by Carrie Calzaretta
Tanque Verde Ranch is an upscale, all-inclusive dude ranch, located just east of Tucson, Arizona, and adjacent to the Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest. It encompasses 60,000 acres, caters to families, and is well-known as a family favorite.
Our Editor Loves
- Riding lessons for all ages
- Children's program for ages 4 to 11
- 180 horses
- All Inclusive Rates
- Children Programs
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
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The Ranch has 74 Southwestern-style rooms and suites. Rooms have views of the desert and mountains, and some have patios and fireplaces. Most large deluxe rooms have two queen beds or a king, fireplaces and private patios, and some have sitting areas with sofa sleepers. Most rooms will accommodate up to four but some can accommodate eight comfortably. All rooms have a telephone, XM Radio, coffee pot, hair dryer, air conditioning, heat, and full private bathrooms. There are no televisions in the guestrooms. Rollaway beds and cribs are available, and should be requested when you make your reservation.
Naturally, horseback riding tops the list of outdoor activities at Tanque Verde; the resort has miles of trails for families with riders of every skill level. There are over 180 Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Appaloosas, Paints, and Mustangs to choose from; riding and lessons are offered every day of the week, and are included in your daily rate. There are walking rides for the less-experienced, and loping rides for intermediate riders. You'll also get the chance to take specialty rides, including breakfast rides up to the Old Homestead for a cowboy breakfast, six-hour rides with lunch out on the trail in the mountains, and shorter picnic rides which stop in nearby Cottonwood Grove.
There is a children's program for kids ages 4 to 11. Buckaroo Kids is for children ages 4 to 6, and their day might include crafts, breakfast, hikes, and swimming. Wrangler Kids is for children ages 7 to 11 and they'll be offered riding lessons, breakfast, swimming, trail hiking, crafts, and fun throughout the day. These programs are included in the cost of your stay.
In addition to horseback riding, the resort offers excellent hiking and biking trails. The guided hiking program offers miles of trails for varying experience levels, and treks for the whole family. There are over 600 acres of Sonoran desert to explore, and an experienced guide can outfit you with a bike, helmet and gloves. Rides vary from beginning trail riding to more advanced technical riding. There are also weekly off-site rides in a variety of elevation and landscapes.
For those not keen on riding anything during their stay, there are Horse Whisperer sessions, lectures and other outdoor activities. The ranch has five tennis courts, three of which are turf and one of which is lighted for nighttime play. There are both and outdoor pools, as well as a separate wading pool for the little ones, and a nature center where the whole family can learn about the unique desert habitat and the animals that live in surrounding areas. And in the event you have some energy left after taking in the outdoors, there is a fitness center with men's and women's saunas.
Three meals a day and snacks are included in the cost of your stay. With the exception of family cookouts and breakfast rides, all meals are served in the main dining room at the ranch; and there is something for the kids at every meal. For breakfast families can choose something from the menu, or head to the breakfast buffet with its fresh fruit, yogurt, and an assortment of cereals and other breakfast items. Lunch is served between noon and 1:30 pm and is buffet-style. Choose from entrees including pasta, seafood, chicken, beef, salads, soups and sandwiches. Dinner at the ranch is served between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with your choice of beef, poultry, fish or a vegetarian entrÃ©e, served with soup or salad. Mexican Fiesta night comes complete with a Mariachi Band and buffet with a variety of Southwestern specialties featuring beef, chicken, or pork.