If you’ve ever dreamed of running away from your responsibilities to start a life on a peaceful homestead, you’re not alone. While unfortunately this might not be an option for many at this time, you can still get a glimpse of this lifestyle on your next vacation by booking a farm stay.
What is a Farm Stay?
A farm stay is an accommodation where you book a bed, room, or lodging on a working farm. You may be able to stay for free or a reduced rate by helping out with some of the work around the farm, like feeding the animals, collecting eggs, or weeding around the crops. It’s a great way to form a deeper connection to the food we eat while also getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Organic Farm Stays in the U.S.
From experiencing a vineyard up-close-and-personal in California to breathing in fresh lavender at a lavender farm in New Mexico, there’s a farm stay for everybody to explore. Here are some stand-out options in the U.S.
Naylors Organic Family Farm Stay
California has some incredible stone fruits in late spring and throughout summer, so if you love peaches, plums, apricots, and everything in between, a stay at Naylors in Dinuba, California is in order.
While you can’t work on this farm, you can enjoy a U-pick experience of over 30 varieties of fresh, organic stone fruits that you can eat during your stay or take home to eat, cook, or preserve.
The friendly owners, Mike and Nori, are also open to sharing their experiences as owners of a small, organic farm and are happy to discuss the logistics for anyone interested in making their cottagecore dreams a reality.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Poblanos offers a place to rest your head among fields of lavender. The best time to visit is June and July, when the flowers are really blooming.
Aside from the iconic lavender fields, the farm also includes space to grow produce for the on-site restaurant. Quaint rooms welcome weary travelers who just need some space to slow down and breathe. But if a cushy bed and the calming, ever-present scent of lavender isn’t enough, there’s also a spa for messages and skin care treatments.
Taos Goji Farm and Eco Lodge
What’s not to love about waking up to views of mountains and the sounds of sweet farm animals? Based in San Cristobal, New Mexico, the Taos Goji Farm grows organic gojis along with vegetables and flowers.
Guests will take in sweeping views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains from their rustic cabins that also feature plenty of southwestern charm.
Wine-lovers are familiar with Sonoma County in California, where vineyards are abundant. Now, you can stay among the grapes at the Farmhouse Inn, which also includes a Michelin-star restaurant that uses produce grown on the farm. You can also take in plenty of nature with a hike at the nearby Armstrong Redwoods or a beach picnic on the coast.
If the coastal breezes, long hikes, and flowing wine gets too overwhelming, you can pop by the spa in the on-site Wellness Barn for a little R&R.
The White Pig
Those following a vegan lifestyle have to plan a visit to The White Pig in central Virginia. This property includes a bed-and-breakfast as well as an animal sanctuary. Stay in a Victorian farmhouse or a pet-friendly cottage on the Briar Creek Farm, much of which is preserved as wildlife habitat.
Meals are vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. Once you’ve fueled up, you can experience wine tastings, nature trails, bird-watching, or spa treatments on the property.
The owners of Willow-Witt Ranch in southern Oregon have lovingly restored local wetlands and a forest alongside the small farm and ranch, where lucky visitors can stay in a house, private studio, or even tents on the property for a more off-the-grid experience.
Aside from tours of the properties, guests can enjoy birding, picking farm produce and even hiking with goats. A bonus? The entire property is powered by solar energy.
Fat Sheep Farm & Cabins
Vermont is a beautiful place for a farm stay, and at the Fat Sheep Farm in Hartland, it hardly gets more idyllic. As the name suggests, this farm stay is full of well-loved sheep. This family-friendly working farm allows guests to join in on the farm chores, from feeding animals to walking goats. You can also visit with the animals, purchase goods at the on-site Farm Stand, or go for field or forest walks.
Kids can enjoy the natural playground, and warmer weather welcomes stargazers. The owners also offer sourdough and cheesemaking workshops for foodies.
Mountain Goat Lodge
For those who love goats, you’ll enjoy a peaceful stay at the Mountain Goat Lodge in Salida, Colorado. Goats roam the meadows, located at the foot of majestic mountains, and you’ll also find chickens, ducks, and a llama on the property.
The lodgings here are pet-friendly, so Fido or Fluffy are welcome to come along on your adventure. Guests can learn how to care for goats and chickens or participate in cheese-making classes. There’s also plenty of outdoor recreational activities nearby, whether you prefer to adventure on land or water.
How to Find a Farm Stay Near You
There are thousands of farm stays around the world to consider visiting. Whether you’re looking for a local spot for a weekend getaway or a long-term trip on the other side of the world, there are some great resources to find a farm stay to meet your needs.
Farm Stay USA allows you to find farm stays around the U.S. You can even sort options by what you are looking to get out of the experience, from helping with chores to harvesting food to riding horses to taking classes.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is another resource that helps travelers book farm stays all over the globe. You’ll need to join the membership, $40 for one person or $65 for a couple per year, to be able to search for lodgings and contact farm stay hosts. But the data base is comprehensive with accommodations in over 130 countries.
For additional options, consider reviewing state or country tourist pages, which often specify any farm stays or other unique accommodation options. Vacation rental apps, like Airbnb and VRBO, may also list farm stay options on their maps.