Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a vacation where no detailed planning was involved? What about a vacation where all the activities and meals are scheduled ahead of time? How about a vacation where you choose your itinerary and there is something for everyone in your group to enjoy? If this type of vacation sounds like a dream come true, you will definitely want to consider an all-inclusive vacation destination. Vacations with complete packages can make deciding on a setting that everyone is happy with less challenging and more fun.
A very unique type of all-inclusive vacation can be found at one of the 100+ dude ranches that the Dude Ranchers’ Association represents. Meals, lodging and most activities are all included in one price and make scheduling a vacation for any type of traveler a breeze. The hardest part of booking a dude ranch all-inclusive vacation is deciding which ranch to go to! Don’t worry, if you are having a hard time choosing between all of the great options, contact the ranch experts at the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) to make the process of choosing a destination much easier. To help you understand the deals dude ranches have to offer, continue reading to learn about some of the best destinations out there.
Photo provided by: Rainbow Trout Ranch, CO
What does all-inclusive vacation mean while on a dude ranch?
The dude ranch industry has been around for over 100 years, and even starting 100 years ago the founders of these ranches thought it would be a great idea for the experiences they offered to be simple to plan and the best package deal available. Dude ranches that are members of the DRA still operate on an all-inclusive type structure. Meals, lodging and most activities are included in one price for each person attending the ranch.
Where and what will we eat?
The meals are planned and prepared each day by top notch chefs who create dishes that are perfect for any taste pallet or picky eater. Several ranches operate farm-to-table food programs and offer the freshest ingredients around, like the Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. With a large farm greenhouse, ranch raised beef and poultry and a top-of-the-line kitchen, you will not be disappointed by the food here. The designated dining areas are not always in a dining room. An abundance of ranches offer meals in an outdoor area like a campfire location or a chuckwagon type setting at least once a week. If you have never had a meal cooked over an open fire, you don’t know what you are missing!
Red Reflet Ranch, WY
Where will we sleep?
Lodging accommodations differ at each ranch but they all have the same comfy and homey feeling when you walk in the door. Some ranches have a more rustic and western chic decor and some have an adobe design and structure. DRA dude ranches offer lodge rooms or private cabins for their guests, a few ranches even offer glamping tents and wagons. The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Idaho definitely has a great Western and rustic charm to their lodging accommodations. Relax and rejuvenate with comfortable beds, beautiful bathrooms and great views. This ranch offers both lodge rooms and private cabins for different sized families or group travelers. At Rancho de la Osa in Arizona you will find private cozy rooms with an adobe design and structure. You will feel right at home in the comfort of this ranch and get a good night’s sleep after a day full of adventures!
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, ID
Rancho de la Osa, AZ
What is there to do at a ranch?
The amount of activities at a dude ranch are endless. Dude ranches are centered around outdoor activities and encourage their guests to unplug from their everyday life and reconnect with nature, the outdoors and the people around them. Contrary to popular belief, to participate in horseback riding at a dude ranch you do not have to have previous experience. Dude and guest ranches are designed in a way that they can accommodate riding for absolute beginners, experienced riders and all levels in between. You will have the chance to see some incredible landscapes and scenery while riding and you will get to enjoy being outdoors with some fantastic people. Horseback riding is obviously the main activity on a dude ranch, but it is far from the only activity! Each ranch has their own unique set of activities available and there is something for everyone to do.
Here's a list of activities you might find at a dude ranch:
• Fly Fishing • ATV/UTV Riding
• Kid’s Programs • Rock Climbing
• River Rafting • Cattle Work
• Hiking / Nature Walks • Golf
• Zip Lining • Mountain Biking
Some ranches only have a few of these activities and others have all of these and more! When you decide what activities, you want to participate in, you are one step closer to choosing the right all-inclusive holiday package for your group. The Greenhorn Ranch in California has a great list of adventures for all ages to embark on. A wonderful fishing pond, mountain biking trails, bull frog catching and races and karaoke await you at this ranch! The bull frog catching and races are definitely a sight to see no doubt!
Averill’s Flathead Lake Ranch in Montana specializes in water-oriented activities. Located right on the banks of Flathead Lake, paddle boarding, sailing and jet skiing are just a few sports they have for guests to enjoy, the list is quite long! No matter what activities you decide to participate in, you and everyone in your group will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Greenhorn Ranch, CA Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, AR
Averill's Flathead Lake Ranch, MT
There are some amenities at ranches that do cost extra and travel expenses are not included in the all-inclusive getaway prices. Dude ranches do their best to make it very clear as to what is included in the price and what is not, but if you have any questions you can always contact the ranches to ask!
Still not convinced on an all-inclusive package deal for your next vacation? Take into account that if you were to choose a destination vacation that is not all-inclusive you have quite a long list of planning to do. You would need to budget and plan for at least three meals a day, lodging accommodations for each night, activities that are diverse enough to please everyone in your group and the list goes on. Save yourself the headache and time and honestly consider an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation, it may be the best vacation you ever take!