As we approach Valentine’s Day, guys around the country are no doubt thinking of ways to woo the women in their lives. There’s Paris — the City of Light. And then, of course, there’s New York City, where every romantic comedy in the history of the world seemingly takes place. But if you really want to reconnect with the one you love, there’s nothing quite like the seclusion and nostalgia of a family farm. Here, we’ll highlight four of the most romantic ranch retreats in the nation. No matter what corner of the country you live in, you don’t have to miss out on a playful weekend in these pastures.
Nestled in the foggy romance of the Great Smoky Mountains, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Blackberry Farm is a nationally acclaimed luxury resort in Walland, Tennessee, owned and operated by the Beall family since 1975. Home to James Beard Award-winning chef Joseph Lenn, and his Four-Star restaurant, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, the 4,200-acre playground is a haven for delicious fare, decadent views and delightful cuddling. New to Blackberry Farm is the Wellhouse, a state-of-the-art spa and wellness sanctuary that opened last June. The facility offers unparalleled spa selections (the Man’s-Man massage features aroma-infused hot towels and deep tissue massage techniques) and fitness opportunities such as guided trail running and deep woods yoga. Don’t forget to stop by the on-property brewery for a tasting, and if you happen to visit the weekend before Valentine’s Day (February 6-8), partake in Foxhunt February, a popular annual event consisting of group meals, seminars and quite the adventure on horseback.
Located on 300 acres of Vermont farmland, a mere three-hour drive from Boston or five-hour trek from New York City, Twin Farms is the Green Mountain State’s only Five-Star experience. Choose from a host of distinct accommodations: there are 10 eclectic and cozy cottages, six suites in the Farmhouse and The Lodge, and four original guest rooms nestled in the Main House. No matter what you choose, the experience will be all-inclusive — meaning every meal, aperitif, activity, after-dinner treat, s’mores by the fire, and fine wine is already paid for — sans tipping. A few days at Twin Farms, and you’ll begin to feel a bit like its original owner, Nobel prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis. In other words, you and your companion will feel enthralled — with nature and with each other.
The Inn at Dos Brisas
Guests at Four-Star The Inn at Dos Brisas can enjoy the fruits of Jennifer and Doug Bosch’s 313-acre ranch, in the midst of the rolling hills of Texas. From riding lessons in one of the largest indoor equestrian arenas in the state, to a tour of the property’s organic farm, The Inn at Dos Brisas is filled with natural wonders and exclusive amenities to make you feel you have the entire farm to yourself. Each of the nine Spanish-style haciendas and casitas offer private patios, lounge chairs and a pristine view of the pastureland. During your stay, enjoy an organic farm-to-table meal served with wine from the 7,000-bottle collection at the Inn’s restaurant, the only Five-Star restaurant in Texas. While the ranch offers many activities — including massage services, fishing and clay target shooting — the one you’ll indulge in most is relaxation.
Arriving at this Sonoma Valley property is like taking a step back in time, in the best way possible. The two-story yellow ranch house was built in 1890 and restored room-by-room in the early 1970s, when it was first opened to guests. Today, the family owners — Rosemary Wood, her daughter, Alexa Wood, and her grandchildren, Alex Benward and Lauren Benward Krause — greet guests with Alexa’s famous homemade cookies and glasses of sauvignon blanc made from grapes grown on the estate vineyard. Enjoy the nearby trails overlooking the olive orchard and grapevines, or rent a car to explore other nearby wineries in Napa or the less-ballyhooed (but equally charming) Healdsburg. Breakfast is served daily family-style, with produce directly from the farm. Expect delicacies such as fresh blackberry pancakes topped with the housemade raspberry syrup, or eggs Benedict served over from-scratch biscuits. From kitchen delicacies to the cottage’s private garden, romance is in every nook of this charmer.