The minute you pass through The Alisal entrance you feel it.
The authentic Western spirit is everywhere you look. The Alisal’s rich history as a working cattle ranch is intertwined with California history. The Ranch’s backstory makes for great reading in a free book you can download, Alisal Lore: A Window to California History.
The story begins way back in 1810. The area had rivers and streams teaming with 10-pound steelhead trout, deer grazed the land, bear and mountain lions prowled. The rolling hills were dotted with oaks and western sycamores. The native inhabitants called this land “Nojoqui.” The new arrivals knew it by the name “Alisal” (meaning “grove of sycamores”).
Thirty-nine years after the Spanish padres established the Mission Santa Inés (1804) in the Chumash village of Ahajalapu, these lands across the Santa Ynez River were granted to Raimundo Carrillo. Carrillo received the 13,500-acre grant for his service. The land was owned by several prominent Mexican families until 1868 and then sat dormant until 1907, when William T. Mead established the Alisal Ranch Company. The property was used for farming, cattle and horse breeding. In 1943, The Alisal was purchased by Charles Pete Jackson Jr., who expanded The Alisal in an entirely new direction—hospitality.
Originally designed solely as a working cattle ranch, manager Lynn Gilliam advised the Jackson family to convert the cattlemen’s quarters to guest rooms for dude ranch visitors. On July 16, 1946, The Alisal Guest Ranch was opened for summer seasons with a maximum capacity of 30 guests.
Today the Ranch is still owned by the Jackson family and has become one of the country’s top resorts. It’s a place where cultured amenities live in harmony with the songs of cowboys and the thunder of hooves. We invite you to taste the adventure and feel the history of The Alisal for yourself.