Glamping in a Teepee Hotel at Westgate River Ranch, Florida
A couple of weeks ago, I opened up my email and saw an invite to go glamping in Florida at Westgate River Ranch. Without looking at my schedule or thinking about it for more than a minute, I immediately replied with a big “YES.” Glamping has been on my bucket list for years, and this trip did not disappoint. I am so excited to share all of the photos from my weekend at the ranch, and I hope it inspires you to make a trip to experience it for yourself.
Westgate River Ranch is a luxurious resort and one of the coolest dude ranches in Florida! It has a lot of its historic charm from the days when it was used as an old cattle trail by the real cowboys. It lays on 1700 acres of waterways and green space. I have never been to a place quite like it, and it’s suitable for just about anyone or any occasion!
In today’s blog, I’m going to share everything we did on the ranch! The cool thing is that you never have to leave. They have everything available to you, and you’ll never get bored when activities surround you. I lived out my childhood dreams. This is the perfect place to escape your electronics and spend time outdoors on bikes, horseback riding, golfing, roasting marshmallows by the fire, playing tennis, swimming, trap, and skeet shooting, archery, ziplining, and so much more.
There are so many options for accommodations at Westgate River Ranch. There are cottages, cabins, glamping tents, lodges, and even an—RV site.
Glamping Teepees at Westgate River Ranch
It was so fun to experience Glamping (Glamorous camping!). The Luxe teepee hotel had everything you needed and more. I had the outdoor experience while also getting the luxurious one from inside the teepee. Every teepee has air conditioning and heat, private bathrooms and showers, a grill, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and an open patio with a deck. I loved sitting outside with my coffee on the rocking chairs. It’s so quiet in the mornings at the ranch, and it’s relaxing listening to the animals wake up. This was such a cozy spot.
The teepees are 651 sqft, which is pretty ginormous for a teepee. They are big enough for the whole family. And to top it off, the teepee hotel comes with a personal concierge who assists you with anything you need from the moment you arrive!
The perks of staying in a luxe teepee hotel are that you’ll have exclusive benefits like complimentary resort activities. You’ll get breakfast delivered each morning, a golf cart for commuting around the grounds, nightly campfires, VIP rodeo tickets, horseback riding, trap and skeet shooting, archery, access to the adventure park, airboat rides, and more.
The glamping site is called “The Takoda Village.” The glamping teepee hotel is private and gated. No one can enter the glamping site besides the glampers. You’ll be given a code that opens the gates, and you’ll be able to drive around in your golf cart.
In the middle of the village, there’s a Chickee hut where we gathered for most of our meals. It was built by the Seminole Indian tribe for the Takoda Village. Chicken is the word the Seminoles use for “house.” One of my favorite parts about the village was the old trees covered in Spanish moss. The way they light up at night was magical.
Roasting Marshmallows & Stargazing
On night one, we ended dinner with s’mores by the campfire and then laid a giant blanket out to stargaze. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a sky so clear. We saw several shooting stars, and it was an excellent reminder to put the phone down now and then and get outside.
Waking up and going outside to grab breakfast was so nice.
The village is so quiet in the morning, and the only thing you can hear are the farm animals. I highly recommend waking up early and catching the sunrise out by the horses.
Breakfast Basket and Coffee Delivered Each Morning
Each morning, you get to select what you’d like for breakfast. You can choose from pastries, breakfast sandwiches, yogurts, fruits, cereals, and more! Around 8 am, it’s delivered to the porch with your own pot of coffee! The coffee was fantastic, and it was the perfect way to start the day before jumping into all the activities.
There are so many activities at the Westgate River Ranch! No matter what kind of traveler you are, you’ll find something for yourself!
Activities at Westgate River Ranch
Full-service marina: 40 boat slips with hook-ups, 100-seat restaurant, airboat rides, swamp buggy rides, and fishing!
Catch & Release Pond
Nine-Hole Golf Course w/ Pro Shop
Trap & Skeet Range
Equestrian Center: Horseback Riding & Stables
Village Shops: General store with snack bar (& coffee shop!) post office, fitness center, saloon & restaurant, western store, and more.
Adventure Park: 300 ft zip line, rock climbing, mechanical bull, bungee jumpers, miniature golf, dance hall, and game room!
More: pool, tennis courts, basketball, bike riding, and pony rides.
Horseback riding was so much fun, and it’s included in the Luxe teepee hotel package. You’ll take a 45-minute train ride around the resort, and the views are breathtaking!
A guide will take you through the trails, and you can schedule your times with your concierge. They even offer riding lessons and a few other services. If you’re a horse lover, this place is going to be your heaven!
Where is Westgate River Ranch Located?
Westgate River Ranch is located one hour south of Orlando and one hour and a half from the Orlando International Airport.
I love that the activities here take me out of the same old life routine. When am I ever going to go skeet and trap shooting or do archery in Charlotte? I would never have known how fun it is!
Archery and Skeet & Trap Shooting
There is a Trap and Skeet shooting range by the archery. If you want to learn how to be a real cowboy or cowgirl, this is where you’ll test your skills! I was shocked when I hit the bullseye and cracked a few targets. This is a great place to start if you’re a beginner because the expert marksman will teach you shotgun safety and shooting techniques before you begin.
I think one of the best parts of the trip was meeting Ray. He runs this place and has been here before most of you reading this blog were even born. He’s a man of ALL trades, and he was just about everywhere we went during our trip. He is the star of the rodeo on Saturdays, enjoys being out on the trails with the horses, preaches at the church on Sundays, and is the REAL cowboy. He also has a work ethic that is unheard of. He’s filled with amazing ideas and is continuously making upgrades to the ranch to make it exciting.
We all wanted to see the longhorns and take photos of them, so Ray hopped over to the other side of the fence and got their attention. They all started running towards him, and Ray didn’t even flinch. He just casually walked back! It was so funny and scary, but Ray is a seasoned cowboy and has spent many years facing bigger bulls at the rodeo. The general store is a great spot for all the essentials.
General Store at Village Shops
This is where you can pick up extra snacks, coffee drinks, ice cream, gifts, and it’s where I got my cowgirl hat! If you need a quick bite to eat or extra ingredients for your cookout, this is the spot to stop.
There are plenty of options for food at the ranch!
The food at the Westgate River Ranch
You can pick up snacks and meals at the General Store for a quick go-to, or enjoy a dinner at Westgate Smokehouse Grill, River Ranch Saloon, Dinner Hayride and Deli, and the catering services.
We experienced a Catering service, and it’s worth it! Holy moly, did the meals NOT disappoint over the weekend. The smoked bbq style food at the Hayride dinner was probably one of my favorite meals of the weekend!
The teepee hotel also comes with a grill and refrigerator, so if you want to bring food to cook by the campfire, you can do that as well.
One of the most exciting activities was the swamp buggy. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did!
SWAMP BUGGY RIDE
You’ll get to take a 40-minute ride through the wooded trail and view wildlife in the most natural setting. The views are breathtaking, so I highly remind taking it early in the morning. I’ve never done anything like it! We drove through water, mud, tall grass, and over logs. This is a good time to look out for alligators and other Florida wildlife. It’s a bumpy ride but unbelievably fun.
The real party is at the River Ranch Saloon. I am no dancer, but boy, did I have the time of my life!
Line Dancing at River Ranch Saloon
Every weekend, you can experience a wild crowd of line dancers. Even if you’ve never lined dance before, jump in and give it a try. Just watching some of the dancers made my mouth drop because of how talented they were!
These baby goats were the cutest!
I could spend all day with the animals. The petting farm is a free activity, and it’s a great place to bring the kids.
You’ll find horses, cows, ponies, mules, goats, sheep, deer, turkeys, rabbits, pigs, llamas, emus, peacocks, and other exotic creatures. They also have pony rides for the littles. Another activity offered at the ranch is the airboat ride. This was such a unique experience!
Airboat Rides on the Kissimmee River
You’ll be given noise-blocking headphones (definitely needed) for the relaxing 40-minute guided Florida Airport ride along the Kissimmee River. This is another great opportunity to see the gators. And if you’re fortunate, you may spot a bald eagle. It goes super fast, and it’s quite the adventure!
The hayride dinner is a must! You will not regret the post-ride food.
You’ll get to ride on a 45-minute old-fashioned, tractor-pulled hayride through the 7,000-acre Kissimmee Island Cattle Company Wildlife Management Area. You’ll see more wildlife, and if it’s a Saturday, you may be lucky enough to see Ray bringing in the bulls for the rodeo (yes, Ray does that too!)
We had live music, which made the ride even more enjoyable and relaxing. Thanks, Vic, for serenading us!
The food was sooooo good. If I could have taken leftovers home, I would have. Most of us went back for seconds because we couldn’t get enough. We had grilled chicken, smoked ribs, hot dogs, corn on the cob, mac & cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, apple cobbler, and washed it all down with lemonade.
Grab your boots and get ready for the rodeo!!
We ended our night at the rodeo because that’s where everyone is on Saturday night. And yes, that’s also Ray on the horse! I’m not a big fan of bull-riding, but I enjoyed the patriotic tribute to the armed forces, and it put me into tears several times.
Your Saturday Night at The Rodeo
It’s cool to see kids so extremely talented and hard-working with their horses! It’s rare nowadays. The fun doesn’t stop after the rodeo is over! The party goes on over at the Saloon. And if you’re feeling inspired to ride a bull, definitely try out their new mechanical bull. It’s hilarious to watch people fling off.
I did NOT want to leave! Staying cozy with coffee in a hammock, eating all the delicious food, and spending hours with horses was my dream glamping vacation. And I can’t forget to mention all the fantastic new friends I made on this trip. All of us strangers clicked within minutes, and it was truly one of the most unforgettable times! This is the perfect place to plan a retreat or a team-building weekend. I cannot wait to go back!
When I saw this mug, I knew I had to grab it for a travel giveaway! I love bringing a piece of my trip back to my readers! 💜 All you have to do is leave a comment answering one of the questions below. 😊
The winner will be announced Friday, Nov 8th!
Questions for you!
- Have you ever been glamping?
- What is one activity you’d love to try at Westgate River Ranch?
- Are you a line dancing pro!?