5 Best Places to Vacation in the US for Horse Lovers

Whether you’re a horse owner with a life-long love affair with horses or an admirer from afar, these five US travel destinations are sure to delight horse lovers of every age and stripe!

Churchill Downs Barbaro Entrance and Façade

Churchill Downs is the Home of the Kentucky Derby.

Louisville, Kentucky

Home of the Kentucky Derby, the most prestigious annual horse race in America, and the first jewel of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

Why you will love it:
If you are interested in thoroughbred horses and racing, this should be at the top of your list. Enjoy the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” enjoying race day at Churchill Downs, as well as the unique southern flavor or Louisville’s other attractions, like the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the Muhammed Ali Center, zip lining and a number of unique museum experiences.

When to visit:
If you’re making this trip only once, be sure to catch the Kentucky Derby! And while the race itself is held the first Saturday in May, be sure to catch the 2-week celebration before the race, the Kentucky Derby Festival.

 

Wild Pony Swim

The Annual Wild Pony Swim

Chincoteague, Virginia

Home of the the Chincoteague Pony, a wild breed of pony that lives on Assateague Island in Virginia, and a relaxing natural beach atmosphere.

Why you will love it:

If you love to see wild horses in their natural habitat this is the place to be. The Chincoteague Pony, also known as the Assateague horse, have inhabited Assateague Island for hundreds of years and trace their origin to descendants of horses from a Spanish galleon that wrecked off the coast.

When to visit:

If you want to catch something truly spectacular then book your visit during the annual Pony Swim, which happens for a week every summer. During the event ‘Saltwater Cowboys” round up the ponies and swim them from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The events during that week include a pony parade, carnival, pony auction, and more.

Wild Horse at Shackleford Banks, NC

Wild horse in the dunes at Shackleford Banks.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

There are several places to see wild Spanish Mustangs along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Viewing these beauties requires patience and the knowledge that it can happen at any time.

Why you will love it:

These Spanish Mustangs roam free along the Outer Banks and are believed to be descendants of shipwrecked horses from hundreds of years ago that took up residence here. At any given time you could have them cross your path on the beach for a wonderful viewing of these beautiful horses.

When to visit:

You can view the horses any time of the year along the Outer Banks but most would probably prefer doing so during fair weather like spring and summer. There are many ways to see the horses including taking a Wild Horse Tour or just walking along the beach.

One of many picturesque horse farms in Ocala

One of many picturesque horse farms in Ocala

Ocala, Florida

This central Florida city is known as the Horse Capital of the World with its huge green pastures filled with beautiful horse farms. Ocala is a city in Marion County that has over 600 Thoroughbred farms and is considered one of just a few Thoroughbred centers in the world.

Why you will love it:

Not only are there a massive amount of horse farms in Ocala but there are also equestrian events happening just about all year long. There is a 500-acre Florida Horse Park here which is the official training site for the U.S. Equestrian Team as well as host to many nationally recognized three-day events, international and Olympic-level equine sports competitions, and more. The area also let’s the equine lover the ability to learn with Olympic-level trainers and to participate in some of the world’s biggest equine competitions.

When to visit:

The fact that this equestrian city is in Florida tells you that the weather is beautiful year round making pursuing horse activities easy. There are several horse festivals as well as equestrian events here throughout the year to keep every horse lover happy.

Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga Springs, New York

The town of Saratoga Spring in upstate New York has been a ‘Horse Haven’ for horse-lovers dating back to 1847 when the first meeting for trotters was held on a dirt track and wagered on.

Why you will love it:

The Saratoga Race Course is the oldest race track in America. It also is host to the best horse racing in America. In addition to its equestrian activities, Saratoga has beautiful landscapes, lakes, and springs as well as theater, ballet, opera, music, shopping, and more to occupy everyone in the family.

When to visit:

The best time to visit this area is in the summertime from mid-July through Labor Day when the town hosts the best racing in America including the Saratoga Stakes Races, the Whitney Stakes, and Saratoga’s biggest race, the $1.25 Million Travers Race.