Girl facing goat

Vacation usually means relaxation, time for yourself, and perhaps a little adventuring. While researching your next vacation destination, a farm may not immediately come to mind. Destination farm vacations, or farm stays, are gaining popularity across the United States and may just be the perfect balance for your family’s next vacation.

Farm stays aren’t a new phenomenon, but are more commonly found abroad, such as in Italy and New Zealand. The growing interest in farm stays in the United States comes at a time when more and more people are getting reacquainted with the land, food and farming. What better way to learn about where your food comes from than to work the land yourself? Each farm stay experience is a unique one that allows you to be as involved in the farm as you desire.

While vacationing at your chosen farm destination, you may have a selection of activities offered to you, such as collecting eggs in the morning, cheese making classes, or feeding the animals on the farm. You will also have an opportunity to explore the area around the farm, and see what life on a working farm is really like.

Jupiter Moon Farm located near Charlottesville, Virginia, offers farm stays that are focused on knitting and spinning. If you don’t know much about knitting or spinning, they can also arrange for lessons during your stay. At Blue Heron Farm, in Massachusetts, you can participate in activities such as milking goats, picking berries and other seasonal farm tasks. For coffee lovers and for those looking for a more tropical experience, you can stay in the Hawaiian countryside on a Kona coffee farm. In California you can stay at Philo Apple Farm and enjoy a weekend of cooking using various techniques, ingredients and a healthy dose of creativity.

While searching for farms to stay on, you will also come across a wide variety of offered accommodations and amenities. Some farms, like this ranch in Montana, offer private cabins, while other farms, like Deepwater Bay in North Dakota, give the option of staying in the farmhouse. The types of farms and ranches that you can choose to stay at vary greatly. You might want to see what a cattle ranch in Arizona is like, or you may want to discover more about the winemaking process on a vineyard in Washington.

Whatever option you choose to explore and enjoy during your vacation, you will come away with a new meaning and appreciation for the food you eat, the wine you drink, and the farmers who take care of it. Happy farm-cationing!

About the author: Delancey Nelson is the market manager of the Lauraville Farmers Market in Baltimore, Maryland. She has worked on numerous farms and vineyards abroad and holds a degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston.

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2 thoughts on “Farm-cation

  1. Scottie Jones

    Thanks so much for the great write up about the possibilities of staying on a working farm or ranch in the U.S. So often travelers think they need to go abroad for this type of experience. Our mission at Farm Stay U.S. ( is to see the term ‘farm stay’ enter the American vernacular and become a recognized vacation opportunity. We hope we make it easy for our guests to find a farm or ranch to visit overnight, where the experience of a rural life follows them home. We also wish to promote to farm and ranch operations the benefits of a lodging model to balance the vagaries of crop and livestock production. We think farm stays benefit travelers and farmers in ways that ultimately educate us all and inform our choices about food, the countryside, and each other – rural and urban. This article gives a good feel for what you can ‘get’ by staying on a farm or ranch. Thank you!

  2. Kevin McNaught

    Thank you for letting everyone know about staying on farms. It is a great experience for young and old and our guests have had a wonderful times on our farm. We teach our guests how to make cheese using common items in the kitchen (with the expception of the goat milk). We use the goat’s milk produced right here on our farm and turn that milk into cheese. Young and old find it facinating and are amazed that it is so simple to do. With three rooms to offer for out guests to stay, each package is tailered to the individuals and families meaning they can participate as little or as much as they would like to do. The farm is relaxing and inviting and we pay attention to our guests needs. Thank you again for letting travelers know that this type of vacation is available right here in the U.S. Kevin, Trevin Farms, Sudbury, Vermont.

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