Door County, WI

A boat in Egg Harbor. Photo by Bill Beattie.
Door County is a retreat from the big city, a delight to the outdoor enthusiast and a feast for the food lover. Read more...

Spring Lake, NJ

Spring Lake
Two miles of uncluttered beach and non-commercial boardwalk, beautifully restored Victorian summer cottages, a charming main street of shops and galleries, and three sparkling, spring-fed lakes create an inviting atmosphere. Read more...

Question: I'd like to get in touch with nature and learn more about plants, animals and rural life. Are there any B&Bs that offer this kind of thing?

Answer: Although shopping malls and theme parks will always be popular, the latest trend in travel is vacations that encompass a return to the land. The New York Times reports that "48 countries are creating a national strategy for eco-tourism development." In keeping with this focus on preserving the environment and celebrating its beauty, members offer these delightful "agritainment" packages; many are ideal for family getaways, others for romantic escapes.

House on Cherry Street, Jacksonville, FL: Guests love visiting the "Urbfarm" - organic tea gardens on the premises - and picking their own tea for fresh organic herbal tea. As a bonus, guests take garden herbs home to add to salads and meals. A $10 discount is offered to anyone willing to weed the garden.

Zion Farms, Rome, GA:
This beautiful 340-acre country estate in the North Georgia Mountains offers guests a wonderful equestrian getaway, beautifully appointed guest cottages with a fabulous European motif, and views of surrounding horse pastures. Activities for couples, friends, and families include mountain trail rides with gourmet picnics, riding lessons, culinary classes, wine tasting, hayrides, bonfires, hiking, and fishing. Guests can enjoy mother/daughter or father/son riding weekends, and wine, food, and horse-themed weekends. Cottages are fashioned from former stables. The Osborn Cottage offers seven loft beds with ladders and a bath house, sitting room and more-- perfect for those want to rough it.

Macadamia Meadows Farm Bed & Breakfast, Naalehu, HI:
Take an educational walking tour of the orchard, where the history of macadamia farming and the latest challenges are discussed, amid lush Hawaiian surroundings. Guests love to pick nuts and take them home; breakfast entrees feature macadamias, too.

Serenity B&B Inn, Wichita, KS:
Let this B&B be your base for discovering Kansas-style agritourism. Within an easy drive is Wyldwood Cellars, the state's largest winery. Ride a wagon across untouched American Tallgrass Prairie into the beautiful Flint Hills, or take part in a real cattle drive with a singing cowboy.

1851 Historic
Maple Hill Manor, Springfield, KY: This working alpaca and llama farm and B&B is ideally suited for children of all ages. All are encouraged to help feed and interact with the rare Suri alpacas and llamas. The inn's Fiber Farm Store features beautiful garments and gift items made from the farm's alpaca shearings. The annual Autumn Alpaca Farm Festival and Fiber Art Workshops are a highlight for guests, who also find alpaca products in the B&B including blankets, throws, robes, and even teddy bears - all made from the luxuriously soft and warm alpaca fiber. Children and pets welcome.

Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center, Hallowell, ME:
In addition to offering wonderfully romantic rooms with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, the barn is brimming with a menagerie of farm animals including llamas, sheep, cattle, steer, chickens, a goat and a pony. Guests are offered barn tours and are encouraged to visit the animals often or assist in collecting eggs, bringing in hay bales from the field, or other farm chores.

TLC Bed & Breakfast and Wellness Center, Jackson, MO:
Owners Gus and Trisha Wischmann mill their own grains and use free-range eggs and poultry from local farms to prepare delicious cuisine. A special wellness package is available, including two nights' accommodations, all food, educational programs and a massage for $280 per couple. Guests learn about buying, preparing, and enjoying foods that promote good health.

River Run Bed and Breakfast, Fleischmanns, NY:
To boost awareness of the wonder of the region's local farms, River Run offers two nights in deluxe accommodations, breakfast each morning, and dinner at the Andes Restaurant. CIA-trained Chef Ed O'Neill will prepare a five-course tasting dinner for two using ingredients indigenous to local Delaware County farms, served in a casually elegant atmosphere.

Weatherbury Farm Vacation, Avella, PA:
Since 1998, this B&B has been educating "city slickers" and their kids about farming and agriculture. The whole family chips in with chores: helping Farmer Dale feed the baby goats and collecting pink, blue and white eggs from the chickens. After chores, options include visiting a rock cave where Indians formerly camped, or taking a trip to Meadowcraft Museum to observe rural life in the mid-1800s. Two-story suites in a beautifully converted livery accommodate families. Children of all ages are welcome.

Glasbern, Fogelsville, PA:
This working farm is located on 100 acres of verdant Pennsylvania countryside. The organic gardens and heritage livestock provide the majority of meats, vegetables, eggs, and herbs for the award-winning fine dining restaurant. Guests are welcome to explore the many pastures, gardens and greenhouses, and learn about the sustainable agricultural practices used to raise healthy livestock and vegetables. A favorite pastime is collecting eggs from the chickens, or taking part in organic gardening workshops offered by the on-site horticulturalist. The inn is made up of seven Pennsylvania Dutch barns, beautifully restored with many original features, offering a taste of rustic elegance.

Buck Valley Ranch, Warfordsburg, PA: Families are particularly drawn to this wilderness riding experience the Appalachian Mountains. Guests can help groom the horses, have a brief riding lesson, and experience a wide variety of the Appalachian Mountains' flora and fauna on horseback. Children must be seven years old to participate in trail rides. Children six and under stay free with their parents, and are treated to pony rides in the yard.

Memory Lane B&B, Dripping Springs, TX:
For those who love animals or want to reconnect with the land, this working farm will offer a unique perspective. Guests enjoy visiting the farm's Nigerian dwarf goats, chickens, donkey, or horse; strolling through the garden; and picking produce that they're invited to take home with them. A labyrinth offers spiritual peace, and for just $7.50, those inclined can join in two-hour Friday yoga classes.

Stony Ridge Ranch Retreat, Hondo, TX:
Relax in the Texas Hill Country on this deer ranch, where white-tail deer are pen-raised then released onto the high fenced area of the ranch. Guests help feed the deer, and in June and July can even feed the fawns. Stay in a beautifully appointed log home or cabins, and enjoy three-course dinners prepared each evening, including wild game dinners served on Saturday nights.

Holly Lane Gardens, Bainbridge Island, WA:
Join innkeeper and farmer Patti Dusbabek to help farm vegetables, herbs, flowers and greenery. Guests are invited to help bake for the weekly Farmer's Market in the summer, and dunk taper candles in the on-site candle factory, or prepare jams, jellies and vinegars from the produce on the property. Friday afternoons, learn how to prepare floral arrangements using bounty from the farm. The cottage and suite offer ideal accommodations for parents and kids, with kitchens, front room and bedroom. Children under eight stay free in parents' room.

Rose Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast, Thorp, WA:
This farm features horses and a rare breed of Wensleydale sheep. Chip in with farm chores or take the dog for a walk on five miles of trails, featuring more than 3,000 daffodils in bloom in the spring. There's fly fishing on the inn's three miles of Yakima River frontage, and wild turkeys and deer, grey horned owls, and eagles for those who love to see wildlife in its natural surroundings. Families of up to eight are comfortably accommodated in the cottage, and children of all ages are welcome at the inn, cottage or studio rooms.

To read more about farm stays and other agritainment, click here and select farm stays from the dropdown box of Specials.

Note: Information has been supplied by members; these properties have not been visited by the editors of the Report.


Find a B&B | Specials | Recipes | Message Boards | Gift Certificates