Use this directory of agritourism resources — agricultural businesses that extend hospitality to guests — to plan farm stays. Your kids will learn where food comes from and will love staying in environmentally-friendly accommodations close to nature around the globe.
Agritourism hasn’t quite caught on in the US yet the way it has elsewhere, particularly in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. But after the supply distruptions caused by the coronovirus pandemic, Americans are certainly more appreciative of farmers. We know how their success impacts all our lifestyles.
Consider agri-vacations for organic, educational fun. Your bed n’board dollars help both community farmers and the agricultural industry thrive. Many agritourism getaways feature festivals, farm animals, sugar plantations, pineapple farms, picturesque settings, educational activities and endless recreation. Each is unique. Best yet, with a push from First Lady Michelle Obama, parents and grandparents are learning that healthy eating for all ages begins by knowing where our food comes from.
Farm Stays & Agritourism in the Eastern US
There’s a great, farmer-supported network of farms that welcome families overnight called Farm Stay US and that’s where we suggest you start your research.
Massachusetts: For more information on Agri-Tourism in Massachusetts, contact the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture.
Pennsylvania: For a directory of Farm Stay opportunities in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, visit Lancaster PA Farm Stays.
Vermont: Couture’s Maple Shop B&B is a certified organic, working maple syrup farm in rural Vermont run by the Couture family since 1970. They welcome guests to stay overnight in four large and tidy bedrooms so they have an opportunity to milk the cows; meet the calves, chickens and cats; harvest hay, chop some firewood or tap maple trees in season. It’s also a great place to practice your French.
New Jersey: For family-friendly activities, recreation, education, farm festivals, wine tours and hands-on opportunities, visit Visit NJ Farms.org to learn more about New Jersey’s stunning farms and agriculture. Note that this is like a co-op, so it’s up to you to verify the information before arriving at a farm.
North Carolina: The Inn at Celebrity Dairy; a working dairy farm in North Carolina, where deer graze at dusk. Rising Meadow Farm; also in the rolling hills of North Carolina, with a stocked pond for fishing and 128 acres of meadows and woodland for relaxing.
Georgia: Get connected with the Georgia Agritourism Association to find seasonal fesivals, wine tastings, cornfield mazes, farm tours, crop picking and pumpkin patches among other activities.
Midwest & Western Farmstays and Agritourism
Know specifically where you would like to plan a visit? Your best bet may be to request information from local tourist boards throughout the country. Here are two examples of state-run resources.
Oklahoma: To get news, useful information, calendar of events, and resources on agritourism in Oklahoma, ranging from wineries to horseback riding and farm stays, visit Oklahoma Agritourism.
Hawaii: From 2-acre coffee farms to 15,000-acre sugar plantations, Hawaii has a dazzling array of agri-tourist attractions. Imagine exploring pineapple, macadamia, sheep, and cow farms along oceanside settings with your family. For more information on activities, festivals, and opportunities, visit HI Agtourism.
International Agritourism Resources
Below are links to a handful of resources for international agritourism organizations and farm stays. Some are private, some are government-funded to support farmers, some offer budget places to stay in quiet, rural locations. Check out whether they offer the right mix of educational opportunitiites; ie. can my kids milk a cow or collect eggs at breakfast?
Worldwide: WWOOF is an organization that pairs interested would-be farmers — usually adults — with organic farms around the world that need labor.
Italy: Agriturismo Italia based in Italy features authentic farm adventures; check out the video above.
Netherlands: Dutch Farm Holidays
New Zealand: Glenmac Farmstay New Zealand
United Kingdom: Farmstay UK organizes the country’s offerings by region.
Asia: Reid’s Guide Directory to Asia Agritourism (We are not able to verify how recently this listing has been updated or fact-checked.)
In many foreign countries, you’ll find farms that rent out guesthouses or extra bedrooms to visitors but do not expect you to participate in the life of the farm.
Please add your favorite farms to the Comments field, so we can check them out too!
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