Southwest

5 Ranch Vacations in Texas: Get Your Wild West On

Want to ride into the sunset on your next trip? Create your own country adventure at one of these ranch vacations in Texas.

Remember seeing those older movies where a city slicker goes out to the country (usually Texas) and tries and fails to ride a horse or rope a wooden calf? (It’s harder than it looks.) There’s a reason that trope was used so many times.

Sometimes you need to get out of the city and connect with some good, old fashioned ranch work. Ride a horse across the open land. Rise up early and commune with nature and the animals. Create your own fish-out-of-water movie moments.

There are plenty of places in Texas where you can live out that ranch fantasy — become a true cowboy or cowgirl at these five best ranch vacations in Texas.

Four-Star Events near Fort Worth, TX

Located about an hour from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro, Wildcatter Ranch is a four-star resort with 33 guest rooms and traditional resort offerings such as an outdoor pool, spa and in-room Wi-Fi. It’s a popular wedding and event venue, and you’ll have an upscale resort experience here.

This spot provides easy access to museums and art spaces in nearby Graham, Texas, if you want to combine a little art with your visit. For outdoor adventuring, you can take a kayak out on Possum Kingdom Lake or hike through Standpipe Mountain Park.

One of the highlights of a Wildcatter Ranch stay is their guided cowboy tour. Group and private tours are available, and a ranch cowboy will take you through the ranch on horseback. After a day of riding, you’ll be able to stop for a thick, hand-cut steak at the ranch’s steakhouse.

Want to learn how to rope a calf or go clay shooting? The ranch offers these activities, plus archery, pony rides for young riders, tomahawk throwing and pistol and rifle shooting. Participate in some or all of the activities — or just enjoy the serene outdoors.

Wildcatter Ranch

Graham
8.8 Excellent (240 reviews)

Working Ranch Vacation near Houston, TX

Just an hour outside Houston, the BlissWood Bed and Breakfast Ranch sits within the 500-acre Lehmann Legacy Ranch in Hill Country. Stay in one of several romantic cabins, or try the deluxe covered wagon, the upscale safari tent, or the luxury RV. You can sit outside and enjoy the peace and quiet, or head out on horseback with cowboys to see how a working ranch operates. Whichever cabin or accommodation you choose, you’ll start the day with continental breakfast and the sound of songbirds.

BlissWood is entirely self contained with several activity packages to choose from. Take a wildlife tour to see bison, antelope and several types of deer. Kids can learn to play classic ranch games and tag along on morning ranch feedings, then end the day making s’mores around a campfire. Or, you can choose one of several horseback riding packages or a classic dude ranch adventure with tomahawk throwing, archery and trapshooting.

There’s even a “solo traveler” package that includes special culinary treats, time with a companion pup, meditative country walks, and in-room massage service. This package was even featured in the New York Times. You won’t need to leave the grounds to have a full ranch experience, no matter which activities you choose.

BlissWood Bed and Breakfast Ranch

Cat Spring
8.3 Very good (76 reviews)

Historic Forts in Marfa, TX

Ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in a historic Texas fort in the wilderness? You’ll find out at the Cibolo Creek Ranch & Resort in Marfa.

This ranch features accommodations in three restored adobe and cottonwood forts. The forts have a long and storied history, and they’re decorated with 1800s-era antiques, period textiles and art. Wake up each morning overlooking 30,000 acres of wilderness in eastern Texas.

Each room contains luxury linens and fine hardwood furnishings, and you’ll enjoy gourmet meals prepared in the resort’s upscale restaurant. When you’re not walking along the lakefront or using the on-site gym, you can explore the grounds on foot, ride ATVs or mountain bikes, or take a guided tour by Humvee through the mountains.

Visit nearby Marfa for art galleries featuring internationally known artists, and be sure to keep an eye out for the mysterious Marfa Lights—unexplained red, blue, or white lights that mysteriously appear in the night sky.

Cibolo Creek Ranch & Resort

Top rated
Marfa
9.0 Excellent (39 reviews)

Family Ranch Fun in Kerrville, TX

For a kid-friendly adventure, the Y.O. Ranch and Conference Center is a budget friendly hotel about an hour from the 40,000-acre historical Y.O. Ranch. The hotel offers family-oriented activities, including a separate kid’s pool, volleyball, tennis and basketball courts.

Rooms are all family friendly with bunk beds and alcoves for the kiddos, and you can request a patio or balcony view. Enjoy old-school Western décor in each room, and try traditional Western food at the Branding Iron Restaurant. After dinner, adults can grab a grown-up beverage at the on-site saloon.

For the full ranch experience, take a day trip to nearby Y.O. Ranch Headquarters for a two-hour guided group wildlife tour, or book private tours that last two or five hours. You’ll visit historic buildings on the ranch, learn the history of the grounds and visit the exotic animal collection (which includes giraffes!).

A little closer to the hotel, explore the city of Kerrville’s historic downtown district and Museum of Western Art.

Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center

Kerrville
7.7 Good (1661 reviews)

Rustic Seclusion in Comfort, TX

Want a quiet, home-like setting where you can take in the wildlife while still being close to nearby attractions? The Houston House at Feathered Horse Ranch B&B is your best bet.

Deep in the heart of Hill Country, The Houston House is a private cabin on a 61-acre ranch. Stretch out in this three bedroom, two bath home—enough room for a large family or group of friends—and enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets across pristine ranch acreage.

For hiking and fishing, you’ll find the James Kiehl River Bend Park and the Joshua Springs Park and Preserve a short drive away. The house is also near several Hill Country vineyards and you can take a quick day trip to The Alamo or nearby Sea World or Fiesta Texas amusement park.

The Houston Cabin At The Feathered Horse Ranch B&B

Comfort
9.3 Excellent (112 reviews)