Farm and ranch stays are generally a very family friendly vacation, and we tend to focus a lot of our attention on that. Travel Blogging Moms want to share the farm stay experience with their family-focused readers, and other writers often base their inquiries on the best places to enjoy vacation time with multiple generations of family.
But kids aren’t the only ones who can get something great out of a stay on a working farm. Whether single, part of a couple, or with a group of friends, there are plenty of farm vacation ideas for grown ups:
1) Wine Tasting & Tours
Rustridge Ranch and Winery, St. Helena, CA
Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge, Hood River, OR
From well-appointed tasting rooms, to farms situated near world-class wine regions, wine and farm stays often go hand-in-hand. Rustridge Ranch and Winery is a rustic Napa Valley vineyard, winery, and thoroughbred racehorse ranch. Gather in the B&B kitchen in the evenings for hors d'ouevres and sampling Rustridge wines. During the day, learn about wine making and growing grapes, or about breeding and training racehorses.
Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge in Hood River, Oregon, is located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Cherry, pear, and apple orchards bloom and beckon, and you'll be in great proximity to wineries and tour opportunities in the Mt. Hood region.
Find more farm stays with wine tasting/touring activities.
2) Cheese Making or Tasting
Flint Hill Farm, Coopersburg, PA
Mountain Farm, Burnsville, NC
Cheese goes with wine, after all! Whether you want to learn how to make cheese at home, or just sample some farm fresh goodness, farm stays can hook you up. At Flint Hill Farm in Pennsylvania, the "Cheese Artist Package" will give guests a 2-night stay in their 1850s farmhouse, and hands-on immersion in the process of making cheese, from milking to packaging of the final product for sale.Mountain Farm is the smallest certified dairy in North Carolina, and a member of the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail. They make unique aged goat cheeses, soft flavored cheeses and marinated Feta, and as they are only occasionally open to the public for special events, your stay will be peaceful and private.
Find more farm stays offering cheese making or tasting.
3) Cattle Drives or Cattle Sorting
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Sandpoint, ID
Horses N Courage Camp, Lennep, MT
Whether you're a bonafide "city slicker", or you've spent some time on horseback, authentic cattle drives or cattle sorting activities are experiences you won't soon forget. At Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Idaho, put on your game face and participate in competitive team cattle sorting. They even offer five-night adult only getaways during select weeks in the summer.
At Horses N Courage Camp in Montana, you'll ride alongside the Hereim family while you herd and move cattle. Their cabin, tent, or teepee accommodations, along with camp cooked meals and songs around the campfire will give you a taste of Montana's backcountry.Find more farm or ranch stays offering cattle drives or cattle sorting.
4. Cooking School
The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm, Skamokawa, WA
Bean Tree Farm, Tucson, AZ
Watching a chef (or even just a talented cook) prepare a meal is a delight. Taking it to the next level and actually learning from such a person is something really special. Hosts Don and Kitty Speranza at The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm in Washington owned and operated a successful catering company in Portland before turning to the farm life. These days, they will teach farm guests how to make artisan bread, pasta, and comforting country Italian meals. And then you get to feast on your hard work!For something really different - and really interesting - check out Bean Tree Farm in Arizona and learn to identify, harvest, process, and pepare seasonal Sonoran Desert foods. You might harvest and process barrel cactus fruit, saguaro fruit, dragonfruit, paloverde seeds, and much more. They even make a desert kimchi!
Find more farm stays offering cooking classes.
These are just a few getaway ideas that adults can enjoy, but almost any farm, ranch, or vineyard stay will fit the bill. From relaxing in a quiet farm cottage with a good book, to throwing yourself into farm chores, taking in the night sky, or learning some new skills - alone, or with a friend or partner - these vacations aren't just for kids!
NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT!
Please help us extend a warm welcome to High Breeze Farm in Highland Lakes, New Jersey to the Farm Stay U.S. website.
This family operated 165 acre farm is located adjacent to the Appalachian Trail and surrounded by Wawayanda State park, which gives it a secluded feeling while still being close to area attractions. High Breeze Farm grows organic fruits and vegetables for their CSA and farm stand, as well as 100% grass fed beef, pastured pork, and free range eggs. Their family Jersey cow provides milk and guests can enjoy the opportunity to make butter and cheese.
The High Breeze house is a private 3 bedroom + loft home, with the capacity to sleep 12. It has a fully equipped kitchen for self-prepared meals. Guests of all ages are welcome to observe or participate in daily farm activities. Weddings, family reunions, and other special events may be held at the farm.
To learn more and plan a visit, check out the High Breeze Farm listing here on Farm Stay U.S.!
(Photos courtesy High Breeze Farm)
Trevin Farms in Sudbury, VT, was founded by two chefs who escaped north to Vermont from urban Massachusetts. Troy and Kevin are devoted caretakers of their herd of Nubian goats and exuberant animal lovers. They are also passionate about cheesemaking, teaching guests to whip up incredible chevre recipes that include mouthwatering ingredients like honey and lavendar.
Most of the guests who stay in the B&B's three plush bedrooms ($109-$165), take advantage of the cheesemaking package ($310-$525, including lodging), which includes a cheesemaking class, dinner, and a bundle of fresh chevre for guests to take home. Visitors are also free to pick vegetables from the garden, gather eggs from the hens, and learn to hitch Tyrone the draft horse. The B&B is elegant but accessible, and kid and pet-friendly (for an additional $25/pet).
Off the farm, there's also plenty to do: The small but not-to-be-missed town of Brandon is a few minutes away, and boasts art galleries, The New England Maple Museum, summer music festivals, sophisticated restaurants like Cafe Provence, and special events like Make Your Own Leaf Person Day. The larger town of Middlebury, home of Middlebury College, is 15 minutes away. Also close are wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking. Silver Lake, the Long Trail and Green Mountain National Forest, and Moosalamoo National Recreation Area are all nearby.
For more information, visit Trevin Farms' website, Facebook Page, and Farm Stay U.S. listing. They've also been featured in the New York Times and Food Network Magazine.
Photos by Michelle Nowak
Please join us in welcoming a new member to Farm Stay U.S... Lucky Goat Family Farm, located in beautiful Big Sur, California!
Lucky Goat Family Farm is equally inviting for families with children as it is for romantic couples, singles, or groups of friends. Each day begins with milking the goats, making cheese, checking the troughs, and watering the gardens. Guests are welcome to join in, or just relax on the spacious decks overlooking the ocean.
The farm hosts have been making goat cheese for 26 years and they offer a special goat cheese making workshop (by reservation, with a separate fee from the stay).
The cottage has room for up to five guests to stay and experience this haven for wildlife and livestock, including goats, sheep, horses, cattle, sheep dogs, deer, bobcats, fox, and condors.
The farm is located close to Pheiffer Beach and the Cultural Center of Big Sur, Loma Vista, where visitors can find great music and wonderful shops of local crafts.
Want to see more? Visit the Lucky Goat Family Farm listing on Farm Stay U.S.
The alpacalypse is coming! Here, this llama will explain...
Okay, all jokes about the end of the world aside, farms are great places to learn a skill or two that might see you through some tough times -- or at the very least, impress your friends at parties. (Seriously. Homemade cheese? I would be so impressed while I hid it all in my purse to take home.) (I like cheese, is what I'm saying.)
Day 5 - Bread, Butter, Jam, and Cheese Making; Canning and Preserving; Soap Making; Teaching Farms; Teaching Ranches; Cooking School
Fresh, whole ingredients, usually straight from the source. A knowledgeable farmer or rancher to teach. These are some invaluable gifts!
The Farm Stay U.S. search page can help you find all kinds of new skills to learn. Just click on "Show More Search Options" and select an activity to see what our members have to offer.
When I decided to raise backyard chickens three
years ago, I consulted books and the internet, as it is so easy to
do these days. But books and web forums didn't prepare me when one
of our hens broke her leg. As a girl from the suburbs, whose only
real outdoor chores growing up were weeding a lawn or raking
leaves, I laugh now (and cringe a little) to recall our dash to the
vet's office to have them put a splint on that little chicken leg,
when, really, I could have handled it myself.
There's a self-sufficiency that comes from trying things on your
own, trial and error, and necessity. However, if we have the
foresight to seek help and knowledge from our community, we can
accomplish even more.
In Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a
Consumer Culture, author Shannon Hayes interviewed
Los Angeles homesteader Kelly Coyne who says, "you need community.
The best way to do any of this is to have someone show you how to
do it. I think a lot of these skills are not easily taught by
books, and when you're a person who's not been raised doing any of
these things, whether it's preserving or growing or dealing with
small stock, it's all very mysterious. You spend a lot of your time
going, "Well, what is this?" Like, "What's this spot on the plant,
why is my chicken doing that?"
Our farm, ranch, and vineyard members know about community, and
the importance of sharing knowledge. Guests can get started
learning a variety of skills straight from the farmers and ranchers
who practice them every day.
Check out these results from some Activity searches on our site:
Along these same lines, this September, Mother Earth
News and Grit magazines are
hosting International Homesteading Education
On their website, you can find workshops, open houses, and other
events, all centered around neighbors teaching neighbors and
building more self-reliant communities. Find events about food
gardening, renewable energy systems, raising livestock (including
backyard chickens), real food preparation and preservation, fiber
arts, and more.
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