Memorial Day Weekend in California: Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes in 96 Hours

Finally, summer is here!

We successfully trudged through the moody shoulder season in California and are itching to fully embrace the summer in all its splendor. The last of the snow has melted, the temperature is consistently warm, and you’re ready to don your favorite summertime apparel. Whether you see Memorial Day Weekend as just a long weekend, the beginning of summer, or an opportunity to wear white without committing a fashion faux-pas, is an optimal time of year to enjoy the beauty of California.

This year, plan a Memorial Day Weekend to remember and make the most of it by experiencing two incredible destinations in just over three days. Impossible? Think again! We’ve created a full itinerary for your long weekend in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes to ensure you get to see and do it all—refer to it every step of the way, or allow it to fuel inspiration and curate your own adventure.

See all that Mammoth Lakes has to offer on your long weekend.

Enjoy antipasto dishes while having dinner at Campo.

Thursday | Mammoth Lakes

Arrive at Mammoth Lakes and check in to your accommodation. Looking for the perfect Mammoth Lakes home? We have you covered! Click here to explore our portfolio.

Dinner at Campo | Located in The Mammoth Village

Tucked in the mountain town of Mammoth, Campo offers a delicious assortment of pizza and Italian-style dishes—including gluten-free options! After refueling, delight in the blissful sounds of a crackling fire while enjoying the fire pits in The Village.

Friday | Mammoth Lakes

Breakfast at The Breakfast Club | Located on Main Street

Prepare for an adventure-filled day and treat yourself to your daily dose of caffeine at The Breakfast Club. Not to be mistaken for the iconic John Hughs film, this local eatery has a full menu of savory and sweet choices and is considered “The Best Grub in Town” since 1986.

Bring your sunscreen if you plan to hike Rainbow Falls.

Take your family to the free hot spring that offers lots of fun and warmth.

Hike Rainbow Falls

Before you hop on the shuttle, be sure to load up your backpack with water, a few snacks, and plenty of sunscreen. Let your hike begin at the Devils Postpile National Monument and make your way up the trail while admiring the impressive trees and mountains on your 5-mile trek. Don’t let the mileage deter you—this is an easy hike, and the view of the 100-foot Rainbow Falls is well worth the time. Our recommendation: use the stairs at Rainbow Falls to experience the Lower Falls. Forewarning, you will get wet!

Wild Willy’s Hot Spring

Mammoth Lakes is well-known for its plethora of hot springs around Mono County and is definitely something to experience while visiting. Wild Willy's Hot Spring is located off Benton Crossing Road on Highway 395. This particular hot spring is free and is a short quarter-mile walk from the dirt parking lot. While one of the most convenient hot springs in the area, it can also be more crowded at times. Try to get there before 5:00 p.m. you’ll have a better chance of solitude.

Dinner at Whitebark Restaurant Bar & Lounge | Located in The Monache Village

Treat yourself to a memorable dinner at Whitebark Restaurant on your last night in Mammoth Lakes. Savor delicious dishes and enjoy an extensive wine selection, all regional to California.

As you drive into Lake Tahoe, you won't be disappointed by the views.

Bodie Ghost Town is a unique opportunity to see history in real life.

Saturday | Head to Lake Tahoe

Bodie Ghost Town

Soak in your last moments in Mammoth and start your drive north towards Lake Tahoe. Along the way, stop in Bridgeport to spend an hour or two in the famous Bodie Ghost Town. Take a step back in time and explore the abandoned community in its original state. Remember to leave no trace to ensure preservation for the future.

Arrive at Lake Tahoe and check into your accommodation. Looking for the perfect home in Lake Tahoe? Look no further—click here to check out our portfolio of homes on the North Shore.

Dinner by Tahoe Elevated Picnics

Feel the warm welcome of Lake Tahoe with a private picnic. Locally owned and operated, Tahoe Elevated Picnics provides an unmatched picnic experience in various locations around Truckee and the north shore. They work with you to curate a personalized picnic experience to remember. Whether you’d like to spend a romantic evening with your special someone or a day with the whole family, Tahoe Elevated Picnics will set the tone for your stay. Check out their Instagram for more inspiration and to book: @tahoeelevatedpicnics.

Get out and explore Tahoe City while in the area. [Photo Credit: Placer County, CA]

Make unforgettable memories at Kings Beach in Tahoe.

Sunday | Lake Tahoe

Breakfast at Fire Sign Cafe | Located in Tahoe City

Start your day with a local favorite. Fire Sign Cafe is well-known for serving breakfast all day and providing a cozy atmosphere inside the dining room and on the patio. Everything on their menu is locally sourced and prepared fresh each day. We recommend getting there early to put your name on the list. There is usually a line for a table, but it is absolutely worth it! A seasonally open Annex is available to order coffee, tea, and even mimosas while you wait.

Kings Beach | Located on the North Shore

Between hiking, sitting in the car, and being on the go, you deserve a day of relaxation on the beach. Head to Kings Beach and enjoy a blissful day of sun, sand, and the stunning bluish-green hues of Lake Tahoe. Lounge on a chair and take a dip in the water, or stop by one of the many rental pop-ups and spend the day SUP boarding or kayaking.

Explore Tahoe City

After soaking up the sun, make your way toward downtown Tahoe City. Known as one of America’s best mountain towns, Tahoe City is full of shops featuring local artisans, equipment rentals, outdoor gear, and plenty of opportunities for souvenirs. Choose to stop in one of the many restaurants along the way for a bite to eat, or skip dinner and go straight to dessert at the Little Truckee Creamery. Hey, it’s vacation!

Monday | Last Day in Lake Tahoe

Heavenly Village | Located in South Lake Tahoe

Before bidding adieu to Lake Tahoe, enjoy driving around the lake and spend your last few hours in Heavenly Village. Full of shops, restaurants, and coffee spots, Heavenly Village is one of the most trafficked areas on the lake, and the most active. In the summer months, enjoy pop-up mini-golf courses, trampolines, and corn hole games between window shopping the storefronts. It’s the best place for your final farewell to Tahoe!

The end of Memorial Day Weekend has finally come, which means it’s time to pack up and head for home. Hopefully, in your 4-day adventure, you enjoyed Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe with the ones you love most!

Planning to take our Memorial Day Weekend Guide for a spin? Be sure to capture your favorite moments, and tag us on social media @naturalretreats and use the #openthedoortomore. Wishing you and yours a safe Memorial Day Weekend!