Get yer boots on and check out the top dude ranches in Texas.
Cowboy Up and come out and shine at a dude ranch of your choice. Dude Ranches are the perfect place to be a cowboy or cowgirl for the day and do something different. They are great for family reunions, solo travelers, family day trips, girlfriend getaways, and corporate team building. I almost promise good laughs and good times will follow. Check out this list of the top dude ranches in Texas and plan for a good time.
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6 Top Dude Ranches In Texas
So, have you ever dreamed of being a cowboy for a day or pretending to be one? If that answer is yes, then a day at a dude ranch in Texas might be what you should seek. Grab your boots, cowboy hat, and favorite Wrangler jeans, and start planning your cowboy or cowgirl destination. There are a few in Texas that you’ll want to consider.
Visiting dude ranches are so fun and outdoor adventures that you probably have never done before. I met my husband when he worked for a dude ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, and I worked at the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce. He waltzed into our office wearing boots, a cowboy hat, and tight Wrangler jeans. Yes, he dazzled me, and we went to lunch a couple of weeks later.
I got to be a cowgirl many times at that dude ranch. He taught me how to ride a horse, did some awesome outdoor trail riding and cowboy suppers, and attended many parties, including one with the singer Tracy Byrd.
Long story short, we married each other at the dude ranch he worked for, and the owner commenced our wedding.
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What Is A Dude Ranch?
Don’t mistake a dude ranch with a guest ranch. A dude ranch is hands-on outdoor activities the moment you get there that is led by staff at the ranch. Guest ranches are different in that they offer guest rentals and some ranch activities that may or may not be led by staff or are optional activities you can pay extra for.
Also, activities at a dude ranch occur for a day and overnight if ranches have cabins for their guests. Some dude ranches might offer places to stay. The one my husband worked for did. This dude ranch also offered bunkhouses for the workers to live in. Dude Ranches are a big deal.
Activities Offered At Dude Ranches:
- Hands-on activities in a good ole southern hospitality authentic Western in an outdoor setting.
- You may learn to rope, go horseback riding, and see a gunslinger reenactment.
- Enjoy delicious cowboy dinners.
- A dude ranch is for the young and old and the entire family.
- Dude ranches provide excellent service, are professional, and provide the service tailored to your group and needs.
- The ultimate horseback riding lesson of your lifetime
- Hearty meals of steak and potatoes
- Hiking in the woods
- Campfire cooking and the best cowboy breakfasts
- Cowboy sing-a-longs
- Outdoor games and recreation
- S’mores by the campfire
Whether you visit a dude ranch in spring, summer, or fall, a campfire is mandatory –always! Steaks on the barbie and s’mores afterward are huge.
Best Dude Ranches In Texas
The Texas Hill Country has more dude ranches than any other area in Texas. And the town of Bandera aka The Cowboy Capital of the World has the most. If you are looking for a real Texas experience, check out this list of the best of the best dude ranches in Texas and choose the one that appeals to you!
I assume these dude ranches want your attention and compete with each other. So with that in mind, each ranch may offer things not typically offered at a dude ranch. Look around and take your pick.
1. Rancho Cortez – San Antonio
Rancho Cortez offers day dude ranch day visits with fun. outdoor activities, and horseback rides. overnight and weekly stays, fitness programs, and cowboy wellness camps. How fun does this sound!
2. Dixie Dude Ranch – Bandera
A dude ranch with lots of horseback riding and extra amenities is not typically offered at a dude ranch. However, it’s 2022 and anything goes!!
3. Mayan Dude Ranch – Bandera
Roughly 45 miles northwest of San Antonio is the Mayan Dude Ranch owned by the Hicks family for many years. Depending on your group size, there are choices to stay in the lodge with scenic views or in rock cottages with one, two, or three bedrooms.
Activities include riding horses daily, swimming, playing tennis, and enjoying the Medina River. While on the trails you may spot deer, armadillos, roadrunners, wild turkeys, and more.
Lots of fun at this dude ranch. especially if you like dancing to country music, you might even learn how to two-step if you let your hair down!
4. Twin Elm Guest Ranch – Bandera
Twin Elm Guest Ranch is a hill country vacation with a dude ranch experience. Overlooking the Medina River and Indian Creek, this ranch could be your true cowboy dude ranch vacation experience with family. River activities and other fun things to do will be fun.
5. Blisswood Bed And Breakfast Ranch
Blisswood Bed and Breakfast Ranch is a remote rustic hideaway in Cat Springs, TX, known for its Texas-style weekend getaways and romantic Texas-style packages. And, now in full swing as a dude ranch.
The ranch is on 500 acres of rolling countryside in the Texas Hill Country. It offers individual cabins and cottages with private entrances and a grand safari tent with a king-size bed. All are self-check-in. Opt for a romantic stay with a cottage with a charming porch and a hot tub. Take a long horseback ride on the prairie at Blisswood Ranch.
6. JL Bar Ranch Resort And Spa
A rather upscale dude ranch if you ask me. With that said, the typical “dude ranch” has progressed over the years, where more amenities have been added. I think you’ll find more fun amenities here and traditional activities of the old dude ranch ways, like horseback riding, horseshoe throwing, and outdoor cookouts. Here, you can enjoy a spa and stay in a luxury hotel. Check out JL Bar Ranch in Sonora, TX, today!
Texas Travel Talk is always looking for more dude ranches in Texas.
Texas Dude Ranch Closures
Silver Spur Guest Ranch – closed and sold. Texas Lil’s Dude Ranch – sadly, burnt to the ground.