top of page

Experience The Wild West At Westgate River Ranch Resort: Your Ultimate Escape

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

This a sponsored opportunity on behalf of Westgate River Ranch Resort. All views and opinions are my own.

As a Florida native, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of visiting Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, an authentic dude ranch in the heart of Florida.

Recently, I finally decided to pack up my bags and head out for a weekend getaway to this unique destination.

From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Surrounded by acres of lush countryside, the resort offers a range of outdoor activities and western-themed adventures that make for an unforgettable trip.

In this blog, I’ll share my experiences at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo and some tips for making the most out of your visit.

Experience Old Florida at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is a unique destination located in Central Florida, in Polk County.

The resort covers an area of 1,700 acres and offers guests the opportunity to experience the feel of the Old West with a wide range of activities that cater to all ages. The ranch has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century when it was founded as a cattle ranch.

The resort offers a range of accommodations from traditional rooms to glamping tents, teepees, and even luxurious cabins. It also features a full-service restaurant, a general store, a saloon, a pool, a spa, and many other amenities.

The ranch’s rodeo is one of the main attractions, which features professional bull riding, barrel racing, and other traditional rodeo events.

There are also activities such as horseback riding, airboat rides, archery, fishing, and many more.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is a perfect destination for families, couples, and anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the Old West.

Getting to Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo: Transportation Options and Directions

The ranch is located in Polk County, Florida, approximately 70 miles southeast of Orlando and 90 miles southwest of Tampa.

The easiest way to get to the resort is by car, and there is ample parking available on site. If you are flying in, the closest airports are Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport, both of which are approximately 90 minutes away by car.

For those who don’t want to drive, there are shuttle services available from both airports to the resort, although they can be quite expensive. There are also private car services available for hire.

Once you arrive at the resort, the best way to get around is by car, as the property is quite large.

You can bring your own car or rent one on site. The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle service to some of the on-site activities, such as the rodeo and the petting zoo.

River Ranch Accommodations

Front entry to the Luxe Teepee

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo offers a variety of room accommodations that cater to different preferences and group sizes.

Here’s a summary and description of the available room options:

  1. Lodge Rooms: The Lodge Rooms feature a rustic and comfortable atmosphere, equipped with a flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. The Lodge Rooms have two queen beds or one king bed and a full bathroom.

  2. Glamping: If you’re looking for a unique experience, you can try glamping in one of the luxury tents or teepees. The glamping accommodations include air conditioning, electricity, a mini-refrigerator, and a private porch with rocking chairs.

  3. Luxe Teepees: The Luxe Teepees offer a modern twist to traditional glamping accommodations, with amenities like air conditioning, full bathroom, mini-refrigerator, microwave, and a kitchenette. The Luxe Teepees feature a king-size bed, twin bunk beds, and a sofa bed.

  4. Ranch Cabins: The Ranch Cabins are designed to provide a private and rustic setting for couples, families, or groups. The cabins are air-conditioned and feature a full bathroom, kitchenette, and a covered porch with rocking chairs.

  5. Glampsite Tents: The Glampsite Tents are situated in a private area, featuring air conditioning, private bathroom, mini-refrigerator, and a private deck with chairs.

  6. Saddle Club: The Saddle Club is an exclusive area with several different room types available, including bunk rooms, suites, and private villas. The Saddle Club features a private pool, hot tub, and fitness center.



I stayed in one of the luxurious glamping teepee called ‘Jumping Horse’ and had an amazing experience.

Every teepee has air conditioning and heat, private bathrooms and showers, a grill, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and an open patio with a deck, equipped with rocking chairs for you.

The teepee’s are 651 sqft and comes with a personal concierge who will assist you with anything you need during your stay at the resort! I love how my concierge was able to text me with activity suggestions or to take my breakfast or dinner order.

A great perk when staying in the luxe teepee is that you’ll have breakfast delivered each morning, a golf cart that you can use to explore and early access to sign up for the resorts activities.

I love their offerings for your stay in the luxe teepee! You get to select what you’d like for breakfast and it is delivered to your door.

I was able to text my concierge my order and it arrived within the hour! You can choose from pastries, breakfast sandwiches, yogurts, fruits, cereals, and more!

Private bon fire space

I love the teepee accommodation even more at night! You have space for a private bon fire just steps away from your teepee, awaiting you inside are snacks, drinks, and a s’mores kit. I had so much fun masking s’mores under the stars!

You'll have a s'mores kit waiting for you in your room!

The Luxe Teepee at night

You'll find beautiful artwork indoors.

The glamping site is called “The Takoda Village.” That’s where you’ll find the glamping teepee hotel which is private and gated. You’ll be given a code for entry.

Fun fact! There’s a Chickee hut on site at the resort that was built by the Seminole Indian tribe for the Takoda Village. Chicken is the word the Seminoles use for “house.” Super cool, right?

No matter what type of accommodation you choose, you’ll have access to the resort’s amenities, including the swimming pool, restaurants, and outdoor activities.

Activities Available at River Ranch

My horse had the most beautiful blue eyes and was so gentle in nature and very easy to guide.

Here’s a summary and description of the activities you can do during your stay:

  1. Horseback Riding: Take a scenic trail ride on horseback through the Florida wilderness. Guests of all levels can experience this iconic activity.

  2. Airboat Rides: Glide across the waters of the Kissimmee River in an airboat and witness Florida’s natural beauty, all while learning about the area’s unique ecosystem.

  3. Rodeo: Witness professional rodeo performers showcasing their skills in bull riding, barrel racing, and more.

  4. Swamp Buggy Rides: Get up close and personal with Florida’s nature while exploring the surrounding wilderness aboard a Swamp Buggy.

  5. Fishing: Cast your line and catch a variety of freshwater fish in the Kissimmee River.

  6. Golf: Play a round of golf on the resort’s scenic 9-hole golf course, which is situated on the river’s edge.

  7. Outdoor Adventures: Try activities like archery, trap and skeet shooting, zipline, rock wall climbing, and more.

  8. Campfires and Hayrides: At night, gather around a campfire and enjoy s’mores or take a relaxing hayride through the scenic wilderness.

  9. Swimming: The resort features a large outdoor pool, as well as a lazy river for you to float along while taking in the scenery.

The second you drive onto the property, you'll see animals ranging from horses to donkeys and goats! You'll also see an array of animals available at the petting zoo, just steps away from the horse stable.

During my stay I had the pleasure of seeing the Chris Weaver Band perform live!

The band was performing as part of the resorts intimate concert series, called Nashville Singer Songwriter Series.

The series features top musical talent from Nashville!

The Westgate’s exclusive Nashville Singer Songwriter Series is only available at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo.

The concert is held inside of the River Ranch Saloon but you could totally go to the Westgate Smokehouse Grill for a bite before the show, too.

These activities are only a few of the options available at the Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo. The resort also offers dining options, a full-service spa, and events throughout the year.

Dining Options at River Ranch

The resort offers various dining options for their guests, including:

  1. The River Ranch Cattle Company is a full-service restaurant that serves a wide selection of dishes, including grilled meats, fresh seafood, and salads.

  2. Westgate Smokehouse Grill is a BBQ restaurant that offers a casual dining experience. Their menu features a variety of smoked meats and other BBQ classics, as well as craft beers and cocktails.

  3. The River Ranch Saloon is a Western-themed bar and lounge that serves specialty cocktails and light bites, such as wings and nachos. The saloon also features live music and entertainment.

  4. The Deli at The General Store is a convenient spot for grabbing a quick bite to eat. They offer a variety of sandwiches, snacks, and drinks for guests on the go.

Whether you’re looking for a full meal or a quick bite, Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo has a dining option that’s sure to please.

Final thoughts

As the weekend came to an end, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the unforgettable experience at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo. The rustic vibe of the accommodations, the fun and adventurous activities, and the delicious food made the trip an absolute success.

The best part was that it was only a short drive away from Tampa, making it a perfect escape from the city without having to travel too far.

If you’re looking for a weekend away to relax and have some good ole’ country fun, then Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is the place to be.

Have Your Glamping TripPlanned By A Professional!

Experience all that Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo has to offer with a custom itinerary tailor made for you.

0 views0 comments


bottom of page