When you need a weekend getaway in the fall, the farm beckons. Kids can gather eggs, pet horses, milk cows and get to really see what a fall harvest looks like. Full House Farm in Sonoma has all the rustic charms of the farm, but a stay in their guesthouse also includes use of a private hot tub, an impressive movie selection, a fully equipped kitchen, and floor-to-ceiling picture windows looking out on redwood-covered hillsides. When you need a break from the SoCal sun, this farm awaits.
Hard-Pressed to Leave Home Base
Located in the laid-back Sonoma Valley town of Sebastopol, Full House Farm makes a great home base for exploring both the Bay Area and Sonoma County. San Francisco is a little over an hour’s drive away, and the gorgeous vineyard-studded landscape of Healdsburg is 45 minutes to the north. That said, you might have a hard time convincing your brood (and yourself) to leave the comforts of your home-away-from-home behind, even just for a day trip.
Full House Farm’s 2,000-square-foot vacation home is an incredibly relaxing and accommodating place to spend your time, both indoors and out. The great room features floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on a redwood-covered hills; comfy couches and chairs abound; and the owners have stocked a super selection of movies (both kid and adult) on DVD. Outside, you’ll find a private hot tub tucked among the trees, a meditation bench overlooking the valley, and an outdoor dining patio.
Pick, Gather and Feast!
But the most rewarding part of staying here may be the access to fresh food. Right next to the guesthouse is a huge garden with abundant fruits and veggies for the picking. Upon arrival, kids and adults get a brief lesson on what’s ready to be harvested, and you’ll also find the kitchen stocked with freshly gathered eggs from the hen house, a fine loaf of bread from the bakery down the road, and a bottle of local wine. You’re also welcome to purchase other farm-fresh delicacies like fresh goats’ milk, kefir, yoghurt and cheese from the farm.
A free farm life tour of Full House Farm is optional for guests, and definitely not to be missed. Christine, the proprietor and resident equine expert, will introduce you to her horses, chickens and goats, offering a 90-minute lesson on how truly sustainable, humane, small-scale farming works. Lucky kids will have the opportunity to sit atop horses, gather eggs and even shovel manure (it builds character). At the end of the tour, guests have the opportunity to sample Full House’s incredibly fresh-tasting goats’ milk, cheeses and homemade preserves.
The Finer Side of Farming
Of course, it’s the intangibles that make Full House Farm a destination you’ll find an excuse to visit again (and again). The peace and quiet of the relatively secluded locale and the pine-scented fresh air are intoxicating – you’ll find your shoulders relaxing even before you’ve had your first sip of wine. The kids, meanwhile, are sure to delight in meeting the farm animals and exploring the hiking trails through the woodsy property (just be sure to point out the poison oak ahead of time!). Winding down each day with a farm-fresh, home-cooked meal, a glass of wine and a soak in the hot tub (why not put a movie on for the kids so mom and dad can enjoy some alone time?) will make you wonder how you ever lived any other way.
Rooms and Rates
Full House Farm has several lodging options, including a small cottage and a farm stay trailer. For families, the three-bedroom, two-bath vacation rental is the best option — sofa beds in the shared living area actually allow it to sleep up to 12 people comfortably, so it could even accommodate two families. The great room is stocked with board games and toys, and a high chair is available upon request.
−written and photographed by Erin Harris, with additional image from Full House Farm’s facebook page
Do you have a fall family getaway planned? Where will you go? Let us know in the comment section!