Taking up a hobby on a ranch vacation
Taking up a hobby on a dude ranch vacation is a no-brainer if there's something you've always wanted to but have never had time for - because let's face it, sometimes life just gets in the way. So if you're thinking of pursuing that activity you've never had time for, look for a ranch vacation where you can learn that new skill or take up that activity. At Top50 we've chosen those popular hobbies and found the ranches where you can do them...
Head to an artist's workshop at Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, where you can either hone your skills or discover your inner Monet!
Taking time to give your body some TLC with some restorative yoga is something most of us wish we had time for, but in reality don't often allow ourselves. A riding and yoga retreat at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado will fix that - whether you're a beginner or more advanced rider or yogi, spend a zenful week mastering the moves both on and off horseback, and leave invigorated and relaxed.
Great fishing requires a great location, and if you're a city person then it's something you may never have had the chance to try, even if it's something you've always wanted to do. Lone Mountain Guest Ranch in Montana has world renowned fishing and offers special fishing vacation packages, so it doesn't get better than here!
Busy lives mean taking time to create culinary masterpieces may not be an option. If you fancy yourself as the next Jamie Oliver, why not try a culinary getaway with cooking classes and wine tasting at Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado?
Photography workshops at Zapata Ranch in Colorado run regularly each year, and not only give you expert tuition but also some exquisite subjects for your shots. Bison, antelope and elk, against a backdrop of sand dunes and mountains. What could be more fitting?
Running, Cycling or Swimming (or all three!)
If you wish you could be more physically active but don't find as much time to exercise as you'd like, head to a ranch where you can run or cycle (like the trails in the Mesa Verde National Park at Majestic Dude Ranch in Colorado), or splash about to your heart's content (water sports at Averill's Flatbread Lake Lodge in Montana are unrivalled). Maybe you're in training for a marathon or triathlon? The high altitude and mountainous terrain at most ranches is the ideal place to push your body to the max!
Reading or writing
Want to find the time, peace and quiet to get through that book? Or even write your own novel? Head to a ranch where peace, quiet and relaxation comes as standard. You'll love the remote mountain location of Bitterroot Ranch in Wyoming.
Roping, Cutting, Barrel Racing
Hone those western horseback riding skills at Chico Basin Ranch in Colorado, where horsemanship clinics run every year. Learn from the best and discover your inner cowboy!
BG Polo and Equestrian Resorts in Florida specialise in polo, whether you've never picked up a stick or want to further your skills.
Birdwatching weeks at Siwash Lake Ranch in BC, Canada, are perfect whether you've never picked up a pair of binoculars or you're a seasoned twitcher. And what better place to spot some rare breeds, with the likes of Sandhill cranes, water fowl, eagles and other prey birds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, chickadees, nuthatches, and grosbeaks waiting to be spotted.
Always wanted to hunt for big game but never found yourself in the right place for it? Check out the High Lonesome Ranch in Colorado, where special packages focusing on big game hunting will teach you everything you need to know.