With a reported 14 million viewers for its fourth season — and numerous spinoffs (1883 and the in-the-works 1932 and 6666) — Yellowstone, Paramount Network’s SAG Awards-nominated, devastatingly binge-worthy modern Western drama now streaming on Peacock, has cemented itself as a ratings behemoth and the most popular series on cable.
Co-created by Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter behind such critically acclaimed films as Hell or High Water, Wind River and Sicario, Yellowstone is a biblical family saga starring Kevin Costner as John Dutton Jr., the steely, widowed patriarch of one of Montana’s most powerful families who is also the largest landowner in the state. Dutton and his offspring continuously tangle with government officials, a Native American reservation, and ruthless developers to maintain control of the vast acreage of untouched land that has been in their family for generations.
As season five gears up for production this spring, you can quell your Yellowstone cravings with 1883, the prequel series starring Faith Hill and Tim McGraw as the first generation of Duttons, which is now streaming on Paramount+. The forthcoming 1932 will follow the Duttons during Prohibition and the Great Depression, and 6666 centers around the legendary Four Sixes ranch in Texas. Meanwhile, other streamers are jumping on the hay wagon. Amazon Prime Video recently debuted Outer Range. Starring Josh Brolin as a Wyoming rancher fighting for his land and family, the series offers a supernatural spin on the Western-themed drama.
While these series transport viewers to another time and place, nothing compares to physically immersing yourself in the Great American West on a ranch vacation that offers unspoiled terrain with all the authentic fixings.
Here, six properties where slowing down and basking in life on the prairie is a cinch (pun intended).
ALISAL RANCH, SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Yellowstone star Kevin Costner and his family have been spotted at this beloved Santa Ynez Valley wine country hideaway on numerous occasions. Set on 10,000 acres and just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, Alisal Ranch offers a graciously rustic taste of the Old West while inspiring guests to unplug, with nary a phone or TV in the newly renovated California-ranch-style guest cottages designed by Jennifer Taylor.
Activities are aplenty including wrangler-led horseback rides. With over 50 miles of rambling trails, there’s something for all ages. A highlight is the Pancake Breakfast ride to the historic 100-year-old adobe house complete with a cowboy poet, campfire and kick-up-your-heels live music. There’s also archery, air rifle, bike riding, goats, bunnies, and pigs at the barn, two championship golf courses, fishing and boating on the property’s 100-acre lake, tennis, and a spa. Of course, you can also choose to simply unwind by the heated pool or with a little liquid courage just like John Dutton himself. Or sip rosé, chardonnay, pinot and many other varietals at some of the more than 100 nearby wineries after a day of adventure. Alisal is partnered with many vineyards and tasting rooms, including Carhartt Family Wines in Los Olivos and Crawford Family Wines in the lively Danish-style town of Solvang, and will plan an afternoon of tastings for guests.
In the evening, grab some chow and wind down at Alisal’s Ranch Room, a traditional dining space overseen by executive chef Anthony Endy. Breakfast and dinner are included in the nightly rate, and mealtime on property is remarkably genteel. Jackets are required for the gentleman in the evening (they may be removed while seated), which creates a distinguished, low-key luxury vibe, and the service is undeniably warm and accommodating. The property also offers festive California ranch cookouts — which can include traditional Santa Maria-style barbecue — hosted by guest chefs and featuring live music; from $570 a night, includes breakfast and dinner (lunch is available à la carte); alisal.com.
BELTANE RANCH, GLEN ELLEN, CALIFORNIA
Originally built in the 1890s as a weekend retreat for Mary Ellen Pleasant, a Black entrepreneur and abolitionist, Beltane Ranch offers a palpable sense of place in the heart of Sonoma County. Set on 100 acres, this family-owned working regenerative farm oozes authenticity.
Surrounded by ancient oak trees, meadows, gardens and vineyards, at the heart of the property is a six-room, Victorian-style home with a white- picket fence, wrap-around porch and original antiques. Rooms are cozy with plush bedding and wrought-iron beds. The property’s walking trails wind past grazing sheep, horses and donkeys, while the veranda menu includes award-winning wines and sustainably farmed offerings, such as egg frittatas courtesy of the resident chickens; from $295, includes breakfast, beltaneranch.com.
BRUSH CREEK RANCH, SARATOGA, WYOMING
Full-tilt Western-chic ambiance permeates this all-inclusive 30,000-acre working ranch dating back to the 1800s. About a four-hour drive from Denver, Brush Creek Ranch is brimming with indulgent flair, down to the cowhide chairs, antler chandeliers, wagyu cattle and seed-to-table family-style dining (with organic produce grown in the on-site 20,000-square-foot greenhouse).
There’s also a resident creamery with house-made cheeses and ice cream, along with chuckwagon barbecues, a whiskey bar and an impressive wine collection. Newly added are a pool grotto, yoga studio, sound bath classes and an expanded exercise facility. Activities include fly-fishing and hiking and horseback riding across rugged terrain; from $1,250, all-inclusive, brushcreekranch.com.
CARMEL VALLEY RANCH, CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CALIFORNIA
Nestled inland beneath the Santa Lucia Mountains, the serene, 500-acre Carmel Valley Ranch welcomes guests with lush lavender plantings and, if you’re lucky, throngs of wild turkeys and deer. Akin to a rustic-luxe summer camp for all ages, it offers a comprehensive series of activities, including interactive equine experiences, falconry, and the opportunity to slip into a beekeeping suit and engage with the resident honeybees.
There are also wilderness hikes, hilltop yoga, an 18-hole golf course, Spa Aiyana and nightly s’mores. Also, summon your inner Rip Wheeler (the brooding Dutton Ranch foreman and fan favorite played by actor Cole Hauser) with the property’s new Ranch It Up outing, where guests take a behind-the-scenes deep dive with the farm animals to understand the level of commitment and care required to help these beloved creatures thrive.
Many of the capacious residential-style accommodations have private decks overlooking the terrain; from $325, carmelvalleyranch.com.
THE RESIDENCES AT ASPEN VALLEY RANCH
At the height of cowboy decadence is this private, gated community of opulent four- and five-bedroom furnished homesteads featuring a dizzying array of recreation, including a decked-out horse barn with a dedicated wrangler, 60-foot round pen and riding arena.
Perched on over 800 acres in the Roaring Fork Valley and just 10 minutes from the buzz of downtown Aspen, the 5,700- to 13,000-square-foot compounds (from $175,000 per month) are designed by renowned architect Michael Fuller with elements that pay homage to the American West on steroids — reclaimed beams and barn wood, oversized windows flooded with natural light, and striking mountain and pasture views.
Resident Clefs d’Or concierges will tend to guests’ every wish for additional fees, including event planning, spa services, private chef-helmed dinners, sommeliers and babysitting. And satiate your outdoor desires at the Toy Garage filled with shiny ebikes, four-wheelers, and a Polaris RZR; from $175,000 per month, avrresidences.com.
STANLY RANCH, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION
Imagine being perched on a historic 700-acre ranch, blanketed by eucalyptus trees, expansive vineyards, rolling hills, and the Napa River. It may just be a miniscule in size compared to the immense Dutton Ranch in Yellowstone, but this pastoral spot is the newly opened Stanly Ranch located on the southern edge of Napa Valley.
A working farm since the mid-1800’s, the resort is a mecca for wellness aficionados thanks to Halehouse, the personal restoration compound featuring everything from massage and cryofacials to a circuit program with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, salt therapy and cold plunge bath. There are also three on-site dining experiences lead by executive chef Garrison Price from New York’s adored il Buco Alimentari.
If you can break away from the modern farmhouse designed guest cottages with views of the mountains or vineyards, epic adventures await in the form of falconry and tracking mountain lions alongside a wildlife conservationist; from $1,260, aubergeresorts.com.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.