Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort Inducted into Historic Hotels of America 

Staff Report 

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Solvang is honored to announce it has joined Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

The iconic luxury dude ranch — which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year — is one of more than 300 hotels and resorts throughout the country that is recognized and credited for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.

“It is a true honor for the resort to be recognized by the Historic Hotels of America,” said Kathleen Cochran, general manager of The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. “The Alisal has a unique history here in the Santa Ynez Valley. Our resort sits on a 10,500-acre ranch that was once a California Ranchero and everything, including our décor, culinary programming and activities, all take inspiration from the rich history of the property and the region of California.”

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort’s origin dates to 1843, during which it was known as Rancho Nojoqui, and the property has been a working ranch ever since. It was renamed in 1868 as The Alisal, translating from the Chumash language to mean “Grove of the Sycamores.” 

The Alisal became the hotel is known as now in July 1946, when Charles Pete Jackson Jr. and his family opened the dude ranch for lodging. Since then, The Alisal has kept its Western-flair hospitality, and has been home to everything from celebrity weddings, championship cycling training and even Flying Ebony, the 1925 Kentucky Derby winner. The cattlemen’s quarters that once fed grub to cowboys is now a restaurant; deer can still be seen grazing, though these days it is often on The Alisal’s 18-hole golf courses; and horses and cattle roam grass-covered hills that have changed little since the days of the Spanish vaquero. 

To be selected for membership in Historic Hotels of America, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; have been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. 

“We are delighted to induct The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, a luxury working guest-ranch built in 1946 to Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, executive vice president of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “So many stories have come out of this notable property in California, ranging from celebrity stays and weddings to modern-day filming and its origin as cattleman’s quarters, that we had to honor its longstanding tradition that so many families have come to know and love.”

More information on the hotel’s history can be read at