How to Plan a Romantic Ranch Honeymoon
Plus seven must-consider destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
Once your vows have been shared and after the reception and dance party comes to an end, that doesn’t mean the celebration is over. For most couples, it means packing your bags and heading off on the ultimate getaway—your honeymoon.
Of course, we know honeymoons are planned in various ways, with differing lengths, budgets, and travel styles. Not to mention, there's the choice of jetting off somewhere tropical or far-flung, or road-tripping within your region and staying stateside. For couples who love the outdoors or those looking for a new shared experience, honeymooning at a luxury ranch is a wonderful option. “From horseback riding through scenic trails to discovering breathtaking vistas, there's no better way to get away from it all,” says Gaby Guicciardi, CEO & Founder of Destination Brides, a destination wedding and honeymoon planning company.
Gaby Guicciardi is the CEO & Founder of Destination Brides, a destination wedding and honeymoon planning company.
Think this honeymoon trend might be the perfect fit for you and your partner? Below, find tips for booking a ranch honeymoon, along with seven stunning ranches and resorts to consider for your stay.
Related:The 50 Best Honeymoon Destinations in the World
What Is a Ranch Honeymoon?
A ranch honeymoon typically involves immersing yourselves in a stunning location at a ranch resort (many of these, within the U.S., are located in western states), with opportunities for exploring the outdoors, trying new activities, and taking in breathtaking views. Plus, there's plenty of time for relaxation and great food.
Ranch-style honeymoons are typically planned at one ranch or resort offering a variety of activities (think horseback riding, ATV touring, fishing, and glamping) in a serene setting. And depending on your preferences, you can look at luxury places to stay, or explore the option of visiting a true working dude ranch for a unique experience.
Tips for Booking a Ranch-Style Honeymoon
Ready to start planning? Here are our top tips for planning this unique honeymoon experience.
Consider Amenities and Activities
As you decide where to book your ranch-style honeymoon, consider location a top priority. Are you interested in exploring the desert, or soaking up snow-capped mountain views? Would you prefer to be near the water? Do you want a wide range of activities to choose from? From there, you can look at the possibilities for booking a stay at a ranch or resort.
“Start your process early and research various ranches to learn about their amenities and services, such as horseback riding, spa facilities, and romantic dining options,” says Guicciardi.
If you’re looking at an all-inclusive ranch resort versus booking a la carte, it’s helpful to discuss precisely what you want over the phone with a resort staff member. According to Guicciardi, despite the high upfront costs, all-inclusive resorts may be a more economically beneficial option for a ranch-style honeymoon, especially if the booking covers lodging, meals, drinks, room service, and activities.
Think About Seasonality
Check with the ranch or resort regarding seasonality and weather conditions when booking as well. “It is important to keep in mind that weather conditions may vary significantly on ranches, so pack accordingly and be prepared for unexpected surprises,” adds Guicciardi.
Related:The Best Honeymoon Hotels in Montana
Honeymoon Ranch Destinations
Here are a few of our absolute favorite ranch destinations in the U.S., all of which will ensure the romantic trip of a lifetime.
Head to the West Coast to explore 10,500 acres at Alisal Ranch in California’s Santa Ynez Valley. Choose from multiple cottage sizes for the perfect spot to stay. Nightly rates include daily breakfasts and dinners, along with a variety of activities such as fishing, hiking, and canoe, kayak, or pedal boat rentals on the spring-fed lake. Soak up the incredible views around the ranch, and if you need time spent on the beach, it’s only a 20-minute drive.
Located in Central Oregon, this destination exudes rustic-meets-luxury spanning 1800 acres. Book a cabin surrounded by sagebrush and juniper trees with stunning mountain views, cozy furnishings, and a private hot tub. Explore hiking trails, go on a horseback trail ride, and finish the day at the spa. The property also features an adults-only pool, an 18-hole golf course, two restaurants with regionally inspired menus, and multiple firepits for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
Brush Creek Ranch
Explore 30,000 private acres in Saratoga, Wyoming at this luxury ranch. Book a suite in the lodge or one of the log cabins, both featuring original homestead architecture. Wagyu beef is served in the dining room from cows raised on the land, and the property features a creamery, an extensive wine cellar, and even a distillery. Plan the ideal retreat with other activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, shooting, and fly fishing.
Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch
Travel to Stanley, Idaho for incredible views of the Rocky Mountains at this 900-acre ranch. Stay in a hand-hewn log cabin with modern upgrades featuring stone tile showers and soaking tubs. Head out for a hike, go fly fishing, horseback riding, or try your hand at rock climbing. Finish the day in the dining room or have an alfresco dinner at a picnic table on the lawn.
The Lodge at Blue Sky
This Park City, Utah, destination sits on 3,500 acres of untouched land to embrace the environment and immerse yourself in nature. Choose a suite built into the hillside or an adults-only suite nestled on the creek. Book an all-inclusive itinerary with meals included, or choose the room-only option. Plan a week filled with activities such as archery, stargazing, fishing, axe throwing, culinary classes, and horseback riding.
The Resort at Paws Up
Staying at this luxury ranch resort in Montana feels like you're checking into your own private national park; the property sits on a whopping 37,000 acres of undeveloped land cradled by the verdant Rocky Mountains. Guests can choose to stay in sumptuous homes or stunning glamping tents (depending on the season), and the staff leaves no detail untouched, from the amazing cuisine offerings on-site to the array of activities (fly fishing, cattle driving, ATV touring, and a lot more) and the spa.
Tanque Verde Ranch
Get a taste of the Southwest at this Tucson, Arizona, ranch resort spanning 60,000 acres. Choose from a variety of lodging options, each built in traditional adobe style with patios for enjoying the Sonoran sunset. Go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, or head out on a jeep adventure. You can choose all-inclusive packages that cover meals and activities or choose activities a la carte.