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San Francisco's New Gold Rush

Some of this inn's adobe buildings date to the 17th century and are said to have withstood Pancho Villa's artillery during the Mexican Revolution (a cannonball was found in the hacienda's wall during recent renovations). Later, as a guest ranch, it welcomed more peaceful regulars like Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. Set in the 120,000-acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge an hour south of Tucson on the Mexico-Arizona border, it's the perfect refuge for modern visitors seeking Santa Fe style without the tourist crowds. New owners Richard and Veronica Schultz have resuscitated the ranch's Spanish colonial roots, filling the 17 guest rooms with rustic Mexican antiques. Meanwhile, the kitchen whips up some of the most innovative cuisine south of Phoenix: the mesquite-grilled salmon with mango-avocado salsa is perfect after an afternoon horseback ride.

Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch, Sasabe, Ariz.; 800/872-6240; doubles from $310, including horseback rides and all meals.

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