Top Places in the Southwest for a Real Wild West Experience

Be a cowboy for a week

The Southwest is the place to go for a real Wild West experience. Whether you want to ride like a cowboy or stay where the Western stars of yesteryear stayed, we have the place for your Wild West vacation.

  • 01 of 08
    The Birthplace of Texas - Tour a Living History Farm. Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose

    Any Texan will tell you that they are proud of being a Texan. They love their land and heritage. To better understand Texans, visit one of the small towns in Texas such as Brenham, not far from Houston. The beauty of small Texas towns is that the families who settled in the area are still there. Multi-generational homesteads and ranches are not unusual. Texans are proud, yes, but they are also warm and hospitable. Small Texas towns are great places to stay for a weekend or a vacation.

  • 02 of 08

    The Tanque Verde Ranch is located at the foothills of the Rincon Mountains between Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest just east of Tucson, Arizona. The rooms and casitas and dotted throughout the guest ranch property, making each short walk from room to activities and dining, an opportunity to explore the beauty of the desert. The hills surrounding the ranch are dotted with the majestic Saguaro cacti, native only to the Sonoran desert area. You may happen upon deer, javelina, coyotes, rabbits and a wide range of bird species on your visit.

  • 03 of 08
    White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, AZ
    Entrance to the Beautiful White Stallion Ranch. ©Elizabeth R. Rose

    The White Stallion Ranch is a family-owned working ranch. With Longhorn cattle coming in for water every day and outdoor bar-b-que's, the White Stallion Ranch has plenty of Western atmosphere. Settle in and enjoy the mountain and desert views. Once you get there, you won't want to leave. The Ranch is the site of movies such as the 1939 epic film, Arizona. Movies Filmed at White Stallion Ranch include such classics as Apache Ambush with Bill Williams and Backlash with Richard Widmark and Donna Reed. Today, film crews tasked with fashion shoots can be seen posing their models among the stately Saguaro cacti.

  • 04 of 08

    The El Rancho Hotel was built 1937 and is located on old Route 66. From the 1930's to 1950's, the hotel became a temporary home for many Hollywood stars. The El Rancho Hotel has been designated a National Historic Site and retains the charm of Old West Gallup. Autographed photos of the movie stars who have visited and Navajo Rugs surround the two-story rustic lobby. Rooms are named after movie stars who stayed there.

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  • 05 of 08

    Rancho de los Caballeros is a well-respected guest ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. Families have been coming to the ranch for over 50 years to golf, ride, enjoy fine dining and soak up the desert sunshine. The ranch recently added a spa. You'll have the opportunity to ride the desert like a Western star, top the day off with a prickly pear margarita, and then bed down in your own "casita" during your Rancho de los Caballeros stay.

  • 06 of 08

    John Ford's Point, the place where many Westerns were filmed, offers an excellent view of the Three Sisters group.

  • 07 of 08

    Williams is known as a Route 66 town and the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. With the magic touch of two talented men, one an eclectic artist and the other a refugee from Hollywood, the Wild West image of Williams has been greatly enhanced. Enter Michael J. DuCharme, principal of the new Wild West Junction, and Jay Redfeather who has drawn the artist’s conceptions for all the Junction’s current and future buildings. Together, they are building a mini Wild West Theme area with a fascinating museum, restaurant with western entertainment and a hotel where you can stay in a Western Film Room or, even, a Wild West Bordello themed room.

  • 08 of 08

    Find a luxurious retreat deep in the White Mountains of Arizona that will give you the opportunity to experience a ranch atmosphere and the wilds of White Mountain elk country while dining on gourmet food and relaxing in your private log cabin.