Dixie Dude Ranch (Bandera, Texas)
Updated: Jan 19, 2022
My Son has always wanted to go to a dude ranch, so when I saw Bandera, the Cowboy Capitol of the World, was near San Antonio, I knew we had to go!
Located about an hour west of San Antonio and off the beaten path, a great place to disconnect for a few days. It is about 15 mins outside the city of Bandera located on 725 acres. You will lose cell service about a mile before the front gate.
Dixie Dude Ranch, a working ranch, is a laid back place. They only have planned meals and horse back riding, besides that in your down time you do whatever you want.
There are goats, a peacock, dogs and cats that run around and we even saw a real armadilo.
You have to stay at least 2 nights, most stay a week, and they charge per person per night. They have a kid and an adult price. This includes food and horse back riding.
You really do not have to pay for anything else while there except the gift shop.
You pay, I think it was half, ahead of time and the rest when you check out. They did suggest a 10 percent tip on your whole bill when we left and they split it among all staff.
They have a 30 day cancellation policy
Once you enter the property, you will drive straight back to the main hall. Check in is at 4 but you can get there as early at 2/3 they say. You check in and they will give you keys to your little house. My son and I stayed in a room in the main building and my mom had a king sized bed in another building. We had booked late so that is they had left.
The rooms are simple: a bed, bathroom and dresser. My sons and my double bed room had two chairs in the room and my mom had two chairs on a little porch. All rooms have in window air conditioners.
The main building has the main dining area, books you can read, games and a tv. This is also the only area where you can use the wifi. I gave my family the actual ranches phone number if they neeeded to get a hold of us in an emergency.
Here are some pictures of the rooms.
Here is a layouyt of all the places.
There are no laundry services here.
These "houses" are older but felt very clean.
They did not clean your rooms each day like a hotel would, but would get you things if you needed it like towels and blankets.
You will receive 3 free meals a day on your full days here. They gave you dinner the night you arrive and breakfast and lunch the day you leave. All are included in your price.
They had lemonade, ice tea, coffee to drink or water. They do have outside a place you can buy cans of soda and you throw in the money in a can, like an honor system.
They do not sell alcohol, but saw people brought their own but they did not bring it to meals.
We were all shocked how good the food was and the recipes are the same ones they have used for year after year. We never went hungry.
Some meals you eat outside and some in. It is family style. Outside you sit wherever, inside is assigned tables. Meals were 8 am/12:30 pm/6 pm ( I think). You must come at these times to eat.
They do not have dinner or entertainment Sunday nights it says on their website.
There is coffee early in the main building for you.
They have a ping pong table, pool with no lifeguard,a small baby pool, a hot tub, playground, tetherball and horseback riding and fishing with all the equipment. The lake is walkable from the main area. Many people also went hiking.
They are to have nightly enteratinment and we were sad to learn when we got there ours was cancelled for the week.
We hung out most nights.
You can arrange to get a massage therapist to come out and give you a massage too.
Kids I think 3 and up can ride usually with an adult and up to 285 lbs can ride. They take different trails in the morning and night. My son got a little nervous on the morning trial as it was close to the edge and the afternoon trail was different.
The ride on Friday mornings to breakfast does not count as a ride and they take about an hour to come down so plan on this. We did not know and we wanted to leave right after breakfast, but glad he did the ride.
This was really my 11 year old sons second time riding and he loved it!
They will tell you each day at breakfast what time you ride and make sure your whole group is together.
If you arrive between 2-4pm on check in day you can ride that afternoon.
What to pack:
closed toe shoes ( my son wore cowboy boots)
jeans or long pants to ride in
snacks for kids in between meals
smore items ( marshmellows/chocolate/graham crackers)
*They give you marshmellows but we wanted more and they ran out and the graham crackers and chocolate you buy in the gift shop that is only open 9:30-12 some days
alcohol if you want any
my mom brought a book to read as she did not ride horses
flashlight from campfire to room
Hill Top Breakfast
Friday and Monday Mornings breakfast is different. You can take a hay ride or horse ride to the top of a hill and they prepare brekafast up there. My mom uses a cane and they let her ride in the truck that pulled the hayride. I rode the hayride and my son rode the horse up.
I have to say this was the most beautiful breakfast I ever had! It was just breath taking!
There is a little bit of rocks and a hill to go up that you walk. Another dad and I held my mom tight to help her up.
They have tables for you to sit at and the food is kinda buffet style and you go sit down.
You then go back down the way you came up. The horse ride takes a long ride down so they come back about an hour after the hayride does. This does not count as one of your two rides of the day..
I will say this breakfast was worth the whole price of the stay and my favorite part!
Saturday nights they will do a hay ride around the property, but we were not there on a Saturday night.