The Alisal Guest Ranch
Need an escape from the big city? Alisal is a nature lover’s dream just two hours from Los Angeles. The property has more than 50 miles of horseback riding trails and sensational views of a 100-acre lake, where you might even catch a glimpse of a majestic bald eagle. A fun way to start your day going is doing a breakfast ride to the Adobe Camp, where you will be rewarded with flapjacks and a Western breakfast. When you’re not on horseback you can explore the local wine region's excellent vineyards, such as Stolpman, Larner and Carhartt, offering tastings and wines to stock in your cellar. For dinner, make a reservation at The Hitching Post — the iconic restaurant was featured in the movie Sideways and serves incredible steak.
South, 1054 Alisal Rd., Solvang, CA 93463. +1 805-688-6411; alisal.com
Half Moon is a sprawling estate of cottages, rooms and suites spanning two beachfront miles. The property also features a fantastic equestrian center perfect for beach riding and even swimming with the horses in the Turf and Surf Experience. After your ride, head to the Cedar Bar for a Yellowbird Cocktail, which is made with rum, crème de bananas, coffee liqueur and orange juice. If you want to explore outside of the resort and are a meat eater, head to Pork Pit Bar & Grill, which is unparalleled when it comes to jerk pork.
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica. +1 800-626-0592; halfmoon.com
Go all the way off the grid in Argentina’s Ongamira Valley, where you will ride gaucho-style against a lush green backdrop. The possibilities are endless — 2,300 hectares (5,689 acres) of land are open for exploration on horseback, and wildlife sightings are common, from donkeys to goats and even condors. While the outdoor life is full of action, inside Dos Lunas is a relaxation oasis. Each room is decorated thoughtfully and differently and is named after a different horse breed, such as Zaino, Moro, Pangaré and Tordillo. Pore over books in the comfortable lounge area, eat a gourmet meal, unwind with a massage. A few days at Dos Lunas will help you feel revived and restored.
Ruta Provincial 17, Alto Ongamira, Córdoba 5184, Argentina. +54 9 11 2637 5123; doslunas.com.ar
Limpopo Horse Safaris
What’s more awe-inspiring than a safari? A safari on horseback, of course. Enjoy an incredible experience in a game reserve where you'll explore dramatic rock formations and beautiful vistas surrounding the Limpopo River. Traverse the vast landscape and spot elephants, lions, leopards and wildebeest along the way. You might even have a chance to canter with giraffes or zebras. Accommodations range from walk-in tents pitched on teak platforms to cottages and lodges. You can even indulge in an outdoor shower!
Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana. +27 (0)83 419 1929; limpopohorsesafaris.com
Merge two of Andalusia’s best features — stellar cuisine and spectacular horseback riding — into one unforgettable vacation. On a multi-day trip with Ride Andalucia you will twist through villages, valleys and rivers on well-groomed and well-trained horses. Then you’ll stop and enjoy local tapas and meet food producers in the region. You’ll sleep overnight in a cortijo, a traditional farmhouse, to charge up for the next day of trekking and tasting delicious dishes.
There are few places more magical for horseback riding than Mongolia. Horses are inextricably linked to Mongolian culture, used for their milk, transportation and, more rarely, their meat. There are 3 million of them in the country, edging out the human population. The Mongolian grasslands and rolling hills feel endless and are scattered with wildflowers in the summer. Schedule a riding trip with Zavkhan Trekking through its namesake region, a remote, untouched, un-touristy land. You will need to rough it, as there are no hotels or hot showers, but you’ll sleep under the starry sky in comfortable tents, resting up for another day of adventurous riding.