Warner Springs Ranch is part Catskills retreat, part California dude ranch. Summer activities include crafts, horseshoes and riding clinics. Three pools offer famed mineral baths and freshwater swimming. The 6,892-yard championship golf course has stunning views — that's the Palomar Observatory you'll see off the 15th tee. Best of all, you can cowboy up, just like the Duke did, on one of the ranch's 75 horses: a selection of Arabians, thoroughbreds and quarter horses that travel the nearby Pacific Crest Trail. The equestrian options set this broad-shouldered resort apart from most family vacation spots. Trails pass through creeks, brimming this spring, and across meadows, ridges and hills dotted with oaks, manzanita and sage. Children younger than 6 can take free pony rides, and beginners 6 and and older can sign up for clinics and private or group lessons. Kids 6 and up can also go on trail rides.
Lisa de Araujo