Yearning for a few green acres to roam? Dreaming of farming organic lavender, or perhaps of yodeling with the yaks? At these farm stays across the nation, you’ll finally get your chance. Keep reading for all you need to know about planning your next family vacation at a working farm.
Working Horse Farm | Seymour, TN
This little farm home is in the perfect area to get away, yet close enough to enjoy the city attractions as well. Front porch sitting is beautiful with a perfect view of a pasture full of horses. The covered outdoor riding arena makes it a great place to stay if you are traveling with horses, or if you’d just like to schedule a horseback riding lesson.
Treehouse on a Farm | Celeste, TX
This property doubles down as it’s both a treehouse and a farmstay. Sleep in the trees and walk through a fairy forest in the midst of the lavender fields. During your stay, have a picnic or wander the gardens and visit Simon the donkey and Henry the goat. Bring your gear and fish in our well stocked pond.
Farm Stay at African Hoofstock Preserve | Point Arena, CA
The kids will be delighted when you bring them to stay at one of the cottages at B. Bryan Preserve. African antelope, zebra and giraffe, along with eclectic lodging await you in Point Arena on the beautiful Mendocino coast. Take a tour to meet the animals and then enjoy your time in the cottage or hot tub. Read all about B. Bryan and other Mendocino activities here.
Blue Pepper Farm | Jay, NY
Blue Pepper Farm is a working sheep dairy in the Au Sable Valley of the Adirondack Mountains. This 46-acre farm sits across the valley from the hamlet of Jay and its historic covered bridge. Guests will enjoy a staggering mountain panorama from the porch, deck, or pool overlooking the lush pastures where sheep and laying hens graze. Harvest dinner straight from the garden in the summer and fall to accompany fresh organically raised lamb, pork and eggs right from the farm.
The Silo House at Laughing Llama Farm—Troy, TX
Located near Waco, Texas and about 20 miles from the downtown area, this expansive farm stay includes an incredibly unique converted grain silo with all the amenities, including a sleeping loft, full bathroom, kitchen and a fishing pond on site. Visit with the sheep and llamas and relax in the peace and quiet.
Serenity Sheep Farm Stay | Belgrade, MT
Head to Big Sky Country to experience life on a working sheep farm. You’ll sleep in an antique sheepherder’s wagon, and rise to experience a day of spinning at the wheel, hanging with the sheep, or just relaxing (they don’t judge).
The Alpaca Cottage | Stockton, CA
Nestled between Walnut and Cherry orchards, The Alpaca Cottage is hosted by four lovely ladies Ella, Blu, Lola and Lilly, a small herd of Huacaya Alpacas. Guest are encouraged to interact with them as they are quite inquisitive. The cottage is located minutes away from Lodi’s wine country, with the closest winery less than an 8 minute drive.
The Silos at Prairie Vale | Green Ridge, MO
Come experience silo-style tiny home living on a family owned Missouri Farm … complete with Nigerian Dwarf goats, miniature donkeys, cows, chickens and more. Cook dinner on the outside fire pit and borrow some bikes to tool around the property.
Mission Peak Winery Guesthouse | Fremont, CA
For a farm stay of a different sort, book a weekend at Mission Peak Winery. There are tons of things for kids to do on the property including a trampoline, swimming pool (season), fishing lake and canoes. Meet the local horses and stroll through the vineyards.
Arctic Roots Farm | Fairbanks, AK
Guests are welcome to roll up their sleeves and help with the chores on this 75-acre working farm, but they don’t mind if you prefer to soak up the pristine views that include yaks, horses, sheep, chickens, geese, and the Northern Lights, instead.
Cool Tip: Go in the winter and enjoy mushing, skiing, and the World Ice Art Championships.
Fickle Creek Farms | Efland, NC
Don’t let the title "bed and breakfast" fool you. This working farm near Chapel Hill is only five minutes from the interstate, but offers 61-acres full of gardens, laying hens, sheep, goats, steers and pigs. And for overnight guests, the fresh farm breakfasts are really something to write home about.
Long Dream Farm | Lincoln, CA
Animal lovers, rejoice! This farm is Animal Welfare Approved for humane practices of its cows, chickens, emus, pigs, ducks, alpacas, donkeys, guinea fowl, dogs, cats and an Icelandic Horse. So go on! Enjoy a morning milking, feeding and brushing the calves, and pitching in around the farm. And for the small set, there’s even a playground with an antique firetruck.
Holualoa Inn | Holualoa, HI
When you’re staying at a working coffee plantation, the odds of actually getting to drink your cup of coffee in the morning—despite being in the throes of parenthood—increase significantly. In addition to staying caffeinated, guests at the Holualoa Inn enjoy perks like tours of the orchards and roasting mills.
Don’t Forget: Since you won’t want to miss all that the Big Island has to offer (and since you’ll be plenty wired to tackle it), check with your hosts before planning your excursions. They’re happy to help you arrange outings to the local beaches and trails.
Tanque Verde Ranch | Tucson, AZ
In this all-inclusive dude ranch of your dreams, you’ll find horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, yoga, swimming, gourmet meals, and cowboy cookouts. But it’s not all fun and games. Tanque Verde Ranch is a working cowboy ranch that dates back to 1868 and is home to around 200 horses.
Don’t Miss: While there is plenty to do together as a family, your little buckaroos will love the authentic Western experience of the Daily Kids Club, where they can interact one-on-one with the ranch’s horses while mom and dad get downtime.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm | Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
Experience luxury on a working organic lavender farm, where you’ll enjoy suites creatively carved into the farm’s mainstays, including one in 1930s dairy building with a pitched tin roof and white stuccoed walls. In addition to the lavender fields (dreamy, right?), you’ll find a significant portion of the agricultural offerings at Los Poblanos dedicated to the farm’s own kitchen. Translation: stay here for some seriously good eats.
Don’t Miss: The farm’s resident honey bees produce honey tinged with lavender during certain times of the year.
Willow-Witt Ranch | Ashland, OR
Even the wall tents at this farm are furnished with fine linens and comfy beds, sort of like Old MacDonald’s version of glamping. Bring your binoculars and play the silent game while bird-watching on a morning stroll. Sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship are core values here, and both kids and adults will learn about animal husbandry practices and wetland restoration on farm tours.
Don’t Miss: Goats are fun and helpful backpacking companions. Take a pack goat on the trail to lighten the load for little ones.
The Greer Farm | Daingerfield, TX
This working farm is built around family activities for farmers of every age. Your bitty agrarians will get their farm fix by feeding chickens, gathering eggs, feeding the cows and horses and learning about the daily operation of a farm. And at the end of a long day in the fields or at the barn, what could be better than jumping into the lake (or if it’s cooler temperatures, taking a kayak, paddleboat, or canoe out for a spin)? Top off the day with a round of s’mores at the fire pit, and there’s no doubt your crew will be sleeping soundly.
Hull-O Farms | Durham, NY
Chores become a novel game when they include gathering warm eggs, feeding baby animals and milking cows at a seventh-generation working farm in the Catskills. When the hard work is done, little ones can play with kittens or go for a hayride while older siblings play badminton and fly kites. After a hearty farm fresh dinner, wind down by roasting marshmallows for s’mores outside your private guesthouse.
Don’t Miss: In September and October, explore the corn maze with the whole family and pick your own pumpkins.
The Inn at Serenbe Farms | Chatt Hills, GA
This planned community an hour outside of Atlanta has the farm (and sustainability, and organic practices, and animal husbandry) at its core. Guests at The Inn at Serenbe can take a tour of the working 25-acre CSA-certified farm, go on hayrides, help feed the animals and go on trail rides. And after all that hard work, you and the kids can relax at the pool, hit the spa, and dine on fresh food prepared by some of the nation’s most acclaimed chefs.
Nettles Farm | Lummi Island, WA
With drumsticks and chicken nuggets, you may have only ever eaten one breed of chicken in your life—Cornish Cross. Rediscover the clucking variety chickens on this tiny Washington chicken farm, where you can meet and compare 20 specialized breeds. Stay in the two-room bed and breakfast (each room sleeps four) and learn about breeding and butchering chickens or simply relax on the peaceful beach.
Don’t Miss: In addition to checking out the chickens, guests can harvest berries, fruits, some vegetables, and even meet an Italian truffle-hunting pup!
For more farm stays in WA, check out this link.
Blackberry Farm | Walland, TN
Situated on a 9,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, there is no place like Blackberry Farm. Undoubtedly swanky, Blackberry is agrarian at its core and offers families a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature. And in between a visit to the Wellhouse for pampering, fly fishing, biking, hiking, boating or general meandering, your family can learn about what life on a working farm is all about through gardening, livestock, and farm production lessons.
Insider Info: Don’t visit Blackberry without a visit to the kennels and their famous Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, as well as the truffle orchard.
Schnepf Farm | Queen Creek, AZ
It might be easier to get the kids to eat their fruits and veggies when they pick it them themselves in the seven-acre organic gardens. In the spring and summer, there are strawberries, melons, radishes, peaches and more. In fall and winter, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, kale, squash and more abound. In sunny Arizona, the farms’ campgrounds are open year-round, with restrooms, showers and on-site laundry.
The Inn at East Hill Farm | Troy, NH
Family weekends throughout the year include activities for younger kids: barnyard scavenger hunts, bread making and arts and crafts. Come through any time and enjoy pony rides, sheep shearing, cheese making and other classic farm activities. Basic rooms and private cottages are available, with enough room to sleep 140 each night.
Don’t Miss: Learn to do-si-do from professionals specializing in square dancing, line dancing and country Western.
Kinnikinnick Farm | Caledonia, IL
Impressively thick canvas tents can sleep up to six at this small organic farm northwest of Chicago. There’s no gas, electricity or running water, but you can cook on a wood-burning stove or order a scrumptious homemade meal. Kids can pet and feed smaller critters at the animal paddock, swing on the rope swing and climb apple trees for rustic fun.
Don’t Miss: Buy products straight from the farm at The Farm Larder, along with locally sourced goodies from small food producers. A lifesaver if you don’t feel like cooking.
Liberty Hill Farm | Rochester, VT
This working dairy farm is one of the leading milk producers in Vermont and is famous for its herd of 270 Robeth Holsteins cows. Guests can help with the twice-daily milking of cows or feed newborn calves. Float down the White River in summer or explore the snowy Green Mountain National Forest come winter. The inn has seven guestrooms with four shared bathrooms and common areas.
Don’t Miss: Try the Cabot Creamery cheddar. Liberty Hill is part of the cooperative that makes this award-winning cheese.
Naylors Organic Farm | Dinuba, CA
The Naylors will welcome you into their ranch home and give you a personal tour of their 80-acre stone fruit farm. Organic fruit is ripe for the picking from mid-May to mid-August. Wake up to a full breakfast each morning—fresh fruit, hooray!—and savor that complimentary evening snack. Older kids will have fun picking peaches while the toddlers can enjoy the juicy fresh fruit.
Don’t Miss: The Squaw Valley Herb Gardens are a half-hour drive away, where you can make wreaths, lavender sachets, and a vegetarian, herb-inspired lunch.
—Kate Loweth & Shelley Massey