When looking for the perfect vacation that combines western activities, a love for horses, and lots of nature, look no further than a dude ranch vacation in Tennessee.
When the word dude ranch comes to mind, most people envision a world where living off the land, farming, and rounding up cattle and horses is the norm.
While that still holds, a dude ranch vacation has morphed into more than a week-long of western activities. While guests are still encouraged to participate in the typical ranch activities.
Guest ranches now provide an array of indoor and outdoor activities for the young ones in your party and the older generation.
Tennessee is home to Dollywood and Clanton; and is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains, so you can be sure of fresh mountain air and nature as far as your eye can see.
Here are four guest ranches sure to kick off your vacation in the right direction.
Twin Valley Horse Ranch
A slice of heaven between the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Twin Valley makes it possible whether you’re traveling to the smoky mountains for some much-needed family time or for the chance to ride horses to your heart’s desire.
What started as a B&B soon transformed into a dude ranch, where guests can bring their horses (a negative Coggins is required) and enjoy the wooded trails that go high up into the mountains.
Twin Valley ranch provides guided trail riding into the mountains from experienced wranglers who ensure guests feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe before heading out.
For guests looking to brush up on their mountain riding, the ranch holds clinics for that sole purpose.
If a slow-paced stay is what you would instead do, the spring-fed lake is available for angling and swimming.
In addition, hands-on horse lessons and clinics are available for young equestrians and seasoned equestrians.
The petting zoo contains chickens, pigs, goats, mules, kitties, bunnies, and donkeys for the young buckaroos to get their hands dirty.
- 50% deposit required
- Three-hour horsemanship clinic with the ranch horse – $125
- Two-hour miniature horse-guided nature hike – $65 per person
- Miniature horse orientation – $75 per group
- Two hour Mountain trail ride with own horse – $50
Accommodations vary from a cabin that fits 7 to a ranch house with a full kitchen, jacuzzi, dining area, VCR, and a queen bed.
If roughing it is more your style, the wilderness shelters on the campground should suffice.
- The ranch is pet-friendly, pending pre-approval
- Call or email the ranch to schedule your getaway.
- Guests are welcome the handle their horses before and after the clinics.
- You are encouraged to bring your sheets and towels.
- Check-in time is 3–5 pm, and check-out is 11 am
- You need a 50% deposit for all accommodations and activities $40 processing fee for cancellations.
- Children aged three and under stay free.
- The ranch enforces a weight restriction of 225lbs.
Address: 2848 Old Chilhowee Rd. Walland, TN, 37886
Twin Oaks Guest Ranch
Unplugging and enjoying the quiet relaxing country has never been easier. A mere 30 minutes from downtown Nashville.
Twin Oaks offers its guests the chance to breathe fresh mountain air alongside a herd of 14-16 hand quarter and paint horses after a hearty continental breakfast.
With a great list of activities, guests can choose to either relax in one of two hot tubs, bike around the property, swim in the heated outdoor pool, engage in a game of Jenga, corn shoes, and cornhole, or relax on a hayride.
After which guests can kick back in one of their cozy and rustic accommodations; 4 bedrooms with two bathrooms ranch guest house – $599 1 bedroom one bathroom Lonestar suite $399
Address: 11991 Stewart’s Ferry Pike Lebanon, Tennessee 37090
Phone: 1-800-470-4911 ,615-580-7299
A Tennessee Dude And Guest Ranch
Nestled in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley is a cowboy and cowgirl haven. With a keen emphasis on hard work, family fun, and the love of God and horses.
You can be sure that whether you choose to stay for a typical week-long dude ranch vacation or a five to six-day mini stay, you will have a memorable experience.
Upon arrival, guests are assigned to their working horses, after which they go on a ranch tour.
During stays, families are encouraged to participate in the daily chores of the farm, which include taking care of the sheep, calves, and goats, milking the cows, feeding the chickens, and picking up the eggs.
Whether you’re looking for more time in the saddle or a getaway for the kids, a Tennessee dude ranch is the perfect place.
One of a few ranches in Tennessee that offers bible study during rides, you will leave the ranch with a deeper relationship with God.
In addition, a Tennessee dude ranch also offers ranch and rides excursions, where guests get the chance to experience the life of a cowboy without the commitment of staying the whole week.
4-hour ranch and ride
Groom, saddle, and ride to the river and back, after which you untack and groom your horse.
6-hour ranch and ride
Each ride starts with a basic training and safety test. The ride stops for riverside lunch though you have to provide your lunch. You get saddlebags for free.
- Check-in is at 5 pm, and check-out is at 11 am
- Farm stay fee includes all activities, breakfast, and accommodation
- Additional add-ons include ranch and ride, roping lessons, pony rides, chuck wagon rides, and horsemanship classes
- Lunch and dinner are own provided
Address: 1050 Ray Hixson Rd, Dunlap, TN 37327, United States
Phone: +1 423 554 4677
Email: [email protected]
French Broad Dude Ranch
It’s easy to see why families love this ranch so much. The perfect dude ranch vacation spot has Cherokee National Forest on three sides and the French Broad River on the other side.
A 5-hour drive from the Golden City, French Broad dude ranch makes sure that if a whole week of riding is what you’re looking for, that is what you will get.
While you can spend some of your days steering your white water raft down the river or saddling up for a trail ride or cattle drive, others can end with a square dance battle in the saloon and begin with a hike into the mountains.
However you choose to spend your days, the staff at the ranch goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is comfortable and fun.
Guests enjoy three home-cooked meals in the dining room, after which the lodgings at the ranch provide a comfortable living.
Kids under five can have their horses lead in the corral for a few minutes each day with parents on their side.
Some of the other activities available include;
- Hiking and mountain climbing
- Cattle drives
- Kids rodeo
- Pioneer games
- Fishing, tubing, and swimming
- Cattle drives
- You need a 30% deposit at the time of booking.
- They offer women-only weeks, $1600 for one guest and $1500 for 2 in a room.
- There is a 225 lbs weight restriction for all horseback rides.
- Riders between 225lbs and 240lbs and are physically fit are welcome to do the following; cattle drive, team penning, and the blue trail.
- Kids should be aged seven and older to participate in riding activities.
Address: 461 Old River Rd Del Rio, TN 37727
Email: [email protected]
What Can I Expect From My Stay At A Tennessee Dude Ranch?
An amazing experience
Not only is the landscape beautiful, but you can be sure you’re not getting an ordinary run-of-the-mill experience.
Some of these ranches provide daily ranch chores for that immersive experience before meals and various activities that even your toddler will have fun doing.
The west is known for its hospitality and charm. Whether you ride for only an hour or stay for the whole week, you can expect safe, comfortable, and right at home.
While food varies from ranch to ranch, for the most part, you will find traditional, hearty, and family-friendly food. For guests with food allergies, talk to the ranch in advance to prepare for your stay.
Rustic yet beautifully decorated accommodations
While the charm of staying at a dude ranch is the western-themed accommodations, you can expect your stays at these accommodations to have fun, themed accommodations to help you live out your cowboy dreams.
Vacationing in Tennessee is unlike anything else. You get to live out wild west dreams at a guest ranch, and the number of things to do is endless.
In addition, the experience of staying at a dude ranch is like no other. Not only do you get to engage your senses in an atmosphere far from the pressures of life, but ranch life also provides its guests with the opportunity to be involved in an array of western-themed activities.
We hope this list helps you search for your magical getaway and you get the chance to reconnect with yourself and your family.