Texas has the highest number of farms and ranches of all the states—there are almost 250,000 of them, covering a staggering 127 million acres. If you want to experience some true country living on your vacation, then Bandera is a great place to visit. Dubbed the “Cowboy Capital of Texas,” Bandera has plenty of ranches that are offering visitors a chance to experience firsthand some Western-style fun.
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What Can I Expect From a Ranch Experience?
The first thing that you can enjoy is a chance to ride the beautiful horses and explore the Texas terrain
on trail rides. You will also learn more about how to look after and care for the horses. This includes spending time brushing and grooming them, as well as taking on and off their bridles, saddles, and blankets.
A ranch experience gives you up-close time with horses. Photo by weaver1234 via iStock by Getty Images
Many of the ranches offer a chance to visit some of the local rodeos and see how the Texas cowboys do it. At the end of your experience, you may even want to own your own ranch. Ranch experts at TexasLand recommend acquiring your own piece of land, where you can build a ranch to your own specifications. You can then ride those beautiful horses all year round.
Dixie Dude Ranch
Dixie Dude Ranch has been running for over 75 years, and it’s only an hour from San Antonio. Covering over 725 acres, there is plenty of land for you to explore on horseback. While you’re not out riding, the ranch offers some great accommodation and some hearty Texas-style dining
. You can enjoy family meals in the “chow hall,” or sample some traditional southern fare, like sticky ribs, cooked on the barbecue. Dixie Dude is still a fully working ranch, and aside from horses, there are Longhorn Cattle and Spanish Goats to look after—it’s all part of the experience.
Texas Longhorn grazing in the winter pasture. Photo by leekris via iStock by Getty Images
Silver Spur Ranch
The Silver Spur Ranch is another popular choice in Bandera, where you can enjoy a rustic cowboy life out in nature. There are miles of trails, many with panoramic views of the Texan countryside. Along with riding, you can hunt for fossils
, feed the longhorns, swim in the pool, ride in the antique fire truck, and enjoy a little lasso practice. Silver Spur is definitely a great place for kids too, and they will enjoy the S’mores around the campfire in the long evenings.
Enjoy s'mores around the campfire. Photo by Jessica Ruscello via iStock by Getty Images
Bandera, Texas is the go-to place for a ranch experience. You can have a real cowboy vacation and see the beauty of Texas
on horseback. Who knows? You may even be tempted to take up the ranch life yourself.