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From Galveston in the north down to South Padre Island, the big beaches of Texas’ Gulf Coast are ideal for galloping the day away. A variety of outfitters specializing in beach rides cater to cowgirls, such as South Padre Island Adventure Park and Horses on the Beach (in the south) and Beach Bum Horse Rides in the North. At Crystal Corral Stables in the Galveston area, you can even bring your own horse and board for a few days of sand and surf, cowgirl-style.
Dramatic, romantic and rugged, the Oregon coast can be rough in the winter, but warm summer days transform this windswept shoreline into a hot, zero-humidity paradise—and the wide, uncrowded beaches are perfect for horseback riding. Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides in Pacific City, Oregon is a favorite for their friendly wranglers and customizable activity based on riding skills—they even have experience with special needs riders. Afterwards, watch the surfers shred just offshore, or enjoy a artisan beer at the local brew pub. beach-rides.com
Pebble Beach, California:
Pebble Beach, perched on the California coast between Monterey and Carmel, is famous for its legendary golf links. Riding amongst the rugged cypress-studded cliffs and sandy dunes, —with the Pacific ocean churning against the rocky beach below—is an equally extraordinary experience! Pebble Beach Equestrian Center offers both group and private beach rides along the Pacific coast. Rides do descend to the sandy beach, where sea otters and pelicans play. Nearby accommodations include a variety of upscale golf resorts and charming B&Bs. A fun day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium will provide an enhanced appreciation of this unique ecosystem. pebblebeach.com
San Diego, California:
Look southward down the beach on this San Diego ride and you’ll see the Pacific coast of Mexico. The winding trail that descends from San Diego’s Tijuana River Valley to the southernmost beach in the United States feels almost like a tropical jungle, with bamboo-esque trees and vivid nasturtium flowers lining the sandy path. San Diego Beach Rides offers private beach rides, sunset rides, riverbed rides and what they call their “Swim Adventure” where clients can take the horses chest deep into the sea (at low tide). sdbeachrides.com
If you take your beach rides tropical, the bathtub-warm waters of the Bahamas are a dream come true. The brilliant turquoise sea, shallow shorelines, and relaxed island attitudes make this a true bucket-list buster. Visit bahamas.com for information on rides on Nassau, Grand Bahama, and Abacos. Several cruise lines also offer beach rides at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, such as the Carnival Cruise excursion shown below.
(Originally published in May 2016).