Tailor-made for family vacations, dude ranches are wholesome, fun and the right amount of “roughing it.” Your kids will embrace the great outdoors like never before while making memories that last a lifetime at any of these exciting locations. Although traditionally located west of the Mississippi, this list of dude ranches includes East Coast options that have the same feel as their western counterparts. Equal parts resort and ranch, several are all-inclusive with lodging, food and activities either covered by the cost per person or directly on-site.
Mountain Top Inn
This dude ranch in the idyllic mountains of Chittenden, VT is home to 700 acres of pristine resort property. Here you can enjoy both warm and cool weather outdoor activities like horseback riding, skiing and snowshoeing. Get a taste of luxury in this expansive wilderness with classic or modern lodging options that feel like a home away from home.
A new restaurant has recently been added to the property with a chef-inspired menu suitable for both kids and adults. For extended vacations, additional food and activities options are available off Moutain Top grounds. These include rafting, golf and antiquing. For those that stay on the property, a health and wellness spa can take you to a whole other level of relaxation surrounded by crisp mountain air and quiet seclusion.
Rocking Horse Ranch
This resort in Highland, NY is easily accessible to urbanites in nearby New York City and a satisfying escape for anyone looking to relax or return to rural roots. Rocking Horse offers classic dude ranch activities as well as those you’d find at a modern luxury resort. Enjoy horseback riding or the thrill of an indoor waterpark. Kids will love the exotic wildlife sanctuary where they can interact with zebras, camels and Nigerian goats!
There are horseback riding options for both new and advanced riders that include walkabouts within Rocking Horse’s 500+ acres of scenic splendor. It’s a safe place for kids to try riding for the first time with experienced instructors on-site.
Rocking Horse’s award-winning lodging includes recently renovated rooms that can comfortably accommodate large families of five or more! An arcade, spa, and restaurant are all within walking distance of any one of Rocking Horse’s 113 rooms.
Lost Valley Ranch
This dude ranch in Colorado is perfect for families who want a taste of the Wild West. Its green pastures, glistening fishing waters, and miles of hiking trails are perfect for family and group activities.
Enjoy all this idyllic expanse has to offer with activities like archery, trapshooting and guided tours on horseback. The property also plays host to nighttime activities such as bonfires and line dancing. Look the part by stopping by the local trading post to pick up outfits in the traditional rancher style or to grab a keepsake to remind you of your family vacation for years to come!
The Alisal Ranch and Resort
As the name suggests, this California dude ranch getaway is equal parts inclusive resort and escape to the Old West. With amenities including a spa, tennis courts and championship golf courses, you and your family will enjoy active and full days doing what you love and trying new things together.
Take it easy with fishing, swimming and beginner’s horseback riding or go all-out with mountain biking and water sports. The Alisal Ranch also offers organized, age-appropriate kids activities where your children can meet and play with other guests their age. While they are off playing, you can spend a romantic afternoon with your significant other by lounging in an outdoor hot tub amidst breathtaking views or enjoying a couple’s massage.
Enjoy on-site dining options with chef-designed menus that capture the flavors of the Old West, plus a wine list featuring award-winning California wines.