This is a guest post from Peter Askew who has generously supported the Ronald McDonald House. I am hoping to raise $10,000 for RMH in 2012, and I invite you to contribute to help. It’s a great organization!
First off, a gracious ‘thank you’ to Elliot for allowing us to guest post. Runnin’ a blog ain’t easy, especially a blog that provides insightful info week in, week out. How he does it, and operate a successful domain development enterprise at the same time, I’ll never know. Cheers to him.
I initially planned to share some info on how I acquired, developed, and currently manage my travel-based site, DudeRanch.com, but as I put myself into the reader’s shoes, that topic didn’t seem to strike my fancy.
Then I thought, ‘Hell, everyone takes vacations – why not take this time to expose other folks on how amazing dude ranch vacations are, and how some ranches rival the finest 5-star accommodations across the country.’
So that’s what I decided : )
To explain more about this travel niche, I thought it might be helpful to break down the 3 main categories that ranches have evolved into: a Working Dude Ranch, a Recreational Dude Ranch, and a Resort Dude Ranch. All a little different, all a little awesome.
A Working dude ranch concentrates on an authentic ranch experience – herding cattle, tending to horses (feeding, grooming, saddling), ranch chores, and horseback riding (ie. what most folks associate with a typical dude ranch). You’re fully absorbed into the team and pitch in on daily ranch activities. They don’t intend to work you to the bone here, but they encourage some level of participation. Great for folks who want an active vacation – less great for folks looking lazy R&R. Sample Working Dude Ranch: Triangle X Ranch in Wyoming: http://www.trianglex.com/
A Recreational dude ranch focuses on relaxation and participation in activities throughout the day (think pools, tennis courts, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding). They’ll allow visitors to pitch in on any working elements of the ranch, but mainly focus on recreation & adventure activities crafted for individuals and families alike. It’s a perfect medium, honestly. Transform into a ranch-hand one day, morph into a mountain hiker the next. Sample Recreational Dude Ranch: Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado: http://www.lostvalleyranch.com
And finally, a Resort style dude ranch focuses on high-end accommodations & activities such as trap & skeet shooting, Orvis fly-fishing, an on-site Spa, geo-thermal heated pools, and – of course – horseback riding. (ie. these ain’t dust kicking destinations – they rival any 5-star accommodation I’ve ever been to.) Simply put, they’re high-end and becoming more and more popular every year. They provide all of the experience of a working or recreational dude ranch, wrapped in a resort atmosphere. A win-win if you ask me. Sample Resort Dude Ranch: Brush Creek Ranch & Spa in Wyoming: http://www.brushcreekranch.com
All three unique and advantageous in their own way.
And don’t forget, most ranches are all-inclusive, meaning lodging, meals & activities are included in the base price. Something to keep in mind as other destinations tend to nickel-and-dime you.
And if you’d like to tear your kids away from their mobile devices and cell phones, you might not find a better location, as most ranches are tucked away in remote locations with limited cell and internet coverage. Most don’t even offer TV’s : )
To research other Working, Recreational, or Resort style ranches, drop on by our site. We have over 200 dude ranch vacation destinations listed and have them organized by state as well as region. Also, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as we’ll be live posting our upcoming August dude ranch road-trip through Wyoming & Colorado! One of our planned stops is The Brush Creek Ranch & Spa, so stay tuned for an up & close and personal visit to that location!
And congratulations. You now have a new vacation destination to consider : )
Thanks a ton for reading, and here’s hoping we’ll see you on the range!