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Combine The Offerings of Two Private Ranches for the Perfect Arizona Weekend!

30 minutes south of Tucson Arizona is my family's beautiful ranch, Agua Linda Farm. We love hosting weddings and events on our GORGEOUS 63 acres and are THRILLED to be partnering with some incredible lodging options nearby. In this blog, I am excited to tell you about The Historic Shankle Ranch.

Last week my husband, Stewart and I saddled up our horses for a trail ride to the south-eastern corner of the original 1000 acre Agua Linda.  My goal was to ride to where the opening scene to the movie “Oklahoma” was filmed in the 1950’s.  We traversed the Santa Cruz River, scrambled up the sandy bank on the other side and “bush-wacked” through thorny mesquite trees to get there.  We arrived at the meadow of our destination and, yes, I bellowed out the old song that I learned in high school choir. "Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain..."

This portion of the old ranch shares a fence line with the Historic Shankle Ranch.

Out on the trail, and some more shots of Agua Linda Farm

A few years ago, the 1,000+ acres came up for sale.  Stewart and I worried that the land would sell to developers, but the sellers held out for a buyer that was prepared to care for the land.  Kirk and Sheri Sinclair are cattle ranchers and began the long process of returning the land, which had sat mostly fallow for decades, back to pastures for their herd.  Whew!

At the same time, Sheri and Kirk began renovating the ranch house.  They painstakingly stripped and refinished wood floors and beams and opened up the living room into the dining room.  In the process of this renovation, they found documents in the basement and learned about Dutch and Joan Shankle who owned the ranch in the 1930’s.  The Shankles were renowned aviators and are recognized in the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.  Back then, there was an airstrip on the ranch and a hanger for their aircrafts.  In honor of the couple, Sheri and Kirk changed the name of the ranch from the “PM Ranch”, or Pajaros Migrates (Migratory Birds) to “The Historic Shankle Ranch”.

They originally intended to live in the main ranch house, but plans changed and they now offer this GORGEOUS, historic ranch house to tourists and visitors for lodging, and, of course, to my wedding clients! (YAY!!)

I literally get giddy when I tell my wedding clients who are getting married at my farm about the option to stay at the Shankle.  It is only about a 5 minute drive away (it takes a little longer on horse back, ha, ha!) and offers arrangements for up to 24 guests.

5 minutes away from our venue, is The Historic Shankle Ranch

The main ranch house has 7 bedrooms and can sleep up to 16.  Each room is spacious and furnished with handsome antiques.  Sheri has incredible taste and in selecting the art work and furnishings for the home, she chose pieces that were stately and sturdy - elegant without looking dainty or delicate.  Perfect for a historic ranch house!

There is a large comfortable living room and a fun game room in the basement to which one of my wedding couples commented, “This would be perfect for the groomsmen to hang out in on the wedding day!”

The courtyard looks out onto a swimming pool and to pastures with grazing cattle and the Santa Rita Mountains beyond.  Like my ranch, the mountain views are unspoiled!  No buildings or lights - just the stars and the moon to gaze on at night! 

A surprise bonus - to the north of the house is a private pond surrounded by trees and grass.  Perfect for a romantic picnic or FABULOUS photos!

With their grandchildren in mind, the Sinclairs commissioned The Treehouse Guys to design and construct a luxury tree house in one of the giant pines in the back of the house.  When I was a kid, I dreamed of a treehouse and my sister and I constantly begged my dad to build one.  The best we got was a piece of  plywood nailed to branches a few feet above ground level and the most luxurious furnishings was an old quilt and a pillow that we placed on the platform!  Although the Sinclairs do not market the tree house to children, it certainly elicits all those childhood fantasies of the joy of a tree house but also has the amenities we adults appreciate!  Climbing the knotty pine staircase to the wrap around porch, you can’t help but pause and take in the INCREDIBLE view from the elevated vantage point and to appreciate the chirping of birds flitting around in tree.  There is a queen sized bed and a ladder leading to a cozy loft where two twin beds await. A real bathroom, a kitchenette with sink, a retro refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot are all that you need to feel pampered!  I wish I could stay there for a month - start that novel…

My bride and groom to-be thought they might reserve the treehouse just for them as their “honeymoon suite!” 

Take a tour of the Tubac Tree House.

If that weren’t enough, the Sinclairs also modernized the “Bunkhouse” which was formally housing for ranch workers.  This is a great choice for a family with kids.  There is a new kitchen, a bedroom with a queen size bed and a sleeper-sofa in the living room

All together, the ranch can accommodate 24.  The owners do not offer the ranch for weddings or large events, so we are thrilled to be their top recommendation when their guests want to have a wedding or event during their stay.  The Agua Linda Farm and The Historic Shankle Ranch make the perfect combination for an ideal Southern Arizona getaway and destination wedding or family reunion weekend!

Some considerations:

  • Of course, Agua Linda Farm can be booked without including lodging at The Historic Shankle Ranch, and the Shankle can be booked even if you are not having an event at my venue! See booking links, below

  • Be sure to confirm availability of both locations - they are booked separately

  • There is no in-house food option at The Historic Shankle, but there are numerous restaurants and a small grocery store within just a couple of minutes. There is a kitchen at the ranch.

  • The Historic Shankle does not host events.

  • Agua Linda Farm does not offer lodging on-site

  • A full weekend package with lodging at the Shankle (and, if more space is needed, other local options) and events at Agua Linda can be arranged. Contact me, Laurel, at Agua Linda Farm to discuss rehearsal dinner, wedding event and Sunday brunch options.

  • Our small town of Tubac offers a lot of activities including hiking the Anza Trail (easy, scenic, lush trail along Santa Cruz River), art galleries, museums, numerous restaurants, golf and spa services at the Tubac Golf Resort, historic bars, The Tumacacori Mission state park and MORE - all within just a couple of miles! Contact me for a tour of the area.

A tour of Agua Linda Farm, hosted by me, Laurel Loew

Bobbi Smith's tour of the Shankle


My venue, Agua Linda Farm is a 63 acre ranch in Southern Arizona near Tucson. My husband and I have been hosting weddings, harvest festivals and other events on our property for more than 15 years. I write my blog posts with my clients in mind but also hope to provide a little inspiration applicable to any wedding.

Happy Planning!. - Laurel Loew


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