be hard pressed to find a more lovely place than the back roads of Solvang
where Alisal Guest Ranch is located. The Nojoqui Park exit, north of Gaviota
Pass and the northbound tunnel on Highway 101 will lead you there.
There are only 73 rooms, a bit small for most corporate
events I photograph.. Access from major cities would be difficult
for transporting corporate groups since each executive flies in at a different
time. Connector flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Jose to
Santa Barbara or Santa Maria Airports, 30 to 50 miles away from the ranch,
would provide a logistic challenge.
For individuals and family travelers, this place
is fantastic. The coastal drive along Highway 101 is easy-going,
scenic and can be done from San Francisco or Los Angeles in approximately
3 to 3.5 hours. Alisal Guest Ranch is quite popular and had no rooms,
when I tried to book one 3 days ahead, using my web site's reservation
system. A phone call to the Ranch confirmed what the internet already
told me -- they were full for the weekend when I hoped to return south
and check this place out.
If you have a special event such as an anniversary or
honeymoon, this would be an ideal spot. There are at least 10 wineries
nearby, Solvang shops, a beautiful mission, an old west town of Santa Ynez
with a carriage museum, Los Olivos art galleries, Los Alamos with several
antique shops and Chumash Indian Casino. Bicyclists enjoy riding the country
roads along this region, as well.