All-inclusive, Historic Private Ranch Offers Texas-sized Hospitality

by Julie Bonnin on April 22, 2022 in Living Texas, Houston,

Texas, home to many a legendary luxury guest ranch, has swung open the gates of a next-generation destination ranch northwest of Bay City, Texas. Nestled along a five-mile stretch of the Colorado River, and 90 minutes south of Houston, the Spread Oaks Ranch is perfect for family reunions, weddings, or weekend getaways.

But it also offers five-star dining, and one-of-a-kind opportunities to hear top Texas singer-songwriters in an intimate, idyllic setting. The ranch even encourages its guests to design their own bespoke adventure.

90 minutes south of Houston, Spread Oaks Ranch is a Texas gem. Courtesy photo

Premier Historic Destination

Spread Oaks first opened as a conservation-based hunting and fishing ranch, and is known as a premier destination for hunters, whether the goal is bagging waterfowl, bass fishing or stalking native white-tailed deer that have roamed here since before the land was part of Texas. The historic, 5,500-acre ranch, owned by conservationists Forrest and Audrey Wylie, also maintains a trophy deer herd, and operates a 500-head Brangus cow-and-calf operation.

Not into hunting? Rest assured, all sorts of multi-functionality is allowed with that much space, and Spread Oaks specializes in personalized, exclusive service and tailored-to-you experiences. What better recommendation for the ranch’s ability to embody all things Texas, than the recent celebrations held there to mark Brennan’s of Houston’s 55th anniversary?

This historic ranch nestles along a five-mile stretch of the Colorado River just northwest of Bay City, Texas. Spread Oaks Ranch maintains a 500-head Brangus cow-and-calf operation, farms both organic and conventional crops, and operates as a premier waterfowling destination lodge during the fall and winter.
Courtesy photo

Guests can hike or jeep to a bonafide Texas history site, or lazily observe it while floating in an infinity-edge pool and sipping on a Bloody Mary, ranch water, or whatever libation they prefer. Spread Oaks’ Spring concert series welcomes up to 24 fortunate guests for an indulgent, music-filled weekend featuring acoustic performances by some of Texas’ top musicians. (The weekend of May 13-15, featuring Bob Schneider and Jack Ingram, still has a few slots open; more on that later).

A Resident Master Chef Sets the Culinary Tone

Luxe accommodations and elevated “field-and farm-to-table” cuisine are the mainstays of any visit to Spread Oaks. A master chef lives on the premises, tends the meat in the on-site smokehouse and harvests fresh vegetable and herb options from the garden. Chef Ric Rosser is a natural-born raconteur who presides over charcuterie worth talking about and his love for the ranch is contagious. Guests savor house-cured heritage hams and house-made sausages, as well as ranch-made pickles and other house-canned produce such as carrots, okra, and peppers. Jellies and jams are made from the ranch’s wild fruit, including dewberries, elderberries, and mustang grapes. Spread Oaks also proudly serves ranch-raised proteins, including Katahdin lamb, certified Angus beef, and organically raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat.

Experience all that a great ranch has to offer during your stay. Photo courtesy Spread Oaks Ranch

As stunning as the food is, the ranch atmosphere is something that’s constantly being reinvented, depending on who’s there, says Chef Rosser.

Think outdoor dining, lanterns hanging from the Live Oaks, stars twinkling from above and tables laden with hand-crafted food, creating a memorable experience for a special couple or a large group. “Every group that comes out, whether it’s a wedding party, family reunion, or something else, becomes part of the Spread Oaks story,” Rosser says.

With a resident Master Chef, the cuisine is supreme at Spread Oaks Ranch. Courtesy photo

Stunning Accommodations

First-class accommodations include two master suites in a stunning 15,000 square-foot lodge, casitas with private bathrooms and a bunkhouse that sleeps six with two bathrooms.

The Spread Oaks property is under a Conservation Easement, and the Wylies are working with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and federal officials to return it to its original Texas coastal prairie state. It also has a fascinating history: 19 years before Texas became a part of the U.S., its first two landowners were members of the Stephen F. Austin “Old Three Hundred,” the group of settlers enticed to settle what was then a northern province of Mexico.

Spread Oaks Ranch offers top-of-the-range accommodation, including 12 ensuite rooms, 7 with king beds, 5 with double queen beds and a 6-bed bunk room. Courtesy photo

Exclusive Concert Series

The exclusive concert series is making history of its own. Guests book an all-inclusive stay and choose activities than range from an in-room massage, whiskey tasting, target instruction and practice, historical tours and more. Saltwater fishing in Matagorda Bay, wild hog hunting by helicopter and some other adventures are available at added cost. Guests are advised to book early because of the limited number of spaces.

For more information, call 281 615-9562 or email

Photo courtesy Spread Oaks Ranch

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Cover photo courtesy Spread Oaks Ranch