On July 10, I discussed in my Travel Well With Allan video update the topic of staycations. One good example of a successful staycation during the pandemic was a recent trip with my daughter, Sydney, to 1000 Acres Ranch in upstate New York.
The truth is, I would likely have never visited a “dude ranch” in New York if we were not in a pandemic. After all, we had a Montana Family Multisport Adventure, including a backcountry horsecamp overnight, scheduled for this summer. But when that sadly got postponed to next year, the search was on to find a good replacement in New York where we live.
I feel fortunate to have found with 1000 Acres and pleasantly surprised at what we experienced:
- I contacted three dude ranches in New York and 1000 Acres was the only one that even replied. As a small business owner who knows how important customer service is, this put 1000 Acres miles ahead to start.
- The ranch (at more like 750 acres after a few land sales in recent years) is big and very nicely situated on the Hudson River, which is much smaller and cleaner than the huge version that rolls past New York City, well downstream.
- The horseback riding program is professionally managed and included with the all-inclusive pricing, which not only makes it more fun but was a great deal.
- There are many other activities including hiking, kayaking, swimming, crafts, and lawn games.
- The three meals per day were huge and a highlight.
- Most of our days were spent outside, which increases safety during the pandemic, and even when we were inside the cavernous dining lodge had few people in it. I felt quite safe.
The ranch was purchased by new owners just last October and is going through some adjustments and renovations, leading to minor complaints. The main pool was closed (a secondary one was open) and I would have preferred more fruits and vegetables with dinner.
But overall, this was a fantastic staycation that allowed me to provide my daughter with an outstanding vacation during this pandemic summer. For those of you in the northeast, I can highly recommend 1000 Acres. For the rest of you, I hope this serves to get your creative juices flowing to find a suitable option near you!