One Tank Trip: Westgate River Ranch

- So maybe you haven't ridden a horse for a while, never rounded up cattle, or tried to stay on a twisting, turning mechanical bull, but not to worry. Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo will help you get back in the saddle.

The resort covers hundreds of beautiful acres on the Kissimmee River, 30-miles east of Lake Wales on State Road 60. Ranch staff does more than talk-the-talk. They walk-the-walk.

"We look like the real deal," said Ray Duncan, a former professional rodeo guy and current general manager of the ranch.

Duncan wears many hats, in addition to his cowboy. He is the preacher at the chapel, and the entertainment director and announcer at the rodeo, which is held every Saturday night.

Spectators watch adrenaline pumping events like bull riding, barrel racing, trick riding and more. The kids can even get involved by chasing calves and trying to snatch a ribbon off their tails.

Westgate River Ranch offers down-home entertainment like trap and skeet shooting, airboat and trail rides. It also has a petting farm, where you can get up close and personal with llamas, miniature horses, goats, and peacock.

When you're all tuckered out from living all your cowboy, or girl, dreams, you definitely won't have to rough it. The ranch offers upscale rooms, or for the more adventurous, glamor camping, or "glamping," as its commonly known.

Takoda Village is the newest glamping experience at the ranch. It is a community of luxury, air-conditioned tee pees with doubled sided fire places, refrigerators, king sized beds and old-fashioned claw foot tubs.

An overnight stay for two at the ranch, including tickets to all the attractions, will cost about $500.

So, if you're looking to have an out-west experience without leaving the Bay Area, cowboy up and mosey oon down to Westgate River Ranch and Resort to stay a spell.

For more info, visit

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