YosemiteThanksgiving Cocktails & Activities

Let the Festive Celebrations Begin

Like most things in 2020, the holidays are going to look a little bit different this year. Many of us won’t be spending time with our families to slow the transmission of the virus and here at Nation’s Vacation, we’re saddened that many of our holiday culinary events are canceled.

That’s why we’ve decided to share some of our signature cocktail recipes, courtesy of The Ahwahnee, so you can bring the flavor of the national parks into your home and celebrate nature while socially distanced. If you are celebrating the holidays in Yosemite National Park, The Ahwahnee is serving up a touchless, buffet-style Thanksgiving meal. Make sure to reserve your seat today! Also, enjoy some festive activities during your stay at Yosemite National Park.

Cocktails & Festive Treats Brought to You by The Ahwahnee

The Ahwahnee, serving up some holiday vibes.

The Ahwahnee is famous among national park lodges for its stunning interior design and classic lodge architecture. The Ahwahnee has been a destination for queens and presidents and is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Another great reason to visit The Ahwahnee are the dazzling holiday drinks and eats! Explore their festive offerings below.

Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1


  • oz Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey
  • ¾ oz Lemon juice
  • ½ oz Maple syrup
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon


  • Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and then pour over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Caramel Apple Mule

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1


  • oz Smirnoff vodka
  • 1 oz Caramel syrup
  • 1 oz Apple cider


  • Garnish a rocks glass with a caramel drizzle up and down each side and set aside. Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice into the rocks glass. Top it off with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with a caramelized apple. For a little extra sweetness, add a caramel drizzle to the top.

PAMA-Granite Paloma

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1


  • 1 oz PAMA
  • oz Patron Silver tequila
  • ½ oz Simple syrup
  • ¼ oz Grapefruit juice


  • Shake all with ice, strain, and pour into a rocks glass with a sugar rim. Garnish with a lime loop.

Autumn Gin

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1


  • 2 oz Beefeater gin
  • 2 oz Apple cider
  • ½ oz Lime juice
  • 1 oz Honey syrup
  • 1 dash Cinnamon


  • Place all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a curled apple peel.

The Ahwahnee Dining Room: Cider Brined Turkey and Sides
The Ahwahnee Dining Room will be celebrating Thanksgiving by serving up a hearty, touchless buffet of chef-created Thanksgiving recipes. While enjoying cider brined turkey and sides, guests can take in the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park through the windows of the dining room.

The 2020 Thanksgiving menu will include favorites such as:

  • Spiced parsnip and apple soup with paprika oil and crispy pancetta
  • Maple roasted winter squash with toasted pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika
  • Buttered carrots from Grimmway Farms with haricot vert
  • Roasted Brussel sprouts with a white balsamic glaze
  • Stuffing made with Gilman Farms sausage, apple, and fennel
  • Cornbread dressing made with winter vegetables
  • Honey-chipotle whipped yams
  • Mashed Yukon gold potatoes with roasted garlic and chives
  • Cider brined Diestel turkey served with giblet gravy and savory cranberry compote

Be sure to save room for dessert, which includes spiced pear panna cotta, pumpkin pie tartlets, and apple cobbler bites.

The Holiday Season at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley Lodge is so warm and inviting.

Yosemite Valley Lodge is famous for its glass and wood architecture that complements the natural surroundings. The cozy interior spaces keep guests warm in the winter while the ample windows allow in views of the scenery.

The Mountain Room Lounge
The Mountain Room Lounge at Yosemite Valley Lodge is famous for its Swedish-style fireplaces where kids and the young-at-heart alike can roast marshmallows to golden-brown perfection.

Take a Hike
While Thanksgiving is all about the food, a stay at Yosemite National Park isn’t. If you’re planning a visit to Yosemite this fall, be sure to add these activities to your socially distanced to-do list.

There are a number of beautiful, accessible hikes throughout Yosemite National Park. One of the best wintertime hikes is through Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. The majestic Sequoias manage to be even more beautiful when covered with snow. This trail is 1 mile and is considered easy to moderate.

Other Things To Do