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Guest Stories


We 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.

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