Category Archives: Real Guest Stories

But Don’t Take Our Word For It: Real Guest Stories

alisal guest ranch jakeWe certainly charm our guests with unique outdoor adventures, fine dining, and endless fun, but these stories are theirs alone. We’re proud to share our guests’ reminiscences with you and invite you to create your own cherished memories on your next visit to Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort.

Thanks for the Great Memories!

We just spent 4 wonderful and memorable days at Alisal. My brother and his family have been coming for the past 6 years and have always told us how great it is. They absolutely love it there and thought that it would be a good idea to get our entire family there as a mini reunion. So with their prodding, we were able to get 21 family members (three generations) together for a fabulous time. Four family members actually travelled all the way from Hawaii to share the experience with us! We had so much for riding horses, visiting the petting zoo, fishing for the first time, golfing, playing flag football with other families there, and of course eating the fine cuisine. I must also admit that the hot chocolate is the best I have ever had!

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we will be coming back next year! Such a wonderful and magical place!

Thanks for the great memories,
Melissa Parker

I Look Forward to Many Return Trips

My trip began with a beautiful drive from Oregon down the mountain through the tall pines that reach up to the heavens and the winding roads through the mountain passes. My soul breathed in the excitement of the adventure with my son. We looked in amazement at the scenery as we passed through each territory and new wilderness.

We drove through the scenic picturesque towns of Santa Ynez and Solvang before arriving at the beautiful Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. The front desk staff was welcoming, efficient, and kind. They went over the grounds and activities and created a wonderful sense of anticipation for the days to follow. On the first night, we enjoyed a lovely dinner of salmon followed by the famous peanut butter pie. The guests names are listed on the menu. It feels intimate, as if one is attending a family reunion.

Our first full day we took advantage of a leisurely morning with coffee and chocolate milk in the room. We attended an early lunch served by the lovely Maria of homemade tortilla soup for me and peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my son. Of course the crust was cut off and served as triangles, just how he likes it.

As the sun reached noon, it was time for Will’s lesson with one of the ranch’s wranglers. He got paired with Bullwinkle, the 30-year-old horse–perfect for Will’s first experience using reins. Hanna, our wrangler was patient and received a rating from Will after his lesson of “awesome.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing at the Alisal pool soaking in the California sun. It was a perfect day.

It was a wonderful first time trip for my son and I. The great blue heron and the nesting bald eagle graced us for a moment with their presence on Lake Alisal. We casted with earthworms along the bending lake reeds. I was excited to catch a few myself, and as our time came to a close, our guide, Mitch let Will to drive the boat a bit around the lake to see the wildlife and practice steering.

I look forward to many return trips to this beautiful guest ranch. You have a great staff and are lucky to have them.

Kindest Regards,
Lisa Hornsby-Daws

We Had Such a Great Family Time

My family and I just returned from an incredible vacation at Alisal. It was my first time there, but my wife came as a young girl with her Mom growing up. We had such a great family time doing so many wonderful things, that I can’t wait to try and come back again. Everything was perfect–from the food to the staff to the rooms and the grounds, it was all so nice. I’m sure you have heard it many times, there’s something special about Alisal and I am just so glad I finally got to experience it after hearing about it for so many years.

I should add one more thing: There was one moment when I was fishing on the dock with my five-year-old son Owen, trying to get that elusive worm on the hook. It was a perfect day and only a few people were on the lake. My son and I looked up and a bald eagle swooped down right in front of us and grabbed a fish right out of the water, then flapped its giant wings, up and away into the trees. It was incredible.

– Nate Kuchera Family


Fantastic Birthday Weekend – We All Want to Come Back!

It NEVER gets old! I want to thank you all for a fantastic birthday weekend with our friends to celebrate. Everything was handled so well in the preparation. The weekend went so smoothly and everyone (especially the birthday boy) really enjoyed themselves, enjoyed the meals and activities and relaxed a lot. Even our small changes were handled very smoothly and I felt on vacation as well, which is a huge gift to me. The lake staff was so nice and helpful too. A few of our friends had been to Alisal many years ago but most had never been. I think a few of them either booked trips back or are looking at dates to book trips because they enjoyed it so much. Thank you so much!

– Susan Kavanaugh

Continue reading But Don’t Take Our Word For It: Real Guest Stories

Real Guest Stories: As Shared By Alisal Guests

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Alisal fans are not shy to share their Alisal Guest Experience, and we couldn’t be more glad!  It is through your eyes that we (and others) get to see what makes Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort truly legendary.  Here are some highlights from some of our fans.  Keep them coming!

Make sure you visit our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages to continue sharing and hashtag #AlisalGuestExperience. Continue reading Real Guest Stories: As Shared By Alisal Guests

Staying Connected With Alisal: Get Social!

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort‘s legendary reputation did not happen overnight.  Building family memories that last for several lifetimes takes generations to build.  And now with social media, it’s even easier to share the Alisal legacy of relaxed adventure, as well as seek inspiration for your own next trip to the ranch.  Continue reading Staying Connected With Alisal: Get Social!

The Alisal Guest Experience: Guests Respond On Their Favorite Alisal Memory

We asked and you responded.  What we loved most is every response was varied, but they all pointed to the same “feel”.  Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a place where memories are made.   Here are some of the highlights of responses on social media to the question we posed, “What is your favorite memory about Alisal?


“On a Saturday breakfast ride a few years back, we veered off the trail and loped through this beautiful green meadow.  There was still dew on everything so it all sparkled, and being on a horse made it all the more perfect.  It’s my favorite trail ride on a horse to date.” – Meredith Lehman Continue reading The Alisal Guest Experience: Guests Respond On Their Favorite Alisal Memory

Looking Back With Appreciation

Guest Photo For BLOG
Ms. Kamashian & Family

Our Alisal family is not just the staff -many of whom have been with us for several generations.  It is also made up of the guests who stay and make lifetime memories as well as the supply partners who help make events and the ranch as a whole roll.  All of these make up Continue reading Looking Back With Appreciation

Sharing the Alisal Guest Experience | Real Guest Stories & Reviews Through Photos

The Alisal Guest Experience is made up of your unique stories and no two are alike.  Because our reputation is built on making memories to last a lifetime, we are especially thrilled when you take the time to share your photos and reviews with us!  Below are just some highlights from recent guest visits and reviews.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts . Please keep them coming.  You can upload your photos to Instagram (@AlisalGuestRR) Facebook (@AlisalRanchResort) or Twitter (@AlisalGuestRR) and make sure you tag us at those handles.  We love hearing from you. Continue reading Sharing the Alisal Guest Experience | Real Guest Stories & Reviews Through Photos

Real Guest Stories |Kelley Nicole Whilden’s Summer Jubilee at Alisal

We are so pleased to have our guests be so inspired about their stay with us, they write their own blog about their experience!

kelley nicole whilden

Why does summer vacation always feel like it flew by entirely too fast!?  Last week was a blessed R&R week spent at Alisal Ranch in Solvang, CA. Alisal is not just any ranch, it is a ranch resort!  City life was long forgotten amongst the horses, cows, goats, chickens, lizards, birds, & crickets 🙂

The first day was a BBQ with live band and dancing. Yee-haw!  I am already missing horseback riding with Jesse the horse! It was a serene day of horse trails along Solvang’s rolling hills.  Our wrangler led the way!

The best part was riding our horses to Adobe Camp for western breakfast, where we were served flap jacks with all the fixings & listened to live music. Home on the range, Clementine! :)))

Our wrangler watching over the horses! Our wrangler watching over the horses!

I especially loved the antiques inside the Adobe!

After a day in the beautiful countryside what could…

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Real Alisal Guest Stories | The Garrett Family Experience

Garrett Family Photo CoupleMy name is Marci Garrett and my father and mother Dr. Neil Garrett and Geri Garrett took our family to Alisal for many years during the 70’s while all the doctors had a yearly meeting at this fabulous place. Alisal has an imprint on my heart as every year our family of six would rent the same two ranch houses and ride horses which I remember there names ! Jude was frisky and red like my hair color and pure black one with a gentle heart. My parents were shuffle board champions and my mom would look so pretty in her macrame cover-up and Dad with his Evil shades! Loved square dancing and ping- pong battles with my brothers! I loved the sunset hayrides and have dinner in the hills where you just rode the horses… Continue reading Real Alisal Guest Stories | The Garrett Family Experience

Real Alisal Guest Stories | A Letter from The Heart

Ms. Kamashian & Family
Ms. Kamashian & Family

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort legacy is made up of stories as experienced and shared straight from our guests.  So, with no further introduction necessary, we are thrilled to be able to share with you one of the recent letters (and reviews on TripAdvisor) from one of our guests.  Continue reading Real Alisal Guest Stories | A Letter from The Heart

Real Alisal Guest Stories: Fishing at Alisal

Photo Credit: Craig Townsend
Photo Credit: Craig Townsend

Experienced Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort guests know that part of the legendary “Alisal Experience” are the stories with which they leave our property after staying.  More than just great “hospitality’, we realize that every interaction with a guest is a chance to create a memory that will last a lifetime.  That’s a lot of pressure (phew!), but when you Continue reading Real Alisal Guest Stories: Fishing at Alisal