafood Display featuring jumbo prawns, cocktail crab claws, oysters on the half shell, ceviche, smoked salmon and more. Then the Farmers Garden offers local organic greens, Caesar salad, panzanella salad, buffalo mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes along with an assortment of imported and domestic cheeses and fresh fruits.

The Sierra Nevada Resort’s Fireplace King Suites provide comfy leather chairs in front of the fire and a kitchen and dining area in addition to the sink-into king bed.

The Sierra Nevada Resort’s Fireplace King Suites provide comfy leather chairs in front of the fire and a kitchen and dining area in addition to the sink-into king bed.

For the main event, the Carvation Station features slow roasted prime rib au jus and creamy horseradish herb-roasted free-range turkey with spiced cranberry-orange compote and sage giblet gravy. Meanwhile other entrees and sides include vegetarian and holiday favorites like butternut squash ravioli in brown butter sauce, toasted hazelnuts, sage seasonal vegetables, citrus-glazed yams, sausage-and-cornbread stuffing, Yukon mashed potatoes and green beans almondine. Top off the meal with one of Rafters’ delicious desserts, including pumpkin, pecan, apple and wild berry pies, S’mores Pot Pie, bananas Foster, cookies, brownies and lemon bars.

Rafters Restaurant’s Thanksgiving buffet is $55 per person, $29 for juniors (ages 10-16) and $19 for children under 10; kids under 3 eat free. For wine enthusiasts, Rafters also offers a wine pairing option, curating a blend from the restaurant’s award-winning wine list to pair with each course for $45.

Finally, guests can stay up for post-dinner drinks at Rafters Restaurant bar or wobble back to their suite and snuggle into one of the Sierra Nevada Resort’s notoriously comfortable beds for a great night of rest before waking to another day of Mammoth Lakes adventure.

About Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa
Located in the heart of Mammoth Lakes, California, near Mammoth Mountain, Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa is a premier Mammoth lodging named one of 12 of “California’s Best Ski Resorts and Inns” by L.A. Biz. Designed with classic Sierra rustic lodge-style appeal, the 148-room Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa includes 15 fireplace suites and six three-bedroom chalets. Pampering amenities at the hotel include heated bathroom floors and toilet seats, soaking tubs, large waterfall showers, kitchenettes, fireplaces and real leather lounge chairs as well as an on-property full-service spa and three distinctive restaurants. Boasting a star-studded Hollywood history including as a former Rat Pack hangout, the resort also features Hoagy Carmichael’s piano from “To Have and Have Not” in the lobby and Duke’s Bar & Fireside Lounge named for John Wayne, who used to meet hunting and fishing buddies there. For additional information, visit

Media contact: Amy Stark, Word PR + Marketing,, 303.548.4611