It’s a Great Time for Horsing Around on the Gulf
The cool, sunny days of winter are perfect for enjoying a different kind of Gulf Coast vacation adventure – horseback riding on the beach. Trail riding is an exciting way to get up close and personal with the area’s natural beauty, from pine woodlands teeming with wildlife to coastal forests skirting the rare dune lakes (where fresh and salt water come together). At Cape San Blas, near Apalachicola, riders can even enjoy a Gulf-side gallop over Northwest Florida’s beautiful white-sand beaches, with stops along the way to collect seashells and watch for dolphins.
One of the few remaining spots in the country to allow horses on the beach, Cape San Blas is a quiet, off-the-beaten-track destination and home to Two-Bit Stable, which specializes in Gulf-side rides. Family-owned, the stable offers rides on dependable, well-trained horses for equestrians at all skill levels. Lessons are available for beginners. For more information, go to www.twobitstable.com or call 850-227-4744. Calling ahead for reservations is recommended.
Less than a mile from the Gulf in Santa Rosa Beach is Arnett’s Gulfside Trail Rides, a 20-acre ranch offering horseback excursions along picturesque trails lined with long-needle pines, palmettos, and native grasses. Here, too, novice riders are welcome, and lessons are available on the stable’s well-trained and smooth-riding Tennessee Walking Horses. And when the ride is over, the beach, the Gulf, and the shops and restaurants along Highway 30-A are just minutes away. To learn more, log onto www.gulfsidetrailrides.com or call 850-208-3114. It’s best to call ahead for reservations.
Not far from Gulf Shores, Alabama, in Fairhope, Oak Hollow Farm offers horseback rides over the wooded trails and pastures of Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore. The area boasts plenty to see, from moss-draped oaks to grassy creek banks to wetlands alive with birds and other coastal critters. Riders meet at the main stable and take a hayride to the horse barn. The guided, one-hour rides are by appointment only, Monday through Saturday. For more information, go to www.oakhollowfarm.net. To schedule a trail ride, call 251-928-4840.
Finding places to stay in the area is easy. Just click on our links for Cape San Blas vacation rentals, Highway 30-A vacation rentals, and Gulf Shores vacation rentals. We also offer listings for restaurants, shops, golf courses, fishing charters, and other things to do.