August 14, 2012
August 14, 2012
By: Sharon Rosenthal
Riding horses at Alisal Ranch in Solvang, California was just one of the many highlights of our weekend dude ranching with the family. The ranch has been saddling up guests since 1946. Today, it is a working cattle ranch that also hosts families looking for an adventure.
If you are looking for a family vacation where you can really spend time with each other, this could be the place to go. No telephones or TVs in the cabins and cell phone that is sketchy at best. No cars around the ranch: everything is either walkable or reachable via the shuttle, horses or wagon rides.
The weekend we spent there was wonderful from the amazing dinners served in the Ranch House to the wide variety of activities my kids enjoyed. The grounds are beautiful and you will find hiking trails to explore. The rec room and art center offers activities for the kids all day long and after dinner. The pool is simply gorgeous -- both during the day and during the evening when a fire warms guests who want to enjoy the beautiful Alisal evenings.
One of the highlights for the kids was the barnyard full of all kinds of animals including pigs, chickens, roosters, donkeys and even ducks. It is a working barn, so kids who visit during the day help out with the chores. My kids loved feeding the animals and gathering eggs.
Several times a week, the ranch hosts a breakfast up at its historic camp site. You can either ride a horse up to the site or hop onto the wagon. Everything you could possibly want is available and when you arrive at camp, the ranch hands have a fire going to keep guests warm and cozy. A singing cowboy accompanies breakfast.
In our experience, Alisal has something for everyone. You can borrow sports equipment to use on the grounds, play tennis, fish, play archery or boat up at the lake. An adult-only library provides a quiet space away from the kids and the fitness center, spa and golf course round out the offerings.
The ranch really is geared to families and we loved it. I enjoyed spending some quality time with my family, and returned to civilization rested and ready to face the world once again.
During select times of the year, the Alisal Ranch offers a special "Round-Up Vacation" Package. A package for two starts at $495 and includes unlimited golf, horseback riding on the regularly scheduled two-hour rides, access to the Fitness Center and Spa, tennis and fishing for a two night stay.
For more information about the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, call 800.4.ALISAL, contact them via e-mail at [email protected] or visit the Ranch on the Web at www.alisal.com.
Though the Alisal Ranch provided complimentary accommodations stay to facilitate this review, my opinions are always 100% my own.
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