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Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on November 12, 2013

Normally you’d associate a dude ranch with horses, right? But do you also add in opportunities to partake in educational lectures, spa treatments, fishing and gourmet food? At Tanque Verde Dude Ranch outside of Tucson, Arizona, you have the chance for these activities and more.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch  Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

I was pleasantly surprised as we drove up to the main lobby to note the green landscaping amid curving paths. Single-story pink adobe buildings are scattered throughout the property, each housing either guest quarters or public gathering places. It was pleasant strolling around the grounds and a hike in itself climbing the road to the haciendas at the top.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

The more expensive accommodations overlook Saguaro National Forest and the mountains beyond. We stayed in a casita, a large rustic bedroom suite with a fireplace, dining alcove, seating arrangement, and modern bathroom facilities. Notably lacking was a television. The theory is you’re so tired out after being active all day that you’ll retire early.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch    Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Daytime activities range from riding horses to nature hikes to lounging by the pool, playing a round of tennis, or getting a massage. You can visit the nature center and speak to a naturalist about wildlife in the area or track down a wrangler for a horseback riding lesson.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch  Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude RanchTanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Evenings might find you at an outdoor barbecue, attending a lecture, or relaxing on your patio with a good book. Maybe they’ll add a ghost tour in the future if the resort is found to have some associated ghost stories. Cooking demos might be another added attraction as the food was excellent. The dining hall offers a buffet for breakfast and lunch and a sit-down menu for dinner. Stop by the Dog House Saloon for a drink later in the evening.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

P1020865 (800x600)   Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch   P1020868 (800x600)

P1020842 (800x600)  Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch  P1020855 (800x600)

In the same building as the dining room is a card room, cozy sitting room with leather couches and a TV, and a space for evening lectures. Nearby is a gift shop with souvenir items.

I didn’t get a chance to participate in any of the activities except for the evening historical talk because I was busy all afternoon interviewing staff members for my next mystery. I came prepared with a list of specific questions. Although I am not a horse person, staying at a dude ranch could grow on me. Certainly I like the feeling of being pampered, which you get with the inclusive meals and the spa facilities.

Taking walks, reading, and appreciating nature is a vacation in itself. I enjoyed strolling the paths and reading the labels on the desert plants and trees.

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch  Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

Tanque Verde Dude Ranch       Tanque Verde Dude Ranch

If you want to get away from it all and be close to nature, a dude ranch vacation may suit your needs.

How does this location relate to my next story? In Peril by Ponytail, Marla and Dalton accept an offer by his cousin to stay on a dude ranch for their delayed honeymoon. Naturally, where they go, mischief and mayhem follows. Does Marla learn to like horses? Stay tuned to find out.

Thanks to the staff at Tanque Verde Dude Ranch for graciously answering my questions. If you want more information about this popular destination, Click Here.

You can see more photos here: http://fw.to/SB2DmEH

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8 Responses to “Tanque Verde Dude Ranch”

  1. kmsraj51 said

    Reblogged this on KMSRAJ51-Always Positive Thinker.

  2. I want your life Nancy, you take the most amazing journeys!

  3. I agree that Tanque Verde Ranch is a lovely resort. Unfortunately, it’s much too expensive for me to stay there.

    I found it ironic that you said:
    “I was pleasantly surprised as we drove up to the main lobby to note the green landscaping amid curving paths.”
    in light of the comments regarding pit mining on your Copper Queen post.

    All that green landscaping is horrible when you live in the desert. Water is our most precious resource and lawns and palm trees use much too much of it. I live in a community that bans lawns entirely. You’re restricted to native and desert-adapted plantings that have low or no water requirements. The lawn in the park is watered with reclaimed gray water so it does not impact our fresh water supply. Ground cover is gravel.

    Water is so precious, rainfall is measured in hundredths of an inch. When we get a quarter inch of rain or more, we cheer. Our average rainfall is twelve inches a year and it’s been years since we got that much. We’re in a multi-year drought. So, no, the green isn’t a good thing.

    • Actually, Elise, when I stayed there, they had a la carte room rates, so it was very affordable. As for the landscaping, I’m not talking about lawns. There were cacti and palo verde trees and mesquite trees, the types of plants that grow wild in the Sonoran desert. But thanks for this info, it’ll be helpful when I’m writing Peril by Ponytail.

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