Here are a few reasons why the idea of a dude ranch honeymoon, in western states like Montana and New Mexico, should appeal to you and your future spouse: It melds epic adventure with plush, first-rate accommodations (think luxe log cabins with soaking tubs or Jacuzzis). You can get your hearts pumping while racing each other around on horseback through wide, open meadows (you decide the prize for who wins). In winter, dramatic snow-capped mountains create epic scenery for your honeymoon album, while summers offer a smorgasbord of activities, from archery and hiking to fly-fishing and mountain biking. And lastly, in you’ll feel like the only ones for miles.
No matter what kind of experience you crave, there’s a classic honeymoon resort or trendy newcomer right here in the U.S. Read on to find out which dude ranch is right for you:
Few guest ranches in Montana’s Big Sky country can beat Triple Creek Ranch, with its 25 ponderosa-shaded cabins, each with a wood-burning fireplace and many with a private hot tub. After almost 25 years, the husband-and-wife owners are still passionate about pairing unforgettable outdoor exploits with all the hallmarks of an upscale adults-only resort: Romantic horseback rides through grassy foothills and rugged mountains are followed by seven-course meals at the Chef’s Table. You can even pan for natural rough-cut sapphires—souvenirs to keep forever. (Rooms from $1,050 per couple, all-inclusive.)
Ted Turner’s Victorian-style estate, Casa Grande, is the newest addition to Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico. After four years of renovations, the gorgeous seven-bedroom home—with an enormous Great Room—now offers personalized lineups of traditional western activities, like hiking, horseback riding, archery, and fly-fishing. Head out for intimate wildlife viewing on 585,000 private acres—where bison, mountain lions, elk, and bears all roam. End each night with a lake-side picnic at sunset and stargazing around the campfire. (Rooms from $1,050 per couple, all-inclusive excluding alcohol.) —Kathryn Romeyn