When planning a trip to Texas, there are several milestones you must accomplish and one of those is purchasing a pair of quality cowboy boots (like the handmade beauties from Austin-based Heritage Boot Co.). And to think, if you stay at one of the following luxury resorts, you’ll get to put the shoes to good use by getting on horseback — and looking great while doing it.
The Inn at Dos Brisas
Located on more than 300 acres between Houston and Austin, this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star luxury resort doesn’t skimp on creature comforts like a Five-Star restaurant, 1,200-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and fireside s’mores delivered to your room.
However, a stay at Dos Brisas isn’t complete unless you get your boots a little dirty. The hotel’s equestrian center, which is home to a dozen prize horses, is the second-largest privately owned indoor arena in the state. This means there is plenty of room for English and Western private riding lessons as well as training, boarding and even equine massage services.
Those with a bit more experience behind the reins can take part in a guided trail ride through the foothills of Texas Hill Country, while those who’d prefer to sit back and relax can opt for a carriage ride courtesy of Sampson, the inn’s Belgian and Percheron gelding.
Though it’s just a 25-minute drive from downtown Austin, Travaasa feels worlds away from the capital city’s urban sprawl. Situated on 210 acres of Balcones Canyonland Preserve overlooking Lake Travis, this experiential resort is the ideal place to get away from it all — and not just because of the luxurious spa treatments it offers.
Explore a roster of experiences, from the relaxing (arts and crafts, cooking classes, fireside chats) to the adventurous (hatchet throwing, slackening, zip-lining).
The equestrian program, led by lead wrangler Jen Jones, includes guided trail riding on one of the gentle steeds. Saddle up and ride past the property’s organic farm, over a natural spring and along mountain trails for a beautiful Hill Country vista.
Another mane attraction is the Equine Encounters class, held in the spacious onsite arena. The team will lead you in various exercises with the horses that will strengthen self-awareness and help with communication and leadership skills.
Afterward, you’ll even have time to squeeze in a roping class before two-stepping your way to a delicious dinner at The Preserve Kitchen + Bar.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
If it’s a wilderness escape you seek, a retreat to Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is exactly what’s written in those big and bright Texas stars. The property, situated on more than 400 acres along the Lower Colorado River, connects with more than 1,100 acres of the McKinney Roughs Nature Park to create an outdoorsman’s paradise in the heart of the Lone Star State.
Connect with nature by hiking, fly-fishing and kayaking during the day before returning to your plush pecan- and pine-accented room or cottage to prepare for an exquisite farm-to-table meal at Stories.
Additionally, the resort partners with Texas Trail Rides to offer guided group excursions that begin with an orientation at the Renegade Trailhead before going on a trek that passes through the pecan and oak forest and alongside the Wolfdancer golf course. You’ll end the outing with a group photo.
Wildcatter Ranch and Resort
Just minutes from Fort Worth, Wildcatter Ranch and Resort features a variety of different accommodations — from guest cottages and upscale cabin suites to Western-inspired hotel rooms — making it an ideal location for either a romantic getaway, family vacation or even a large-scale event like a wedding, conference or family reunion.
In addition to sport clay shooting, Jeep tours, archery and hiking, the property provides 25 miles of horseback-riding trails. You may book a group or private ride with Wildcatter’s team of experienced cowboys, who will guide dudes-for-a-day along scenic trails throughout the grounds.
Afterward, relax with a therapeutic massage and hot tub soak before enjoying a hand-cut, mesquite-grilled steak at Dinner Bell, the ranch resort’s upscale restaurant.