There was a time when a trip to Tagaytay City meant having a picnic by the ridge as you soak up on the wonderful view of Taal Volcano while having lunch. It was a chance to take advantage of the day-long cool weather, as you go horseback riding at a nearby park. At the end of the day, pasalubong shopping included not only buko pie and tarts, but also fresh vegetables and garden plants from the roadside stalls that line the highway on the way home.

 

Nowadays, a trip to Tagaytay means a trip to Sky Ranch, the five-hectare amusement park managed by SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Located beside historic Taal Vista Hotel, this theme park in the sky has become one of the popular attractions families and groups must experience when they hie off to this leisure destination south of Metro Manila. 

 

Since it opened in late 2013, Sky Ranch has become a popular destination not only for travelers from Manila, but also from the nearby provinces of Cavite, Batangas and Laguna. The park is quite popular among schools that visit Tagaytay City on field trips, as well as families driving from nearby provinces on an excursion.

 

To date, Sky Ranch boasts a number of attractions. The 63-meter tall Sky Eye is the park’s main landmark, towering over other park rides. Riding one of the gondolas of this mammoth Ferris wheel provides guests with magnificent views of Tagaytay Ridge and Taal Volcano.

 

Other must-ride park attractions include Sky Viking, an open gondola that swings riders up to a 90-degree angle for an action-packed ride; the Zipline that hurls you across a 300-meter drop by the ridge; the double-decker Carousel; and the Riding Loop horseback riding track.

 

While most of the park rides are geared towards children, six more attractions that are intended for adults are expected to be made available by the end of 2015. One attraction, the Log Cruiser, a log-themed roller coaster, is set to be operational by September.

 

Apart from its attractions, Sky Ranch is fast becoming a popular foodie destination with its wide selection of dining options, from fast-food and casual dining restaurants to family-style outlets. Whatever the craving, there is a restaurant to satisfy your appetite.

 

A popular stop for those looking for diner fare is Downtown Pizza & Pasta and Red Engine Diner. This two-in-one restaurant serves a selection of pasta dishes, pizza and Angus burgers that have become popular for their huge sizes and portions.

 

Restaurant manager Raquel M. Añonuevo said the twin restaurants are unique dining concepts that were first introduced in Sky Ranch. Many of their guests are families and barkadas who are visiting the park.

 

A crowd favorite is the Red Engine Burger, a huge burger made with Angus beef patty. Añonuevo said they only use imported Angus beef for their burgers to assure guests of quality. Likewise, they also use a special red-colored bun, which is not available in any other restaurant in the country. The combination of juicy Angus beef burger and red burger buns must be seen and tasted when visiting Sky Ranch. Another popular burger is the Bacon Mushroom Melt.

 

On the other hand, the most popular pizza on the Downtown menu is its Downtown-style pizza. This thin-crust pizza is topped with pepperoni, smoked ham, bacon, beef, green and red bell peppers, sliced onions, mushrooms, black olives and pineapple. Also popular is the Bacon Mushroom Melt pizza.

 

If you want to try Downtown’s and Red Diner’s menu of pizza, pasta and burgers, you will have to drive to Sky Ranch in Tagaytay City to give it a try.

 

Those looking for something Filipino should go to Mesa. The branch at Sky Ranch is the 20th for this popular restaurant chain that serves what it calls Filipino Moderne, classic Filipino dishes with an innovative twist.

Mesa restaurant manager Ci-Ann Cheng said that only the Sky Ranch branch serves bulalo among all Mesa branches nationwide. Since the restaurant is in Tagaytay City, which is known for its beef, this popular soup dish was introduced into the menu.

 

Mesa is popular among diners looking for a unique dining experience in Tagaytay. Cheng said they often receive reservations from nearby hotels for their guests who are looking for something different from the usual Filipino fare. In fact, in the three months that the restaurant has been open, it has developed a loyal clientele from businessmen and residents from nearby areas.

 

All of the popular Mesa dishes are served here, but the best way to sample its specialties is by ordering one of its set menus, which is good for groups of 10-12 diners. A sample menu includes favorites such as tinapa roll wrapped in lettuce, crispy boneless tilapia with four sauces, swahe on the rocks, a choice of boneless pata tim or crispy boneless pata, pinatayong manok, kare-kare beef, laing two ways, and bagoong rice.

 

If you just want to chill after having the ride of your life at Sky Ranch, Krispy Kreme serves its popular doughnuts and coffee in a cozy ambience.

 

All your favorite donut flavors are available here, from the traditional glazed to the limited edition flavors and the newly introduced Kool Doughnuts that are filled with chilled flavored cream.

 

If it’s a quick snack you are after, Krispy Kreme is your best bet.

 

Sky Ranch is located beside Taal Vista Hotel, Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City.

 

To get to Sky Ranch from Metro Manila, take SLEX to Sta. Rosa Exit, and drive straight to Tagaytay Public Market. From there, turn right going to Tagaytay City proper, and follow the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road. 

 

You may also take Eton Exit from SLEX, and turn right to Greenfield Parkway and on to United Boulevard. Then, turn right to Laguna Boulevard, and then turn left the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road until you reach Tagaytay City.

Another option is to take Greenfields Exit from SLEX. Follow the alternate route to Tagaytay City, passing by Pramana, Nuvali, Eton City and Paseo de Sta. Rosa, before connecting with the national highway to Tagaytay City.

 

If commuting, take a bus bound for Tagaytay-Mendez or Nasugbu from Coastal Mall in Parañaque. Get off at Olivarez Tagaytay, and take a jeepney going to the casino or Crossing Mendez. It passes in front of Sky Ranch.

If coming from Batangas City, take a bus to Turbina or SM Calamba, where there are vans bound for Olivarez Tagaytay. From there, take a jeepney going to the casino or Crossing Mendez, which passes in front of Sky Ranch.

 

If coming from Bauan, Batangas, take a van to Dasmariñas, Cavite at the terminal beside Petron and across Jollibee. It will pass right in front of Sky Ranch.

 

Sky Ranch is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.