Long popular in Europe, farm stay vacations have only recently become part of the mainstay U.S. travel market. Once you try a farm stay, however, you’ll be sold. Whether experiencing a farm stay as a destination in itself or as a lodging alternative on a vacation including other activities, farm stays are a way to get back to nature, take the slower path, and have an eco-friendly travel experience called Agritourism.
How to Find a Farm Stay
We now seek out family-friendly farm stays whenever we travel, as the price of farm stay lodging is usually compatible to that of a mid-priced hotel. For the money, families get a property to explore, farm experiences to enjoy, and usually some meals included. Find fully-vetted farm stays in the U.S. at Farm Stay U.S., where you can search for the perfect farm for your vacation by region, state, type (farm, ranch, or vineyard), or price. The site is maintained by a farm stay professional and updated continually.
5 Great Farm Stays in the U.S.
Every farm stay property is different, so the picks below range from a coastal mountain lamb farm to a tropical papaya farm and everything in-between!
1. Leaping Lamb Farm, Alsea Oregon: Those looking to get away from the stresses of everyday life and lose themselves in pristine surroundings, the sound of bird calls, and the bleat of lambs will love Leaping Lamb Farm. Ideal for guests with kids, proprietor Scottie Jones welcomes children to partake in daily farm chores, help care for sheep, and generally run loose on the property of coastal rainforest and rolling pasture. Kids and adults alike learn firsthand how food gets to the table, whether in the form of the farm-fresh eggs guests collect daily to the produce from the garden. Only one family stays at Leaping Lamb at a time in the farm’s single luxury guest cottage (breakfasts provided).
2. North Country Farms, Kauai, Hawaii: Travelers looking to spend less on Hawaiian accommodations should skip the beach resort properties and book at North Country Farms instead. Tucked into the lush Kauai countryside, North Country is a working produce farm where families, solos, and couples can relax in relative solitude. The farm is adjacent to excellent coastal hikes, beaches, and nature centers and gardens, so rest assured: you’ll still get the Hawaii vacation you imagined. Kids and adults can pick fruit off the trees to eat on the spot or compliment their meals, and the hammocks outside the two guest cottages always beckon.
3. Liberty Hill Farm Inn, Rochester, Vermont: At Liberty Hill Farm, the hosts care for up to 270 Robeth Holstein cows. Guests can give a hand with milking for help plant fields should they like to, or can explore the surrounding Vermont countryside, sampling local cheeses and other dairy foods at creameries nearby. Guestrooms are in the 1825 homestead farmhouse, where breakfasts and dinners are prepared. The emphasis here is on seasonal, local foods, so locavores will be happy, as well as anyone interested in agri-tourism.
4. Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, New York: For travelers who want to support efforts to end animal cruelty, a stay at Farm Sanctuary’s New York property will educate guests as well as support the farm’s mission. Here guests will make friends with rescued farm animals ranging from pigs to cows, assist with feedings if desired, and eat vegan meals. Day visits are also available: we toured the Orland California Farm Sanctuary location with young kids and were given a full tour and opportunity to pet, play with, and feed the livestock.
5. Wilson Ranches Retreat, Fossil, Oregon: For travelers seeking an authentic ranch experience in the high desert of West, Wilson Ranches Retreat offers cattle drives, horseback riding, and home cooked ranch meals as well as several accommodation choices. Guests can explore nearby Fossil Oregon, known for fossil discoveries, or experience the contemporary cowboy lifestyle. Remote and rustic, Wilson Ranches Retreat is the real deal: guests come away with a true understanding of earning a living from the land.
Farm stays are available in nearly every state of the US, and are a great alternative to traditional hotels. Families will appreciate the educational nature of a farm stay, as well as the space for children to be children, and couples and solo travelers will welcome the seclusion and chance to unwind.
Have you experienced a farm stay in the U.S.? What farms do you recommend?