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Get Back to Nature at Ranch, Farm or Lodge Bed and Breakfast

May 25, 2008
Ah, the rustic romance of a wide-open ranch or remote lodge! What could be finer in the fall, when summer's fire is cooling to become winter's chill than to enjoy the unique pleasures of a ranch or lodge bed and breakfast, the kind of pleasures you just can't find at a cloned hotel chain. We have rounded up some of the finest ranch/lodge country inns you can shake a stick at.

Frank Lloyd Wright-Style Montana Bed & Breakfast

Set one foot inside the River Rock Lodge in Big Sky, Montana, and you'll find the kind of wilderness lodge you've always dreamed about. The impressive lobby showcases the beauty of natural rock and polished wood, designed by a Montana architect whose work is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright. The scenery is spectacular, just 40 miles from Yellowstone National Park. You can hike to a nearby waterfall or try your hand at fly-fishing on the Gallatin River.

History Abounds at 300-Year-Old Arizona Hacienda

City slickers can leave it all behind at Rancho De La Osa in Arizona. The historic ranch is just 65 miles from Tucson, but feels like a relaxing world away. Try your hand at barrel racing or cattle round-ups or simply enjoy a leisurely horseback ride. There's plenty to do and see at this 300-year-old ranch. The rates include all of your meals and daily activities, such as nature walks or mountain biking, and of course, you can enjoy the scenery of the high Sonoran Desert from horseback. The ranch's Old Adobe Cantina is known as the oldest building in Arizona, and has been in continuous use since the 18th century. It is here where guests mingle over a glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres just before dinner. The guest quarters are furnished with Mexican antiques, and most include a fireplace.

Spend Your Vacation Living the Farm Life

Surrounded by 440 acres of working farmland, The Cedar Mountain Farm B&B in Athol, Idaho, is a serene and peaceful getaway anytime of the year. There are plenty of hiking and cross-country ski trails, and bird watching opportunities abound. Deer and elk sightings are common, and you might even glimpse a moose. Sage Creek runs along a mountain on the vast property and guests can try and catch some trout. The night sky is filled with stars, and each morning brings with it a farm-fresh breakfast. Guests can help out with farm chores or gardening, which is especially fun for younger guests. Help gather eggs or pet a miniature horse. The farm is located in between Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint; the Silverwood Theme Park is just three miles away, as well.

22 Acres of Apple Trees in Illinois

Each year the innkeepers at Okaw Valley Orchard Inn host an old-fashioned apple festival at their 22-acre orchard. Guests at this Sullivan, Illinois bed and breakfast can even help out in the orchard during the season, which runs from July to November. The three guest rooms are decorated in comfortable, country style in the main house, which resembles a barn. The grounds include a stocked fishing pond , and there is also an outdoor hot tub.

Enjoy Peaceful, Easy Feelings at Northern California Ranch

A private riverfront beach, swimming pond and acres of rolling hills covered with trees are what await you at the secluded Shambhala Ranch Retreat Center just outside of Ukiah in Northern California. Guests can enjoy a relaxing massage or a soak in the outdoor hot tub. The innkeepers cater to small groups, and it is a perfect spot for friends or co-workers to gather and commune with nature. The ranch is eco-friendly using solar power and other renewable energy sources. The seaside town of Mendocino is nearby.

Longhorn Cattle Ranch

For a truly Texan adventure, try out Canyon Lake Ranch, a 64-acre spread in the famed Texas Hill Country. Guests can hand-feed the Longhorn cattle or hike through the scenic countryside. Outdoor activities such as horseback riding, boating, kayaking and tubing on the Guadalupe River are some of the area's options. The innkeepers can help arrange fly-fishing expeditions or day trips on Canyon Lake. There are two lodging choices at this Hill Country bed and breakfast, both are completely private. The Starview Lodge includes a swimming pool, hot tub, indoor sauna and a fireplace. The Longhorn Lodge also has a hot tub and with its fenced yard is suitable for children and pets. All guests receive a bottle of Texas wine, fresh fruit and freshly baked cookies.
About the Author
Jane Leisteiner has visited many B&B inns and written extensively on the topic. For more information on Arizona bed and breakfast inns or Illinois bed and breakfasts, check out the American Historic Inns site.
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