Ready to roam among baby goats, giraffes, alpacas, deer, pigs and more on a charming family farm stay in California? Head into nature and the great outdoors for a memorable family vacation at these California farm stays that offer unforgettable experiences ranging from sleeping in a converted barn to milking goats and brushing baby cows. Read on for where to book a farm stay near you today.
Bodega Goat Ranch | Bodega, CA
Come spend the night on a sustainably-farmed goat ranch where they have been making nationally-acclaimed goat cheese for 30 years. Enjoy stunning views, a fabulous garden and a variety of animals. Your visit can include a tour, cheese tasting and even full breakfast. The farm is located 10 minutes from the town of Bodega Bay, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
Farm Stay at African Hoofstock Preserve | Point Arena, CA
The kids will be delighted when you bring them to stay at one of the cottages at B. Bryan Preserve. African antelope, zebra and giraffe, along with eclectic lodging await you in Point Arena on the beautiful Mendocino coast. Take a tour to meet the animals and then enjoy your time in the cottage or hot tub. Read all about B. Bryan and other Mendocino activities here.
Lucky Goat Farm—Big Sur
This stunning farm with ocean views near Big Sur loves to host families with kids of all ages. Each morning they begin the day milking the goats, making cheese, checking the troughs and watering the gardens. In spring months the pens are full of baby goats. The cabin is a spacious two bedrooms with a full kitchen and washer/dryer and extra sleeping space in the loft.
The Alpaca Cottage | Stockton, CA
Nestled between Walnut and Cherry orchards, The Alpaca Cottage is hosted by four lovely ladies Ella, Blu, Lola and Lilly, a small herd of Huacaya Alpacas. Guest are encouraged to interact with them as they are quite inquisitive. The cottage is located minutes away from Lodi’s wine country, with the closest winery less than an 8 minute drive.
Farmhouse with Hot Tub Overlooking the Ocean | Marshall, CA
This farmhouse retreat just a three-minute walk to pristine Tomales Bay beaches. It overlooks Point Reyes National Seashore and is a safe and restorative escape into nature or a good book. The 23-acre property is host to sheep, deer and wild turkey. Nick's Cove and Hog Island Oysters are within minutes paddle. Wineries are a short drive. So bring your kayak, PFD and oyster knife.
Mission Peak Winery Guesthouse | Fremont, CA
For a farm stay of a different sort, book a weekend at Mission Peak Winery. There are tons of things for kids to do on the property including a trampoline, swimming pool (season), fishing lake and canoes. Meet the local horses and stroll through the vineyards.
Bar SZ Ranch | Paicines, CA
Bar SZ Ranch is a real, working farm two hours south of San Francisco in the breathtaking hills of San Benito county. Stay in one of the two houses or the cabin (all are 3-bed/2-bath and perfect for families), or reserve the whole ranch for your next family reunion. They also have two glamping cottages, the Cowboy Village, that sleep up to 16.
If you are an early riser, meet up with a farm hand to feed the horses and cattle. Brush and saddle your own horse or get expert help from the staff. Learn some new skills like roping a steer or shooting a bow and arrow. Then, relax by the fire roasting marshmallows after a full day with the family. You will feel far away from it all!
Kindred Oak Farm Bed and Breakfast | Paso Robles, CA
Seeking an adventure-filled visit for the whole family? Kindred Oak Farm offers a one-of-a-kind farm stay experience catered to your needs, right in the heart of Paso Robles. To accommodate a family-style getaway, their newest premier suite, The Oaks, is conveniently adjoined to the Bunk Room. The Bunk Room Features two bunks, each fitted with two full-sized beds over a twin pull-out, and can accommodate up to ten young guests, although it is most comfortable for four to six guests. Depending on the size of your group or family, they can find the right configuration of rooms for your stay.
At Kindred Oak Farm, they go out of their way to make your stay comfortable and stress-free, serving a full breakfast spread of homemade juices, unlimited coffee and tea, and a gourmet two-course meal. For your family stay, they love serving the occasional chuckwagon pancake breakfast in their outdoor kitchen! The long, family-style farm table is the perfect setting for a warm spring morning under the oaks.
After a restful night of sleep and a nourishing breakfast, wander the 20-acre grounds and visit all the critters! The kids will love brushing the baby cows, feeding the goats and chickens, and nuzzling up to the Great Pyrenees puppies. During the day, take the family to our Gather Garden to pick and arrange your own bouquets from a vast variety of unique, organic blooms.
Contact the proprietor for seasonal and holiday rates, and book a weekday stay for a discounted rate.
Cost: Prices are seasonal and vary for weekdays vs. weekends The range is from $350-$495 per night.
Family-Friendly Garden Cottage | Atascadero, CA
Enjoy a little bit of farm life at this 3-bedroom, 2-bath cottage on three acres. The property, a former schoolhouse, has it's very own playground, plus a climbing tree, hammock and hammock swing. While you're exploring the outdoor area, you might just run into sheep, a pig and chickens and more friendly four-legged friends who call the property home. There's also a seasonal garden where kids can pick blueberries, tomatoes, and other fruits and veggies (depending on the time of year).
Cost: From $217 per night (prices vary depending days and dates)
Tranquil Converted Horse Stable | San Luis Obispo, CA
It's hard to believe that the photos don't do this place justice—it's actually even better in person! The decor is rustic yet refined, and the setting stunning. (Picture rolling hills and groves of fruit trees for miles.) While you enjoy the serene, immaculate accommodations and 360 degree views, your kids can explore the grounds, which include a bocce ball court, resident animals and more.
Cost: From $850 per night
Cowboy Camp at Rancho Grande | Ojai, CA
Go back in time to the Old West at the ranch, founded in 1875. (The cabin where you'll be staying even has a genuine wood-burning heater for toasty nights!) Located outside the town of Ojai but still off-the-grid, the 200-acre ranch grounds includes ponds, a creek, numerous trails and a variety of farm animals and wildlife. In the mornings, gather eggs from the chicken coop, and later veggies from the greenhouse. Spend your days canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking and more; and your nights, stargazing at the sprawling dark sky.
Sleeps: 5 guests
Cost: $750 per night
Mojave Homestead Ranch | Yucca Valley
Hang with the horses then hit the hay during a getaway to this ranch and family-owned horse and animal rescue near Joshua Tree National Park. There's no Wifi here, which is the perfect excuse to leave the kids' iPads at home and and reconnect with nature. Just outside the private 3-bedroom, 2-bath home is the animal rescue, which you can visit after an orientation with the owner. Giddyup!
Sleeps: 6 guests
Cost: $145 per night
Morning Song Farm | Rainbow, CA
The cute town of Rainbow is adjacent to Fallbrook and home to the wonderful Morning Song Farm. This farm offers several room options for a stay, but we love the Safari Tent! It has a queen bed and two full pull-out couches. It also has a vintage kitchen and an exclusive use hot-tub. Enjoy the farm classes and activities including cheese-making, hand-churning ice cream, jam, bread and butter making, chicken farming, goat interaction and so much more!
A thoughtful touch: Upon arrival to your room you'll find bagels, cream cheese, half and half for coffee or tea, butter, and the farm's eggs. If the hens are laying, guests are welcome to gather more eggs. All farmstays have full kitchens and are equipped with pots, pans, silverware, coffee maker, microwave, toaster, and many other small appliances
Cost: Check with host.
Two Wishes Homestead Farm Stay | Ramona, CA
Visit this charming gem of a farm stay in Ramona where baby goats are expected mid-March! You'll stay in a beautifully converted former working barn that is now a one-bedroom home. There's a queen bed and queen pull-out couch to accommodate families as well as a fully stocked kitchen. Pick some veggies from the outdoor vintage garden to prepare in a family meal. Kids will love visiting the animal corral to feed the chickens and ducks who roam the property and love getting treats from guests. It's a fresh farm vibe without having to go too far from San Diego.
—Kate Loweth, Shannan Rouss & Beth Shea
Featured photo: istock