There’s no denying that a theme park vacation is at the top of many children’s list of travel wishes. Unfortunately for grandparents, that can mean long lines, overcrowded parks and high expenses, all without much time for genuine family bonding. While amusement and theme parks are an easy, go-to solution for family vacations, there are other magical travel options that can offer exposure to new activities, interaction with nature, and discovery of culture and history outside of most families’ normal comfort zones.
The term ‘dude ranch’ typically brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, a la the popular 1991 comedy, “City Slickers.” While dude ranches still evoke those same memories and are rooted in American tradition, they are much, much more. There is a broad spectrum of guest ranches across North America, ranging from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches.
From valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest, you can find DRA-accredited ranches throughout the Western U.S. in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as in California, Arkansas and Canada.
Dude ranches are the original, all-inclusive destination for families. Located in some of the most breathtaking areas of the U.S. (and Canada), dude ranches can handle any request, from horseback riding and fly fishing to yoga and cooking classes to zip lining, mountain biking, white water rafting, hiking and much more. Ranches are ideal places for kids and families to re-discover each other, without the typical distractions of TV, phones, computers and electronic games, families spend time together reconnecting with each other the old-fashioned way - by talking!
When was the last time your family actually sat through an entire dinner with no outside distractions? That is exactly what happens at a dude ranch. You get to know each other again and share all the activities that everyone participated in that day.
If you want to give your grandchildren the gift of memories that will last a lifetime look no further than a dude ranch vacation where there are no lines, no hassles and all the freedom a child could imagine.
For more information connect with The Dude Ranchers Association
The Dude Ranchers Association is a member of the FamilyTravel.com Grandparent Travel Collection.