Holidays on the Ranch


Nathan Turner brings cozy California cheer to his Alisal Ranch Holiday Workshop

Designer Nathan Turner arranging flowers for the table. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.
Turner prepping food in the outdoor kitchen. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.

Those who come to Alisal Ranch in Solvang are usually excited to get their hands a little dirty. With its pitch-perfect California Western rustic decor and idyllic Santa Ynez Valley setting that hosts activities ranging from horseback excursions to intensive cooking lessons, the iconic resort is the ideal setting for another unique hands-on adventure to get you prepared for the holiday season. 

Lunch is served. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.

From November 30 through December 2, interior designer, author, and styling maestro Nathan Turner is preparing his favorite seasonal ingredients and decor for his Holiday Workshop at the 10,500-acre property. “I love gathering at Alisal to share holiday traditions and fun with old friends and new,” he says. “It’s the perfect backdrop for a cozy California cheer.” The L.A.-based creative and I Love California author puts a spin on his previous Cali-focused workshop at Alisal that he first organized in 2019, helping transform what’s already a dreamy location on any given day into a festive wonderland. Getting close up access to Turner’s special touch at Alisal gives guests the skills to bring some of this magic back home (and special in-room amenities and gifts to take back, too).

Table decor making workshop in process. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.
The final result, meringue cookie trees. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.
Materials at the ornament station. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.

The three-day, two-night gathering is full of good vibes and useful inspiration from start to finish, kicking off with a cocktail party in the Turner House, the classic Alisal guest suite that he designed in 2019. The series continues with Turner’s wreath-making tutorial, tablescaping tips, cocktail gatherings, and dinners in the property’s beloved Cottonwood and Sycamore Rooms. All along, the host will reveal his creative processes and techniques among Alisal’s inimitable dude ranch chic setting. 

The perfect champagne station. Photos by Lena Britt Photography.
Photos by Lena Britt Photography.

“This year I’m excited to share more decorating, entertaining, and cooking ideas for the holidays,” he adds. For those who want some balance with their holiday decadence, the retreat includes yoga and wellness activities, too. 

Photos by Lena Britt Photography.

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