A guide to farm stays.
As winter moves into the rearview mirror and the earth begins to warm, many of us start to crave some time away from the daily grind. If a little peace and quiet, a healthy dose of fresh air and playing with baby goats sound good, then you may want to consider treating yourself to a “farm stay.”
Just as the farm-to-table movement helped people appreciate eating foods grown on local farms, the farm stay movement offers guests an opportunity to experience, firsthand, what goes on behind-the-scenes at the farms that produce those foods.
A farm stay is essentially an overnight (or longer) stay on a working farm. Some farm stays offer participation in daily activities such as planting, harvesting, milking cows, collecting eggs, grooming a horse or giving a pig a belly rub. Others offer nature hikes, lectures on topics ranging from organic farming to backyard chickens, and hands-on workshops on subjects such as cheese-making, spinning wool, or farm-to-table cooking. In addition to structured activities, there’s usually plenty of downtime to just kick back on the front porch or picnic in a nearby meadow.
Many farm stays include breakfast, some provide three meals a day and others just offer guests the use of the kitchen and access to food in the fridge (often produced at the farm). Farm stay accommodations range from a room in a rustic barn to an upscale suite with luxe amenities similar to those at a five-star hotel.
Farm stay rates also vary, based on what is offered, but most rustic stays are priced similarly to bed and breakfasts. There are also a few farms that offer lower rates in exchange for a work-exchange agreement, where the guest agrees to work a certain number of hours in exchange for free or reduced-rate accommodations.
Here is a curated short list of farm stay destinations, as well as an online resource for finding other options around the country. So get ready to make your way back to a simpler, greener life—at least for a few days!
A Short List of Farm Stays
Abbey Road Farm
Set in Oregon’s wine country, Abbey Road brings together local seasonal food, wine and the arts. Located within a short drive to over 200 vineyards and tasting rooms, Abbey Road is a perfect farm stay for wine lovers. The rooms are located in a renovated silo and include hot tubs.
Located next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blackberry Farm offers luxurious rooms, an outdoor amphitheater, spa and wellness services and a wine cellar. Its farm-to-table meals are served in an 18th-century Amish barn, and nearly every ingredient used in its menus is grown or produced on its expansive—4,000-plus acres—estate.
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa
Milton, New York
Named after the on-site waterfall that flows down to the Hudson River, Buttermilk Falls Inn is an organic working farm, with a farm-to-table restaurant, spa, hiking trails and animal sanctuary.
New York and California
Farm Sanctuary operates a 367-acre sanctuary in upstate New York and a 26-acre sanctuary in Southern California. They rescue, rehabilitate, and provide lifelong care for hundreds of animals that have been saved from stockyards, factory farms and slaughterhouses. They offer overnight visits as well as multi-day retreats.
Liberty Hill Farm & Inn
A fifth-generation farm, Liberty Hill has seven guest rooms, four shared baths, and family-style breakfasts and dinners created with seasonal local foods.
Pagett Farm offers “Tent and Breakfast” stays in platform tents and yurts furnished with queen-sized beds, handmade quilts, propane fireplaces and other cozy amenities. There are plenty of hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities available at nearby parks and nature sanctuaries.
Set in the rolling hills and woodlands of Barnard, Vermont, Twin Farms has elegant guest rooms, a spa and wellness center, and other upscale amenities. The farm grows its own vegetables, fruits and herbs, and designs menus based on what is freshest each day.
FARM STAY USA
Find your own farm stay
The official website of the U.S. Farm Stay Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade association, designed to connect guests with farm and ranch stays throughout the United States. You can search by type, location, cost and capacity.