No Place Like Home

Feb 26, 2013 7:24 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

No Place Like Home: Pacific Dunes Ranch Horseback riding on the beach

Sometimes we just don't realize how good we have it. We take it all for granted now and then. I'm talking about the adventures to be had so easily along the central coast. Like riding a horse on long stretch of classic California beach. People save for years to live that dream, but it's right in our backyard. And it's definitely more proof there's No Place Like Home.

It's almost too pretty to be true, a dream for a lot of girls I grew up with: running along the beach horseback. But you have to have a horse and be able to haul it to a beach to make the dream come true. That is, unless you live on the central coast.

On any given afternoon without too much expense, hassle or thought, you can saddle up and hit the sandy shores along the Oceano Dunes. Pacific Dunes resort has all you need to live the dream. They have a full stable of steady stock appropriate for riders of all levels.
"We take anyone from people who have never ridden a horse before, some have never even petted a horse before, to people who've done competitions." says guide Marissa Westlake. "It's all very calm and relaxing. And it's just a really fun joyful ride."

There's no trot, gallop or gait beyond a steady sightseeing pace when you take a tour with Pacific Dunes. It's all about taking in the sights, sounds and smells of trees, creeks and sandunes along this stretch of the Pacific. And who'd want to hurry a journey like this?
"We've had kite surfers, kites on the beach, bonfires on the beach, and these horses don't even care." says Westlake. "They're like whatever. We're here to do our job. They probably like to look at the sights too!"

It's an unusual opportunity, cruising the shoreline and dunes among all the activity or lack thereof that exists here. For a lot of folks, it's a bucket list experience. Some have never been on a horse before. And consider this when you start to take for granted where we live: some have never been on a beach either. "It's kind of fun that we get to fullfill that for them. It makes us really happy that we get to do that for them." says Westlake.

You know, you get spoiled living in paradise. Especially with all the adventures to be found, right in our own backyard.

Pacific Dunes Ranch offers hour long rides for $50 a person, and that includes your horse and guide. Hour-and-a-half tours are $75. For more information, click here.

And there are other horse-riding adventures on the Central Coast. Here is a partial list of what we found doing a little web-surfing this afternoon. Look for us to check some of those out this spring and summer!,_Cambria,_Paso_Robles,_San_Luis_Obispo.html



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