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Vacations on Working Ranches and Farms across the U.S.

Vacations on Working Ranches and Farms across the U.S.

By Lincoln McElwee

Are you tired of the traditional family vacation? Or maybe you feel like your travel plans need a revamp this year. Well whatever the case may be, the U.S. Farm Stay Association offers a unique and exciting experience for your entire family; you can spend your vacation this year on a working ranch or farm! That’s right; a farm – or ranch – anywhere across the United States! And what’s even more captivating is that you don’t have to settle for a packaged plan that only allows a few options. You still get to decide how, and where, your family will participate in the fun.

The concept of farm stays has actually been around for quite some time, though for some reason it is surprisingly new to both American farmers and American families looking for unique vacation experiences. Europe has long since participated in this educational and historical type of travel. In Italy, it is known as “agriturismo,” while many other countries have long since held the view of “checking out” and diving into nature, where you go off the grid, so to speak, and leave all the amenities and confines of the city to spend some time reconnecting with the natural world all around you.

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Whether feeding a lamb or milking a cow, helping with daily chores or taking a class in cheese making, every farm stay offers something different and operates differently. Keep in mind that these stays are not simply a hotel or B&B on a non-operational farm or ranch. These are hands-on experiences that will offer your family wonderful memories and the unique opportunity of caring for nature and understanding the process of sustainable living. Where your family will be up-close and personal with nature and all it can offer!

Farming has been a part of the American way of life for some time, but since World War II it has been challenged severely and even been on the decline. Your participation in this type of vacation ensures that farmers and their hard work are noted and respected, and that this tradition continues and begins to even thrive again. As more and more American farmers open their doors to families and farm stays, and as more families engage in the farm stay experience, we can ensure that this tradition indeed continues!


The U.S. Farm Stay Association has created a wonderful website,, where families can choose what state they would like to vacation in. And if you are not certain what state you would like to visit, the website allows you to even choose your destination based on region. So if you know you love the Midwest but have never been, you can simply choose the region and then sit back – the website will do all of the work as it provides you with a throng of choices to choose from. You can also choose your location based on specific “allowables,” such as whether or not you’d like to bring a pet or even a party of twenty with you!

And for all of you wine lovers, there is even the possibility of staying on a working vineyard! It’s easy to see how has something for every type of vacation and for every type of family.

The hope of a farm stay experience is that your family will take away not only great memories, but a deeper respect for nature and those who care for it. The farmers that you interact with hope that your stay on their farm (or ranch) helps your family to appreciate the beauty and fragility of nature, that you will be able to understand the hard work and dedication that farmers put into ensuring an eco-friendly and sustainable system of living with the environment. And of course, they want you to have fun experiencing nature rather than merely reading about it!

So go ahead and begin creating treasured memories with your family by booking your farm stay today!