Enjoy a traditional ranch Christmas

Families yearning for the traditional ambiance of the Old West this Christmas will find a ranch vacation to suit them on Gene Kilgore’s Ranchweb.com. Add holiday traditions like a sleigh ride through the snow, a visit from Santa, Christmas trees decked out in their finery, and celebratory meals, for a family holiday experience to remember.
When it comes to ranch stays, Gene Kilgore, author of Ranchweb.com, the leading guide to ranches worldwide, has been a reliable source of ranch vacations for 30 years. “Ranch vacations are a perfect way for families to spend quality time together,” says Gene Kilgore. “What better place to celebrate the magic of the holidays than at a guest ranch, where traditional values, a warm welcome and healthy outdoor activities await.”

With a vacation for everyone, Ranchweb invites guests to pack their saddlebags and celebrate the holidays Ranch-style:

* At Triple Creek Ranch , a luxury resort high in the pristine Bitterroot Mountains of the Montana Rockies, clean mountain air and freshly fallen snow create the perfect backdrop for A Christmas to Remember. Guests take a brisk horseback ride or an invigorating snowmobile expedition through the powder, and then enjoy the festive Christmas splendor back at the ranch. Cabin rates start at $750 US per couple per night, inclusive of accommodations, three gourmet meals, house wines and spirits, as well as featured on-ranch activities. (Three-night minimum stay required.) www.triplecreekranch.com

* A stay at historical 320 Guest Ranch in Big Sky, Montana, features all the traditions of ranch hospitality with the romance of winter activities. Book the Sleigh and Stay package and cozy up in the star-lit sleigh ride pulled by majestic Percheron draft horses, enjoy cowboy cuisine at the Steakhouse & Saloon, and settle into one of the log cabins. Rates begin at $220 US per night for two people, from December 10, 2011 – March 31, 2012. Tip: you can even request the historical McGill Cabin. www.320ranch.com

* Staying in the land of blue skies and big mountains, for a more active winter vacation 320 Guest Ranch has also created the 2012 Celebrating Snow Special, including dog sledding, a snow coach tour of Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful, an evening sleigh ride and hearty ranch meals. Discounted tickets to Moonlight Basin are also slipped into the package, which runs at $465 US per adult and is valid January 2 – March 15, 2012. Rates are based on double occupancy. Taxes, park passes and gratuities are excluded. www.320ranch.com

* And if you prefer your Christmas a few degrees warmer, then Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort offers all the trimmings and traditions of the holiday season, in Santa Barbara County wine country, the heart of California’s central coast. The Holiday Package features plenty of Christmas spirit, along with unlimited horseback riding, golf green fees, tennis and fishing, complete with a studio accommodation for two nights. As well as 50 miles of riding trails and a ride in a carriage drawn by Belgian horses, families will enjoy building a gingerbread house, a visit by Santa, and nightly carols and hot chocolate. The package costs $550 US for two people, and runs from December 1 – January 25, 2012. (See the website for children’s discounts as well as blackout dates for the Christmas season.) www.alisal.com

* Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson’s desert landscape, Tanque Verde Ranch is a working ranch, situated beside the Rincon Mountains in Arizona. Families love Tanque Verde Ranch for its range of activities: fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horse back riding lessons and rides, kids programming, and evening cook-outs. The New Year, New You all-inclusive package runs from January 3 – 20, 2012, and starts at $230 US per person, per night, with activities and three daily meals included. Guests booking a three-night stay will receive the fourth night free. www.tanqueverderanch.com

* Rancho de los Caballeros, named for the horsemen who first settled in the southwest, is a historic ranch resort on 20,000 acres in the Sonoran desert near Wickenburg, Arizona. Each Christmas, Rancho de los Caballeros turns into a western holiday hideaway as flickering luminaries line the paths throughout the Ranch. Guests return year after year to take part in special traditions like decorating the tree, and leaving their boot “stockings” by the fire on Christmas Eve, hoping for a gift from Santa when he arrives on horseback. To enjoy the setting of crisp, starry nights and warm crackling fires book the Ranch Getaway Package at $335 US per night, double occupancy, featuring three meals per day and unlimited scheduled horseback rides. www.ranchodeloscaballeros.com

A note about Ranchweb

Ranchweb, founded in 1995 by Gene Kilgore, has become the ultimate ranch finder for ranch vacations in North America. More than a directory, Ranchweb is a resource for anyone considering a ranch vacation. Kilgore has travelled the world for 30 years to bring the best ranches to his readers. The guide features over 100 of the best, from dude ranches to working cattle ranches, horseback-riding vacations to fly fishing ranches, each offering a different experience. Kilgore also publishes Ranch Vacations, just out in its eighth edition, a full-color handy guide to all the ranches, including tips on how to select the perfect one for your family.


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