Just like fashion, lifestyle, TV shows and other leisure activities, over the years our vacations have followed ‘trends’, or popular themes. The city break, the Caribbean, staycations and ski holidays. Glamping, camping, eco-tours and backpacking. Travel trends come in waves and people flock to the ‘Destination Du Jour’ to get a taste of a particular sport, climate, aesthetic or adventure.
But what if you could have a little of everything all in one place? A vacation that has something for the kids, the teens, the couples and the octogenarians. Something with adventure, activity, downtime, good food and wine, and the chance to try new things. Sounds like a dream come true? And it is!
Ranch vacations, the travel trend of 2018!
Ranch vacations are ‘The Vacation That Has It All’ basically! Ranch vacations should not be overlooked as being only suitable for wannabe cowboys and horse-riders. No sireeee! This couldn’t be further from the reality. Of course they’re ideal for people requiring their Wild West or equestrian fix, but we at Top50 Ranches have the insider knowledge to share with you, that they are so much more! Interested to see how they might fit you and your fellow travellers…? Read on!
Many of the top ranches round the world are specifically geared towards accommodating everyone in the family, regardless of age; Red Horse Mountain Ranch and Lone Mountain Ranch have both won prestigious Awards of Excellence for creating havens for multi-generational families – granny can kick back while you go wine tasting and the kids learn to kayak!
And according to reviews by guests on Trip Advisor, the best ranch for those of you with younger children is Alisal Ranch. We all know those teens can be hard to impress so the award-winning Elk Mountain Ranch is the answer, as they were voted the ranch with ‘Best All-Round Activities For The Entire Family’ in the 2015 Ranch Awards of Excellence.
Want a truly wholesome, robust ranch experience? Deep Canyon Guest Ranch celebrates time-honored traditions while, according to Trip Advisor, Lazy L&B Ranch gives visitors the feeling of being a truly family-friendly holiday spot. The famous Ranch at Rock Creek guarantees quality all round, from the food to the activities, riding and accommodation.
Beauty is in the eye…
If incredible views and gorgeous surroundings are top of your list, then look no further than Badger Creek Ranch and Flathead Lake Lodge. Voted as boasting ‘The Most Amazing Location’ in the Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence, Badger Creek’s views are stunning and the property is outstanding, and Flathead Lodge is set on a gorgeous lake, just begging to be jumped into!
For jaw-dropping views from the back of a horse – a bucket list check (get those ears in!) – the award-winning Bull Hill Ranch is top of its game, being voted as having the ‘Most Spectacular Riding Views’. That’s quite some feat when you have the likes of Montana, Colorado and Argentina to contend with! But the overall winner, the ranch with the ‘Most Picturesque Surroundings’, as voted by Trip Advisor reviewers, is Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. You can’t beat those Rockies for an epic Instagram-worthy backdrop!
Friends with benefits
For some, vacations are all about meeting new people, or heading out with your best buddies for wild adventures. Vacationing with a group of friends can be tricky, our time is increasingly precious and fitting everyone’s needs into one getaway is critical to keep everyone happy. If that group booking is becoming more “I’m done!” than fun, then look no further than the ranch that’s been recognized as being the ‘Best Ranch For Group Vacations’ – Texas Ranch Life.
Wanna make new friends? Guests voted Bar W Guest Ranch as the best place to get to know new faces, and The Resort at Paws Up has been awarded in the Awards of Excellence as being the place with the ‘Most Exciting & Extensive Range of Activities’ for you and your friends (old and new!) to try. Go on! Get those girls together for a spring round up!
For the love of the horse
Ranches aren’t ranches without four legs between your two! You can get involved in the equestrian side as much or as little as you want on your ranch vacation, that’s the beauty of it. For the very serious, those who want to learn horsemanship skills or partake in life-coaching, the award-winning McGinnis Meadows and Bonanza Creek have both been recognized as centers of Excellence in the esteemed Ranch Vacation Awards, 2015.
Never been on the back of a horse? According to Trip Advisor, the best place you can possibly learn is White Stallion Ranch ¬– guests who rode for the first time there felt comfortable and inspired. Yeehaaaww!!! Bonding with our steeds is all part of the magical experience and guests of Bitterroot Ranch felt that they were expertly matched with their mount for their stay. Voters in the Ranch Awards of Excellence voted Rancho Las Cascadas as having the ‘Most Well-Trained Horses’, and Trip Advisor reviewers deemed Paradise Ranch as boasting the ‘Best Riding Trails’. Sweet Grass Ranch offers the ‘Most Plentiful & Varied Riding’, so turn your hoof to swimming with horses, four-day pack trips, clinics and gymkhana! Phew!
At your service
Regardless of where you vacay, good service always makes your trip more pleasurable. Ranches are well-known for their excellent service, but the three that topped the bill in the 2015 Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence are Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, Brush Creek Ranch and The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch. The prestigious Ranch Vacation Award of Excellence for ‘Best 5* Service’ was allocated to The Ranch at Siwash Lake, so head there if you really want to be looked after! Trip Advisor reviews saw Brush Creek voted as the place to go if the ‘Best Attention To Detail & Personal Service’ is high on your checklist, and the amazing Vista Verde Ranch takes the accolade for ‘Most Exclusive Guest Service & Hospitality’. Traditional ranch values and service are celebrated at Rankin Ranch and if a hassle-free customized experience is what you’re after, then award-winning Red Reflet Ranch can help you with all the finer points. The best ranches pride themselves in welcoming their guests with delivering impeccable service with warmth and a smile, and reviewers noted that Three Bars Ranch’s wranglers were “awesome!”. At Rancho Los Banos and Latigo Ranch, it was noted that the staff and owners genuinely care about their guests’ welfare, and made them feel welcomed and accepted.
For those seeking to immerse themselves in the cowboy lifestyle and get their hands dirty while on a ranch vacation, authenticity can be a priority. Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch provides ‘workationers’ with the ‘Most Authentic Working Ranch Riding Experience’ – help the wranglers with the herding, branding and other day-to-day jobs. Cattle Drives your thing? Award-winning Double Rafter Cattle Drives is hands-down the real deal. If a step back in time tickles your fancy, check out Tombstone Monument Ranch, it really doesn’t get more authentic than this! As winner of the ‘Most Authentic Western Experience’ award, as voted by Trip Advisor reviewers, the whole town of Tombstone is designed in an 1880s western style – tread the town in Wyatt Earp et al’s footsteps! You can also feed your thirst for Cowboy and Native American history; Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch has been recognized for their efforts in providing guests with interesting and informative information about events in the Wild West that have shaped their lives today.
The Great Outdoors
Fresh air, exercise, disconnection from devices… you can’t get more wild than the plains of Montana, the mountains of Colorado or the woods, lakes and open skies. Ranches put the ‘great’ in the ‘Great Outdoors’ and you’ll certainly get your fix of one-ness with nature on a ranch vacation. Want the ‘Best Escape to Nature’? Head to Echo Valley Ranch & Spa. The best place to check out when checking in and really ‘Escape From the Real World’ is Argentina’s Estancia Ranquilco – they take you on epic pack trips into the wilds of Patagonia and beyond. Want to try your hand at some outdoor activities to keep you busy? According to Trip Advisor, the top accolade for fly-fishing goes to North Fork Ranch and voters were pleased with the wide range of outdoor pursuits available at the beautiful High Lonesome Ranch. It doesn’t get more rugged than raw desert and Rancho de los Caballeros was voted in the Ranch Vacation Awards of Excellence as the ‘Best Desert Escape.’ But the place to go if you really want to escape the human race and reconnect with nature, as voted by you is C Lazy U Ranch, the winner of the ‘Best Social Escape’ award in the Awards of Excellence. So ditch those devices and head into the Wild!
Home on the range
Ranches are really good at making you feel instantly at home and folding into ranch life doesn’t come easier than at Burnt Well Guest Ranch, you can immerse yourself in ranch life as much or as little as you wish! Want to make the folks at home super-jealous with a real picture-worthy place? You’ll be pretty blown away by the ‘Most Impressive Property’ that is Triple Creek Ranch, the gorgeous Main Lodge will have you at ‘Howdy!’.
So don’t just plump for any ‘fashionable’ vacation out there. Go for one that offers all the travel trends, past and present in one life-changing holiday. We at Top50 Ranches have exclusive insider access to the best 50 ranches on the planet, and the top 50 ranches in our list have been chosen and recognized for their excellence across a huge range of areas – we can safely say that there is a ranch for EVERYONE! Don’t wanna be a cowboy? No problem. Don’t like horses? That’s fine! Crave space and peace? You got it. Up for activities and adrenaline-fuelled adventures? Done!
Ranch vacations are one travel trend that will really stand the test of time.
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