The beauty of a family ranch vacation is the long list of amenities and services provided in a single place; moms and dads don’t have to worry about the details and logistics of day-to-day meals and activities. Moreover, there is a huge range of ranch options to choose from day to day.
As a travel agent who takes great pride in knowing a lot about where to go and what to see, admittedly I do forget about some of the best places simply because they have been around a long time. But, just this week I got very excited when I became re-introduced to a resort that has been around since 1946 and definitely should not be forgotten!
Allow me to introduce (or re-introduce) you to “The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort” in Solvang, California. Nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley and only a two hour drive from Los Angeles, Alisal is a legendary year-round resort and cattle ranch for adults and kids of all ages! The families who vacation here have been doing so for years for good reasons. Varied activites, kids programs, evening activities, accommodation options, meals, nature, and value.
With more than 10,000 acres of diversified activities, old hands and youngsters alike can participate in ranching traditions. Alisal’s programs for aspiring cowboys and cowgirls, include horseback riding and pony rides, fishing, roping and campfires. Plus arts and crafts, barn visits, relay races, swimming, scavenger hunts and much, more more! The children’s program starts at age three.
Together families can enjoy Alisal’s 100-acre lake for bass fishing or fly-fishing, canoeing, kayaking or sailing. Popular with children is the Alisal Barn Yard where guests can care for ponies, chickens, bunnies and pigs seven days a week. Has your child ever wanted to collect chicken eggs or groom a pony? Or maybe that is something you have dreamed of doing from your childhood. Wild West Rodeos are very popular at Alisal and a first for many who grew up in the city, such as me! There are endless trails for hiking, hayrides; and what would a ranch vacation be without a talent show!
Adults might participate in a morning or afternoon horseback rides; or choose a Breakfast Ride which is a Western buffet set among giant sycamores and a crackling campfire and the serenade of a guitar. Or golf on your choice of two championship golf courses. What about an afternoon at the new fitness center and spa, a local winery tour, tennis or maybe even try some archery or take aim with an air rifle. It’s all at Alisal!
Accommodations are ranch cozy and feature 73 guest units configured either as studio rooms or spacious one-bedroom suites. All have wood-burning fireplaces and refrigerator, coffee maker and filtered water dispenser. To maintain the cozy, quiet atmosphere, there are no in-room televisions or telephones; however, they are conveniently located throughout the resort. Complimentary wireless internet is available throughout the ranch.
Dining at Alisal starts with a country-style breakfast, and in the evening, ends with dressing up for an elegant meal or a BBQ at the rodeo arena. Daily menus always feature the finest and freshest local ingredients.
Allisal Guest Ranch & Resort has long been considered the premier full-service guest ranch for families. If you enjoy the outdoors and all the activities of a ranch setting; I highly recommend a family vacation at Alisal. Rates start at $495 per night for two and include breakfast and dinner. Ages 3-5 are $55; and 6 & older $85. Tip – summer weeks book up more than a year in advance due to repeat family bookings. However, sometimes there is a week or two that need filling. Alisal does operate year round and if you can sneak away between September – June; there is an amazing package deal waiting for you! Better yet – the holidays are just around the corner – what a fabulous way to celebrate with family and all the ranchers at Alisal!