6 Fabulous Family Ranch Vacations – Texas Style!

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Destinations, Family Adventures, South West, USA

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With two little cowboys in the family, activities like archery, horseback rides, and fishing are a great way to rustle up some fun. So, grab your cowboy hat and boots and let’s look at these 6 oversized, joyful family ranch vacations – Texas style. 




Dixie Dude Ranch

The big appeal of Dixie Dude Ranch is its all-inclusive status. All that horseback riding, archery, fishing, and other activities can quickly add up at resorts. Here, all of that is included. 

This expansive dude ranch sits on 725 acres. Guests stay in cottages or cabins with big front porches, perfect for enjoying morning coffee. The all-inclusive package comes with three home-cooked meals like country-style fried chicken or Texas BBQ, nightly entertainment, horseback rides twice per day, nature hikes, and catch-and-release fishing. Families can also swim in the kiddie and family pools, relax in the hot tub, or play games like basketball, horseshoes, volleyball, and ping pong. 


Texas BBQ plate. Family ranch vacations Texas.

Enjoy southern favorites like Texas BBQ, with a different menu every night of the week!
Photo by Luis Santoyo on Unsplash


Things to Do Near Dixie Dude Ranch

Dixie Dude Ranch is located in Bandera, Texas – also known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Keep up with the Western theme and visit the Frontier Times Museum or shop at WesternTrail Antiques. Visitors can also explore Bandera Natural History Museum or Hill Country State Natural Area, or take a day to visit another dude ranch in the area, Rancho Cortez! 


Mayan Dude Ranch

The Hicks Family makes guests feel right at home at Mayan Dude Ranch. Stay in a room at the main lodge or individual rock cottages with 1-3 rooms. These are all-inclusive accommodations, and guests’ rates include three delicious meals per day, family-style. It also includes entertainment with dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, and wine and beer from noon until 10 p.m. 

The whole family will love exploring the miles of trails around all 348 acres of Mayan Dude Ranch.

From picturesque views of the valley to the lowlands of the Medina River, visitors might encounter armadillos, roadrunners, wild turkeys, and deer.
The all-inclusive rate also includes all activities listed on the schedule, such as visiting real dinosaur tracks, horseback riding, catch and release fishing, and animal encounters, as well as access to the Texas-sized pool and games like giant checkers, shuffleboard, basketball, and bingo. 


Cowboy hat, boots, and rope. Family ranch vacations Texas.

Get the whole family fitted with gear at the Cowboy Store!
Photo by JosephHershMedia on Unsplash


Things to Do Near Mayan Dude Ranch

There is plenty for families with young cowboys and cowgirls to do in Bandera, TX. Fit the whole family with new hats and boots at The Cowboy Store, see the architecture of St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church, or explore Lost Maples State Natural Area


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Windcatter Ranch & Resort

The 1,500-acre Windcatter Ranch is more of a retreat than most dude ranches. Families can enjoy similar Western-themed activities like hiking, archery, horseback riding, and fishing, but there’s also a hot tub, infinity pool, and a great steakhouse. Enjoy a yummy breakfast buffet, marbled steaks, and local favorites like country-fried steak! 

Families can stay in a hotel room, guest house, or cabin suite, and many of the accommodations have views of the Brazos River. Other activities available include Jeep tours, skeet shooting, axe throwing, and bike riding. Want to feel like real cowboys? Learn all about cattle drives, roping, and branding. Guests can even take rope lessons with real longhorn cattle! 


Ranchers on a cattle drive. Family ranch vacations Texas.

Feel like a real cowboy with cattle-driving lessons!
Photo by Bailey Alexander on Unsplash


Things to Do Near Windcatter Ranch & Resort

Windcatter Ranch & Retreat is just under two hours west of Dallas in Graham, Texas. Take in a movie at the Graham Drive-in Theater, appreciate local history and art at the Old Post Office Museum-Art Center, or keep with the Western theme and see horse shows or barrel racing at the Young County Arena



Flying L Ranch Resort

Also located in the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” Flying L Ranch resort is perfect for your Texas Hill County vacation! We love this resort because it blends the amenities visitors expect from the average resort with an authentic cowboy experience. It’s also inclusive, so guests won’t pay extra for activities like putt-putt golf, catch-and-release fishing, or sports like corn hole, volleyball, ping pong, and shuffleboard. Western entertainment, wagon rides to pet farm animals, and campfires with s’mores are also available Tuesday-Saturday at the resort! Flying L Ranch offers accommodations for families of all sizes – book one of the hotel rooms or suites or opt for the expansive Colonel’s Quarters or Lapham’s Lodge for family reunions. 


Boys in kayak on river. Family ranch vacations Texas.

Breakaway from the ranch and spend a day floating down Medina Rivera!
Photo by Luis Santoyo on Unsplash


Things to Do Near Flying L Ranch Resort

Be sure to visit the Bandera General Store, an authentic old-time ice cream parlor! It’d be perfect after a day of inner tubing or kayaking with the Medina River Company


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JL Bar Ranch, Resort, & Spa

The JL Bar Ranch is nestled in Sonora, Texas, in a town with just over 3,000 residents. Don’t worry too much about getting there – they have a private airport! Plus, the JL Bar Ranch stands out for its amenities and accommodations. They have packages for everyone in the family, and the onsite restaurant makes delicious food with locally sourced ingredients. 

Relax at the spa or get close to the horses with a meet-and-greet or horse whispering lessons.  


Young girl petting horse. Family ranch vacations Texas.

Kids will love getting close to horses during horse whispering lessons!

Enjoy a complimentary trail ride, access to the putting green, billiards, shuffleboard, and games like cornhole, horseshoes, or ladder ball, or swim in the hot tub and infinity pool. This is also a great ranch for hunting or shooting enthusiasts! Kids can learn to shoot ten-point compound bows, recurve bows, bear compound bows, or kid’s bows on the 3D archery range. Dad and older kids can practice with real guns on the pistol range, rifle range, or long-range shooting range. There’s also an option to hunt deer, quail, pheasants, and other game! 


Things to Do Near JL Bar Ranch, Resort, & Spa

Even though it’s not as busy on the Western side of the Lone Star State, there’s still plenty to do outside of the ranch. Explore the Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve, the Caverns of Sonora, or visit historical attractions like Old Ice House Ranch Museum


BlissWood Bed and Breakfast Ranch

BlissWood Bed & Breakfast has all the usual activities guests expect at a Texas dude ranch, including hiking and biking on the many trails, archery, trap shooting, tomahawk throwing, catch-and-release fishing, and safaris to visit animals like peacocks and bison. However, BlissWood sits on a 350-acre ranch with beautiful, calm lakes and tall oaks that are centuries old. Guests can take horseback rides through bluebonnet fields when they are in full bloom or enjoy lunch by the lily-pad-covered lake. 


Bluebonnet field and sunset. Family ranch vacations Texas.

See fields of bluebonnets and sprawling oak trees all around the ranch.
Photo by Bryan Dickerson on Unsplash


Guests can choose from a variety of packages, including s’mores, fire-side entertainment, and morning feeding tours of the ranch. Mom and Dad may also want to take advantage of the star-gazing package if they can sneak off for a mini romantic getaway. They can stay in cozy cabins, charming houses, bungalows, or glamping options like a grand safari tent or covered wagon. 


Things to Do Near Blisswood Bed & Breakfast Ranch

Guests will find BlissWood Bed & Breakfast an hour west of Houston in the rolling hills of Texas Hill Country. Austin County has several fun things for families to do, including the Escape Game Austin and exploring Newman’s Castle or Stephen F. Austin State Park. There are also several museums and historical areas like Thinkery Children’s Museum, Bullock Texas State History Museum, or San Felipe de Austin Historic Site


When You Go



Getting to Your Texas Family Vacation from Los Angeles

There are airports all over the massive state of Texas (393 to be exact!), with some of the most popular airports being Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Corpus Christi International Airport, San Antonio International Airport, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Families can pick the airport closest to their ranch vacation for easier travel! 

Travelers can find nonstop flights from LAX to many of these airports lasting 3-4  hours. Some airlines frequently making this trip include American, Delta, Southwest, Sprint, and Frontier. 

An excellent discount site for flights (and cars, hotels) is Expedia! This is where we start our research for the best deals!

To get discounts on tours in the area, we recommend Get Your Guide or Viator (which offers 51% off last-minute tours!).

To save time (and because we travel so much), we got an annual travel insurance policy for the whole family from this site. They have affordable policies for individual trips too and tools to make picking one easy.




Samantha Davis is a mom to two rambunctious boys, a pittie named Ursula, a cat named Avo-Cat-o, and a bearded dragon named Cotton-Eyed Josie. When she isn’t writing and juggling her crazy life, Samantha loves traveling with her sons, partner, and sometimes the dog, too!