What: An upscale dude ranch with rustic appeal, Tanque Verde is the largest working ranch in the country.
Why you should go: The horses—the ranch houses 180 head—pull you in. The mountain bike riding, swimming, guided nature hikes, tennis and mini spa will keep you. Views of the mountains and saguaro cacti (which only grow in the Sonoran Desert) are breathtaking.
Best features: Don’t worry if you’re a horse riding novice; lessons come with, solitude (the rooms don’t have TVs) and wood-burning (remember those?) fireplaces.
Extra tip: Jump in your rented Jeep and drive north to Sedona(interstate 10 to Interstate 17 to State Road 179—230 miles). The scenery, marked by red-rock mountains, is unbelievable!