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A ranch vacation this Valentine’s Day is the ultimate treat for any couple, so why not visit a ranch to make this year’s big day extra special?

Why settle for the usual card and flowers this year when you can have so much more? A ranching vacation is far from just a horseback holiday, offering couples the chance to take part in winter sports, pack trips and other activities too numerous to mention in full. Here’s what a romantic ranching vacation has to offer.

1. Scenery. There’s nothing quite like being in a stunning location to bring a spark back into any relationship, and if there’s one thing a ranching vacation can guarantee it’s incredible scenery. What’s more, you can choose a location to best suit your needs, so whether you prefer mountains, open prairies, forestry or lakes, the choice is all there. At night time, enjoy a stroll around the ranch to look at the stars or sit by the water. In fact, some ranches generate their own power, which can mean lights go out altogether at night, providing the ultimate romantic getaway. Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch is a luxury dude ranch that has scenery second to none. The moment you step onto the front porch of the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, you feel the magic. The Sawtooth Mountains and Salmon River provide a backdrop as you experience a uniquely western vacation.

2. Romantic rides out. If you and your partner both enjoy time in the saddle – or like the idea, even though you’re not experienced riders – then Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to ride out into the open together. You’ll experience that wonderful feeling of total peace and quiet as you look out for wildlife and birds along the way. And remember that many ranches cater for beginners, so don’t be put off if you or your other half can’t ride that well.

3. Action and adventure. You and your partner will have plenty of talk about after an exciting day’s activities. Did you know that as well as horseback riding, you can take part in various water sports, go mountain biking, play tennis, take a yoga class, play golf, go on a wagon ride and much, much more? So this Valentine’s Day, why not add a little excitement into your lives and try some new challenges together?

4. Enjoy a boat trip. Some ranches offer boats trips or river cruises, which provides a change from riding or other ranch-based activities. Averills Flathead Lake Lodge, in Montana, for example, offers river cruises with the chance to stop off at Big Fork for some shopping or nightlife opportunities. What better way to spend a day out with your partner?

5. Food glorious food. Going out for a restaurant meal on Valentine’s Day doesn’t guarantee good food, but at a ranch you know everything will be fresh and home-made, like this appetising dish served at Siwash Lake Ranch in British Columbia, Canada. Take advantage of the mouth-watering food on offer, such as beef brisket, smoked venison, fresh homemade bread, eggs benedict and wild game. And don’t forget, vegetarians and even vegans are well catered for at most ranches, too.

6. Escape from real life. Many ranches don’t have cell phone reception or internet access. While some do, and you have the choice, isn’t it a nice thought to be able to escape from the office and friends interrupting you while you’re on vacation? That way, you and your partner can enjoy some special time away with your ‘do not disturb’ signs firmly in place.

7. Head for the hot tub or spa. After a full day out in the fresh air, there’s nothing that will help you relax more than a hot tub session or spa treatment. A deep massage will leave you and your partner feeling chilled out and ready for your hearty evening meal, while a dip in the hot tub is the ideal romantic experience and will help you feel fresh after a long day in the saddle.

8. Winter wonderland. Snowfall turns a beautiful setting into a magical one, so why not treat yourself to a winter ranching vacation and get involved in some of the wonderful winter activities on offer? Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snow shoeing and snowmobiling are some of the winter sports on offer at Lone Mountain Guest Ranch in Montana, USA. The perfect location to spend some special time together.

9. Overnight pack trip. Imagine how wonderful it is to sleep under the stars and ride a horse well into the night, amongst some of the most stunning scenery on earth! Latigo Dude Ranch, Colorado, USA, is one of the ranches that offers the chance to do just that and while camping is basic, and it may not promise frills, it does promise thrills.

10. Get married. If you’re thinking of popping the question then why not make your big day happen at a ranch? The perfect location, a ranch offers stunning scenery, good food and plenty of space for guests to explore and get out of each other’s way. Many ranches cater for weddings and each year they are becoming a more and more popular venue for couples looking to tie the knot.

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