Ready to slow it down, way down? A farm stay might be right up your alley! They offer a relaxed pace that’s perfect for families looking to get away plus interaction with tons of furry and feathered animals. Read on for some farms where you can stay the night near the Bay Area and get ready to play Old MacDonald.
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!
Casa de la Pradera | Fiddletown, CA
Casa de la Pradera is a secluded European-style bed and breakfast in the Sierra foothills. It is also a small working CSA (community supported agriculture) farm that produces vegetables, herbs, apples, olives and eggs for subscribers and local farmers markets. Children are welcome to feed the chickens, help collect eggs and help pick vegetables in the gardens. You will hear nothing but frogs at night, and birds awakening you in the morning. Breakfast, served in the kitchen or under the oaks in the garden, is made with the freshest, locally and naturally grown meats, eggs and produce. Afternoon tea and refreshments are served in the garden. Walk into town for some amazing Engilsh toffee at Brown's.
Howard Creek Ranch | Westport, CA
Howard Creek Ranch is an historic 60-acre, ocean-front farm bordered by miles of beach and mountains on the beautiful Mendocino Coast. The Ranch offers farm animals, a 75-foot swinging foot bridge over Howard Creek, hot tubs and horseback riding on the beach or in the mountains. Reserve a room in the historic carriage house or farmhouse. You can also get your own ocean-front cottage or cabin in the woods.
Beltane Ranch| Glen Ellen, CA
Accommodations at this luxurious Sonoma working ranch include five spacious rooms in the historic two-story main house and the separate cottage with private garden. Walking trails lead past grazing horses and cattle, through the ranch's vineyards, olive orchards and the sustainably-farmed produce gardens that supply the kitchen for each morning's breakfasts. Email them in advance and they'll have a bottle of estate wine ready for you to enjoy upon arrival.
The Apple Farm | Philo, CA
Over 40 varieties of apples grow on this farm in Mendocino County. Families are welcome to stay in one of the four guest cottages that each have a queen bed, large bathroom and a porch to enjoy the sunset on. A stay at the farm comes with morning breakfast of coffee, yogurt and granola, plus toast or biscuits, served with the farm's own apple juice and jams. Grown-ups looking to brush up on their culinary game can come for one of the farm's "stay and cook" events where guests join in the preparation of a communal meal with vegetables from the farm's garden and then stay overnight in a cottage. If you are in the area but can't spend the night, swing by and purchase some of the farm's wares from their farm stand.
Fying Pig Bed & Breakfast | San Martin, CA
Stay in the cabin at this South Bay farm (sleeps 4) or bring your tent for more outdoor time. Everyone who stays overnight gets to enjoy a full breakfast complete with fresh eggs and as much time with the farm animals as you'd like. Wake up to sheep and goats outside your door with a view of the pasture. They love kids here and even host a summer camp for future farmers!
Long Dream Farm | Lincoln, CA
Animal lovers, rejoice! This farm is Animal Welfare Approved for humane practices of its cows, chickens, emus, pigs, ducks, alpacas, donkeys, guinea fowl, dogs, cats and an Icelandic Horse. So go on! Enjoy a morning milking, feeding and brushing the calves, and pitching in around the farm. And for the small set, there’s even a playground with an antique firetruck.
Naylors Organic Farm | Dinuba, CA
The Naylors will welcome you into their ranch home and give you a personal tour of their 80-acre stone fruit farm. Organic fruit is ripe for the picking from mid-May to mid-August. Wake up to a full breakfast each morning—fresh fruit, hooray!—and savor that complimentary evening snack. Older kids will have fun picking peaches while the toddlers can enjoy the juicy fresh fruit.
Don’t Miss: The Squaw Valley Herb Gardens are a half-hour drive away, where you can make wreaths, lavender sachets, and a vegetarian, herb-inspired lunch.
—Kate Loweth & Sonia Gandiaga