These days, many of us are seeking fresh air and wide-open spaces where we can connect to the land and enjoy countryside vistas and agricultural bounty. Farm Stay vacations provide this kind of experience for individuals and groups by allowing them to reside and work on farms and ranches throughout the United States, overnight or longer.
While this type of vacation has long been popular in other parts of the world, it has only recently begun picking up steam in the United States. Farm Stay USA makes it easy for visitors to discover their options by displaying a wide variety of distinctive opportunities across the country, each with its own style and rules. It’ll be up to you to decide if you want to stay in luxurious or more basic surroundings, take classes like cheesemaking or permaculture, and the degree to which you dig in to the destination’s working farm life.
Do you want to wake up to roosters crowing, splash in the creek and watch the farmers planting and tending to the animals, or get your hands dirty harvesting crops, spreading hay and milking the goats? Would you rather stay in a rustic, luxe B&B or simply pitch a tent? No matter what type of farm stay destination you select, you’ll come away with a deeper familiarity with rural farm life and a better understanding of where your food comes from and the restorative power of nature.
5 Amazing Farm Stay Vacations
The Farm Stay USA website lists farm and ranch destinations by region. Here are five incredible options that span the country.
Sumbury, PA, $145 per night
Located in the rolling hills of the Susquehanna River Valley and offering fabulous views, this family-friendly sheep farm features sheep, pigs and piglets, chickens, turkeys, horses and honeybees. Your group of up to 6 (a mix of adults and kids under 12) will be the only one on the farm during your stay and your residence will be an amenity-filled guesthouse with bunks in a cozy second-floor room. Activities include helping with the chores, honey spinning, sheep dog demonstrations, organic farming, bird watching, nature walks and berry picking.
Franklin, KY, $25 per night
Pitch your tent by the stables or drive your RV into this organic farm and experience an Amish way of life. You’ll be preparing all your own meals here, but the range of possible activities is vast, not to mention the great views, on-site spring water, waterfalls and farm animals (among them, sheep, dogs, horses, goats, rabbits, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys and bees). Bottle feed the animals, can and preserve crops, gather eggs, hunt for mushrooms, take riding lessons and make cheese.
Oklahoma City, OK, $195-225 per night
Want to make like a pioneer and stay in a Conestoga wagon? Well, at this glamping and camping spot you can. And that’s not the only unique accommodation option here—the farm also offers spacious Nomadic teepees for your family to rest their weary bones in after feeding livestock, gathering eggs, roping livestock, landscaping and, of course, playing hard. There are plenty of fun yard games at this farm, as well as ziplining, fishing and swimming. You’ll also want to interact with the farm animals (among them, donkeys, llamas and miniature horses), roast marshmallows around the central campfire and take a tractor-drawn wagon ride.
Hamilton, MT, $205-$405
This picturesque permaculture farmstead in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana focuses on living the way nature intended. Come here to immerse yourself in sustainable food production—cattle, chickens, goats, turkeys and pigs roam on open pasture and vegetables, and herbs, fruits and nuts are grown in a way that mirrors natural ecosystems. Two separate homes, built with the health of the vacationer top of mind (zero volatile organic compounds, non-toxic spray foam insulation, interior HEPA air filtration and ‘Alive Water’ systems) house visitors in the heart of the farm’s daily activities. Stroll the property to see the livestock and wildlife, watch honeybees and fish in the Bitterroot River. Or—join the Farm Manager and partake in livestock chores or learn about regenerative agriculture practices.
St. Helena, CA, $165-$250 per night
This scenic property is a thoroughbred racehorse ranch, vineyard and winery with a western-style ranch house Bed & Breakfast offering four different types of rooms. Activities include stargazing (clear and dark skies will bring out your inner astronomer), biking, fishing, planting and harvesting, wildlife viewing, playing tennis and wine touring and tasting. In your down time, take in views of the awe-inspiring Chiles Valley, lounge in the open-beamed living room and indulge in the daily ranch-style breakfast.
More Information About Farm Stays
Rates vary widely depending on the type of stay but range from a low of $20 for camping to $400 for 5-star lodging. An average rate for double occupancy on the Farm Stay U.S. site is approximately $125/night, which may include breakfast.
Have you ever been on a farm stay vacation? Tell us about it below! And find more outdoor adventures to fuel your wanderlust.