LifestyleTaste and See Tampa Bay


Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in Central Florida

Posted at 1:43 PM, Feb 26, 2021

RIVER RANCH, Fla. — Experience the old wild west with a modern twist at the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi River. Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo offers glamping, horseback riding, an authentic rodeo and so much more!

"Westgate River Ranch is the most unique vacation experience in the state of Florida," said Ray Duncan, executive general manager for the resort.

The ranch is situated on the Kissimmee River and takes up 1,700 acres of land in Central Florida. From the petting zoo to the swap buggy rides, there is no shortage of things to do.

"It's a way to reconnect to nature, experience the history of the American cowboy—which a lot of folks don't realize started right here in the great state of Florida," said Duncan.

Whether you want to rough it with a primitive tent or spoil yourself with a two-bedroom cabin, this resort has something for every comfort level.

Westgate River Ranch is best know for their glamping options. You can keep it simple with a glamping tent or opt for the Luxe Teepee, which has a fireplace and attached bathroom.

Glamping tent at Westgate River Ranch

The resort also offers Luxury Glamping (121-square feet larger than the regular glamping tent and comes with an attached bathroom) and Luxe Conestoga Wagons (sleeps six guests as opposed to four in the other glamping options).

Rendering of Conestoga Wagons coming to Westgate River Ranch in March 2021

Both the TeePees and the Wagons come with a golf cart to navigate the large resort, personal concierge with breakfast and ice delivery, VIP tickets and seating for the rodeo, Adventure Park passes and complementary resort activities.

Westgate_LuxeTeepee_RC50_Interior_007 (1).jpg
Luxe Teepee at Westgate River Ranch

Additional accommodations include platform camping (tent on a platform provided), RV parking and lodge rooms/suites.

RELATED | Tampa Bay's newest glamping site opens at Hillsborough River State Park

Escape rooms, archery and rock climbing—oh my! This dude ranch is packed full of outdoor activities for families.

The Adventure Park is a great place to start, with so much to do all in one spot:

  • Bungee Jumper
  • Mini Golf
  • Mechanical Bull
  • Rock Climbing

There are plenty of activities throughout the property to enjoy as well:

  • Horseback Riding (45-minute guided ride)
  • Pony Rides
  • Petting Farm (pigs, goats, llamas, ponies, horses and more!)
  • Airboat Rides (40-minute journey along the Kissimmee River with plenty of gators and birds to see)
  • Archery Range
  • Full Service Marina and Boat Rentals
  • Fishing (you can get your fishing license over the phone at the marina and there is also a catch and release pond)
  • Swamp Buggy Rides (40-minute ride that gives you an elevated view of Florida's natural terrain)
  • Trap and Skeet Shooting Range
  • Escape Rooms (You and your family have been nabbed for Cattle Rustling! Work together to escape before the Marshall arrives to take you into custody)

Westgate River Ranch also has a pool, tennis and basketball courts for their guests to enjoy.
Westgate River Ranch has one of the oldest rodeos in Florida. The rodeo takes place every Saturday night at 7:30. Bull Riders from all over the country stop by to compete, trying to stay on a bucking bull for at least 8 seconds.

The show also has a barrel racing competition, where riders attempt to quickly guide their horses around the barrels without knocking them over, as well as trick riding and a trick roper to add to the entertainment.

After the rodeo, make sure to head over the the River Ranch Saloon for a drink and some line dancing.

Dining Options

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is located at 3200 River Ranch Boulevard in River Ranch, Florida. The dude ranch also offers corporate retreats, team building and weddings/receptions.

This resort prides itself on offering a one-of-a-kind experience.

"No where across the U.S. can you get the vacation experience you're gonna get here at Westgate River Ranch," said Duncan.