How often have you said or thought, “I need a vacation!” With our busy lives, I think most of us feel that way a lot. Do you wish you could take a vacation from all of the demands on you, including your screen time and social media? Do you wish you could spend more quality time with your own or extended family, or a group of friends?
Two big trends I’m seeing right now are the desire for working parents to get their kids out of the city and off their screens, and the desire to get into nature, and reconnect with health and happiness. I may just have the answer for you: have you thought about a dude ranch vacation?
Here’s what you need to know:
They’re mostly all-inclusive (meals and activities included) based in the Western U.S. and Canada (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, British Colombia, and New Mexico).
Side note: they’re a great vacation for any family, including single parents (you can be with other singles, couples, and families in a safe, bonding environment). They’re also great for a couple or a single!
The best time to go is June through September, with some Arizona ranches offering programs October through May, and some of the ranches in the Rockies offering winter and snow activities.
Ranches come in all shapes & sizes, for whatever stage and age of life you’re in. Classic ranches center on horses, with activities such as fishing, hiking, and campfires.
Other possible activities: hot air balloon rides, trap shooting, archery, shooting hand guns, skiing and sleigh riding (for winter ranches), water skis and jet skis (for the ranches on lakes).
Working ranches include becoming a real cowboy for a week, participating in cattle drives and other ranch work.
A resort ranch includes many similar activities to the classic ranch, but may also include additional facilities such as a spa or golf course, and gourmet meals.
Ranches can generally accommodate between 10-100 guests at a time. The average is 40.
For my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, they took all of their children and grandchildren to a dude ranch. We had an incredible time with all of the on-site adventures and activities, and it was fabulous to spend time as a multi-generational family away from screens and the day-to-day busyness of life. From the oldest to the youngest dude rancher in our group, all of us (outdoors-lovers and non-outdoors lovers included!) would return to a dude ranch in a heartbeat, and would definitely rate it as one of our top 10 trips.
If you’re curious about dude ranches, let me know! I’m happy to give you all the info you want. And if you’re looking for a fabulous all-inclusive vacation close to home, I’ll ask again: “Dude! Have you thought about a ranch?” (I couldn’t resist.)