The Best U.S. Agritourism Hotspots for Your Farmstay Vacation
Luxury resorts are great for those who want to be pampered, and big city attractions or tourist traps might be entertaining to some. But if you’re hoping to get something different out of your vacation, consider this new trend in travel.
Agritourism, where vacationers take part in farm or village activities, is gaining popularity across the United States and opening up new opportunities for family travel. Families that embrace agritourism will find that vacationing can offer a whole new experience – affordable lodgings, natural surroundings, authentic cultural experiences and freshly grown food are just some things you can expect.
Your options for farm stays across the US are incredibly diverse. Find something close to home, or take a trip to a different part of the country. Agritourism vacations can be catered to your children’s specific interests, so consider these hotspots across the US and start planning your next family trip.
Agritourism can be experienced in many forms across the state of California. Farm stays often include fruit-picking experiences that allow families to roam through rows of apple or peach trees and harvest what they please. Other experiences include everything from milking cows and tending crops, to helping with meal preparation. Travelers can also stop at plenty of weekly farmer’s markets to purchase farm fresh produce straight from the people who grow it.
If traveling to Northern California, try Full House Farm in Sebastopol for farm fresh breakfasts in the morning and private hot tubs at night. Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills exudes old world rustic charm with sweeping vies of the valley. And V6 Ranch in Parkfield in the perfect place to experience some real cattle drives. You can also try your hand at milking a goat at Rinconada Dairy in Santa Margarita. Stunning destinations like the Farmhouse Inn can be found in Sonoma County. In Southern California, try Flip Flop Ranch in Lucerne Valley, and Philo Apple Farm in Philo.
Explore Hawaii’s underappreciated side by staying at a fully operating coffee farm or sugar plantation. The state has been developing its agritourism options for some time now, and offers everything from small bed & breakfasts to large plantation operations. The Kona coffee belt is particularly hip to agricultural tourism and invites folks to get out to the fields and see how Kona coffee is grown!
The Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation and Greenwell Farms are two coffee belt establishments that offer day tours. Cedar House Bed & Breakfast on the Big Island is one of the many small coffee farms that welcomes travelers. Puakea Ranch features four historic plantation cottages all with sweeping ocean views. At the Fehring Family Farm, guests can relax on the 7.6 acre organic working family farm or take part in farm activities. North Country Farms is an organic family farm with two tropical bed and breakfast cottages on a 4 acre piece of paradise.
New York State is mostly associated with the large urban city that shares its name. But more and more families are looking to the state’s rural areas for vacation destinations. The Hudson Valley has lots of family farms where guests can pick their own produce. There are lots of farmers’ markets in the area as well.
Hull-O Farms in Durham invites children to bottle feed baby animals, milk cows and goats, and collect eggs from the henhouse. Head to Stony Creek Farmstead in Walton to purchase organic herbs and vegetables, and stay in one of their rustic yet luxurious platform tents with fully-equipped kitchens to cook your fresh farm fare.
North Carolina is home to plenty of family farms, many of which host seasonal and year-round activities for the whole family. Take tours of historic farm sites, stay at family-operated vineyards, or choose a festive holiday farms with pumpkin patches and Christmas trees. The possibilities are vast in this state!
Want to take the little ones apple picking? The Orchard at Altapass offers apple picking tours with family activities like hayrides, kid-friendly hikes, and live music thrown into the mix. Other lodgings to consider include The Inn at Celebrity Dairy, which specializes in making goat milk and cheeses.
Pennsylvania’s countryside farms are a relaxing alternative to urban cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Choose from dairy and livestock farms, family-run orchards, family-friendly farmers’ markets, and more. There are also a good number of bed and breakfasts available in Amish and Mennonite communities.
Lancaster County is where you will have the most luck finding farm stays, especially if you are opting for an Amish or other Dutch community foray. Looking for a sustainable farm? Visit Weatherbury Farm and sample its organic grains and flower and grass fed lamb. You can also visit the Farm of Peace, which operates both as a working farm and spiritual healing center. Enjoy simple pleasures while working on a real family farm at Mountain Dale Farm. Help care for exotic and heritage breeds at Hummerhaven where you'll be seeing plenty of creatures tame and wild.
Many of Vermont’s smaller family farms open their doors to travelers ready to jump at the opportunity to stay in the New England countryside. The state’s Farm to Plate food system is dedicated to giving people access to food grown at local farms. Agritourism is helping to bring more awareness to this cause and plays a large role in creating local jobs as well.
Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester is a family farm that will provide home-cooked meals for breakfast and dinner. The owners work hard to make each guest feel at home and love making life-long friends. Trevin Farms is a bed and breakfast-style farmstay that offers cheese-making classes. The Hollister Hill Farm invites families to take part in all kinds of farm activities.
Interested in agritourism? Where are you planning your farmstay vacation?