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When the weather gets colder up north, many people set their sights on Florida. It’s a great place to come for some fun in the sun, as well as just to get away from it all.

It seems as if it is possible to get a little further away, thanks to a unique “Western ranch” that has something a little different to offer.

Photo: flickr/VisitCentralFL

The Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo has been around for a long time, but most people have not heard about it. If you are coming to Florida to see Disney or at least making a stop at the parks, you can always head to the ranch by traveling about an hour south.

The River Ranch is located on 1700 acres of beautiful property. You can take part in many different types of outdoor activities, regardless of whether you are a large family, a group, or just an individual that would like a different experience. Some of the things that they offer include fishing, skeet shooting, archery, horseback riding, and a petting zoo.

Photo: flickr/Experience Kissimmee

Back in the 1960s, they decided to build the River Ranch on property that was used for cattle drives by cracker cowboys. Over the years it has changed hands, but in 2001, it was purchased by Westgate Resorts and continued to grow into the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi.

There is more to it than what most people realize, including a rodeo every Saturday night, restaurant, adventure Park, airstrip, saloon, and a full-service marina.

Photo: flickr/VisitCentralFL

Although the ranch has a lot to offer within the property, there isn’t much going on outside. You would have to travel about a half-hour to reach even a small town, but traveling an hour will get you to Disney. That being said, even if you are not planning on visiting Mickey Mouse while you are in Florida, you can enjoy a full-service stop at the dude ranch. They have everything you could want for an interesting experience.

Some people will take the opportunity to get active and try to do everything that the ranch has to offer. Others, however, just want to relax and take in the beauty that the area has to offer. You can also choose from several different experiences, including tent camping, RVs, cabins, cottages, and lodge rooms with suites.

Photo: pxfuel

Perhaps the most interesting and one of the more popular options available is glamping, which they share photos of on Instagram. In fact, they have a number of options available for those who want the glamping experience. This includes staying in one of their covered wagon suites. It sounds rustic, but it gives you the opportunity to stay in comfort.

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A post shared by Westgate River Ranch (@westgateranch)

When you stay in one of their covered wagon rooms, you get a view unlike any other. Not only are you enjoying the Florida sunshine, but you can also look out across the open prairie while sipping your morning cup of coffee.

All of this without giving up the luxuries of staying at a nice resort. After all, I don’t think that the pioneers crossed the prairie with access to laundry services and a shower.

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A post shared by Westgate River Ranch (@westgateranch)

One of the benefits you get from choosing the glamping option is in the assigned golf card. It is possible to get a golf cart, regardless of where you stay on the property, but in other rooms, it is first come first serve. You also have a campfire lit for you every night, access to all of the resort activities, and VIP rodeo tickets.

Considering the fact that we have been stuck in for the past year and a half, my bags are already packed.

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