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Touring and exploring

48 hours on a Texan ranch

Clive Wedderburn March 28, 2018

Trail ride

Say howdy to the cowboy lifestyle and fulfil the ambition of a lifetime. 

Travel wish-list adventures don’t come more awesome than a USA ranch holiday. If, like us, you’ve always dreamt of finding out what it’s really like to be a cowboy, mosey on down to the Wildcatter Ranch Resort & Spa, set in 1500 acres of magnificent North Texas Hill Country, just west of Fort Worth. Here’s how to spend two days... 

Day one:

9am – Rise and shine

Start your day the cowboy way, with a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and as much coffee as you can handle. Jump on a wagon ride to visit and feed the iconic Texas longhorn cattle that are an enduring symbol of the Lone Star State.

10am – Ride out on the range

Grab your hat and head over to the corral to begin a trail ride into the spectacular North Texas Hill Country. You’ll be exploring picturesque meadows by creeks and ravines, accompanied by your cowboy guide, a bona fide ranch-hand, who is more than willing to answer your questions about Texas, its history and the cowboy way of life.

Outdoor activities

1pm – Out on the water

As the sun rises high above why not head down to the Brazos River for a spot of canoeing before lunch. Then, back at the ranch, try your hand at archery and see if you can reproduce the steady aim of the Native American tribes that roamed throughout this vista of rolling hills, spring fed rivers and lakes dotted with yucca and prickly pear cactus.  

4pm – Souvenirs and sports

Pop into Graham, just 10 minutes’ drive from Wildcatter Ranch. For history buffs, shopaholics and culture-vultures, the charming streets of Graham should not be missed. Home to unique shops and restaurants, historical sites and museums, visit the Old Post Office Museum and Art Center, or catch a movie at the historic 1919 National Theatre. An all-American experience also awaits at the iconic Graham Drive-In Theatre.  

7pm – Ease your cares away

Back at the ranch, book yourself in for a therapeutic massage and feel the cares of the world disappear from aching shoulders. Afterwards, take a dip in the infinity-edge pool followed by a spell in the hot tub and admire the stunning views with a margarita or two.

10pm – Hit the sack

After your first full day on the range you’ll want to sit on the rocker outside your cabin and admire the stars. Soon, the trail will work its magic and send you off to the deepest sleep you’ve had in a long while.

  Cabin suites

Day two:

9am – Greet the morning

We suggest you enjoy a lie-in. You are on holiday, after all and there’s plenty to do today, so you won’t be missing out. The ranch is situated on top of a ridge overlooking a valley and river so be sure you soak up those beautiful views before your next adventure.

10am – Explore more on horseback

Saddle

Visitors come to Wildcatter Ranch from all over the world to ride horses, cowboy-style, but they also come to experience the spectacular scenery of North Texas Hill Country. So, ride out into the morning sun and admire a landscape of wooded canyons and cypress-lined creeks on horses with evocative names like General, Thunder and Wildfire.

1pm – Practice your skills

Before lunch, cool off from the midday heat with a dip in the Texas-sized swimming pool. It’s not heated, but trust us – you wouldn’t want it to be, particularly in summer when temperatures rise and the pool is the only place you’ll want to be. Then, head out to the range to try your hand at skeet shooting on the six-point clay shooting range.  

Jeep tour

3pm – Jeep safari

Get out into glorious countryside on a jeep safari, among cacti, mesquite, oak and juniper, scouting along the Brazos River for wildlife, listening to stories of life on the range from your Stetson-wearing guide, while coyotes howl in the brush sending shivers down your spine; not much has changed in these parts since the ranch was founded way back in 1870.

6pm – Feast on Texan cuisine

Texan cuisine doesn’t come much finer than the mesquite-grilled hand-cut steak, chicken fried steak and barbeque ribs you’ll find at the restaurant, Dinner Bell at Wildcatter. Later that evening you may well be serenaded by a Texas troubadour, strumming the old time favourites on an acoustic guitar. Retreat to the comfort of the saloon bar for a game of cards, to shoot some pool or simply to watch the flames curl around the log fire. 

10pm – Savour the moment

Relax like an old-timer on your rocking chair on the porch and listen to the wind rustling through the trees. As you gaze at the stars up above, and reflect on your cowboy adventure, we’re sure you’ll have fallen for the charms of North Texas Hill Country. Your only regret will be not having the foresight to book a longer stay.

Combine with:

A ranch adventure is the perfect partner to the city sights of Dallas and Fort Worth for a Texan holiday to remember.

Dallas

Trinity skyline

Discover the history ofJF Kennedy at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, then head to the historic West End, for shopping and entertainment. Take a trip up the Reunion Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city and visit the Dallas Museum of Art, home to over 22,000 works spanning 5,000 years. Get your thrills at the Zero Gravity Amusement Park and having worked up an appetite, head to Deep Ellum to find out why food is such a big deal in Dallas!

Stockyards Herd

Fort Worth 

Head to Fort Worth, city of cowboy culture, for some line dancing. Explore the American West at the Fort Worth Stockyards, home to rodeos and the National Cowgirl Museum, plus international art institutions like the Kimbell Art Museum. Sports fans will flock to the AT&T Stadium to watch the Dallas Cowboys, afterwards dining in western splendour in Fort Worth’s finest Tex-Mex restaurants. 

 Visit our Ranch Holiday pages for more inspiring suggestions on how to holiday cowboy-style, whether that's in Arizona, Urtah, California or Wyoming. Wherever you choose, there's a big country adventure waiiting for you.