1 . Silver Spur Ranch

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (877) 442 - 3997

WEBSITE

Throw on those blue jeans and saddle up for the two hours of guided horseback riding on trail each day! Silver Spur Guest Ranch presents a Texas ranch experience that will let you forget about your daily worries and indulge in the Western peace of mind. With nearly 300 acres of incredible Hill Country surroundings to explore, Silver Spur is a ranch experience you'll never forget.

Open all year round, Silver Spur Guest Ranch welcomes you to a fun and authentic Western ranch vacation. Their guestrooms and cabins are uniquely decorated and are named after famous or notorious western legends. Stay in the Jesse James room or Wild Bill Hickok cabin and enjoy the spacious and comfortable environment. The ranch's 14,000 square foot lodge is the perfect place for relaxation; warm up by the fireplace, play a game of pool, and enjoy hearty meals in their 100-seat dining room. Now this wouldn't be a ranch getaway without some exciting Western-style activities. Silver Spur knows how to have fun and you'll be sure to have plenty of it during your stay. Explore the beautiful natural surroundings on horseback; there are miles of trails around the property for you to enjoy. Take a hay wagon ride around the ranch, or spend an afternoon at the fossil pit looking for fun treasures. Hiking is another guest favorite; grab a map from the lodge and hit the trails! After a day of excitement, there's nothing better than returning to the ranch and gathering around the campfire for an evening of story-telling and marshmallows.

Address

Silver Spur Ranch 9266 Bandera Creek Road Bandera, TX 98003

Highlights

Experience the best of the west with Silver Spur's fun live entertainment. From trick roper shows to cowboy singers, there's plenty of incredible shows to enjoy. Or, learn how to line dance and two-step dancing during one of their saloon nights!

Related Onsite Offerings

Silver Spur offers a spacious junior Olympic-size pool that's perfect for relaxation after a day of fun. They offer pool floats and games for kids to enjoy as well.

2 . Rancho Cortez

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 328 - 7131

WEBSITE

Located 10 miles from Bandera, the historic "Cowboy Capital of the World," you can expect a getaway at Rancho Cortez to fulfill all of your dude ranch dreams.

At Rancho Cortez you can truly escape from the hustle-bustle of the cities and indulge in a much more peaceful way of life. The breathtaking scenery of Texas Hill Country is just outside the door for you to explore. Go on a guided hike or horseback riding trop through the area; the Hill Country State Natural Area borders the ranch and offers 5,500 acres of beautiful trails! Onsite you can also enjoy activities such as hayrides, campfires, and more! Or, for a ranch experience that's a little different, come to Rancho Cortez for their incredible Fitness Program. Their weight loss camp offers you a true ranch getaway blended with a rigorous workout regiment that's sure to show you results. Rancho Cortez understands that a fitness program is not just about losing weight but also about discovering new ways to think and live. Here, you will focus on exercise, eating right, and becoming a healthier person. With their onsite gym, obstacle course, pilates and yoga lessons, combat kickboxing, hiking, and cowboy bootcamp, you'll be sure to leave feeling like a completely new you!

Address

872 Hay Hollar Road Bandera TX 78003

Entrance fees

Horseback riding at the Hill Country State Natural Area includes a $5 park fee.

3 . Twin Elm Guest Ranch

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 567 - 3049

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Need a break from your hectic schedule? Try the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of the old West at Twin Elm Guest Ranch. Since 1939, this 21-unit ranch has been helping buckaroos both young and old unwind with rodeos, horseback rides and Southern home-cooked meals.

You don’t have to be a cowboy (or girl!) to enjoy this Texas ranch overlooking the crystal clear Medina River and Indian Creek. But you probably should love the lifestyle. Let’s divulge. How does waking up to the warmth of the early morning rays with a mural of a content cowboy smiling down at you from your bedroom wall, a ride upon a horse or a wagon full of hay after lunch and a nighttime rodeo sound? And don’t worry, you won’t miss your meals either – the grub is ready when you here the bell ringing! Every Friday, Twin Elm’s rodeos begin with a star-spangled grand entry. Watch intense bull riding, steer riding, barrel racing and roping and then gather ‘round the campfire and rehash the evening’s activities with a roasted marshmallow in hand. Relaxation at it’s finest!

Highlights

To help you completely relax, there are no TVs or telephones in the units at Twin Elm.

Getting there

Take Bandera Road (Hwy. 16 North) to Bandera, to the stop light in town (Main Street). Take a right to follow Hwy. Take a left on Hwy. 470 and cross the river. Twin Elm Guest Ranch will be on your right.

Related Onsite Offerings

Pool, hammocks, recreation area, dining hall, outdoor pavilion and river swimming.

4 . Joshua Creek Ranch

Boerne, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (830) 537 - 5090

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Swarms of bobwhite quail, pheasant, chukar and Hungarian partridge flutter and flap throughout the grounds of Joshua Creek Ranch. This 1,200-acre Texas destination specializes in wingshooting as well as seasonal game hunting. It’s a haven not only for animals but vacationers looking for a wilderness retreat.

So, you probably should like hunting and fishing if you go to this ranch, especially since besides the abundance of game birds you’ll likely hunt, the spring-fed Joshua Creek is stocked with 10- to 14-inch rainbow trout for catch-and-release fly fishing. But we don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Sure, the fields of prairie grass and rolling bluffs are full of graceful whitetail deer and Rio Grande turkey just begging to be hunted, stuffed and displayed in your den, but the ranch is also a place for relaxation, camaraderie and good food. After long day, re-energize with Joshua Creek’s four-course gourmet game dinners featuring meals like roasted quail bonjour in apple and honey sauce. Afterward, practice shooting in the world-class, ten-station sporting clays course. And when it’s time to rest, do so happily in a lodge suite or a three-bedroom ranch house with a full kitchen.

Fun facts

The Guadalupe River is home to smallmouth bass, black bass and Guadalupe bass – found only in this part of Texas!

Related Onsite Offerings

Tubing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, swimming and fly fishing.

Getting there

From San Antonio, take 1H-10 West past Boerne. Take Welfare Exit 533 and take the fork to the right, following signs to Welfare and Waring. Turn right on Cravey Road. The Joshua Creek Ranch entrance will be on your left.

5 . Mayan Dude Ranch

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (830) 796 - 3312

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Get ready to experience the ultimate “horsepitality” at the Mayan Dude Ranch. You know we’re all a little rootin’ tootin’ cowboy at heart. So don’t be an old grey mare – giddy up to Bandera and experience 348 acres of trails and the tastiest, Texas and Mexican cuisine in the Southwest!

It may sound silly, but this Texas ranch is serious about creating a one-of-a-kind cowboy getaway for you and your family – regardless of if you were country-born and -bred or have been a city slicker all your life. From its little Western town of Hicksville to the massive horse corral, Mayan Dude Ranch takes full advantage of the Medina River lowlands. Included in your stay are two 50-minute horseback rides a day and three daily cowboy-size meals, including sizzling thick-cut bacon, BBQ brisket and Texas-sized steaks – who could ask for more? One-, two- and three-bedroom native rock cottages and lodge rooms offer a soft, warm bed and quiet surroundings when you decide kick off your boots for the night. And the best part? You can get up and do it all over again the next day. Yeehaw!

Fun facts

The Mayan Ranch has been owned and operated by the Hicks family for more than 50 years.

Related Onsite Offerings

Swimming pool, fireworks, bingo, hayrides, country music, a mariachi band and Mayan Fiestas.

Highlights

During the summer, Mayan Fiesta nights include Mayan margaritas, a five-piece mariachi band, a pinata, a hayride and a banana split buffet.

6 . “Bar M” Ranch

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (830) 796 - 9096

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Isn’t it annoying when all you want to do is have a peaceful vacation and instead you are surrounded by a bunch of whining youngsters, paper-thin hotel walls and crummy continental breakfasts? Not at the “Bar M” Ranch. Tranquility, solitude and the ultimate Texas horseback riding await you.

Perched upon a Hill Country plateau near Bandera, this one-lodge ranch offers 360-degree views of the gorgeous Southwest countryside and the neighboring city of Bandera. One lodge means only you and your family are the main guests. Unlike a dude ranch, you won’t have to eat at designated times when the chow bell rings or follow any type of activities schedule. Nope, this is your time to do what you want – ride along more than one mile of wooded trails skirting the San Julian Creek, bird watch or just sit beside your campfire and roast up some weenies for dinner. The guest lodge also has a fully-stocked kitchen to prepare homemade meals in or Bandera and its tasty restaurants, bars and cafes are only minutes away. All the trail rides are on private land, meaning you won’t be bumping into other riders, either.

Highlights

“Bar M” Ranch offers one- to three-hour private horseback rides for all experience levels.

Related Onsite Offerings

Hiking, birding, wildlife feeding stations and campfires.

Getting there

The “Bar M” Ranch is located two and a half miles southwest of Bandera on Ranch Road 1077.

7 . Hill Country Equestrian Lodge

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (830) 796 - 7950

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You’ll be whinnying in delight when you step your boot-wearing foot into Texas’ Hill Country Equestrian Lodge. With its unique interactive, educational riding program, this horseback riding destination offers so much more than other dude ranches. And Hill Country State Natural Area is next door!

You won’t know whether to check out the family programs or go straight to the stables so you can explore 6,000 acres of beautiful Southwest countryside on horseback. What makes this lodge so special is the bond between horse and rider that is nurtured before and during each ride. Brief lessons, small groups and attentive tutors help you get the most out of your experience. You can even learn about your prospective four-legged riding partner on the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge Web site! Whole Horsemanship Riding Clinics and summer riding camps are perfect if you’re looking to improve your skills or learn more about riding. And you don’t have to be on horseback to experience the natural grandeur of Bandera. Aromatic junipers and towering oaks provide shade and privacy to your cabin, reminiscent of the bygone homes of Polish and German immigrants. Luxury suites are also available. And all accommodations are stocked with breakfast food.

Highlights

There are more than 40 miles of trails in the 5,500-acre Hill Country State Natural Area.

Related Onsite Offerings

Biking, hiking trails, nature activities, swimming, tubing, kayaking and spa services.

Fun facts

The Hill Country Equestrian Lodge’s beloved horses are Molly, Socks, Impy, Tuffy, Mandy, Jack and Smoky.

8 . Calf Creek Ranch

Brady, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (325) 456 - 9439

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Drive. Stop. Get out. Now relax. You’ve arrived at Calf Creek Ranch. At this home-away-from-home situated within the gently rolling knolls of Texas Hill Country, you don’t have to worry about your hassles. And you won’t want to when you see how vivid the stars look from the porch at nightfall.

The Ranch House at Calf Creek was built in the 1890s, and you’ll be able to tell through the attention to detail in both the structure itself and the decoration. Take one of the three bedrooms, for instance: old-fashioned floral wallpaper, dainty lace curtains and a fireplace with vintage portraits of a Southern belle hanging elegantly above. That doesn’t mean that the house isn’t equipped with modern day amenities, however. Air conditioners and a fully-stocked kitchen make your stay comfortable. You’ll especially love Calf Creek Ranch if you’re looking for seclusion. The 7,000 acres ripe with blossoming wildflowers and wildlife – including deer, turkey and migratory birds – affords you privacy as well as a place to hike and nature watch. And if you’re looking for smaller accommodations or need extra space, check out the ranch’s Bunkhouse. It’s a three-person, authentic renovated bunkhouse with a kitchenette.

Highlights

To help you stay relaxed, there are no phones at Calf Creek Ranch.

Fun facts

Calf Creek Ranch is on property that has been in the same family since the 1800s.

Getting there

Calf Creek Ranch is about 160 miles northwest of Austin.

9 . Flying L Guest Ranch

Bandera, Texas

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 292 - 5134

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Unleash your inner cowboy at Flying L Guest Ranch, filming grounds of the iconic television show Cisco Kid. This 542-acre dude ranch set in the heart of Hill Country combines Western yesteryear with modern-day amenities, including a waterpark, golf course and delicious Texas cuisine.

Jack Lapham, the namesake of the Flying L, started this ranch in 1946. Hang your hat in one of the Ranch Villas designed by associates of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and stroll the grounds that John Wayne, Slim Pickens and Willie Nelson relaxed upon during one of their many stays. The ranch’s villas, golf suites and waterpark suites are decorated in Texas-style décor and are close to the outdoor Lone Star Lagoon Waterpark and 40-horse stables. Once you’ve saddled up and rode along the trails throughout the grounds, check out the award-winning Flying L Golf Course or the mini golf course, “Par”dners Putt Putt. Your stay includes breakfast and dinner, kids activities, nightly entertainment and even s’mores – Flying L is the perfect all-inclusive Texas family getaway!

Entrance fees

The outdoor Lone Star Lagoon Waterpark features a lazy river, waterfalls, a splashdown center and zero-entry pools.

Fun facts

The Flying L originally had an airstrip and flight school.

Getting there

The Fly L Guest Ranch is located one hour northwest of San Antonio, two hours southwest of Austin and about four hours west of Houston in Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World.

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