While not everyone in Dallas wears a cowboy hat, rides a horse to work, or has an oil well in the backyard, there are some Texas stereotypes that are not only true, but celebrated. Life on a ranch is one such experience that can be enjoyed by visitors who wish to experience the wild west.
After landing in Dallas, it’s just a 90-minute drive northwest to 1,500 acres of North Texas Hill Country and Wildcatter Ranch. Whether you’re looking for romance or family fun, there are an incredible amount of activities on offer here to fill your days. Stay the weekend in lodging that ranges from cabin suites or a 16-room hotel, to the private quarters of the Homestead or O.T.’s Cabin, each furnished with the finest western flair. After a good night’s sleep and a hand-cut steak at the cosy bluff-top steakhouse, you can live like a cowboy for a few hours. Go horseback riding, skeet shooting, canoeing, feed the Longhorn cattle, and then simply kick back on your porch with a bottle of wine to watch the sunset.
Or head south from DFW Airport for about 90 minutes to Glen Rose Texas and Rough Creek Lodge & Resort, rising in the distance like an oasis in the desert. First-class service is the hallmark of this place, but guests come again and again for the experiences. If you’re looking to relax, head to the full-service spa, float around the lazy river, or enjoy a cocktail by the pool. If you’re feeling even more adventurous there’s zip lining, rock climbing and horseback riding.
For day trips, Marshall Creek Ranch’s 12,000 wooded acres on Lake Grapevine offers up one of the most picturesque ways to view the Texas landscape from horseback. As you approach the lake, you’ll encounter creeks, lush pines, and densely wooded hills.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Dallas without a visit to one of the city’s most famous sites, Southfork Ranch from the popular 1980s TV show, Dallas, and the currently running modern reboot. Here you’ll enjoy horseback riding lessons or a tour of the famous home of J.R. Ewing.
Header photo: Settle in to ranch life © Wildcatter Ranch
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Have you experienced life on a Texan ranch? Have you visited any of the places mentioned here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Written by Steven Lindsey
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About the author: StevenSteven Lindsey
Steven Lindsey is a Dallas editor, freelance writer and obsessed lover of travel, food and cocktails. Steven is editor of the Zagat blog in Dallas and Contributing Editor of He Said Magazine's USA and Dallas. Additionally, he regularly contributes to Dallas Voice, DAPPER men's magazine, WHERE Magazine, Gayot.com travel guide, and the Dallas Morning News special sections.