Editor’s Note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, sometimes closures occur at the last minute due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the spread of Covid-19. At the time of press, the destinations below were taking reservations. Stay safe!
Got “getaway” on your mind? Consider a rural retreat for the ultimate socially-distant family vacation. Rural farm stays offer a resort-like experience off-grid. Your kids will enjoy a host of activities — like hiking, fishing, feeding farm animals and more — free of the peopley part of an actual resort. Scroll down for our places to bunk with cows, sheep and bison.
Trinity Bison Farm
Buffalo truly roam on this private 72-acre little piece of heaven. You can watch the sunrise over the Smoky Mountains or cheer on the herd of buffalo as they come in for their morning oats. You might even get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee on one of the decks of the gorgeous log cabins. Located in Clyde, North Carolina, the property is a quick drive from Asheville (25 miles) – Maggie Valley and Waynesville are only 12 miles away. Your family will love all the local fun if you want to leave the farm. But there’s no need. You’ll have everything you need right there. Want to take work or school on the road? Trinity Bison Ranch has got you covered with a strong wi-fi connection.
408 Harriet Ln
The owners of this beautiful homestead are passionate about the animals they raise, the food they grow and the relaxing getaway they provide. Their organic farm houses rabbits, chickens, pigs, turkeys, goats and an adorable 2-bedroom cottage with everything you need for a fun family vacation. Your kids will love feeding their goats and chickens. PandA Homestead offers the possibility to see how food is raised and grown and how it is all possible without using heavy machinery and chemicals. Grab your camera because the newest Virginia LOVE sign is on their beautiful farmland. It is such a fun photo op. 23332 Felton Dr. Capron, VA 434-658-0516 Online: pandahomestead.com
Verdant View Farm
Conveniently located in the heart of Lancaster County’s Amish country, Verdant View Farm is the perfect setting for your family to explore a family-owned farm, interact with farm animals, enjoy local hospitality, and taste homegrown foods. Join in on some seriously fun morning chores – milk a cow, feed a calf and venture inside the chicken coop. Play fetch with the farm border collie, cuddle adorable kittens, stroll around the farm, or relax while watching the cows graze in the pasture. Wave to the train engineer as the Strasburg Rail Road passes through the farm fields. Or, get your own tickets to ride a real steam engine. Overnight accommodations include a farm-to-table breakfast, featuring homegrown and locally sourced foods. 429 Strasburg Rd. Paradise, PA 717-687-7353 Online: verdantview.com
Rocky Acre Farm
The owners of Rocky Acre Farm have seamlessly run a bed-and-breakfast style experience alongside a working farm for over 50 years. Rooms are clean and well-equipped, with most having bunk beds and queen beds together so families can share quarters. The farm attracts visitors who often make this their home away from home, coming year after year (and some multiple times a year). Breakfasts are homemade and hearty and often include pancakes, waffles, fresh farm eggs, sausage, homemade jams and baked treats. Kids will enjoy getting hands-on experience collecting eggs, tending to baby calves, and helping with basic farm chores. Other amenities include an onsite playground and hayrides.
COVID-19 Update: Additional tables have been added to outdoor areas to allow for social distancing while dining. There is also gloves and hand sanitizer located on the farm.
1020 Pinkerton Rd.
Mount Joy, PA
Willet Ponds Farm
Feed the flock of chickens, gather eggs, swim and fish in the ponds, hike, and wake to the rooster’s crow (if that happens before your little ones wake up). Willet Ponds Farm offers clean accommodations for your vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. More than a place to stay: an Appalachian farm experience. It’s all about the farm, and the peaceful, educational experience your family will have together. Interact with a few farm animal favorites: Josephine the pot-bellied pig, Penelope the long-eared donkey, several horses and some very friendly dogs. Treat yourself to the simple joys in life down on this 100-acre farm.
1595 Willett Miller Rd.
Belle Meade Farm
The owners of this sustainable farm (think free range animals) affectionately call the Belle Meade a holistic retreat. Set on nearly 140 acres, you are sure to find an activity to capture the heart and mind of each and every person in your brood. There is an outdoor pool for little ones, an old fashioned swimming pond with a floating deck and rope swing for the bigger kids and a hot tub for moms and dads. For those wishing to get their hands dirty, you can help tend to pigs, horses, cattle, chicken and rabbits. Nearby you’ll find hiking and canoeing in Shenandoah National Park. Breakfast, which is included with room reservations, is made from locally sourced foods and farm fresh ingredients. Rates for single rooms start at $160; there are four guest rooms in the main house. A separate cottage rents for $210 a night.
353 F.T. Valley Rd.
Mountain Quest Inn
This West Virginia Inn offers the opportunity to roam 450 acres, 150 of which are utilized as a farm. You and your kids will discover horses, llamas and cattle. A gentle hike up the mountain gives visitor’s a chance to gaze down on a fresh, green valley, which is a refreshing sight for those used to the congestion and development of the DC metro area. Other outdoor activities include biking, trout fishing, and star gazing. For those struggling to completely unplug, the onsite community center offers movies, books and arcade games. Room reservations include a breakfast buffet and start at $129.
303 Mountain Quest Ln.
Allegheny Mountain Institute
This farm is home to chickens, cows and bees. School aged kids will enjoy the hands-on workshops offered (almost) every Wednesday at this Highland County farm. Guests can learn about a range of topics, like beekeeping, seed saving, mushroom cultivating and more. The Institute suggests a Tuesday and Wednesday evening stay for those wishing to attend a workshop. Classes are an additional small fee and include meals. A continental breakfast is included; guests who stay midweek are also welcome to participate in family style meals at no additional charge. The property’s lodge, which accommodates up to 8 people, can be rented for $250 a night. Rooms can also be rented individually.
2599 Bear Mountain Rd.
Berriedale holds an unusual title. It’s the only farm in the United States that is protected by both land and breed conservation. You’ll find The George Washington National Forest to the east of this little hamlet and the Highland Wildlife Management Area to the west. The farm itself is home to heritage cattle, which means these cows are on the brink of going extinct. Berriedale is a great place for kids to learn about the importance of breed diversity in our agriculture system. It’s also ideal for families that want to “get away from it all.” You won’t get cell reception here. Or have access to a television. The log cabin accommodations are rustic (but they do have electricity).
10245 Cowpasture River Rd.
Oakland Green Bed and Breakfast
This working cattle farm is just an hour west of DC, in Loudoun County. Built nearly 300 years ago, this rural retreat boasts over 200 acres to explore. Spend your summer days playing lawn games, exploring the gardens, taking a dip in the swimming pool or fishing in the pond. While there isn’t a lot of hands-on opportunities at Oakland, nearby JK Community Farm, which provides organic food for children, families and seniors in need through donations to hunger relief organizations and shelters, offers those interested in hands-on farm work a chance to volunteer. Guests can rent the oldest section of the house, Log House Suite (starting at $125).
19192 Oakland Green Rd.
—Angelica Lynne Kajiwara and Meghan Meyers
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