This post was produced in partnership with Cibolo Creek Ranch in Marfa, TX.
My family travels quite frequently, so while planning a recent family trip to Texas, it was my task to find an experience that was more off the beaten path while staying in the Texas tradition. We already knew we are going to visit Austin and San Antonio, but I always prefer finding something more rugged, more secluded, more unique — an experience that we will surely remember. Tucked away in the Chinati Mountains and less than an hour from the Mexican border, a resort that checked all of our boxes was discovered: Cibolo Creek Ranch. Little did we know that we would be checking more boxes off by the time we left our desert oasis.
While the Resort does have its own landing strip, most visitors either drive in or fly to local airports in El Paso or Midland Odessa, roughly a 3-or-more-hour drive. I did say this was an oasis, and it’s worth every minute of that drive because you’re soon transported to the way Texas was years and years ago. It was the Texas you yearn for. In fact, it is only 25 miles from the Mexican border and very convenient when visiting Big Ben State Park or nearby Marfa, Texas, a destination well known by art lovers. While we arrived past sunset and weren’t able to appreciate the 10 minute driveway that leads to the resort, upon entering the compound, we were quickly transported to what we were hoping for. Every building and room was warm and refined, and it screamed "Texas ranch." We quickly cleaned up and made it in time to enjoy cocktails and appetizers before dinner was called. Admittedly, I was a tad apprehensive about dinner, as my boys are picky eaters and dinner is served family style and menu-less. However, those fears were quickly removed, as everyone enjoyed a hearty filet dinner that exceeded all expectations. Every course built on the next, and we couldn’t wait for the next meal.
As we headed to bed after a long day of travel, everyone was excited for the next day to enjoy our various planned activities. Upon awakening the next morning at the crack of dawn, I quickly headed out to see our surroundings. Spread out over 30,000 acres is a landscape from the Wild West. Rugged, serene, and gorgeous — every acre the resort covers was glowing with the morning sunshine. Now able to see the resort during the day, I was even more impressed, as each building was all-unique and the luxury accommodations maintained that same Cibolo vibe throughout. After a great breakfast, we were ready to partake in several of our scheduled activities. The resort offers plenty of kid-friendly activities to take advantage of the surroundings, like clay shooting and a shooting range, ATV tours, hiking, hunting, birding, horseback riding, mountain biking and more. We went right in and started the day at the shooting range, and truth be told, this might have been the highlight for my boys. The guide was both professional and fun, allowing us to shoot a wide range of pistols and shotguns with clear directions and safety in mind. The sight of watching my kids fire a shotgun is something I’ll never forget, let alone the smiles they had looking back at us after a few rounds. Pure joy!
In the afternoon, we all went on a 2-hour hike to the waterfall. Although it was a dry time of year and the fall wasn’t running, the hike was riveting. Walking through a field of cows with vistas around every turn, we enjoyed every step of the way. We were able to appreciate the land in an entirely new way and bond as a family. After resting up before dinner, we headed back to the main room for cocktails and appetizers. One of the great advantages of staying at a smaller resort is the ability to mingle with the guests and hear about their travels, what they did that day and any recommendations they have. Everyone was enjoying their custom rustic luxury experience and was excited for the dinner ahead. It’s very much a family affair at Cibolo Creek Ranch, between the staff, guests and meals. That atmosphere allows you to truly appreciate resorts like this, as they embody what we strive for travel to be.
Cibolo Creek Ranch offers the ability to cater to the luxury elite adult travels, all while simultaneously offering an experience for kids that never feels like they are skipping a beat. From every meal served and the wide array of kid-friendly activities offered to the friendliness of each and every staff member you encounter, Cibolo is worth seeking out to get away from it all and enjoy in your own way.