When you’re surrounded by congested roads, crowded restaurants, and what could easily be deemed a concrete jungle, you forget how much rural space the Lone Star State encompasses. There are plenty of escapes in Texas that have the potential to bring out the cowboy in just about anyone—plus, views of grandeur so mesmerizing you feel like you’re standing in a postcard.
Why not book a getaway at a sprawling dude ranch? Relax, unwind, and simply let your everyday worries fade away as you live out your cowboy fantasies and roam in wide-open spaces.It could be like City Slickers, only less sad at the end. (Spoiler alert for that 1991 classic.) Choose anything from luxury ranch resorts with high-end amenities to family-friendly working ranches and activities. As Johnny Cash would say: “Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie.” Here are six dude ranches that’ll take you back to simpler times:
While staying at this blissful B&B—located on the sprawling 500-acre Lehmann Legacy Ranch—you can expect to see plenty of animals roaming around the property. You’ll see the usual suspects of cattle, deer, and horses, and a guided safari ride will get you up close and personal with miniature donkeys, ostriches, and peacocks. Other on-site activities include horseback riding, catch-and-release fishing, paddle boarding, and roaming the oak forest and meadows. Choose to take your sweetheart and stay in a romantic suite, or rent out other charming accommodations like a farmhouse, covered wagon, or safari tent complete with private baths, kitchens, and furnished with antiques.
Looking to get far away from Houston? Stay in one of Texas’s oldest ranches, located in vast plains near Marfa, Texas's favorite artsy town. Historical artifacts from the area come together to create an authentic nineteenth-century atmosphere at Cibolo Creek Ranch. Make a road trip out of it and head west to explore 30,000 acres of wilderness and various activities to choose from, including ATV rides, hiking, hunting excursions, and sporting clays.
Dixie Dude Ranch, situated just an hour west of San Antonio in Bandera, has been a go-to getaway for families—and dudes—for 75 years. Located near the Hill Country State Park, you'll find this all-inclusive 725-acre resort filled with historic charm and adorably-spacious cabins that date back to the 1940s. Three home-cooked, family-style meals and two horseback rides a day are part of the package during your stay. Other activities to look forward to are campfires, a hot tub that’s open year-round, fishing, playing horseshoes, ping pong, and even hayrides.
There's nothing quite like being surrounded by rolling hills and the glorious mountains of Big Bend—it's the epitome of a getaway. Spend your days at Prude Ranch riding horseback on the rustic trails, relaxing in the pool, or simply breathing in the fresh air and taking in all the scenery. The ranch features modern amenities mixed with an Old Western film and serves as both a working cattle and guest ranch. Some of the features include an indoor swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, and a large open-air pavilion. Don't forget to schedule activities with the family, like one of the outdoor education programs or organized horseback riding sessions.
Wildcatter Ranch Resort and Spa is the ultimate dude ranch located just minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth. This upscale working ranch offers everything from therapeutic massages and authentic Texas cuisine—the ranch has its own steakhouse—to popular activities like horseback riding, skeet shooting, Jeep tours, and archery. Wind down in the hot tub (or infinity pool) with a cool one while overlooking the Brazos River before ending the night in your own Western-style cabin, guest house, or hotel room.
For a quick weekend getaway, drive an hour north to 1,800-acre Lonesome Pine Ranch’s new B&B. As a working ranch originally settled in 1823, the old-timey Texas cowboy energy is definitely there: home to American Bison, quarter horses, and a large Texas Longhorn herd. And aside from getting serious R&R surrounded by wildflowers and fresh air, some significant outdoor activities include cattle drives, skeet shooting, tomahawk throwing, mountain biking, Kawasaki adventures, and horseback riding.