• Image about Texas
Exotic animals roaming the property

Just 30 minutes outside of San Antonio, Picosa Ranch has Texas culture and lore wrapped up in one luxurious 2,500-acre property. The former homestead of Texas governor John Connally, the resort’s Main House features museum-quality artifacts of presidential visits and the day of Connally’s tragic motorcade with President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Saddle over to the nearby South Range Lodge and you’ve entered luxury-ranch territory, where meals are served in the tin-roof barn and Polaris ATVs await guests wanting a guided tour to view the exotic animals on the property, including zebras, waterbuck, and eland.

Ranch Retreats
Four More Places to Rideand Relax in Style

Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona
Saddle up and ride amidthe Tucson area’s famedsaguaro cacti at this family-friendly working ranch.tanqueverderanch.com

C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado
Horseback riding, and even cattle roundups, are on the itinerary at this Colorado dude ranch just two hours outside Denver. clazyu.com

The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
With spa treatments, gourmet cuisine, and luxury tents, you might forget you’re at a working cattle ranch. pawsup.com

Spotted Horse Ranch, Wyoming
A river runs through thisdude ranch outside Jackson Hole, meaning fly-fishing isdefinitely on the itinerary. spottedhorseranch.com

To see a slideshow of these four ranch retreats,go to celebratedliving.com/ webexclusives.

Under the knowledgeable guidance of Picosa’s staff, which includes Governor Connally’s grandson Bubba Ammann (although the family property has since been sold), you can partake in anything from hunting, fishing, and skeet shooting to horseback riding and safari tours.

After a day of ranching activities, you’ll want to revive in the Lodge’s pool and enjoy the expansive view; if the wide-open spaces don’t say Texas, the longhorn cattle on the other side of the barbed-wire fence will surely remind you that you are indeed in the Lone Star State. Head inside the barn to try chef David Wallace’s Texas-ranch cuisine, such as locally raised rib-eye steak served with roasted vegetables — quite possibly from the on-site garden — and potatoes layered with poblano peppers or a delectable example of why pecan pie ought to be called the official state dessert of Texas. The kids, however, will have long since left the building to roast marshmallows over the fire pit and gaze up at the star-lit Texas sky.

When it’s time to retire, you’ll find rooms that are rustic-chic, with trophies on the walls, fine amenities throughout, and quite possibly the most comfortable beds in the West.

Picosa Ranch opens its gates for groups — perfect for an adventure-minded, extended-family vacation. From $7,500 per night for the whole lodge, which holds up to 18 people. picosaranchresort.com