Four Rustic Lodges for Family Vacations

Take the family on an outdoorsy vacation with our list of rugged lodges. With a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests, connecting in the great outdoors can be a relaxing family trip.

Tanque Verde Ranch Resort

Tanque Verde Ranch Resort in Tucson, Ariz., was named the best dude ranch in the state by the Travel Channel for good reason. This cattle and guest ranch sits on more than 60,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert terrain and offers something fun for the entire family. Nestled at the foot of the Rincon Mountains and next door to Coronado National Forest and Saguaro National Park, needless to say Tanque Verde Ranch boasts incredible mountain vistas and breathtaking views in every direction.

Take horseback riding lessons or head out with the pros on the ride and walking trails. Explore the ranch’s endless on-site activities from watercolor workshops for kids to tennis, fishing, swimming, yoga and Jeep adventure excursions for the whole family. Head to nearby towns for hot air balloon rides to golfing, spelunking and shopping.

Family follows lead rider horseback riding

Photo: Gregory Johnston | Dreamstime

Safari West

Head to Santa Rosa, Calif., and experience Safari West, known as the Sonoma Serengeti. Spend the night in a luxury safari tent surrounded by wilderness and head out on safari with friends and family. Explore the 400-acre preserve in an open-air, all-terrain vehicle viewing nearly 1,000 animals including ring-tailed lemurs, zebras and rhinos.


Whether soaking in the summer, watching leaves change in fall or hitting the slopes in the winter, Steamboat in Steamboat Springs, Colo., has something for everyone. The family resort provides horseback riding, rafting, rides, hot springs, golfing, hiking, biking, hot air balloon tours, an alpine slide and mountain coaster. Parents enjoy spa treatments and shopping before the whole family gathers for mountainside dining boasting incredible views in every direction.

Out’n’About Treesort

Take the kids to Takilma, Ore., for the ultimate in treehouse accommodations. Out’n’About Treesort provides unique treehouse bed-and-breakfast lodging the Swiss Family Robinson would envy. Zip line from place to place, take a dip in the river pool, explore the big meadow and ride the Tarzan swing. Take horseback rides and crafting workshops with the whole family, relax by the fire pit or head out rafting on the river.