The Joy Ranch - just outside of Watertown in neighboring Florence is the picture perfect image of an 1880's Prairie Town complete with "Old West" facades!
Surrounded by the mesmerizing rolling hills of beautiful South Dakota The Joy Ranch is truly a must see.
Pictured above is one of several not only beautiful but friendly and curious horses hanging out near the picturesque driveway that leads into the Ranch.
The Joy Ranch is used for family reunions, business meetings, weddings, church events, youth camps, programs for all ages and more recently was the site of South Dakota's 125th Celebration which drew roughly three thousand plus!
As I walked the site I was in absolute awe. My "mom brain" also kicked in and I couldn't help but think of what a great location this would have been for a birthday party for my son - back in the day when we still marked the occasion with a theme. Nearly fifteen now - I'm just going to guess that a "cowboy" party would probably be out of the question at this point :)
The Joy Ranch offers 120 acres to hike and explore - there is everything from fishing and paddling opportunities to outdoor games and buggy, pony, or trail rides. You can even get rootbeer in The Thirsty Boot!
There are sixteen themed bedrooms, 4 bunk rooms and made from scratch meals served lake-view dining area or a private fireside dining room. The site is also home to a state-of-the-art riding arena for specialty and traditional horse programs.
The only downside to my visit was that I wish I could have stayed longer! Anne Cooper the establishments Event Coordinator was absolutely fantastic and she was kind enough to let me roam around. What follows are some snapshots of the beautiful Joy Ranch that I look forward to returning to!