Ranches Rule!

Planning a Family Dude Ranch Vacation
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Whether you're a city slicker or a seasoned wrangler, does the Wild West call to you?

Is your brood itching to saddle up?

Dude ranches are an increasingly popular choice for family trips, and now is the time to book for next summer, since the popular ones (See GORP's Distinctive Dozen Dude Ranches) fill up quickly.

Too Many Ranches?
At first, the choice of ranches to visit can seem as overwhelming as a stampede. Ranches can be found in a multitude of states, and come in many sizes and personalities. For instance, do you want big or small, gourmet food or plainer fare, or a children's program?

Perhaps you're like the Peregoy family of Waldorf, Maryland, who planned their first such vacation for the summer of 2001. The two adults and two teenagers in their group each had different priorities.

Amy, the mom, was looking forward to a relaxed pace featuring Western scenery, while husband Bob requested an overnight pack trip during their stay. Twelve-year-old Laura wanted plenty of riding, while fifteen-year-old Kevin wanted to go whitewater rafting. The entire family agreed that they wanted a swimming pool, hot tub, or both, and that they didn't want gourmet food.

Could their requirements be met?

After doing research and asking lots of questions, both of themselves and potential ranches, the Peregoys narrowed down their search to two ranches in Colorado.

For help with your own search, see Picking the Right Ranch.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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