Archive for the ‘Family Ranches’ Category

A Thanksgiving Feast at The Ranch at Rock Creek!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 11th issue

History tells us that the first American Thanksgiving occurred sometime during 1621, when the surviving Pilgrim Fathers gave thanks for a successful harvest, which was largely due to the help they received from the native Squanto/Wampanoag tribe, who were invited to sit down at the celebratory feast. Various versions exist as to why and how such an auspicious gathering took place including what food was actually served that day, and no doubt the meal back then differed greatly from what we all associate today as being a quintessential American Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s safe to assume however, that wild turkey, corn, in grain form for bread or for porridge, and venison was there.

Thanksgiving

In the years that followed, Thanksgiving Day began to be randomly celebrated by various communities, particularly in the north, until a writer, Sara Josepha Hale, made it her mission to have it formally recognized as a National Holiday, enacted by President Lincoln in 1863.

However, it wasn’t until 1939 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that the fourth Thursday of every November would become the official date to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This would not be approved however by Congress until 1941.  (source)

For the majority of American households these days, celebrating Thanksgiving sadly has lost much of its original meaning; instead, it often centers on the actual meal itself and the getting together of family and loved ones under one roof. It is still a time however to give thanks for all the good things we enjoy and for many that includes the opportunity to watch American football be it high school, college or NFL games throughout the day. Some families even engage in a friendly game of touch football before dinner. Volunteering at soup kitchens or holding food drives is another way for some to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a way to give back to those less fortunate during the holiday season and as such some remnant of the true meaning still lives on.

Other modern traditions include attending Thanksgiving parades which are held in cities and towns across the United States. The biggest and most famous parade, which has been attracting millions of onlookers since 1924, takes place in New York City and is put on by Macy’s department store. Elaborate floats, marching bands, giant balloon figures and famous people are what over three million spectators on the ground and over fifty million people at home can expect from this year’s parade. Another fun tradition, with roots dating back to the beginning of the mid-20th century, includes the annual “pardoning” of one or two turkeys on behalf of the President of the United States. This quirky event spares the selected turkeys from the oven and sends them to a “retirement home”.

Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving is also a wonderful opportunity to pack a bag, book a short getaway, and let someone else take care of the cooking this year. With Christmas fast approaching a trip away can provide a much needed break before the frantic holiday season starts in December. Whether you choose to spend it with that special someone, family or your dearest friends, taking a vacation during this time is a memorable way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Although there are numerous destinations and types of vacations to choose from….. The Ranch at Rock Creek offers a truly unforgettable Thanksgiving experience.

Located in Philipsburg, The Ranch at Rock Creek, although surrounded by breathtaking scenery all year round, is particularly picturesque during the autumn months. As the leaves change colour and fall to the ground there is no better occasion to immerse yourself in Montana’s vast wilderness. By choosing a “Rustic-Luxe Thanksgiving” at The Ranch you will not only be treating yourself to first-class amenities but also to an all-inclusive, customized ranch celebration that enables you to pursue engaging activities and enjoy quality time with loved ones. Guests can pick from exciting activities such as mountain biking, hiking expeditions, shooting, archery, horseback riding, and fly-fishing. Aside from stellar accommodations and a plethora of activities The Ranch at Rock Creek promises truly memorable gourmet meals and an haute cuisine Thanksgiving dinner that features regional seafood and Montana meat products.

Thanksgiving Celebration

A getaway at this Montana guest ranch resort also enables its guests to unwind and take advantage of seasonal offerings like a pumpkin facial in their Granite Spa or simply the opportunity to sit in front of a roaring fire and relax with a good book. Thanksgiving is often associated with over-indulgence, but at The Ranch at Rock Creek guests will not only enjoy delicious gourmet fare but they will also find a perfect balance between organized seasonal activities and downtime.

 

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Book Between November 22-27, 2016

Chef Josh Drage invites you to enjoy his orchestration of Montana’s bountiful harvest. Delight in traditional culinary offerings inspired by the heart, soul and bounty of our beloved Western Montana. The Ranch at Rock Creek is a special place to host warm and memorable gatherings for families of any size. Rejuvenate and reconnect in splendid accommodations surrounded by Big Sky Country adventure and wildlife.

Our 2016 itinerary combines American traditions, like feasts and football, with the wild pursuits and fireside luxuries. Each morning and afternoon, try your hand at outdoor adventures including mountain biking, hiking expeditions, shooting, archery, horseback riding, fly fishing, the ropes course and geocaching. Thanksgiving Dinner in the Granite Lodge features multiple courses bursting with locally sourced Western delights. Families have more time to enjoy themselves when The Ranch takes care of the activities, amenities and first-class cuisine.

 The Ranch at Rock Creek

Celebration Details:

The Ranch’s all-inclusive rates include luxury accommodations, all gourmet meals, snacks, premium wine, beer and spirits (excluding reserve wines and liquor), on-ranch activities, daily children’s activities, guides and gear.

Rates start at $1,600 per accommodation, per night, based on standard occupancy, plus 20% Ranch Fee.

Minimum three-night stay, based on availability.

*Offer as seen on The Ranch at Rock Creek’s website. http://www.theranchatrockcreek.com/special/celebrate-thanksgiving/

However you choose to pass the holiday this year RanchSeeker  would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

A Southern Cross Guest Ranch Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Autumn brings to mind cooler temperatures, vivid colour displays of fiery red, burnt amber and orange falling leaves as well as spectacular sunsets and brilliant harvest moons. It is also the time of year when families, friends and loved ones gather together under one roof to celebrate Thanksgiving. Lavish meals, friendly games of touch-football and endless football games to watch on T.V. are usually par for the course for this time-honoured holiday tradition .This year why not choose to do something totally different? Let someone else do all the cooking and cleaning and instead of lazing around on that oh-so comfy couch, make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday an event to remember!  Although there are lots of options and destinations to choose from when considering a Thanksgiving getaway, Southern Cross Guest Ranch should definitely be at the top of your list.

Georgia Guest Ranch

Southern Cross, considered “One of America’s Best Dude Ranches” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, features quality All-Inclusive vacations in a horse lover’s paradise. The ranch is best known for its exceptional hands-on horseback riding program with unguided riding opportunities, and is also home to well over 150 quality Paint and Quarter horses. Conveniently located in Central Georgia’s Historic Heartland and within an hour’s drive from Atlanta the ranch prides itself in providing good old southern hospitality, delightful accommodations, delectable cuisine and stimulating activities all year round. Here you will rediscover life’s more simple pleasures.

Thanksgiving at Southern Cross is their most popular week of the year and often sells out months in advance. In fact, many of their guests during this time period, return year after year and even book up for the following year while still at the ranch. In addition to their All-Inclusive schedule of meals and horseback riding, they also cook up a large Thanksgiving feast. Oven roasted turkey, baked ham, lamb, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, corn, and green beans, as well as all of the traditional “fixin’s” make this a truly memorable meal.

Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Your ranch vacation at Southern Cross has lots of opportunities to relax and unwind, as well as an exciting array of activities to enjoy; take a dip in the pool or soak in the hot tub, hop on a mountain bike, shoot some hoops, try your hand at fishing in the pond, play a game in the rec. room, go on a hike, visit the horses in the pasture, or throw some horseshoes. Attractions nearby include golfing, tennis, boating, skeet shooting, kayaking, museums, historical tours, and shopping.

Georgia Guest Ranch

This year put your shopping list away, pull out your suitcase and book a Thanksgiving getaway at Southern Cross Guest Ranch. Fill your days with fresh air, beautiful autumn-coloured infused scenery, fun activities, great food and make some memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Why Dude Ranches are the Perfect Family Vacation Destination

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

If you have a family you probably find yourself often searching for new vacation destinations suitable for every member in your family unit. On the one hand you want to be assured that where you choose to go is a safe environment for your little ones; but, you also want it to be fun for everyone in your group. And most likely you would like to enjoy some private time with your significant other, even if it’s just for a short period of time perhaps while sharing a relaxing spa treatment. Here’s an idea for your next family getaway: Book Your Next Vacation at a Dude Ranch. 

Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch

The majority of dude ranches are open during both the summer and winter months. You can choose between rustic accommodations and full-fledged luxury style ranch resorts that offer amenities similar to high end hotels with extras like spas and gourmet dining. Working ranches provide guests with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cowboy way of life in every way allowing you to take part in cattle drives and other exciting day to day ranch activities. This type of vacation may be more suitable for families with older kids; whereas, other guest ranches often offer special kid-friendly programs that are ideal for every age group.

Here are seven reasons to make a reservation for you and your family at a nearby, or faraway, dude ranch.

Experience Ranch Life – If you or your young ones have always dreamed of experiencing the life of a cowboy or cowgirl, this is your chance. Pull on some cowboy boots and walk the walk if only for a short period. Nothing beats waking up to the sound of horses neighing in an open field or the smell of an all-American trail breakfast.

 

family ranch vacation

Disconnect In Order To Reconnect – We have never been more connected yet more disconnected than we are now. Although it may seem impossible to “unplug” for even just a short period of time from the myriad of electronic devices available to us nowadays it is possible. Many guest ranches although they offer Wi-Fi connectivity in specified areas it is also quite common to find that you simply can’t connect everywhere you go. Take advantage of these moments to look up from your device and engage in “real moments”.

Discover the Thrill of Horseback Riding – One of the main reasons people choose to visit a dude ranch is because they want to ride. There is nothing like the feeling of being atop a horse as you take in beautiful scenery all around you. The connection between horse and rider can’t be beat.   If you have never ridden before don’t worry most guest ranches provide lessons to help newbies feel comfortable in the saddle.

kids horseback riding

Stop and Smell the Roses – Guest ranches provide the opportunity to rediscover what nature has to offer. Towering mountains, arid deserts, rushing rivers, thick green forests and a sky full of impossibly bright twinkling stars to name a few are what one can expect. Regardless of where you choose to stay the natural beauty that surrounds you will leave you in awe.

Try Something New – Don’t strike dude ranches off your list of holiday destinations if horseback riding isn’t your thing. Many ranches provide a range of activities that will thrill you, relax you and keep everyone in your family excited. For instance, you can go fly fishing, take a guided tour, explore your surroundings through hiking trails, and even book a spa treatment. If you’re heading to a dude ranch during the winter, your list of activities can include skating on nearby lakes or skiing at a nearby resort.

Make New Friends – Most guest ranches do family-style dining which means you get the chance to meet new people at mealtimes. You will also get the opportunity to experience activities while part of a group and time spent around a campfire at night is always a wonderful way to swap stories with newfound friends. Children’s programs enable  kids to mix with other kids their age while giving adults some perhaps much needed adult-time.

Take a Break From Cooking – Enjoy home-cooked, hearty meals or gourmet ranch cuisine while staying at a guest ranch. Many ranches grow and raise a lot of their own food guaranteeing that only the freshest of ingredients are used in your meals. Some guest ranches even offer special wine-tasting weeks!

family ranch vacation

While each of these aspects make dude ranches great, nothing can compare to bringing the whole family together under one roof and at one table. You can’t put a price on that. So book your next vacation soon before another family takes your place. Search for a ranch using our FREE dude ranch search tool.

Welcome to Willow Ranch Valemount

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Super Natural British Columbia is home to many great guest ranches and Willow Ranch is one of them.  This newly built guest ranch features cozy cabins situated in the middle of the forest surrounded by views of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. Located only 5 minutes from Highway 5 the ranch is conveniently close to the town of Valemount making it the ideal vacation choice for a one night stay while travelling around Canada or perhaps even longer for those looking to kick off their boots and relax a spell.

BC Guest Ranch

Willow Ranch

There are 4 modern cabins to choose from: Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter all of which feature a kitchen, dishwasher and microwave for your convenience. A separate bedroom has a comfortable king-size bed and there is a pull-out couch in the living room for additional guests as well as a bathroom. Since they are located on McLennan Forrest Road ATV’s and snowmobiles can easily access them as well. There is also direct access to walking and horseback riding trails.

There are endless horseback riding opportunities available as the ranch is surrounded by crown land (forest and mountains) and there truly is no better way to experience the Canadian mountains than from atop a horse. Guests can choose from several types of rides that can be tailored to fit their specific needs and for those who have never ridden before there are classes available too!

BC Guest Ranch

Willow Ranch

Explorer Ride

1.5 hour ride which has everything that a good trail ride needs. It goes through forest, climbs up the mountainside with some great views over the valley. A very nice ride for any level rider, as the route can be adjusted to meet particular rider’s needs and abilities.

Viewpoint Ride

A half day ride through the mountains with amazing views.

Pony Trail

For smaller kids there is a pony ride, a fun loop which takes about 30 minutes. The horses are held by qualified staff members to keep it safe and fun even for the littlest kids.

Pony Experience

For 1st time riders there is the pony experience where qualified wranglers take their time to teach a little bit about horses, grooming and tack and afterwards guests can go on a shirt ride.

 

Be sure to ask about Willow Ranch’s fantastic combo deals like their “one night & ride” for travellers just passing through which combines their Explorer Ride with a night stay in one of their cabins. Of course the ranch can also help you complete your Canadian horse holiday dream by filling up your days with riding, horse whispering demonstrations and workshops. Whatever your needs the staff at Willow Ranch are happy to customize your stay to suit your specific vacation needs. For those traveling with their own horses and looking for somewhere to stop for a night or two Willow Ranch has pens with shelter ready that are big enough to keep two horses.

BC Guest Ranch

Cabin in the winter

Next time you are travelling through Canada be sure to consider a stop at Willow Ranch Valemount!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

If a Guest Ranch Vacation Isn’t on Your Bucket List It Should Be!

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 9th issue

The Oxford Dictionary defines “bucket list” as follows:

Noun

Informal

A number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime: making this trip is the first thing on my bucket list

Origin

Early 21st century: from the phrase, “kick the bucket ‘die’ ” popularized by the 2007 film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman

Ever since “the Bucket List” hit movie theatres worldwide, a bucket list movement has been on the rise and continues to evolve among younger and older generations alike. Websites with titles like “10,000 Things To Do Before You Die”  and 100+ Creative Bucket List  Ideas You Should Add To Your List  are popular search engine phrases for those looking for inspiration and ideas to help create their own personal bucket list.

Nowadays, more and more people suffer from the never-ending pressure of their day-to-day responsibilities, commitments and overwhelming time constraints. Whether it’s a student working towards a degree, a hardworking employee with perhaps a family to raise or a simple case of trying to schedule a “date” with a significant other, life doesn’t leave much time to dare to dream and plan those things you would like to do before, yes….I’m going to say it…kick the bucket!

Health, monetary and career goals along with those endless to-do lists may already be a part of your daily routine, however, a bucket list allows you to delve deeper and ask yourself what do you really want to do, experience, see and learn in your lifetime? There is nothing too big, insignificant or random when making a bucket list.  In fact it can be an incredibly enlightening experience. From a very young age we are taught to consider others before ourselves and as we grow older this can often result in setting aside or putting off things that perhaps at one time were very important to us.

An encouraging and positive aspect of bucket lists is that they are fluid in nature. During a lifetime, priorities will change and things that at one time or another were at the top of the list, may not be so later on. My bucket list is a perpetual work in progress, a constant subtracting and adding of new experiences and goals that I would like to achieve, although there are many “givens” that consistently remain throughout this process. As I grow as a person and am exposed to all the wonderful choices that this wide world has to offer, I find that a bucket list enables me to approach life with an enthusiastic “joie de vivre” as I strive to live life to the fullest.

Everyone’s bucket list is unique. Perhaps it includes an extreme activity like sky diving, swimming with sharks, or bungee jumping. But a bucket list can also be about learning a new language, living abroad, swimming in the ocean for the first time, learning to ride a horse or visiting a country that appeals to your inner self.  The act of making a bucket list allows your imagination to roam freely as you identify and make accomplishing these goals an integral part of your life plan. As C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

An endless…..literally endless list of possibilities exist out there, so when making up a bucket list perhaps a guest ranch vacation isn’t one that immediately comes to mind…..but oh how it should!  Guest ranches provide an unbeatable opportunity to engage in an array of exciting and challenging activities, quite often conveniently close to home or far away in colourful locales. Experience the thrill of trail rides among absolutely breathtaking scenery as you decompress, reconnect with nature and get in touch with your inner “cowboy or cowgirl.”  With so many excellent dude ranches to choose from, the following is a short list only to consider when planning your next bucket list guest ranch adventure.

Laramie River Ranch 

Experience the rugged Rocky Mountains at this Colorado guest ranch where horseback riding is the main focus and genuine western hospitality is par for the course. In addition guests can partake in exceptional fly fishing opportunities, naturalist led hikes and wildlife adventures. Live musical entertainment and square dancing at night will enhance your western experience. Accommodations include rooms in the lodge or cozy cabins depending on your particular needs.

Colorado Dude Ranch

Laramie River Dude Ranch

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch  

Located in Super Natural British Columbia’s Cariboo region this Canadian guest ranch specializes in horseback riding, ranching and fishing vacations but they also offer lots of other fun summer activities as well as winter packages. Home to caribou, black bears and countless species of birds means bringing a camera along is a must! Accommodations include western-style cabins situated on the shores of the pristine Crystal Water Lake which is surrounded by rolling meadows and deep forests.

BC Guest Ranch

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Idaho 

This guest ranch is one of Idaho’s best kept secrets. Guests will experience first rate western hospitality, moments of relaxation as well as an extensive list of guided adventures to choose from. With several riding packages at your disposal or activities like mountain biking, 3D archery and kayaking to name a few everyone in your group is sure to be satisfied! Book either the Hilltop Vacation Home (ideal for large groups or families) or one of their cabins or suites.

Idaho Guest Ranch

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch 

Open meadows, tall ponderosa forests and an abundance of wildlife awaits you at this New Mexico guest ranch. Horseback riders or hikers will marvel at the deep canyons and crystal clear streams that are all part of the Gila National Forest. While you explore the area you will have the opportunity to learn about the rich history associated with the region. Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch is a small ranch (only 4 cabins) so guests are guaranteed a truly personal atmosphere.

New Mexico Guest Ranch

Geronimo Trails Guest Ranch

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch 

Wyoming is the perfect playground for those looking for an exceptional experience! With 650,000 acres to explore this upscale working cattle, riding, fly-fishing and adventure guest ranch is the ideal vacation choice. Trapshooting, archery, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking,4X4 tours as well as many other opportunities await the intrepid traveller. Be sure to book well in advance so that you don’t miss out since this guest ranch fills up quickly due to returning guests and word of mouth.

Wyoming Guest Ranch

The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

Let RanchSeeker   help you find your ideal guest ranch bucket list destination!