You love horses and she doesn’t. But, you’re pretty sure that’s just because she hasn’t had the chance to meet the right one. Isn’t that how it works? You don’t know — until you know. Your dream is a honeymoon spent galloping on a beach in Mexico, her hair loftily floating in the air, rhythmically in tune with the horse’s mane as you ride. You’ll each be dressed in something airy and white, gauzy bits of chiffon-y material that moves with the wind. You’ll both look ethereal and angelic, too — in complete harmony with your horses and the nature that surrounds you. You even see yourselves doing this all in slow motion. At the right time — you imagine — you’ll stop in a hidden alcove, a secluded spot by the sea. There, you’ll dismount, tie the horses to a palm tree, unfurl a blanket and unpack a picnic fit for the regal set. It sounds like the ultimate dream. But, first she’s got to look at a horse, let alone ride it. She’s got to get comfortable with equine energy. Lucky for you both, you’ve got a pre-honeymoon plan, some places to go for horsey therapy.
She likes wine, so, like the proverbial carrot, h2hotel’s Horseback to Vineyards Adventure package ought to do the trick. This eco-friendly property, situated downtown in California’s Healdsburg offers guests the opportunity to ride horses through the renowned Sonoma wine region, capturing heart-stopping views of Overlook Mountain and vineyards galore. You’ll gallop through Dry Creek Valley’s richly-toned harvest vineyards atop the most gallant steads. The 1. 5 hour ride, so besotting she won’t have time to be frightened, features a gourmet picnic, accompanied by a bright bottle of Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc. A tasting at the Dry Creek Vineyard itself is the coup de gras — unless you count the ride back to gorgeous h2hotel, a LEED Gold Certified, wine country chic lodge. There, you can enjoy complimentary Dutch cruising bicycles, the solar-heated creekside pool, and Healdsburg’s many galleries, shops and restaurants.
Package Details: Offered now through Nov. 24, 2021, the Horseback to the Vineyards package includes a two-night stay at h2hotel, two tickets for the Wine Country Horseback Adventure Ride at the Ranch at Lake Sonoma, continental breakfast, in addition to a picnic and tasting for two at Dry Creek Vineyards. Rates start at $399 (taxes and fees not included). Available now through Nov. 24. Visitors can book the package here.
Not just for horsey types, stunning Carmel Valley Ranch — a hideaway that spans 500-acres in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains along California’s Central Coast and is whinnying distance from Big Sur and Monterey — immerses guests in the casually sophisticated vibe of the region with a plethora of options. But its Equine Experiences program truly embodies this part of California’s soulfulness. Thanks to five happy horses willing to hold out a hoof to fearful humans, the program proffers therapeutic ways to forge bonds with horses, a connection long known to be healing to people. Developed and led by Robert G. Magnelli, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist also known as “The Horseman”, Equine Experiences can bolster emotional health in a variety of ways — or just make radiant honeymooners even more joyful. An all-suite hotel where every room has a fireplace and a view of bucolic ranch land, this romantic outdoor lovers’ paradise vaunts a huge menu of artisan-led nature intensive adventures, such as beekeeping and lavender harvesting, as well. Choose the Vineyard Oak Vineyard View Suite for its hedonistic outdoor tub.