Alisal is a spacious ranch: With 10,000 acres, it’s home to cattle, horses, and a full service golf-resort. Enjoy the affectations and ambiance of a dude ranch by day and indulge in elegant dining by night after an expertly performed massage. This is definitely a working ranch and guests can be as much a part of the active lifestyle as they care to be, or kick back and lounge by the pool or perhaps share some family time on the playground. There’s a calm in the crisp clean mountain air that breezes you through whichever activity you choose.
Fully staffed with knowledgeable wranglers and handlers, masseurs and masseuses…you name it, service is wonderful yet understated. The same family has owned the ranch since the 1940’s. That means a lot these days and at a resort like this; small surprise many guests return year after year. Families are welcome: The values of good clean fun permeate the atmosphere… including the TVless and phone-less rooms. Chairs scattered along the lawn; animals to be petted, ridden and fed; and even eggs to be gathered: All there for every guest to partake in enjoy.
Stay for a Wednesday or Saturday and enjoy the horseback ride to the old Adobe nestled in the meadow. This pancake breakfast ride has been happening since 1946. Walk in the fresh mountain air over the footbridge to the dining room as the sun settles behind the ridge just beyond the dining room. Tuck into a thick juicy steak, most likely sourced nearby, beside the blazing Swedish fireplace in the center of the dining room that overlooks the garden maze, lawns and huge oak trees.
Alisal is located just north of Santa Barbara, just beyond the main street of Solvang, the Danish village that makes you do a double take. As you pass shops topped by windmills and adorned with Danish flags, bursting with Danish pastries and cookies, you’re only a few short minutes from the ranch. This is California’s hidden gem, where you can ride horseback, spot a bald eagle, enjoy a fabulous massage and sip some of the area’s best wines. It all comes together at Alisal. alisal.com
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