Following our time in Santa Barbara last week we spent the rest of our weekend at Alisal Ranch and Resort in Santa Ynez. And oh my gosh, what a special place it is! We had heard great things but as soon as we drove up to the ranch we knew we were in for a treat. The 10,000 acre property is an idyllic Old West step back in time. It is old school western charm in the best way possible–and almost feels straight out of a family camp movie. There’s something for everyone (even our little 4 month old side kick sure enjoyed himself although we’re looking forward to bringing him back in a couple of years when he is old enough to truly experience all that the property has to offer). Highlights included: a hayride through the rolling hills for a pancake breakfast, taking Rex out for his first time fishing on the lake, our nightly dinners in the Ranch Room (the pianist played lullabies both nights to try to get Rex to fall asleep), an afternoon game of horseshoe, Alisal’s famous oatmeal pie, and rounding out the days with a glass of wine on our porch. We can’t wait to return!
Rex wasn’t quite sure what to make of the horses.
During our stay at Alisal one of the sweetest aspects about the experience was how nice not only the staff was but everyone else staying there. Most of the guests we met have been coming to the ranch for years–some 40+. One lady we met had been taking her grandchildren for 27 years and convinced us it’s the perfect spot to return with our parents. It’s also an ideal place to go with friends (or multiple families) again because there really is something for everyone. Additional activities on the property include: horseback riding, golf, tennis, a game room for the kids, the barnyard filled with a variety of animals, pool and the spa. (I was able to sneak in some me time and got a massage while T took Rex with him to happy hour.)
I have to admit I had way too much fun packing for this trip. Western-inspired attire is right up my alley!
Our evening walks through the grounds on our way to dinner were probably some of my favorite moments. And maybe it was because I had had a glass of wine but there was seriously something magical in the air.
I couldn’t get enough of the cowboy paintings and decor. This lunch room had the best wallpaper! Plus free popcorn in cute popcorn bags–I was back everyday for my salty / buttery fix.
Cozying up in my Eberjey pjs and heading to bed early was another highlight for this tired mama. (The rooms don’t have TV’s which is another nice excuse to really disconnect). I also loved that our room smelled like a wood burning fire–adding to the cozy aspect!
Most of all I think our stay at Alisal ingrained in my guy and I the fact that one day we hope to live on a ranch ourselves. We’re such country kids at heart.
Photography | Alexandria Gibbs