Some vacations involve thrill rides at amusement parks, while others include traipsing through city streets. For a slower pace that connects the whole family with nature, stay at an inn surrounded by mountains, forests or green acres.
We’ve rounded up several overnight farm stays in properties of varying sizes, many of which let kids immerse themselves in the day-to-day life of a farm by gathering eggs and feeding goats, alpacas and other creatures.
The lodgings include lavish resorts with numerous activities to keep the kids on their feet, as well as smaller, more secluded options for a quieter escape where you can kick back and enjoy the scenery and farm-fresh foods.
Luxury Overnight Farm Stays
1. Blackberry Farm – Walland, Tennessee
Located on a 4,200-acre-estate with the Great Smoky Mountains as its backdrop, this Relais & Chateaux property’s reputation as the ultimate pastoral retreat is well earned. Guided farm tours offer lessons on plant and animal life. The sheep, pigs and chickens that roam the property supply the milk, meat and eggs used in the kitchen, making for a true farm-to-table experience. Geocaching, archery and horseback riding will entertain even the most active kids. For more action, try paintball in the woods.
2. Salamander Resort & Spa – Middleburg, Virginia
A sprawling country manor nestled in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Salamander Resort & Spa indulges families with a variety of activities to suit every age. A haven for horse lovers, the resort’s equestrian center offers pony rides (ages 2 to 4), riding lessons (ages 5 and up), and trail rides (ages 10 and up). Family game night options abound with archery (ages 8 and up), bocce and corn hole. The more adventurous can take a treetop zipline tour of the resort.
3. The Stanford Inn & Resort – Mendocino, California
The Stanford Inn & Resort’s prime location overlooking Mendocino Bay sets the stage for a tranquil family vacation. The plant-based inn maintains its own grow biointensive garden, aimed at reducing global warming. Kids can feed the rescued donkeys and llamas treats with staff supervision. A scavenger hunt allows younger kids to scour the property to locate animals onsite, who also include horses and ducks. To cool down, head to the indoor saltwater pool or the beach with a bucket and pail in hand.
4. The Inn at Tusculum Farm – Gaithersburg, MD
Tucked away on a single-lane road in a rural stretch of Montgomery County, Maryland, Tusculum Farm allows families to enjoy life at a slower pace. A former private residence for a prominent family, the estate contains a number of homey touches, including a library room and a patio where guests can enjoy a homemade breakfast and a view of the scenic 500-acre property. The farm manager can escort guests while they visit and feed the farm animals, including llamas, sheep and chickens. Horseback riding, catch-and-release fishing and nature hikes offer additional recreational opportunities. When the sun sets, grab some popcorn and head to the indoor movie theater inside the red barn.
Mid-Range Overnight Farm Stays
5. Lilac Farm Cottages – Levisham, United Kingdom
Families looking for a quiet getaway can rent out an 18th century cottage on a farm in the English countryside village of Levisham. Young kids and their families will enjoy a farm tour that includes a lesson on how tractors and other farm equipment work. Feeding lambs and gathering eggs for breakfast from the free-range hens will also keep them engaged.
6. Skeidvellir Villa – Hella, Iceland
Near the popular Golden Circle route in Southern Iceland, Skeidvellir Villa’s location makes it a picturesque stop on a tour of the Land of Fire and Ice. Located on an Icelandic horse breeding farm, Skeiovellir allows guests to rent out horses by the hour or take guided excursions in the area. The villa features outdoor seating where you can relish the surroundings and prime viewing spot for the Northern Lights.
7. Toddy Pond Farm – Monroe, Maine
Located near the coastal Maine town of Belfast, Toddy Pond Farm offers a secluded seven-night farm stay in a cottage surrounded by forests. The area is teeming with wildlife, so kids will have fun spotting owls and eagles and getting up close with the chicken, sheep and other farm animals. Families can delight in the farm’s bounty for dinner, including produce, grass-fed meat and yogurt, cheese and ice cream. For a more active vacation, rent canoes and kayaks in the summer and cross-country skis in the winter.
8. Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast – Brandenburg, Kentucky
Located an hour south of Louisville, Southern Grace resembles a lavish residential estate, albeit one with endless rolling hills and a butterfly garden. Guests can gather eggs and feed alpacas, goats and chickens on the farm. During the warmer months, families can pick berries, ride bikes and swim in the onsite pool. Roast marshmallows or hot dogs in the fire pit as the temperature drops in the evenings.
Budget Overnight Farm Stays
9. Rocky Acre Farm B&B – Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
This family-owned bed and breakfast in Lancaster County provides a hands-on farm experience, from feeding calves to petting goats and gathering the eggs guests will eat for breakfast. Kids will also enjoy exploring the outdoor giant playhouse, hay rides and the tractor-pulled barrel train ride. For indoor fun, head to the game room to play Ping-Pong, pool, and Skeeball.
10. Erbanito Farmhouse – San Rufo, Italy
Located in the Campania countryside in Southern Italy, Erbanito Farmhouse offers spectacular views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Cows, sheep and goat graze in the pastures while horses are kept in the stable. Take a guided horseback riding tour or lessons for kids as young as 4 years. Families can relax at the playground or swimming pool.
Related: 11 Best Italy Family Vacations
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