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FAMILY-FRIENDLY FARMS AND DUDE RANCHES
 
(2016 - Fall/Winter Issue)

Writer: JOSEPHINE MATYAS



Fascinated with the American cowboy history and culture? Saddle up and hit the trails on a working ranch or dude ranch. Found in almost every state across the west, ranch experiences are also offered in states like Florida.

FLORIDA

Just south of Orlando, Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is an authentic dude ranch experience in an untouched piece of wilderness. Lodge in cowboy-themed rooms and suites, villas and spacious two-bedroom cabins, or try the new glamping sites. Activities include horseback riding, swimming, nature hikes, hayrides, cookouts and the Saturday-night championship rodeo with trick riding, bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing. Book at least seven days in advance to receive a discount of up to 25 per cent (valid until December 22).

COLORADO

More than 30 dude ranches range from upscale resort-like properties to rustic, working ranches where guests engage in everyday chores like herding cattle. Popular for weddings, corporate retreats and groups, C Lazy U Luxury Guest Ranch—the state’s premiere guest ranch since 1919—provides personalized service, first-class amenities, gourmet meals and upscale accommodation. Colorado Trails Ranch near Durango matches guests with the perfect horse. In addition to trail riding there’s fly fishing, hiking, rafting and dedicated children’s programs. Zapata Ranch in southern Colorado combines gourmet cuisine, nature hikes, yoga sessions and guided fly-fishing excursions as well as hands-on activities like moving grass-fed cattle, monitoring bison herd health, mending fences, irrigating farmland and learning about land conservation. Check out their themed weeks on photography, calving, branding, horsemanship and painting.

TEXAS 

From traditional to sophisticated, Texas’ ranch vacations entice any city slicker. The Mayan Dude Ranch is popular with families. Kids delight in early morning horseback rides to an abandoned ghost town where a cowboy breakfast is served. The Silver Spur Guest Ranch in Bandera—“the cowboy capital of the world”—offers great stays and guests love the herd of iconic longhorn cattle. For a fancy ranch experience make trails to Dos Brisas where guests are greeted with a bottle of wine and accommodation in plush casitas featuring beds topped with Egyptian cotton linens, well-stocked pantries and French doors opening to expansive patios. Near Houston, Texas ranch life treats guests to peace and quiet on Lonesome Pines Ranch, originally settled in 1823. This working ranch is home to quarter horses, American bison, abundant wildlife and one of the nation’s largest registered Texas longhorn herds.

WYOMING

Near Sheridan, Eatons’ Ranch has helped city folk embrace the cowboy life for more than a century. This working cattle ranch is one of America’s oldest dude ranches, family-owned and operated since 1879.

Discover more information on travel to the USA at visittheusa.ca.

 
 
 
 
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