Travelers in North America looking for off-the-beaten-path options should consider farm stays. Also referred to as agritourism, farm stays allow guests to reconnect with nature and, on occasion, participate in farming activities. Accommodations, meanwhile, can range from rural bed and breakfasts to operational cattle farms.
Farm stays are particularly popular in Australia and New Zealand as well as in parts of Europe, but places that offer these experiences can also be found throughout the US and Canada, the latter of which even has a farm stay program for international travelers and students. The following are six popular farm stay locations in North America:
1. Foxingham Farm B&B
Located in Mansfield, Ontario, Foxingham Farm B&B features apple, walnut, hazelnut, and almond orchards and is surrounded by lush green countryside and the Blue Mountains. It has three double rooms and a shared lounge that features a large fireplace and library. Outside, guests can hike the Bruce Trail or visit nearby locations for fishing, swimming, golf, and archery, among other activities. Moreover, guests are treated to breakfasts comprised of locally sourced ingredients.
2. Liberty Hill Farm
This idyllic farm in Rochester, Vermont, is owned by Beth Kennett, who, over the years, has welcomed a diverse range of guests into her home in an effort to help them connect to the natural world. The farm features a bright red barn and a large pasture filled with Holstein dairy cows. The farmhouse, meanwhile, was constructed in 1825 and has seven guest rooms.
Guests are invited to help milk the cows and prepare fields for planting. In return, they receive family-style meals with local and seasonal ingredients. During their downtime, many guests choose to explore the scenery surrounding Route 100 and visit attractions such as Cabot Creamery. This Vermont Cheese Trail facility receives its milk from Liberty Hill.
3. Myra Canyon Ranch
Myra Canyon Ranch is about a half-hour drive from Kelowna in the heart of the Canadian province of British Columbia. An ideal destination for families, it has an adventure park, a horse riding stable, and plenty of space for hiking and mountain biking. Guests have a private entrance to their rooms and can even hop on a horse outside their door to ride around and explore the ranch. Other amenities include a hot tub, Wi-Fi, and barbecues.
4. Hull-O Farms
Travelers looking to fully immerse themselves in farm life and engage with a variety of animals should make a point to visit the historic Hull-O Farms in Durham, New York. Established in 1779, the 300-acre family farm is now managed by seventh-generation farmers Frank and Sherry Hull, who provide guests with home-cooked meals and host bonfires every evening.
Visitors are required to help out with daily chores, which includes milking cows and mending fences, but they have plenty of downtime to explore the farm and visit nearby local attractions. On the farm, guests can fish in the pond, play with rabbits and kittens, and go on hayrides. The farm also has a corn maze toward the end of summer and a pumpkin patch in the fall. Hull-O Farms received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and was named one of the 20 Best All-American Family Vacations Your Kids Will Love.
5. Abbey Road Farm Bed & Breakfast
Owned by John and Judi Stuart, this bed and breakfast is in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, also known as its wine country. A more upscale farm stay, Abbey Road incorporates elements from European agritourism establishments and is rich in arts and culture. Guests stay in circular rooms set in a converted silo, and each room features a king bed and Jacuzzi tub.
During their stay, guests can sample world-renowned Pinot Noirs and take in live music in an outdoor concert setting. The farm also has a concierge service that helps guests select suitable wineries and restaurants to visit. Conversely, guests can choose to spend time at the farm completing various chores and learning how to make goat cheese.
6. Seaweed and Sod Farm B&B
This Atlantic Canada retreat is located in the rural region of Kempt Head, Nova Scotia, centrally located to a variety of natural attractions. It is a relatively private two-bedroom bed and breakfast situated on 100 acres of land overlooking the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Bras d’Or Lake. Guests have access to a shared lounge area and can wander the acreage to meet the farm’s many hens, sheep, and llamas.
Seaweed and Sod is located between the Fortress of Louisbourg and the Cabot Trail. One of the most scenic drives in the world, the Cabot Trail can take several days to fully explore due to its abundance of restaurants, cultural festivals, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The drive alone presents stunning ocean vistas and a look at the spectacular Cape Breton Highlands National Park.