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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Enjoy pool, hiking, creek, views and vineyards from historic ranch-a-rita

Bedrooms 4
Half Baths1
Space 1,500 sq. ft.
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Historic farmhouse sleeps up to 9 plus bunkhouse sleeps 9+

Whether you are craving an escape from the city and reconnecting with nature or a great place to explore all theTexas Hill Country has to offer, you'll find it here at Rancho de Vida. The relaxing starts when you turn your car into the gate. This 100-year-old plus farm house has been lovingly restored and burnished into a wonderful gathering place for friends & family. Texas Hill Country meets shabby chic in the shadow of a 400-year-old oak in the backyard.

Dine under the canopy of the lighted oak, enjoy a campfire and gazing at the stars. Hike the property's bluffs and creek beds, float in the limestone bottom seasonal creek, take in the sunshine from the hammock, tree swings and treehouse. In 2015, we added a 24-foot round "stock tank" swimming pool, to cool off and swim in. Beautiful hill top area with an arbor and hay bale couch. Take in the views across the valley and toast each sunset. There's even a stage for kids to do skits or hone their chops for the big time and a dance floor for boot scootin' to music under trees light up with patio lights.

The ranch has been the site of many weddings. Please let us know if you want to plan a wedding there and we can help with the details. We charge a reasonable event fee for weddings and gatherings with additional guests.

Rancho de Vida is located right in the middle of the New Napa---at least a dozen wineries are in a 20 minute drive. Historic Fredericksburg is a short drive, as is Luckenbach if you want to do some boot scootin'. Two state parks, both with water for swimming, and the LBJ National Park and the Western White House are within 15 minutes. Explore the parklike setting of bluffs and creek beds on our 67-acres and bike the quiet backroads that surround the property.

Main house 1st floor kitchen-dining room, living room, master bedroom and bath. Second floor has two bedrooms and 1/2 bath. One bedroom has one full-size bed and one queen bed, and second bedroom one full-size bed .

Air conditioned and heated bunkhouse is optional (additional cost of $250 to $300 per night) & sleeps 9---perfect for kids. Great new bath house adjoins with two showers, two toilets, a sink and plenty of getting ready for a hill country night out room.

Ranch location & local attractions: Austin- 1 hour away

San Antonio-1 hour away

Johnson City--10 minutes

Luckenbach-15 minutes

Marble Falls -boating & golf-- 20 minutes

Enchanted Rock & Pedernales State Park-hiking 15 to 20 minutes

Fredericksburg festivals & shopping--20 minutes

Texas Hill Country Wine Trail---10 minutes

LBJ National Historical Park--10 minutes

Benini Studio and Sculpture Ranch--3 minutes (2 miles)

There are now 30 plus wineries within 20 minutes of Rancho de Vida. Let us assist you in scheduling your wine country tour---limo services are available for you and your group.

The new Hill Country Science Mill is a great outing for kids and students of all ages. Taking an old mill in Johnson City in 2015, the Hill Country Science Mill is a family destination offering a fun, interactive learning environment for all ages. Through cutting-edge technology-based exhibits, games, and programs, the Science Mill expands students' understanding and appreciation of science in their everyday lives. By igniting their curiosity and inspiring them to pursue post-secondary education, the Science Mill experience starts students on the path to a life-long career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

More Details

Mary Pat
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 14, 2018

About Mary Pat

I took an aptitude test at the age of 20 and it said I'd be good in advertising or agriculture. I have checked the advertising box as the owner of an Austin ad agency for 20 years and have loved getting in touch with my agriculture roots more recently with the purchase of Rancho de Vida. It's been a great place to get away from it all, bring people together, enjoy the therapy of manual labor and the restorative power of Momma Nature.

Mary Pat purchased this farmhouse in 2008

Why Mary Pat chose Johnson City

About 10 years ago I went to a retreat where we talked about getting back on track with goals and pursuing your dreams. One of the exercises was to write your obituary. I'd been thinking about it a bit as I had just finished chemo for breast cancer when I was 44. I wrote this obit almost joyfully, describing how I had a special place in the country where friends and family could gather, listen to music, eat great meals and enjoy being out in nature and dancing under the Texas stars. Later, I shared with a couple of friends and forgot about it. Several years went by and then one of my friends, a real estate broker, said 'I found your place.' I'd forgotten about the obit and the description of my ranch-a-rita. Well, fell in love with the place at first site. Friends and family have gathered there and created some great memories. Just coming over the rise to the entrance of the ranch, my blood pressure lowers and the connection to nature takes over. Life becomes simpler and more beautiful. The giant oak tree right outside the house, is a place where people gather under for meals and draw strength from that big, wise oak. It's estimated to be 300 to 400 years old. There are lights in the tree and a bird cage 'chandelier' over the table. Life is good. And it brings me happiness to share with others.

What makes this farmhouse unique

History of House

Under the sprawling old oak (now 350-years + old), the Weirich family built this house in 1910 of shiplap construction. Shingle siding was put over this in the 1950s. The house was originally a dogtrot-style house, with a breezeway running down the middle of the house. There was no front door to the home then. The stairs leading to the upstairs bedrooms were on the outside of the house, in the style of a Fredericksburg Sunday house.

The original wagon road came right by this house (now the driveway) and was rerouted in 1980. This was the same year improvements were done to update the house with modern conveniences, but still maintain the integrity of the original. Indoor plumbing was established; as was the enclosure of the back porch at the foot of the stairs and the breezeway in order to add a bath.

Original wainscoting is evident throughout the house, as is the original window glass, doors and hardware. Nine-foot ceilings and transoms above the doors are special features of this pioneer home.

The house had two wood-burning stoves, one in the front bedroom and one in the kitchen. Single-drop light fixtures were in each room. The parlor (the room on the south side of the home) was off limits to children, except on Christmas morning when the cedar tree was lit with candles in the German tradition.

Part of the cement hitching post can still be seen next to the road at the front gate and a part of the old lightening rod is still attached to the home in one corner.

The land is very varied over it's 67 acres. There's a hill top with forever views looking north west, a rocky ravine, seasonal creek that has a great limestone bottom swimming hole and waterfalls when it's running, beautiful hayfields, oaks and wildflowers.

Rancho de Vida is a great place to get away from it all, bring people together, realize the surprising therapy of manual labor and the restorative power of Momma Nature. Hope you have enjoyed your stay here!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Thank you so much for your wonderful home. The weekend was so perfect and all of the girls loved the house, it was definitely a hit! So many girls made comments about wanting to return, seeing as it was such a perfect location and really made the weekend so special.

Thanks again for such a great weekend and all of your help leading up to it!
Apr 2016
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Johnson City Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 12:00 PM
  • Max. occupancy: 18
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Maps
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Farmhouse bath - toilet , combination tub/shower , Shower attachment on antique claw foot tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , Upstairs bathroom in farmhouse has toilet and sink
    Bunkhouse Bath house - Brand new cute addition has two showers and two toilets
    Outdoor shower - outdoor shower , Enjoy a shower under the stars.
    Bunkhouse Bathhouse - toilet , shower , 2 showers & 2 toilets in the bunkhouse bath house
  • Claw foot tub in downstairs full bathroom with shower attachment. Upstairs half bath has sink and toilet. Bunkhouse has bath house with two showers and two toilets. New bath house adjacent to bunkhouse features two roomy showers, two toilets and a sink. Lots of room for changing and getting ready for a night out. Rustic outdoor shower behind pump house. Shower under the stars is a great experience. Bunk house also has 2 seater outhouse. Great for pictures!
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 18
  • Master - 1 queen , Downstairs
    Cowgirl Room - 1 queen , 1 double , Upstairs
    Sunroom Day Bed - 1 twin/ single , Upstairs
    Red Bedroom - 1 double , Upstairs
    Optional Bunkhouse - 9 twin/ single , Across the yard from the farmhouse with bath house.
  • Two booking options ! Rent the main house only that sleeps up to 9 in beds. Larger Group or need more room ? Add the bunkhouse that sleeps 9+ for $300 per night. Bunkhouse is air conditioned and has heating, with a refrigerator, 4 XL bunk beds, sleeping 8, and a swing couch/bed. Cute bath house adjoins the bunkhouse and has two showers, two toilets and a sink.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Barbecue
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • 10 garden chairs
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
We welcome well-behaved dogs. Dogs love the ranch and all the running around they get to do. We charge a pet fee, so please let us know if you are bringing a pooch(es).


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(38 traveler reviews)

92% Complete
7% Complete
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Enjoy pool, hiking, creek, views and vineyards from historic ranch-a-rita
average rating of 4.9210525 based on 68 reviews

Spacious Country living - Perfect escape from the city

  • 5 of 5

This ranch house has everything we needed to enjoy our time in the peaceful countryside. Mary Pat has taken care to include so many great little touches. She was great about answering our many questions before our trip. We felt right at home the moment we arrived.

Careful thought has been given to keeping the home true to some old tradition, yet also keeping it comfortable and stylish. We loved the decor.

Our favorite was the amazing outdoor space. There are lots of areas to sit and relax while enjoying the countless stars at night in the quiet of the country. We loved the outdoor lights, swings, seating and especially the fire-pit.

This great spot is nicely removed from all busyness, yet it is close to so many fun things. We enjoyed visiting lots of the local businesses. This house is a gem! We can't wait to go back!

  • Submitted: Jan 27, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your nice review! We enjoyed having your group---you all are wonderful guests! Please visit again! All the best, MP
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Awesome country experience!!

  • 5 of 5

Other than few minor country living surprises we loved our 3 night stay

  • Submitted: Mar 13, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great place!

  • 5 of 5

I've enjoyed this property several times, and it continues to impress. The recent improvements show the care that goes into making it a wonderful vacation destination.

  • Submitted: Jan 24, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much Chris! We always enjoy having you and your friends for your birthday celebration. It's nice that you choose to spend your special day at the ranch!
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Fantastic stay! Wonderful host, and great property!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Rancho De Vida for New Year's eve and loved It! 7 adults enjoyed the house, kitchen, and large dining table for food, conversation, and games. The kids loved the (heated) bunkhouse and property! Kitchen is well equipped. Lovely spots on the property to swim, walk, sit, stretch, ... Loved our stay! Thank you, Mary Pat!

  • Submitted: Jan 12, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your nice review, Michael! Makes me happy your crew had a good time. Really enjoyed getting to know you and your wife and please come on back to Rancho de Vida! You guys were such great guests!
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Austin, TX

Rustic bohemian ranch

  • 5 of 5

We were married in November of this year at Rancho de Vida and it was the perfect venue for us! Unseasonably warm so we got to use the pool and the kids adored the friendly longhorns!! The sunsets and moonrises were spectacular. The ranch comfortably accommodated our extended family and many memories were made by the fire pit. Love this place!

  • Submitted: Nov 16, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Meg for your kind review. I so enjoyed getting to know you and John through planning your special weekend. So happy to hear you and your guests enjoyed it...makes my heart happy that other people love the nature out there and what it does for the soul. Wishing you and John many, many years of happiness. Warm regards, MP
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Perfect Hill Country Getaway

  • 5 of 5

This was the PERFECT getaway for girls weekend. The house is cute and kitchy and the pictures do not do it justice! The property was amazing and beautiful and the house was so cozy. We hung out around the round table under the tree all weekend, talking and laughing. We had a group of 15 and we had plenty of space. The bunk house was so much fun and we felt like we were back at camp! The longhorns came to visit us a few times during weekend and it was fun to watch the alpacas. We will definitely be back!

  • Submitted: Oct 8, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Kellie! Thanks so much for your nice review. It makes our hearts happy that you all had such a good time! It was a pleasure working with you on your girlfriends trip and so appreciate you all taking such good care of the place. Look forward to hosting you all again! Warm regards, MP
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Pedernales Falls State Park
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Visitor Center
Texas Hills Vineyard
Good wines.
El Charro Restaurant
Our go-to Mex restaurant in Johnson City. BYOB and try their gorditas! Great prices, too.
Pecan Street Brewing
Great beers brewed on site. Food is yummy, TVs at bar for sports watching and big indoor be...
Texas Hills Vineyard
Good wines.
Pieces of the Past
Great antique shopping here---lots of architectural antiques for your remodeling project, ya...
Becker Vineyards
Probably the best wines from this area. Pretty place, buy some lavender while you are there.
William Chris Vineyards
Grape Creek Vineyards
Flat Creek Estate Winery & Vineyard
Very pretty winery.
Hye Meadow Winery
Texas Hills Vineyard
Good wines.
Nearest Airport
55 Miles
San Antonio Airport & Austin Bergstrom
Car: necessary

Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, world class golf, antiques, biking, hiking, shopping, festivals, lakes, rivers, Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, Blanco and Luckenbach, Texas within 20 minute drive, wine tasting, star gazing, Hill Country views, art & music.

Other Activities: Museums, festivals, live music, golf, water sports 20 minutes away.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $175
Pet Fee $25
Damage Deposit $250

The bunk house that sleeps 9---4 XL bunk beds and one swing sofa/bed. Pricing is based on what housing is reserved and number of people in your group.

Please note to rent the air conditioned/heated bunkhouse is $300 additional per night. The auto quote HomeAway or VRBO generates only estimates for one night and HomeAway and VRBO don't offer a way to fix that---apologies for any confusion.

Bath house adjacent to bunkhouse---two toilets, two showers and a sink. An outdoor shower, too, for enjoying the stars while bathing.

Please inquire for weekly or monthly rates and wedding/event rates.

A refundable $250 security deposit is collected at time of booking for property damages.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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