California Horseback Riding Recommendations for Road Tripping Baby Boomers

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Baby boomers, as you know, Alan and I will soon be traveling on a coastal California sports car road trip. Since we’re always on the lookout for active baby boomer travel adventures, we asked travel expert, Nancy D. Brown of Writing Horseback to suggest a couple of California horseback riding adventures for the trip. Thanks for the travel tips, Nancy.

Nancy D. Brown rides horseback on the CA coast

I’ve been a follower of Donna Hull and My Itchy Travel Feet for some time now. As a fellow baby boomer traveler myself, I look at travel from a different perspective these days. In my youth, I rode horses in the California foothills bareback and sometimes barefoot if we happened to be swimming on horseback that day.

Today, I have bifocals in my sunglasses and I wear a helmet and riding boots when I go horseback riding. I see that Donna and Alan will be heading to my neck of the woods on a coastal California sports car road trip. Perhaps they’ll want to spice up their travel with a little horseback riding?

Luxury Horse Lodging in Paso Robles, California

A California road trip is all about the scenery. As a third generation California native, to me, a road trip is not a road trip without good wine, food and a great place to sleep at the end of the day. I’ve found Hotel Cheval in Paso Robles to be a great road trip stopover.

Situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Hotel Cheval is a luxury boutique hotel. While it doesn’t offer horseback riding, baby boomers can climb aboard the Hotel Cheval’s carriage and Chester, the 2,000 pound Belgian Draft horse, will take you into town for dinner. No worries about drinking and driving here!

Hotel Cheval has informed us that Chester is now semi-retired and living at Harris Stage Lines where Alan will be learning to drive a stage coach on our coastal California sports car road trip. Nancy assures me that Hotel Cheval is still worth a stay, even if you don’t get the chance to sit in the hotel’s carriage while Chester takes you into town for dinner.

Horseback Riding in Half Moon Bay, California

Which came first; blonde girls riding horseback on the beach or surfboarding boys riding  California’s coastal waves? While, I’m not going to try and answer that question, the residents of Half Moon Bay, California recently butted heads on the topic of horses on the beach. I’m happy to report that horse lovers will continue to be able to go horseback riding on Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay. If not for this recent victory, there would be no more public horseback riding at Seahorse Ranch and Friendly Acres in Half Moon Bay.

Beach to Forest – Horseback Riding in Mendocino County, California

Arabians trot along a California beach

As a lodging editor, I sleep around a lot. My husband is aware of this fact. What he doesn’t know, is that I fit in horseback riding as often as possible during my travels. One of my best experiences was horseback riding at Ricochet Ridge Ranch outside of Mendocino in the small town of Fort Bragg.

Experienced equestrians will marvel at the quality of these endurance horses, while riders of any level will gawk at the scenery. There are not many places left in California where horseback riding is allowed on the beach. Minutes from Fort Bragg, Ten Mile Beach in  McKerricher State Park offers postcard perfect horseback riding. Interested in an all day horseback ride? Sign up for the beach and forest ride; you will not be disappointed.

Iron Horse – Sonoma, California

As you drive past the berry farms on Ross Station Road in Sonoma, California, you’ll begin to wonder if you should have trusted Nancy Brown and her directions. Never fear, this a worthwhile stop on a California sports car road trip! Baby boomers won’t be going horseback riding at Iron Horse, instead how about an afternoon of wine tasting? The Iron Horse tasting room is open seven days a week. There is a $10 wine tasting fee. The sparkling wines at Iron Horse have been served at the White House and at picnic tables all over California.

If  You Go:

Hotel Cheval (866) 522-6999
Paso Robles, CA

Iron Horse (707) 887-1507
Sonoma, CA

Seahorse Ranch & Friendly Acres (650) 726-9903
Half Moon Bay, CA

Ricochet Ridge Ranch (888) 873-5777
Fort Bragg, CA

Do you have any recommendations for horseback riding trips? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

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