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TOP RANCHES
MAYAN DUDE RANCH, TEXAS
For a true taste of Texan hospitality, stay with the Hicks family on their splendid 325-acre ranch in Bandera, about 50-miles north-west of San Antonio and known as the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’. The Mayan Dude Ranch has spawned seven world champion rodeo cowboys, and you will soon feel part of that very special western tradition. Ideal for families and novice riders, a typical day consists of a wake-up coffee or juice in your room, a hayride to the Cowboy Breakfast cook-out, guided horse ride along a hillside trail or down to the lush Medina riverside and then before your afternoon ride, the chance to enjoy swimming, tennis or nearby golf. At night, feast on a themed dinner and be entertained by live music and dancing before retiring to your 1, 2, or 3-bedroom rock cottage, or lodge room with views of Bandera and the hills.
Prices include 3 meals daily, beer or wine with dinner, two horseback rides per day, use of tennis courts and all activities listed on each day’s schedule.
WHITE STALLION RANCH, ARIZONA
The White Stallion lays claim to being the most accessible ranch in Arizona and with its location between Tucson and Phoenix, who are we to argue? This charming, informal ranch has the Old West stamped all over it, with its surrounding landscape of rugged Tucson mountains, and cactus strewn Saguaro National Park right next door. 43 casita-style guest rooms and one stunning four-bedroom Hacienda home make up the accommodation, with all of the rooms affording plenty of space and featuring a private terrace with views of the gardens, mountains or corrals. This is the perfect spot for the family, with activities including horseback riding for all ages, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, a full children’s programme and evening entertainment including line dancing, a moonlight bonfire with a cowboy singer, and an astronomy show with large telescopes.
Prices include 3 meals daily, horseback riding, ranch activities and evening entertainment.
TANQUE VERDE RANCH, ARIZONA
Situated on the eastern fringes of Tucson, with the Saguaro National Park as its neighbour, Tanque Verde has been reviving the spirit of the Old West since 1868 and is today one of the best-known resorts in Arizona. Nestling within 640 acres of the Rincon Mountain foothills, guests will soon know they are somewhere special, with luxurious accommodation, authentic dining, superb facilities and an abundance of activities in waiting. In addition to the three gourmet meals served each day in the dining room, there are a number of themed dining events held each week, including a breakfast ride, Mexican Fiesta Night, and a fabulous barbeque dinner and live entertainment. If you’re not out riding the trails, you can choose from hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, tennis or La Sonora Spa, whilst the kids can enjoy all the supervised fun at the children’s club.
Prices include 3 meals daily, horseback riding, guided hiking, mountain biking, nature walks and various organised activities. Horse riding lessons are available locally for a fee.
SYLVAN DALE GUEST RANCH, COLORADO
This 3,200-acre guest ranch is nestled in the scenic Colorado foothills along the banks of the beautiful Big Thompson River, near to Estes Park and about an hour’s drive from Denver. Sylvan Dale is a historic working horse and cattle ranch, where guests partake in cattle drives and round-ups, trail rides, overnight pack trips and horse riding lessons. Accommodation is in lodge cabins, clustered in the main yard amidst giant cottonwoods and blue spruce trees, all rooms furnished in country style and offering coffee maker, mini- fridge and porch. A breakfast bell will summon you to your first meal of the day, the hearty meal served being one of three you will enjoy each day.
When you’re not out riding, there’s plenty of other outdoor activities on hand, including hiking, biking, fishing, nearby golf and a children’s programme for 9-12 year olds.
Prices include 3 meals daily, your own horse for your stay, horseback riding, western riding instruction, guided nature walks and bass fishing.
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