The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch’s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson.
Fisherman's Corner outfits groups of anglers with the necessary accouterments before sending them out to two expansive on-site fishing ponds. The bait shop hawks an extensive line of lures, hand-tied flies, and waterproof neon signs proclaiming, "Catfish Eat for Free Today." Four sizes of minnows, seasonal crawfish, crickets, hybrid perch, and other varieties of live bait help tempt the most finicky of catfish palates ($2.50–$7). Lines cast out into two roughly 100'x250' ponds stocked with 5,000 pounds of farm-raised catfish, allowing groups to gather round and socialize or engage in a cross-pond staring contest.