Some come for the horses. Others for the golf or tennis. But everyone comes for the easygoing atmosphere. Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Los Angeles, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort offers an early California lifestyle nearly as valued for what it doesn’t have as for what it does.
Newcomers arrive on a quiet country road outside the Danish community of Solvang. An unobtrusive sign points to a drive lined with sycamores. Alisal means “Grove of Sycamores” in Chumash, a Native American language that recalls the days before the ranch’s original owner, Raimundo Carrillo, was awarded the land in a grant from Spain. As in Carrillo’s time, the Alisal still grazes about 2,000 head of cattle.