The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
What We Love
- An award-winning ranch in Santa Barbara wine country, with breakfast and a studioHaving a spacious Old West-inspired studio to call your own
- Enjoying your delicious Western fare, including your complimentary daily breakfast
- Getting going on the immense property, home to miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, biking and more
- Winding down with a day spent by the pool or in the heavenly spa
What To Know
- The ranch is super family-friendly with a petting zoo, arts and crafts room, and activities like musical chairs, tie-dying, and karaoke
- Aside from typical ranch activities like horseback riding, there's also a high ropes course with a zipline, obstacle course and tightropes
- WiFi can be slow
The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a secluded, Old West-infused property in the beautiful countryside of Santa Barbara wine country. Horseback riding is the name of the game here at this relaxing retreat and has been since a Spanish land-grant owner turned these more-than-10,000 acres into a cattle ranch. Four ownership changes later, the now-resort still feels a lot like the Western frontier: The dining room, spa and fitness center all share a rich, earthy palette. You’ll fuel up each day with a Californian classic – say, a spice-rubbed prime cut or grilled-seafood plate – and then you can mount your horse and get galloping.
Or you can chart the territory another way. In addition to the 50 miles of horse trails, this TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner and top50ranches.com pick has quite a bit in the way of hiking, fishing and biking; there’s a spring-fed lake and two par-72 courses. You can even bike the 32-mile Figueroa Mountain trail that Tour de France participants regularly use to train. In any case, you’ll want to explore somehow – the rolling valleys of sycamores and oaks and surrounding vineyards are so picturesque, they’re worth a few “whoa there, cowboy”s themselves.
The resort’s accommodations share a Wild Western theme. TVs and telephones are out; wood-burning fireplace and deep, earthy textiles, including cozy linens, are in. Your studio will have roughly 420 square feet, including a king bed and a private outdoor patio with seating. For added convenience, you’ll also have a coffee maker and refrigerator.
Executive chef Pascal Godé has come up with a menu for the hotel’s restaurants that draws on California, both in style and substance. Think Old Western favorites – spice-rubbed prime cuts, halibut-fillet tacos – and ingredients grown in the region. You can sample such fare in the main Ranch Room, or by other parts of the property, and you can pair it with also-local wines, from Santa Barbara county.Please note that reservations are required to dine in the restaurant.
For guests of at least 16, Alisal’s spa offers classic spa services, including massages, facials and body treatments. In addition to traditional variations on these classics, like deep-tissue massage and hot-stone treatments, the menu includes options like Sun Downer, a wind-down oil rub and cleansing facial, and Sticks and Stones, a treatment that incorporates bamboo. Various waxing options are also available.
The hotel’s 10,000 acres are host to a range of different spaces, which are, in turn, host to dozens of interesting activities. Horseback riders will love the 50 acres of trails, tennis players will enjoy the six full-size courts, and golfers will love the two par 72 courses, one of which was designed by Billy Bell, Jr. Fishermen. At Lake Alisal, the ranch teaches classic and fly-fishing, and cyclers will appreciate the scenery on view along trails like the 32 miles up Figueroa Mountain – not to mention the challenge of this particular trail, which cyclists have used to train for the Tour de France. And kids will love activities like archery and air rifle.Beyond the ranch grounds, you can explore more than 75 acclaimed wineries and vineyards, visit the picturesque Danish village of Solvang or admire the ancient Chumash rock paintings and western art museums in Los Olivos.
How to Get There
My family has been going to Alisal for 40+ years and to us it is a home away from home. We love all of the activities the Alisal has to offer for all age groups including fishing, horseback riding, golfing, swimming, and so much more as well as having downtown Solvang within walking/driving distance of the ranch. The breakfast ride and barbecue are also great features that the Alisal offers for the family to enjoy and not to mention the food is amazing. Alisal is such a special place for my family and we look forward to returning every year and being greeted by the wonderful staff that make our stay so memorable.
Everyone...8 to 75 had a fabulous time...stay as long as you can so there is time for all the great activities & relaxing! The Saturday BBQ was delicious & great musicians..
Animals at the barn friendly & fun...
Rent a bass boat & enjoy the lake!
Nice relaxing vacation. Kids (13, 11 & 10) had a great time. The owl prowl with Jay was their favorite next to the horse back riding lesson with Savannah. The breakfast ride offered Wed and Sun was beautiful and the pancakes were fantastic!! Such a change from the usual go go go vacations we are used to. Rooms were clean (we had 64 along the drive in with the pasture view) and was plenty of space for the 5 of us. We will try to go back in October with friends and I think we will make it an annual trip. It was expensive but mid week is offered at a discount. Lovely place
Another fabulous trip to Alisal. Just like my last visit the food was fabulous, especially the Ahi tuna I had for dinner. I took the time to visit the farm animals this time. There is something very grounding when petting the goats and feeding the guinea pigs and rabbits. Brings back warm memories of my childhood. This is a perfect place to bring children and grandchildren.
Eight girlfriends and I stayed at Alisal Ranch recently for a 30-year college reunion. The setting could not have been more perfect and we loved the ranch in every way. The old-school ranch atmosphere was the perfect way to unwind and really feel the magic of "old California". We took advantage of many of the activities and amenities on property and never wanted to leave. The horseback ride in the morning could easily accommodate our group of varying skill levels and the cowboy breakfast at the old adobe was delicious and entertaining. We played tennis and pickleball, went out to the archery range and spent lots of time lounging around the pool telling old stories replete with loads of exaggeration and belly laughs. The room accommodations were delightful and allowed us to all stay together with enough room to spread out and find some privacy too. Food and wine was equally matched to the world-class setting. Our stay was absolutely wonderful in every way including the warm hospitality we experienced from every single person on staff. We spent our last afternoon looking for dates to come back again next year (although I hope I have a chance to visit again before that).