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Boonville, Missouri, may not seem like much to the naked eye, but select horse lovers will know the true magic that resides on the 300-plus acres of land found in this tiny town. More than just your average ranch, nestled in the small town of Boonville is the home of the Budweiser Clydesdales: Warm Springs Ranch. Some people may travel there for the smooth complimentary beer, but most come to witness the strong, majestic Clydesdales and their adorable offspring.

The entrance to Warm Springs Ranch.

What’s In A Name?

Warm Springs Ranch told TravelAwaits that Budweiser’s renowned Clydesdale breeding program has been planted firmly in its current Boonville location since 2008, however, its name comes from the ranch’s former location in California. Warm Springs Creek ran through the California property, and when the Clydesdale breeding program was relocated, inspiration from generations of breeding and training in California came with it, as evidenced by the ranch’s name. As for the Clydesdales that are bred and trained in this idyllic location, their name comes from a hilly region -- Dale -- next to the Clyde River in Scotland.

Warm Springs Ranch has 80 to 100 Clydesdales of all different ages on the property. Curious to know how you can visit these beautiful horses, and maybe drink some free beer? We visited the lively ranch and are prepared to share some noteworthy tidbits that’ll help you prepare for memorable Clydesdale moments of your own.

A group of clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch.

Guided Walking Tours Versus Private VIP Tours

Warm Springs Ranch is open every day but Wednesdays, and reservations are essential!

The only way to get a behind-the-scenes look at the ranch’s 25,000-square-foot facility is by booking a tour of the ranch grounds. There are two tour options available: guided walking tours and private VIP tours. Six tour guides and seven handlers work on site, tending to the ranch and ensuring that tours run smoothly. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from each tour type.

Stable tour at Warm Springs Ranch.
Kelly Bambrick

Guided Walking Tour, 90 Minutes

Indoor-Outdoor, Rain Or Shine

  • Talk to Clydesdale handlers
  • View the Clydesdale harness, trailer, and 1903 beer wagon
  • Take a picture with a Clydesdale stallion
  • Take a trip around the gift shop for Warm Springs Ranch, Budweiser, and Clydesdale souvenirs
  • Guests 21 and older: Sample free Budweiser beer on tap

Guided walking tours are available by reservation only every day (except Wednesdays) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. late March to early November and are $15 for all participants over 2 years of age.

A VIP tour at Warm Springs Ranch.

Private VIP Tours, 90 Minutes

Indoor-Outdoor, Rain Or Shine

  • Tour the facility from a custom-built covered wagon
  • Interact with Clydesdales of all ages in 300-plus acres of pasture
  • Enjoy a private walking tour of the 25,000-square-foot breeding facility
  • Get an up-close look at the traveling hitch equipment
  • Take a picture with a Clydesdale stallion
  • Take a trip around the gift shop for Clydesdale, Warm Springs Ranch, and Budweiser souvenirs.
  • Guests 21 and older: Sample free Budweiser beer on tap

Private VIP tours are available by reservation only every day (except Wednesdays) starting at 10:30 a.m. late March to early November and are $500 a tour for a maximum of 16 guests.

The main differences between these two tour options are the price and the opportunity the VIP tour affords visitors to interact with the Clydesdales. Another bonus of the VIP tour is that VIP guests get to enjoy the ranch seated in a personal wagon, which also makes this tour better-suited for visitors with mobility impairments. That said, the ride can be bumpy, which may result in motion sickness or make it less than ideal for those with back or neck issues.

Warm Springs Ranch Holiday Lights 2018

We’re less than 30 days away from Holiday Lights 2018! Reservations are required this year. Make yours at www.warmspringsranch.com/. #WSR10thAnniversary #FollowTheHitch

Posted by Warm Springs Ranch on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Holiday Lights

Warm Springs Ranch really comes alive during the holiday season! Visitors can expect to be surrounded by lights, decorations, and festive holiday music as they explore the ranch’s grounds.

It takes the ranch between two and four months to set up for their elaborate holiday display. The 2019 holiday lights display will begin on November 29 and run through December 29. From Thursday through Sunday visitors can take a tour to see and learn about the Clydesdale horses and enjoy a wonderful light display from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. As with other tour types, reservations are still required.

A clydesdale at Warm Springs Ranch.
Kelly Bambrick

Plan Your Trip

Warm Springs Ranch hosts visitors from near and far. Seeing as the ranch is located in Boonville, a city with fewer than 8,500 residents, there isn’t a ton of action happening in town. You may want to incorporate a ranch tour into a St. Louis- or Kansas City-centric trip if you’re looking for busier scenery. According to Warm Springs Ranch, people often stay in Kansas City or St. Louis and make Warm Springs Ranch a day trip activity from one of these hubs.

If you aren’t thrilled by the idea of traveling so many hours (three round trip to Kansas City and five round trip to St. Louis) in one day, nearby college town Columbia, Missouri, might be your best bet. Columbia is bustling with the energy of the University of Missouri and boasts parks and trails, plus a scenic downtown with eclectic restaurants and cafes that you can enjoy before or after your time at Warm Springs.

A free Budweiser sample at Warm Springs Ranch.

The TravelAwaits team suggests giving local favorite Shakespeare’s Pizza's downtown location a try. In the spirit of the Clydesdales, you can raise a glass (or bottle) of Budweiser’s finest as you enjoy a delicious slice of pizza and thumb through all the adorable Clydesdale photos you and your travel companions captured at the ranch!

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