While it may sound counterintuitive to spend your days off doing physical labor, farmstays and agritourism are all the rage with everyone from the hipster crowd to a unique family bonding experience. A fast growing segment in Australia, Canada, the US, and the Philippines, agritourism is an alternate to the standard country b&b getaway that lets you spend your days playing with the animals, tosslin’ in the cornfields, picking fresh fruit and vegetables, and learning the lay of the land.
So saddle up and hit the hay. Literally.
Trevin Farms, Sudbury, VT
Talk about a real farm to table full Vermont Country Breakfast. Enjoy food made with homemade Vermont Maple Syrup, fresh eggs from the chicken coop, milk from the dairy goats, Vermont Maple cured bacon and handpicked vegetables from the garden. For a truly unique experience, Trevin Farms, located just outside Middlebury, offers cheese making classes using the milk from their goats to create rich and creamy Chevre Cheese. The three day package shows you how to cut and curd which makes for an interesting souvenir for the folks at home. They also have carriage rides down scenic country roads and 25 undisturbed acres of woods for prime bird-watching and hiking. On clear, crisp nights there are millions of stars for gazing.
Stony Creek Farmstead, Walton, NY
While you may find it ironic that they boast no free wifi or electricity at all, a stay at Stony Creek is a reenactment of the good old days. Sleep in a tent complete with wood stove, bathroom (don’t worry the toilet flushes), and kitchen sink-and that’s pretty much it for amenities. But what it lacks in elaborate décor, it makes up for in charm. Experience the freedom of the open countryside with 85+ acres of pastures, woods and creeks. Cut fresh herbs for your evening meal among other simple pleasures. They sell beef, pork, lamb and chicken straight from the yard to your dinner table.
Rustridge Ranch and Winery, St. Helena, CA
While roughing it may not exactly be your style, there is something appealing about learning to grow grapes, make wine and breed and train thoroughbred racehorses along the rolling gables of Cali. A ranch-style home in the back roads of Napa Valley, at Rustridge, you can also play tennis, hike the vineyards, fish and boat. The amenities include feather beds, private baths, decks and delicious breakfasts.The great outdoors, glamed up.
Bucks And Spurs Guest Ranch, Ava, MO
If you’re in search of an authentic dude ranch experience, head to the Ozarks. Learn the cowboy life from a real Horse Whisperer, ride Missouri Fox Trotting horses on miles of scenic trails, go on cattle drives, practice roping and lassoing, take shooting lessons, or drive a tractor. Sounds like the next boys retreat? Don’t worry there’s plenty of meat and potatoes for dinner.
G Bar M Ranch Clyde Park, MT
A fourth generation authentic working ranch, saddle up because a stay at G Bar M encourages everyone to help with the daily chores. That may include taking care of the horses and other livestock, checking fences, water holes and grass conditions or helping move the cattle to different pastures. Maybe a good place to teach the kids to be grateful for what they have?