Thought ranch vacations were just for dudes? Think again. From the ultimate Wild West experience, to a rural Mexican wellness wonderland, to kangaroo spotting in Aussie outback luxury, there’s a ranch flavor for every getaway craving. Despite their many incarnations, there is one thing many of today’s ranches have in common. Tech, a la digital devices, are either discouraged, unwelcome, or useless altogether thanks to remote off-the-grid locations. Ready for some unplugged, digital timeout? Nothing makes you forget that busy 21st-century schedule quite like a middle-of-nowhere ranch escape.
Hidden deep in the Aussie outback, Arkaba Station is a 19th-century sheep ranch turned luxury lodge where the notion of “getting away from it all” is a massive understatement. With thick stone walls and corrugated roofing, the Homestead honors its hard-working heritage past, along with plenty of chic modern comforts thrown in. Its simple yet elegant rooms have outback touches like bird ostrich egg lamps, cow hide rugs, bird books, and binoculars (great for wildlife spotting), but rooms lack televisions and telephones in line with the period feel. Airy verandas showcase sweeping nature views you’ll only find Down Under. Arkaba happens to reside in Flinders Rangers National Park – a sprawling private wildlife sanctuary unfolding over 60,000 acres awaiting your discovery via Arkaba’s famous four-day walking safaris, complete with gourmet glamping pit stops. Be it at home base, or on safari, gourmet fine-dining and some of Australia’s best Australian wines await after long days exploring the landscape. And with no Internet connection or cell reception way out here, mingling with fellow guests is also on the menu.
Rancho La Puerta
Rancho La Puerta is a body-rocking fitness and spa retreat nestled at the foot of Baja’s mystical Mount Kuchumaa. This is where the adventure-thirsty go to whip bodies and minds into shape amongst out-of-this-world Mexico nature. With 4,000 acres of gorgeous gardens, hiking trails, multiple pools, and virtually every wellness modality known to man, guests are guaranteed to emerge from La Puerta as fitter, more fabulous, de-stressed versions of their former selves. Weekly wellness schedules can encompass anything from acupuncture and craniosacral therapy; to nutrition workshops and sound healing; to cooking and art classes. Just name your fit or wellness fix. Largely vegetarian, all organic farm-to-table cuisine feeds guests from within. Getting away from the rigours of modern life is a big part of the healing journey, reflected in La Puerta’s mentality towards tech. The Spanish-style casitas (more like private villas) are all Wi-Fi and TV-free, and as a “digital noise-free environment,” La Puerta expects guests silence their devices, and avoid them public spaces.
Silver Spur Ranch
Idaho’s Silver Spur Ranch gives wannabe cowboys, and cowgirls, the chance to live the Western dream firsthand, on authentic cattle drive and camping experience through wide open mountain wilderness. Their hands-on six-day adventures proudly get guests back to basics amongst some spectacularly rugged nature. How? Herding 40-plus horses on two separate drives across 100,000 acres of Great Continental Divide. Silver Spur’s chuck wagon dishes up hearty, over-the-fire cowboy cooked meals to fuel long days in the saddle, but Silver Spur is the real deal, so forget about the luxuries of glamping. That means share cabin and campsite accommodation, warm spring bathing, and zero technology. The perfect opportunity to disconnect from the outside world, reconnect with nature, and soak up the beauty of the American West.