Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
We offer luxury cabins, rustic rooms, and horseback riding in a beautiful and scenic natural setting. The Circle Bar B Guest Ranch is tucked away at the base of the mountains in Santa Barbara county in a picturesque canyon only 3 miles away from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Join us for horseback riding on some of the finest trails and horses in the Central Coast with mountain, creek, canyon, and ocean views! We offer horseback riding year round, with rides ranging from 1.5 to 4 hours! Our amenities and activities include a full bar, outdoor pool and hot tub, library, horseback riding tours, hiking trails, game room, spa services, horseshoe pit, conference rooms and more. The Circle Bar B Guest ranch is a family business that was established in 1939. We invite you to join the history of our ranch, and we would love for you to visit us and experience an unforgettable ranch vacation with your family and friends!
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles153 reviews
Excellent
108
Very good
25
Average
9
Poor
5
Terrible
6

Bob M
San Jose, CA5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
This review is for the 1.5 hour horseback riding tour. We were a group of 5 and called the evening before on a lark to see if they could accommodate, and Jack on the phone was able to set something up the following morning. Jack was attentive, communicative and a delight, and made all of us, novice riders, comfortable. It’s when he went away that the problems began.

We were each fitted onto a horse by a different person and the quality of the fitting varied wildly. Mine was fine, however my sister’s was setup incorrectly: the loops to place feet in were setup to point the toes of her shoes sharply inward. Our guide told her at the end, seeing it then, that it was setup improperly. It’s been two days and she is still in a lot of pain.

Speaking of our guide, Eric, well that’s why I’m giving this rating. He was always far ahead of the rest of us, and basically didn’t speak the entire time. He was largely oblivious to what was happening at the tail of our group. My wife’s horse began bucking due to a horse fly and if I had not yelled out he would have been completely unaware. I had more conversation and interaction with the other guides passing us by in the opposite direction than I did with Eric in our 90 minutes together. One helpful soul pointed out I should grip the harness differently, in passing, while Eric was off in the distance.

I later learned from someone at the front of the group that Eric several times looked back at my wife whose horse Hershey was not moving very fast, and made expressions of disgust that those at the front of our group found extremely unprofessional. I sadly only learned this after paying and tipping Eric an extra $40. I wish I could get that $40 back.

On a bright note, the 1.5 hour ride itself is full of amazing, memorable views. It was fun and challenging and truly scenic. The horses seemed to be healthy and extremely well taken care of. And as I mentioned at the beginning, Jack was amazing.

I’m not feeling particularly motivated to ever go back. And sadly, 1 or 2 people in our party are likely to never ride again after this experience, which is the really unfortunate thing.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine F
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Friends
I have been at the ranch twice. Once for a trail ride (which was so great that I decided I must come back) and the second time to stay. First of all, the rooms are spotless, the property is beyond scenic and relaxing, and third, the owners are so welcoming. I had to cut my trip short and the owner could not be more understanding. And the horses!!! They are beautiful and well taken care of. If you want a peaceful escape in a unique setting… go to circle b bar ranch!
Written February 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ExperiencedTravelers
Los Angeles, CA602 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
We rode horses on the hour and a half ride and it was terrific. The horses were gentle and the guide very personable. The ride is on steep mountain trails, which is sort of fun.

The only unexpected was the road getting there. Take your time, it is curvy and, in places, rough.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Francesca
Hillsdale, NJ6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Loved Circle B. Just spent 2 nights there with my husband and 3 kids (14,13 and 11). The ranch is beautiful tucked in the mountains. The cabins are simple but comfortable. The lodge is beautiful and the bar well stocked. The dinners are simple but very tasty. The horse back riding is top notch- with amazing views and awesome cowboys.

Its very different than other dude ranches we have stayed at. It's not touristy, its quiet, not flashy but its authentic and everyone is extremely nice!!!

We all loved and were sad to leave. We went wine tasting one afternoon and ziplinnig the other.
Written July 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

howelle11
Boston, MA66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
My sister and I came to this ranch to do a guided horseback trail ride. It was a long time dream of mine to ride a horse along the beautiful California landscape. I was not disappointed!! First and foremost, Robbie and Cade were phenomenal. They are true horse lovers and are genuinely good, kind-hearted people all around. The horses are well taken care of and the trail is too. I had such a wonderful experience all around. I highly recommend!
Written May 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trip789765
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
My daughter, her friend, and I had the most wonderful time on a 2 1/2 hour ride with our guide Randy. The scenery was gorgeous and, as one of our first outings during COVID-19, we savored every moment of beautiful countryside on horseback. Randy was the BEST! He was so charming and a gifted story teller. What an extraordinary horseman who we look forward to riding with again. Circle Bar B is a very special place and everyone there was lovely, friendly, and professional. Can't wait to do this again, saddle soreness and all!!
Written April 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Corrin H
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Family
The staff is helpful, attentive, and engaging. They make every guest feel like an old friend. The views include gorgeous canyons and spectacular ocean views. Best horse riding experience!
Written November 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Victoria L
Long Beach, CA25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Lovely ranch with a warm and welcoming staff. Nice horseback ride through the mountains with a lovely overlook from up above. Good value and a really great activity when you are in the Santa Barbara area.
Written September 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

4redscooters
Santa Barbara, CA2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
A Wild West Cowboy party; that’s what my son Noah wanted for his 7th birthday party. He and his friend Emily, who share the same birthday, had wanted this since they were 4 years old! As 7 is the minimum age for trail riding at the ranch, we postponed this grand event for 3 years. Together with Noah’s birthday buddy, we finally arranged their trail ride, (& pony rides for the younger kids), at the CircleBarB Ranch for 20 kids and assorted parents. We provided the ranch with 3 week’s advance notice as well as my credit card number to guarantee our day. We then went about ordering and assembling all the necessary details and accoutrements for a cowboy birthday party. We were set. We sent the invitations out with the Ranch’s liability release to be completed and returned. Everything was moving along perfectly. The kids were totally excited.

The day of the party, March 2, finally came. At 9:00 am, just 2 hours before our scheduled horseback riding time, we get a call from the CircleBarB ranch foreman. Our group had been CANCELLED! No notice. Just cancelled. Why you ask? Well, the answer we were told was “liability”. Liability? Isn’t that the nature of a horseback riding business? Isn’t that why one is required to sign a release of liability? There was no reasoning with Circle Bar B. There were no explanations, nor options offered. Trying to think creatively and salvage the cowboy party just 2 hours away, we asked if we could individually rent horses - not as a group. We were told that ALL horseback riding was cancelled for the day. No one could ride. We asked to speak with the owner. He was unavailable. We left our contact information and asked that he call.

We attempted to call our guests to alert them of this last minute change of plans – no cowboy party, go to Refugio Beach instead. Since we couldn’t reach everyone, we went up to the ranch with our kids in full cowboy regalia. The kids all tumbled out of their respective family cars eager for the horseback riding adventure. One little boy was wearing jeans – the first time in over a year he had worn pants! We doggedly went up to the guesthouse and basically learned that the refusal to let our children enjoy their birthday party had something to do with a long standing battle between the CircleBarB and one of the children's mother who was invited to the party (and who didn't even attend!!). While this had nothing to do with us, our children's Wild West party ended up in the crossfires of a petty family feud. Unfortunately, rather than either of these parties alerting us to an escalating situation, the business establishment and this person selfishly and childishly dragged their personal issues into my family’s event using us as unwitting pawns, effectively ruining it. Shame on the owners of the CircleBarB for not putting aside their personal problems and acting like adults, especially when young children are involved. What poor role models these locals pretend to be. I thought it grossly unprofessional for CircleBarB to handle the matter the way they did. There were numerous ways to have handled our group with a positive outcome. Rest assured folks, the Circle Bar B has shown me and our guests that their promises cannot be trusted. I hope others learn from this sorrowful experience so they can avoid being the victims of the CircleBarB's callous attitude towards children.

Noah, age 7 - that's him in the photo below NOT riding on his birthday

Matthew, age 8

Kenzie, age 8

Shelby, age 4

Emily, age 7

Hannah, age 2

Jack, age 10

Miles, age 7

Scott, age 2

Brianna, age 10

Nicole, age 6.5

Avi, age 7

Stefan, age 7

Spencer, age 6

Arwin, age 5

Luna, age 7

Maya, age 7

Kianna, age 7

Cydrine, age 7.5

Blake, age 7

Kenzie, age 4

Bryce, age 3

Michael, age 7
Written March 11, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DrPurple25
Gig Harbor, WA29 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Family
The ranch is very pretty. Particularly the lodge. The horseback riding was great. Overall however it was not worth the money we spent at all. The 2 bedroom cabin was $824 a night. We ended up having to bring my parents and were charged another $230 per night-- the cabin in theory sleeps 8 but they charge extra for every person above 4. The bathrooms are nice but there are no toiletries, no dressers, no table etc.. certainly not what is expected for the very high prices. Four of us were crammed in the upstairs bedroom. The food was good but very limited in choices. Dinner was the best meal. Lunch was a joke-- choice of 3 sandwiches (turkey, ham, peanutbutter and jelly), lays chips and an apple and water. I wrote down milk on my request form for the peanutbutter and jelly and they ignored it. Breakfast was lacking the usual things like toast and oatmeal-- they only served scrambled eggs and some type of pork and pancakes (or french toast on some days). It really felt like "camp" but the prices were high end hotel prices. Because there is no cell service and very limited internet, we hung out in the game room. The pool sticks had no tips left on them and the ping pong rackets were trashed. Again-- for a more reasonable price I would not be writing this review. After my family left I moved to the Junior Suite which was $440ish dollars per night. It was beautiful and the bathtub was great, but there were cheap plastic chairs on the balcony and there was visible trash on the hillside in front of our room. There was again lack of toiletries or bathrobe or the usually items for that price point. There were not a lot of people left at the ranch at that point but I still felt generally neglected. The most attention I got was when I checked in and they wanted me to pay my bill up front. Otherwise we dragged our suitcases to our new room with no help and no attention. Fine if its $200 per night but it was not. I did book an in room massage and she was very good. And the horseback riding crew was great. But it did not make up for lack of service and amenities for such a high priced place. I was hoping that we found a good place for repeat family vacations, but we will not go back. I think this place is best if you are a young family and can cram everyone in to one of the less expensive lodge rooms. After I left there I went to the Biltmore in Santa Barbara for 4 days. This was also expensive but, but unlike the Circle Bar B ranch, it was worth every penny because the staff was incredibly attentive.
Written January 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are disappointed that your stay with us did not meet or exceed your expectations. However, we are glad that you were able to enjoy the beauty of our property, your horseback rides, and various other aspects of your vacation. When you arrived, you were greeted and taken on a tour after you paid the remaining balance of your stay which is common protocol in the hotel business. Your parking spot was right in front of your first accommodation. Kathy, the owner, told you that when you were ready to move to your new room, she would stop whatever she was doing and help you with your bags. When you moved over to your new room, you did not come to the office to ask Kathy to assist you. You had booked one of our Hillside Homesteads which are deluxe 2-story units with 2-bedrooms and sleeps up to 6 guests (7 if utilizing the included aero mattress). Your reservation was for 6 adults. It is always our guests’ choice to add more people to their room. We do give our recommendation if we feel the accommodation might be a tight squeeze. However, when you had added your parents to the reservation, last minute, we did not have any other accommodations available as it was the busy week of New Years Eve. The extra rate of $113 per adult for additional guests, covers their meals and use of facilities. The Hillside Homestead's downstairs bedroom contains a king size bed and beautiful granite bathroom. Upstairs contains a queen size bed, full size bunk beds and another beautiful granite bathroom. The living room has an overstuffed sofa, hardwood floors, large stone fireplace, air conditioning, wet bar with coffee maker and a TV with full satellite. Although there are plenty of side tables and counter tops, there are no full sized tables. This is something that we have not heard or thought about since our main lodge is the area most commonly used by our guests to socialize and play games. But, when you had voiced that you did not have a table to put together your puzzle, we delivered one to your room promptly. It is always our goal to make sure our guests get what they need within our means. We also agree that we do need dressers in the Hillside Homesteads. Despite the fact that this has never been brought to our attention, we can see how this can be a bit frustrating. The rate that you pay is for the experience and memories created at the ranch, which includes lodging of your choice in one of our 18 different accommodations, access to our hiking trails, pool and Jacuzzi to relax in, a game room fully equipped with ping pong, foosball, a pool table and T.V. lounge, quiet library, full liquor bar, and all your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). We are surprised that you did not enjoy your dining experience as this is one of our most raved about amenities and is one of the many reasons why our guests come back. During your stay, you were served salmon, chicken, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, shrimp scampi, prime rib, steak, full salad bar, caramel pecan cheesecake, double chocolate cake, apple pie, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate ice cream. For breakfast, we offer scrambled eggs, pancakes/French toast, bacon/sausage, granola, yogurt, pastries, apples, oranges, & grapefruit, as well as fruit salad. We do not normally have toast out, although it is not uncommon for guests to request, and I assure you our kitchen staff would have fetched you toast in a heartbeat. As for the milk you requested with your lunch, we do not carry small personal cartons of milk. However, we assumed you would ask us for a glass of milk when you asked for your lunch. Any one of our staff members would have gladly served you. We are sorry if you were not satisfied with the meals. Since we are a popular family vacation destination, our ping pong paddles and pool cues get warn out very quickly by all the little (and big) hands. Despite our game room guideline signage, asking our guests not to pull the rubber backing off the paddles, it is a constant issue; we always have to replace them. We wish that you would have come to us during your stay about the condition of the paddles and pool cues but appreciate you letting us know regardless. We always have extra pool cue tips in the office and it is a very easy fix. Please know that we take to heart and deeply value the feedback that you provided. We regret that you did not come to us with your concerns, during your stay, as most of your complaints could have been resolved immediately. We do realize, however, that despite our best efforts, we cannot please everyone all the time. Thank you again for your feedback. If you would like more information on why we do things the way we do, please reference our response to your brother’s review on our Facebook page.
Written January 17, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 148
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Goleta HotelsGoleta Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Goleta
All things to do in Goleta
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars