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Convince Your Non-Outdoorsy Friends To Get Outdoors With These All-Inclusive Nature Resorts

Let’s face it: While you might live for the great outdoors, not all of your family or friends are born campers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a few nights together in the wilderness—provided you choose your accommodations to suit everyone in your crew. Whether you prefer the beach or the mountains, these all-inclusive resorts can bring you all closer to nature, without the creature discomfort of truly roughing it. 

Cozy up in a cabin or treehouse in the middle of the forest, indulge in award-winning meals from the property’s farm, and while away your afternoons fishing, hiking and snowmobiling—all the while having a comfy spot to rest your head come nighttime. 

$ = Less than $500 per night for an entry-level room
$$ = $500 to $1,000 per night for an entry-level room
$$$ = More than $1,000 per night for an entry-level room

1. The Green O

Where: Greenough, Montana

Cost: $$$

What to expect: A luxury resort set within a ranch so large it could be a national park, the Green O is a private paradise nestled on a corner of The Resort at Paws Up’s 37,000 undeveloped acres. It’s hard to pick the highlight of this romantic retreat! Is it the Pritzker-worthy Haus accommodations, equipped with hot tubs, fireplaces  and expansive decks? The tricked-out activities, from snowmobiling to a ghost town to cooking lessons with a Top Chef winner? Perhaps the best memories come from Social Haus, the resort’s central meeting place and restaurant, where chef Brandon Cunningham and team cook up a nightly tasting menu that wouldn’t be out of place in New York City’s top restaurants. Coming back to a homemade ice cream sandwich in your mini fridge doesn’t hurt, either.

Family-friendly: No—but sister property the Resort at Paws Up is.

Amenities: Spa, fitness center, private hot tubs at each accommodation, fine-dining restaurant and bar (in addition to several other restaurants at Paws Up) and a full program of outdoor activities such a horseback riding, fly-fishing, dog sledding and rafting

What’s included: Meals, beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), snacks, airport transfer, on-property transportation, a Lexus luxury SUV to use on property if you prefer to drive yourself, gratuity, and a $500 Stay & Play credit per accommodation applied to activities/excursions

2. Little St. Simons Island

Image by Little St. Simon Island

Where: Glynn County, Georgia

Cost: $$

What to expect: Tucked away off the coast of Georgia, the dreamy hideaway of Little St. Simons Island, built in 1917 as a private hunting lodge, can only be reached by boat. Once you arrive, check into one of the rustic cottages, complete with screened-in porches, and prepare to disconnect. Meals feature local seafood and ingredients grown on the resort’s own farm. You’ll need your energy to explore the 11,000-acre sanctuary via foot, kayak or bike. You can also join an open-air truck safari, go fishing or grab a pair of binoculars and look for some of the island’s 250 species of birds.

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Restaurant with on-site garden, conservation center, saltwater pool, recreation equipment and guided excursions, including birding, fishing and hiking

What’s included: Meals, nonalcoholic beverages, boat transfers, guided excursions and use of recreational equipment, such as bicycles, kayaks and binoculars

3. Migis Lodge

Where: South Casco, Maine

Cost: $

What to expect: As Migis Lodge proves, you’re never too old for summer camp. Located on Sebago Lake near Portland, Maine, this charming resort has been welcoming families for over a century. Choose from the main lodge or a spacious cottage and dig into speciality meals like lobster bakes and cookouts. Smaller kids can let loose at a supervised camp while the rest of the family enjoys a range of activities like water skiing, sailing, hiking and arts and crafts. 

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Pickleball courts, basketball court, tennis courts, disc golf course, kids’ camp, massage and wellness center, dining room and bar, non-motorized water sports equipment and a program of activities including fishing and waterskiing lessons

What’s included: Meals, beverages (except alcoholic drinks), and activities (except motorized boats)

4. Alisal Ranch

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Where: Solvang, California

Cost: $$

What to expect: This picture-perfect dude ranch Alisal Ranch isn’t in the wild west, but the quaint California town of Solvang. Nevertheless, expect the real deal, with rodeo shows, a barn full of animals and 50 miles of rideable trails situated on a sprawling 10,500 acres. Get comfortable in a western-style home or cottage with barnwood paneling and a wood-burning fireplace before joining your fellow ranchers at a BBQ cookout. You can go full cowboy with private riding lessons and trail rides or unwind with a massage (or two) and wine tastings.

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Pool, tennis courts, pickleball courts, kids club, golf course, shuttle, spa, fitness center, petting zoo and restaurants 

What’s included: Breakfast and dinner, beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), welcome gift, non-motorized water sports equipment and some activities (horseback riding is an extra charge)

5. Blackberry Farm

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Where: Walland, Tennessee

Cost: $$$

What to expect: A popular definition for foodies set on a working farm, Blackberry Farm touts its “Foothills Cuisine” and the “lost art of southern cooking.”  Many activities, such as farm tours and cooking demonstrations, are culinary-themed, with visitors coming for the exquisite food, including bourbon-brined chicken and wild sturgeon wrapped in country ham, and award-winning wine collection. However, because the resort is set on 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s also a tempting nature retreat, with hiking, horseback riding and paddle sports available.

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Pool, spa, fine dining restaurant, private golf carts, Farmstead Field School and plenty of activities that can be added onto your stay, including horseback riding, paintball, archery and fly fishing

What’s included: Meals and snacks

6. Bungalows Key Largo

Where: Key Largo, Florida

Cost: $$$

What to expect: Kick back and relax at this adults-only Bungalows Key Largo in the Florida Keys that’s as close to the Caribbean as you’re going to get without leaving the lower 48. Covering 1,000 feet of ocean shoreline, the private bungalows feature their own verandas and an outdoor shower or soaking tub. With a few exceptions, just about every activity is included here, so you can take your pick of tropical fun, from snorkeling to outdoor yoga sessions to dolphin spotting from your kayak or paddleboard.

Family-friendly: Guests must be 21 and older

Amenities: Fitness center, yoga classes, five restaurants, spa, pools, hot tubs, private beach, courtesy car, recreational equipment (snorkeling and water sports gear), cruiser bikes, live entertainment and cabanas

What’s included: Meals, beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic), snacks, and all amenities and activities except excursions (such as fishing, diving and sailing)

7. Fair Hills Resort

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Where: Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Cost: $

What to expect: Built in 1906 on Minnesota’s Pelican Lake, Fair Hills Resort is a chilled-out, old-fashioned summer camp that thrives on repeat visits from generations of families. Make it your new tradition and book a week of fun in one of the rustic cabins. While the accommodations might be basic—don’t expect air conditioning—the activities are anything but. Choose your daily schedule from an action-packed list of offerings, including scavenger hunts, tennis lessons and tubing.

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Pools, hot tub, golf course, tennis courts, basketball court, shuffleboard courts, sand volleyball court, Norwegian golf, playground, horseshoe pits, frisbee golf course, recreations water sports equipment, weekly cruise and hootenanny, activity program (including talent shows, fishing and more) and lessons (tennis, sailing and more)

What’s included: Meals, all activities and all lessons

8. C Lazy U Ranch

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Where: Granby, Colorado

Cost: $$

What to expect: Found 90 miles outside Denver, the luxury, family-run C Lazy U Ranch has epitomized western hospitality for over 100 years. Settle into a picturesque cabin or go glamping in a Conestoga wagon outfitted with a bed. Whether you’re a novice or an expert equestrian, you’ll be welcome here. Trail rides are scheduled daily except for Sunday when the herd of 200 horses rest, and you can schedule lessons and round pen clinics to brush up on specific skills. Out of the saddle, enjoy Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing, cattle pushing clinics, trap shooting, guided hiking, cross-country skiing and more.

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Kids’ program, spa, tennis courts, basketball court, volleyball court, shuffleboard, dining room and bar and a full program of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, archery and snow tubing

What’s included: Meals, beverages (nonalcoholic) and most activities including horseback riding

9. Castle Hot Springs

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Where: Morristown, Arizona

Cost: $$$

What to expect: Deep in the Sonoran desert, the posh resort of Castle Hot Springs, which dates back to the 1800s, holds a secret: soothing hot springs that Indigenous people once journeyed to for medicinal purposes. Soak in the naturally warm, mineral-rich oasis to ease muscle soreness and joint pain. While you’re there, don’t miss the property’s farm-to-table restaurant where ingredients travel mere steps from the on-site garden to your plate, and find your zen through a meditation class or scenic e-bike tour in the desert. 

Family-friendly: Guests must be 16 and older

Amenities: Hot springs, spa, restaurant and bar, farm, cruiser bikes and a variety of activities such as via ferrata adventure courses, hiking, ax throwing and more

What’s included: Meals, gratuity, exclusive access to the hot springs and most activities

10. The Lodge at Blue Sky

Where: Park City, Utah

Cost: $$$

What to expect: A 3,500-acre private retreat in the Wasatch Mountain Range, the Lodge at Blue Sky, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is half luxury resort, half working cattle ranch. Attend The Cowboy Way workshop to learn the basics of horsemanship, such as how to move cows and check fencing. Kids can try their hand at saddling up a horse. If possible, opt for an Earth Suite, as each features an outdoor terrace and fireplace and outdoor shower. 

Family-friendly: Yes

Amenities: Loaner vehicles, Park City shuttle, spa, farm, complimentary yoga and meditation classes, kids’ program, restaurants and a full program of activities, such as dogsledding, ice fishing, distillery tours, wildlife tracking and Nordic skiing

What’s included: Meals, beverages (nonalcoholic), airport transfers and a daily one- to two-hour guided excursion

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