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French Broad Outpost Ranch
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Reviews (136)
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80 - 85 of 136 reviews
Reviewed February 20, 2012

I just returned from a 3 day weekend at the French Broad Outpost with a girl friend. We met some incredible people while we were there. Shawn and his wife, Joanne (sp) were awesome hosts. He was our wrangler, bartender, instructor, and guide all in one. We arrived on a Friday afternoon around 4pm and checked in. We had until 6pm to get acquainted with the property and other guests before our 6pm family style dinner. (They literally ring a dinner bell!) There isn't a TV in your room and you will not miss it at all!

Food: "Z" cooked some amazing meals. It's all family style (you eat with the other guests, Shawn, and other staff members) and everyone eats the same thing. If you are picky or are accustomed to ordering what you want then you will have to get over it:-) Our breakfast on Saturday morning was grits, eggs, bacon, biscuits, oatmeal = Yummy! Lunch was Tomato Basil soup, grilled chicken sandwiches and buttermilk pie. Dinner Friday night was spaghetti, salad, garlic toast and lemon pound cake. Dinner Saturday night was pork chops, mac & cheese, green beans and peach cobbler with ice cream. SO GOOD!

Riding Horses: Friday night we watched a video about horses and riding techniques and had brief interviews with Shawn about our riding history. They will weigh you - let's face it - you can't be 350 lbs and a horse easily carry you up a mountain. Not trying to be mean - just honest. One thing I didn't expect was saddling my own horse. I've ridden at places before and they just hand you the reigns and say have fun. Shawn goes through an extensive orientation, you will learn how to care for your horse saddle your horse and ride your horse. It made me appreciate the entire trip even more!

Trails: The ranch is on little over 300 acres of incredible land on the French Broad River in the Great Smokey Mountains of east Tennessee. Beautiful!!

People& Rooms: Go with an open mind. You aren't signing up for the Four Seasons so don't expect the Four Seasons. Our rooms were VERY comfortable and I slept great! They all have western or country decor. Be open and friendly! You will be at the ranch with other people - make new friends. If you stay in your room during breaks from riding then you will definitely miss out. We hung out in the game room (pool table, air hockey, foosball, big screen TV, bar). There were 12 people there when we were and we had a blast. Everyone was so friendly and we spent the weekend in foosball tourneys, learning who the pool sharks were and just having great conversation.

This is a great vacation place for families, close friends, girls weekends, guys weekends - romantic (if you like the outdoor thing).

One last word = GO!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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11  Thank gapeachbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

My wife and I spent a great week at the French Broad Outpost Ranch. All of the staff was knowledgeable and willing to help at the sliest request. We stayed in the hotel above the saloon which really give you the old west town. The rooms were beautiful and way beyond my expectations. The meals were super comfort food and served family style. Everyone sits tigether and shares, lots of laughter and comradarie.

My wife rides all of the time, so I was not worried about her skill. I sure had some doubts about me. I haven't ridden a horse for more that 20 years. Shawn, the owner, helped me through all of my fears. We started out slow and by the end of the week I was an old cow poke. We did trail rides and pushed a cow heard just like the old days. When you can get a horse to help you get the job done it sure gives you a sense of satisfaction.

Shawn, JoAnn, "Z" and Nicole made us feel like we were part of the family. We had lots of laughs and fun and talked about everything from horses to current affairs.

If you are putting together a bucket list, the French Broad Outpost Ranch should be on it. Initially I had doubts about going, but now I can't wait to go back. I am hoping we can bring some of our friends to share this fun experience.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Carl_Messina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

My husband and I spent the best week ever at the French Broad Outpost Ranch. Everyone was warm and very inviting. The rooms are beautifully decorated and really give you the dude ranch feel with a nice touch of class. The meals are yummy, comfort food and served family style. Everyone sits tigether and shares stories of the day with lots of laughter and comradarie.

I ride on a regular basis and was a little nervous that my husband wouldn't enjoy himself ... he doesn't ride. Shawn, the owner, takes safety very seriously for both his guests and his horses. He spent time to educate the guests on riding and how the horses would interact with them. Your horse is matched to your riding ability thereby ensuring a great experience. My husband's first ride was wonderful and he continued to excel at creating a riding partnership with his horse Mars. I had an absolutely wonderful horse named Shadoe, who was very willing and fun to herd cattle with. She has a great get-up-and-go which I totally enjoyed.

I have to say that Shawn, JoAnn, "Z" and Nicole made us feel like part of the family. We had some terrific conversations about everything from horse care to literally masterpieces to current affairs.

French Broad Outpost Ranch should be on everyone's list of must-dos. We will certainly be back and will bring our friends with us.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2011

My girlfriends and I went for a 2 night stay at the FBO and all I can say is that I miss it already! What an awesome place to get away from the hussle and bussel of every day life and get in tune with nature and real life ranching! The staff was very helpful, always polite and made sure we were comfortable. We met a lot of wonderful people/families while we were there and just had a great time all around.

The food was good ole Southern Cooking and there was plenty of it. Don't go expecting to order what you want. Remember, you're on their time and you eat what's provided. There was always plenty to choose from and I didn't have a bad meal. The rooms are rustic, clean, cozy and warm. Don't forget to read the FAQ's as to what's provided. You'll want to pack your shampoo/conditioner and blow dryer.

All I can say is that it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to book my trip for next year. It helps to read other reviews, explore their website, along with the FAQ's. This isn't a resort or nice hotel. So if you're looking for that type of service or variety, I wouldn't recommend this trip. If you're looking for a different experience with beautiful views and good people, you've come to the right place! The owners and staff take their jobs very seriously, which shows their passion/care for the animals and ranch itself.

Thank you so much to the owners, wranglers and staff for a wonderful experience I'll never forget!

Emily Dillard
Greenville, SC

Room Tip: I would select Lodge Room # 1 - # 4. They are not directly above the Saloon and on a separate wing.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Emily D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2011

As one of the Charlestonians mentioned in "ShaneT's" review, I must say that we agree - this was one girls' getaway that thoroughly exceeded our expectations! We too were seriously sceptical after reading many of the reviews. However, from the moment we arrived, we met the nicest people (staff and other guests), ate the best homemade cooking, and found ourselves occupied from the time we woke up until we went to bed (and we're sure that some of the guests continued to enjoy themselves in the saloon long after we went to bed!). Quite the plethora of activities - from pool to air hockey to old movies to not-your-grandmother's-Bingo to make-up-your-own-games to meet-your-fellow-guests to enjoy Z's cooking (we had to leave before we got to enjoy the square dancing!). . . oh yeah, how could I forget all that horse stuff!! . . . what I call our very own horse school, trail rides over incredible terrain with incredible views, and of course the cattle drive! We didn't get to do the cow penning event thanks to the crazy rainstorms, but the wranglers (who, by the way, were awesome!) made sure we weren't lacking for time on the horses. Because of what we had read in previous reviews, we came armed with games to play in our cabin and lots of food to eat. None of that ever came out of the car!

Reviews that indicate that the owner Shawn is a "dictator" are a little dramatic. Yes, there are rules, and yes, they are enforced. But the rules are established to provide protection for the guests and the animals. Nothing was unjustified, and it was clear that these guys know what they are doing when it comes to both horses and customer satisfaction.

So - bottom line? Activities A+; Staff A+; Food A+; Other Guests A+++! ;-)
Great vacay for anyone - kids young and old! Singles, couples, friends . . . I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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5  Thank MeredithN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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