Restaurants & Attractions Open for Thanksgiving

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Restaurants & attractions open for Thanksgiving according to the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

Bass Lake Tree Lighting Ceremony

Santa arrives at the Tree Lighting Ceremony

Riding the rails to wine tasting, holiday shopping and special Christmas programs..

Visitors and locals alike have plenty of options to choose from this Thanksgiving Holiday.

Restaurants from the valley to the mountains will welcome diners this Thanksgiving with the best they have to offer. “We have an amazing selection of eateries in our special corner of the world,” says Rhonda Salisbury, Director of Marketing for Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

In Madera, both the Black Bear Diner and the Madera Clubhouse Restaurant will serve on Thanksgiving Day. Up the highway a bit in Chowchilla, Perko’s and Farnesi’s Steakhouse are open.

Coarsegold’s Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino’s Vintage Steakhouse and Goldfield’s offer holiday dining options.

Further up the mountains, North Fork’s Buckhorn Saloon begins serving at 11:15 a.m. and continues until the food runs out. They gladly accept donations for a toy drive to benefit local children.

Ducey’s on the Lake, located at The Pines Resort on Bass Lake, offers a sumptuous Thanksgiving Buffet from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for those who wish to feast their eyes on forested slopes and a lakeside view while they dine.

In Oakhurst, opportunities abound. For five-star dining at its best, make reservations at Erna’s Elderberry House. Erna’s serves from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sierra Sky Ranch offers their traditional Thanksgiving Dinner from 3 to 7 p.m. The Yosemite Gateway Restaurant at the Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway serves a Thanksgiving buffet from 12 noon to 7 pm. For less formal options, try Katie’s Kitchen or Denny’s.

Of course there’s lots to do over Thanksgiving weekend for all ages and inclinations--from riding the rails to wine tasting, holiday shopping and special Christmas programs.

Traditionally Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad in Fish Camp winds down their season on Thanksgiving weekend. Weather permitting, the Logger Steam Trains run Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. On Sunday, the Logger departs at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. For further information and reservations, contact the Railroad at 559/683-7273.

Wine aficionados can explore the many offerings of the Madera Wine Trail and score some great gifts or stocking stuffers for loved ones. Most of the wineries will be open to welcome tasters. Give them a call to determine hours and whether appointments are needed. For further information about the wineries of Madera Wine Trail, go to

Thanksgiving weekend gives shoppers the opportunity to jumpstart their holiday purchases in a variety of ways. Bass Lake features its 6th Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Pines Village. Madera County has many local stores, boutiques and galleries who will happily assist shoppers in finding that perfect gift.

For those seeking entertainment, check out Christmas at Fresno Flats for a rollicking, old-fashioned winter holiday. The celebration takes place on Sunday, December 1 from noon to 4 pm at Oakhurst’s historic birthplace. There’s something for the whole family with a visit from Father Christmas, soup-tasting and a bake sale, pony petting, Fresno Flats tours, blacksmithing demonstrations and more. Live music and a Christmas sing-along complete the day.

To further enhance the holiday spirit, both Bass Lake and Coarsegold hold their Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies on Saturday, November 30. To double the fun, Bass Lake includes a parade, too.

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Rhonda Salisbury
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