WESTGATE RIVER RANCH
WOW! let me just start off this blog post by saying, I was fully underprepared for what to expect when WESTGATE Resorts reached out to me to see if I would like to visit their River Ranch property in, River Ranch, FL . Nestled just outside of Orlando (1.5hr) , you'll find the Oldest and Largest rodeo, Dude Ranch, Glamping and so much more.
Driving up you will be greeted by the most welcoming gate keeper who will be sure to point out the local LIVE Bison as you are slowly arriving onto the property. The property itself is situated on over 170000 acres of gorgeous green and wetland. As for sleeping arrangements you are welcome to pre book your accommodations by choosing anywhere from a traditional camping experience on a raised platform (no wet sleeping bags necessary), Glamping tents with your own private bathroom to store all of your toiletries, lodges, cabins, or what we experienced which was the LUXE TEEPEE.
When I say Luxe, I mean LUXE! we had a claw foot soaking tub, luxury linens and bedding, a/c, fully stocked mini fridge, Hot breakfast delivered every morning, Personal golf cart usage, propane grill, professionally lit firepit each evening and our own Personal concierge which was extremely helpful to have when booking activities.
The Luxe Teepee was all what you would want from a glamping experience and more! Waking up and walking just a few feet to the left you'll find baby cows, alpacas and horses and to your right you will find a retired owners horse named Charley, which is the sweetest horse you'll ever find. (see pics for his gorgeous face).
On our first day we wanted to check out Everything but soon realized we were only there for two days and two days was just not enough time to really take it all in. Aria, wanted to Zipline but as soon as we decided to head that way, it rained so we had to change course and head back to the campsite where we were welcomed by Chey, our concierge extraordinaire who was able to get a fire started for us and help us game plan and book some time horse back riding, petting zoo hanging and trap and skeet shooting for the adults and bb gun lessons for Aria.
Once we drove around the property and got the lay of the land by golf cart we were really getting excited for the evening's main event! The Chris Weaver band was there for opening night of the resorts first ever Nashville Singer Songwriter series. It was very intimate in an outdoor setting which felt like we had the entire band to ourselves. From the keyboard player to the trumpet player we were beyond impressed with the melodic groove the band was in as a team. You could tell they really loved writing and jamming together.
By the morning of the second day we were really dreading our short time there coming to an end. We wanted to stay and ride horses again, go to the rodeo all over and experience the amazement which is the bull riders and cowgirls. Aria, has been taking riding lessons for over a year now so she was fully in her element when she was teenagers on their horses cantering faster than my golf cart would allow me to drive while hanging on the side on the horse with only one leg attached to the saddle!! It was incredible but now I'm preparing for the day she starts doing daredevil stunts on her horse . haha! Its safe to say we will be back VERY soon so we can check out even more amenities we missed this trip. we also hear there is a drive through safari opening by the end of this year!
Alas, our final moments at the resort... Since our first attempt at trap and BB shooting were rained out were were so lucky to be able to reschedule for the next day right before our departure. Our instructor was incredible and was so helpful explaining the safety measures and keys to how to aim perfectly for your moving target. I am not a pro but I was able to hit more than half of the moving targets while Dave who has done it once or twice in his life was only able to hit about 4. 😜 so safe to say, I had a great time participating and watching Aria kick butt! She hit several bullseye with the BB gun and then we all joked about the red rider BB gun form A Christmas Story.
SEE BELOW FOR ALL OF WESTGATE'S WONDERFUL RESORTS
Westgate's dude ranch in Lake Wales | Westgate's authentic dude ranch in Florida
Westgate's family hotels | Westgate's kid-friendly resorts | Westgate's kid-friendly hotels