This directory of agri-tourism resources will help you plan a farm stay so your kids can learn where food comes from, and also lists other environmentally-friendly accommodations around the globe.
Agri-Tourism hasn’t quite caught on in the United States yet the way it has elsewhere, particularly in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. But more and more families are considering agri-vacations for organic, educational fun that also helps farmers and the agricultural industry thrive. These unique getaways feature festivals, farm animals, sugar plantations, pineapple farms, picturesque settings, educational activities and endless recreation. Bet 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.
Farms Stays and Agritourism Vacations in the 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. If you know where you would like to plan a visit, your best bet may be to request information from local tourist boards throughout the country.
Massachusetts: For more information on Agri-Tourism in Massachusetts, contact the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture at (617/626-1700).
Pennsylvania: For a directory of Farm Stay opportunities in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, visit 800 PA Dutch Country.
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.
North Carolina: The Inn at Celebrity Dairy (877/742-5176); a working dairy farm in North Carolina, where deer graze at dusk. Rising Meadow Farm (336/622-1795); 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 (706/845-9085) to find seasonal fesivals, wine tastings, cornfield mazes, farm tours, crop picking and pumpkin patches among other activities.
Oklahoma: To get news, useful information, calendar of events, and resources on agri-tourism in Oklahoma, visit Oklahoma Agritourism or call (405/522-5800).
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.
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 Farm Stay Resources
Below are links to a handful of resources for international farm stays. Some are private, some are government-funded to support farmers, so check out whether they offer the right mix of educational opportunitiites (can my kids milk a cow or collect eggs at breakfast?) and are budget places to stay in a quiet, rural location.
Europe: Top Rural Getaways around Europe, company based in the U.K.
Italy: Agriturismo Italia based in Italy’ check out our video above.
Netherlands: Dutch Farm Holidays
New Zealand: Farmstay New Zealand
United Kingdom: Farmstay UK
In Europe, you’ll find many 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!
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.