Tag Archives: alisal ranch

Giddyup! The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding

20140804-130412-47052174.jpgWhile most guests enjoy the leisurely, relaxing pace of Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort‘s  trail rides- including our famous morning breakfast ride- and some guests choose to go at a faster pace, there is now scientific evidence to support that horseback riding is good health for the rider,  no matter what your pace.

So for those of you who prefer to lounge on your room’s front porch and snooze all day, you can take comfort that if you get in one – even mild and gentle- horseback ride, you are getting some legitimate exercise in.  Here are some of the findings: Continue reading Giddyup! The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding

Benefits of Renting the Ranch Exclusively

Photo Credit: Guest Craig Townsend

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort can be bought out for corporate events, reunions and much more (Alisal River Terrace does not require a buy-out) to assure not just privacy and exclusivity, but also that the legendary service guests receive on a normal basis is actually personalized for each guest, based on the group’s goals and wishes.  Here are just some highlights of what buying out 10,000 sprawling acres provides: Continue reading Benefits of Renting the Ranch Exclusively

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

The Power of the Night Sky: Top 5 Benefits to Stargazing

Star Gazing Inspiration & Photo from Ben Casnocha

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is nestled in Santa Barbara’s own wine country:  the Santa Ynez Valley.  One of the benefits of this valley is that it is relatively removed from major city lights and provides the opportunity for beautiful night skies.  The exact positioning of the ranch is tucked away in an area protected by surrounding hills and peace and even greater chances of beautiful star-gazing than in some of the neighboring quiet valley towns.

While star-gazing may be considered by some to be a romantic activity of the past, there are some  benefits to gazing at the heavens and we are proud to say, one of the loveliest – and complimentary – most memorable experiences Alisal guests can have while visiting: Continue reading The Power of the Night Sky: Top 5 Benefits to Stargazing

The Alisal Experience: More Than Just an Overnight Accommodation

12301461_10154357637457137_3362536187649845215_nIf you are looking for a place to “spend the night” while on a road trip, don’t bother with a reservation at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort.  Whoa!  Did we actually suggest that we may not be the place for a potential guest?  Yes, we did.  The reality is this:  if one is looking for a hotel room for a night, Alisal’s rooms (which generally have a 2 night minimum year-round, may not even be available and are often sold-out year round because they are booked for weeks on end for returning guests), may seem outrageously pricey at first glance.  Continue reading The Alisal Experience: More Than Just an Overnight Accommodation

National Wedding BLOG features Alisal River Terrace Wedding

unnamed-29The nationally-renowned Carats and Cake wedding blog recently featured a wedding held at Alisal River Terrace, one of our most popular event sites.  With a charming, intimate lake for the ceremony, Caitlin and Tyler chose to host their nuptials here and then enjoyed a lovely reception at a family private home immediately following.   The BLOG for their wedding on Carats and Cake can be seen here.   Continue reading National Wedding BLOG features Alisal River Terrace Wedding

The Art of Doing “Nothing”: 4 Benefits Found at Alisal


While technology helps us and can bring critical information for progress, health and innovation at lightning speed, it also has another side.  Reports all over the media show how society is attached to their mobile devices and technology more than ever. And more than ever there appears to be a growing correlation between this technological attachment and stress, disease and ironically “detachment” from core values, which are what sustain us as a species to not just survive, but thrive.

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort has provided an environment that allows guests to unplug and thrive for generations.  While this was not its original intent, the gift is that what started off as a natural way of life at Alisal, has evolved into Continue reading The Art of Doing “Nothing”: 4 Benefits Found at Alisal

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

Alisal Partners with Foxen and Firestone for a Sumptuous Dining Adventure

alisal january dinnerOn Saturday,  January 16th, something very exciting is happening at the ranch.  Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort will partner with Foxen Winery and Firestone Walker Brewing Company for a culinary experience and adventure that is not soon to be forgotten.

Chef Pascal has been working very hard collaborating with Continue reading Alisal Partners with Foxen and Firestone for a Sumptuous Dining Adventure

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