Family dude ranch vacations have truly become more than horses. This doesn’t mean you can’t ride all week long on a dude ranch vacation, soaking up the spectacular scenery and falling in love with your horse, but it does mean there are a lot of other options as well! I can hardly imagine a family that wouldn’t love a dude ranch vacation with the many new and exciting activities offered. There is fun and adventure for children and parents alike in a secluded and safe environment. Just make sure to take your camera along because you will leave with enough cherished photos to fill a photo album or two! Please enjoy the article below and make sure to visit the West on your family dude ranch vacation this summer!
BY KAREN SCHWARTZ
Cowboys. Horses. Guns. And tennis?
When it comes to dude ranches, hosts are adopting John Wayne’s, “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do,” and are offering options unheard of just a few years ago in order to attract guests.
Dude ranches still have horses and wranglers, and an aura of the Old West. But today, many also offer extras like conference centers, spas, zip lines, paintball, ATV rides, naturalists, kids’ clubs and rock walls.
“Fifteen years ago you probably wouldn’t have found a swimming pool at a dude ranch, or very seldom. Now they all have swimming pools,” said Colleen Hodson, executive director of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, based in Cody, Wyo. “At least half — probably more like three-quarters — are adding new activities and amenities every year.”