The five-day excursions, astride Tennessee walking horses, are held weekly. Riders travel through wilderness areas inaccessible to most other means of transportation. The terrain includes secluded beaches, rugged bluffs, redwood forests and rolling hills.
Cross Country International Equestrian Tours. "And the best way to see it is on a horse."
Riders spend four nights at the Costanoa Lodge near Pescadero and one night at the Pescadero Creek Inn.
Trips begin on Sundays. The kids-ride-free special, which applies to those ages 8 to 16, expires May 31. Rides are held year-round.
Cost: $1,650 per person, double occupancy (single surcharge not available; up to two children can ride free when staying in the same room with two adults). Included are bed-and-breakfast accommodations, lunch daily on the trail, five days of guided trail riding, horse and western tack. Transportation to Pescadero is not included. Airport transfer from San Francisco or San Jose costs $50 for a family or group of two children and two adults.
Contact: Cross Country International Equestrian Vacations, Millbrook, N.Y.; (800) 828-8768, http://www.equestrianvacations .com.
The Tuscan color palette
PAINT — and tour — the Tuscan countryside during a weeklong workshop at the Tuscany Institute for Advanced Studies in Val d'Orcia near Pienza.
The May 16 program will be directed by artist Olivia Batchelder of Laguna Beach. She will teach a water-based dye-on-silk technique in a studio on a 14th century estate and farm.
The half-day sessions leave time free for excursions led by institute staff.
Cost: $2,295 ($350 single surcharge), including six nights' lodging at the estate, most meals, five days of instruction, tours and class materials. Airfare from Los Angeles and airport transfers from Rome or Florence are not included.
Contact: Olivia Batchelder, (949) 497-2703, http://www.oliviabatchelder.com .
Teeing off with a Giant
PLAY golf in the country where the game was invented.
The weeklong Scottish tour, which begins April 1, includes three days of play at Carnoustie Golf Links, St. Andrews Links Old Course and Alisa Course, Turnberry.