For more than 60 years, the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort near Solvang has been teaching city slickers to ride, rope, and round ’em up. For the more experienced, how about barrel racing? Whatever your expertise, this 10,000-acre ranch, which has hosted guests since 1946, offers 50 miles of riding trails, two championship golf courses, a spa and fitness center, tennis, water sports, archery, and hat shaping.
For anglers, Alisal offers year-round fly fishing on its private, 100-acre spring-fed lake, swimming with blue gill and bass. An Orvis-endorsed guide will teach you how to fish with the best of them. Board a kayak, sailboat, canoe, pedal boat, or electric trolling boat to cruise the lake, and resort staff will be happy to pack a gourmet picnic.
After a long day of activities, dine on hearty fare with a glass of Santa Barbara wine, enjoy live entertainment in the Oak Room, or learn how to line dance.
Throughout the year, Alisal Ranch offers specialty weekends and packages including a Cowgirl Bootcamp, complete with songs and s’mores by the campfire. Yee-haw! (805/688-6411, www.alisal.com) ANDREA NAVERSEN