Fly fishing rod

In the saddle! These dude ranches are the luxury family vacation you need

If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a ranch vacation, you should definitely include it on your family vacation list. Where can the kids spend the day learning horseback riding while you relax at the spa? It’s the perfect balance between rustic and luxury, many offering all your meals as well as activities during your stay. Check out some of our favorite ranches below!

photo: Kate Loweth

Just north of Tahoe you will find the beautiful off the beaten track area of ​​the Lost Sierras. Here you can really get away from it all and spend time with your family among the massive trees and native animals. Your stay at Greenhorn Ranch includes everything from taco night to Saturday night barbecue. If you are there on a night of their barbecue, you can choose to take a trail or a wagon ride to and from your meal.

What to do: At Greenhorn Ranch, cowboy culture takes center stage, with horseback riding being one of the Ranch’s main activities. Adirondack chairs and hammocks dot the property and are the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon. One of the biggest draws for children is the pond which is located just outside the living room. Here, small fishermen can borrow a fishing rod and worms to throw in the pond.

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photo: Kate Loweth

Mountains, streams, lakes and some of the country’s most glorious landscapes are found within Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. Perfect for multigenerational family gatherings, the 900-acre ranch offers the flexibility to slow down, sit by the fire, and play cards with the Sawtooth Mountains in the distance.

What to do: The Ranch offers mountain bikes to borrow, including a handful of kids’ rides. There are numerous hiking trails and a pond on the property where you can catch and drop fishing (catch and release only), try stand-up paddle boarding, or set off to see if you spot the resident beaver on the pedal boat. You’ll find a number of guided activities for guests, including hikes, fly fishing clinics, and yoga. You can also book a massage appointment.

We strongly recommend that you book half a day riding with Pioneer outfitters at the Ranch. Their stables are located right in front of the ranch and their knowledgeable guides will take you on the trails so you can get a bird’s eye view of the valley. Nothing like seeing this magnificent region on horseback!

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photo: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

One of Tucson’s most distinctive resorts, Tanque Verde has been welcoming families for years with panoramic desert and mountain views. You can experience its varied history with miles of exciting horseback riding trails, four tennis courts, and a bright pool that sparkles in the Arizona sun. Visit the property’s 150 horses and sample Southwestern cuisine and happy hour at the Dog House Saloon.

What to do: Breakfast walks, cowboy cooking and all the relaxation you need are at the heart of a stay in Tanque Verde. Mountain biking, fishing, guided hikes, yoga and wellness activities, crafts, tennis, etc. are also available. Customers can take advantage of the robustness children’s program which includes a full day of activities including riding lessons, time in the pool, tie dyeing and all the cactus crafts you can imagine. Enjoy a moment of relaxation at Spa La Sonora while the children are taken care of (you won’t even miss them!).

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photo: The Ranch at Bandy Canyon

Does your family like the idea of ​​camping, but the idea of ​​“doing harm” outdoors doesn’t sound so appealing? Bandy Canyon Ranch offers the perfect solution. Located in the heart of the San Pasqual Valley in Southern California, this rustic retreat allows you to enjoy all the comforts of home, while being completely surrounded by nature.

Forget about pitching a tent and sleeping on the ground, Bandy Canyon Ranch has everything you need to experience nature with the ease of modern amenities.

What to do: The Ranch offers all kinds of activities, from horseback riding to swimming, hiking, biking and more. And with cozy cabins and local wineries right outside your door, what are you waiting for?

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Escape to the remote charm of JL Bar Ranch, an intimate ranch spanning 13,000 acres of wide open spaces, rolling hills, old oak trees and wildflowers in the Texas Hill Country. The ranch offers just 32 accommodations, a main lodge with a game room and bar / wine tasting room, indoor and outdoor dining with authentic Texan cuisine, cozy fireplaces, a pool and hot tub, an intimate spa and more.

What to do: The ranch offers fun outdoor activities including hiking, horseback riding, ATV / UTV adventures, yoga, 3D archery, Jack Nicklaus green putting / chipping, amazing cowboy grills and more

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Far from the lights of the big cities, Canyon Madness Ranch is a luxury ranch located on 14,000 acres of outdoor adventure paradise in the geographic majesty of northeastern New Mexico. Open to guests for the first time in April 2021, the ranch offers exciting horse riding activities and an incredible range of wilderness activities, from archery to hiking to river kayaking and more.

An intimate property accommodating just sixteen people, Canyon Madness Ranch’s vast landholdings encompass Enciero Canyon, a box canyon with red clay seas interrupted by giant crevasses six meters deep. Views overlook the impressive red sandstone cliffs of the Canadian River Canyon. Blending the excitement of adventurous outdoor recreation with the comforts of luxury accommodation and breathtaking, uninterrupted and pristine natural beauty, Canyon Madness Ranch truly is everyone’s playground.


You’ll love your visit to this Florida property that recently unveiled new bedrooms the kids will love: Conestoga carts and glamping tents. These premium offers are the latest addition to the unique accommodation experiences available in this secluded location. luxury glamping resort, located one hour south of Orlando and two hours north of Palm Beach County, Florida.

What to do: The Ranch, which spans 1,700 acres overlooking the scenic Kissimmee River, features horseback riding, an award-winning Saturday night rodeo and more.

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Transport yourself to the days of the cowboys with a visit to Rainbow Trout Ranch. This High Sierra location offers comfortable cabanas families love with daily housekeeping and a porch to sit on and take in the views. Meals are included with your stay and take place throughout the property, including by the river!

What to do: In addition to their great kids’ program, the ranch offers fly fishing, trap shooting, swimming, day trips to Taos and more. Of course, horseback riding is a major focus with programs available for beginners to experienced riders. Spectacular all day walks with waterfalls and views of the Continental Divide are part of the offerings.

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photo: Alisal Guest Ranch / Nicki Sebastian

Alisal Ranch is a former cowboy ranch – a working ranch that dates back to 1843 – and has been welcoming guests since the 1950s. One of our favorite things about Alisal is the wonderful job they have. accomplished by combining the fun activities of a ranch with the care of a resort. The ranch feels low-key and welcoming to the whole family (where many resorts often leave you feeling like they wish you left the kids at home), but never skimp on creature comforts.

What to do: Whether you want to spend the weekend riding the beach (or taking your first lesson on horseback), eating at the campfire, catching fish, being pampered at the spa, listening to the roosters crowing, reading a book on the shore from the pool, collecting eggs, playing on a private 18 hole golf course, tasting local wines or going hiking, you will find all the perfect activities.

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—Kate Loweth


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