Question: We're looking for an affordable summer family getaway. What can you suggest?
Answer: Here are some great family vacations that won't break the bank, listed alphabetically by state. Parents and kids can enjoy great getaways while learning that not all food comes from a supermarket, and that not all entertainment requires batteries! Horseback riding is generally not offered for very young children; children of all ages need to be carefully supervised by their parents.
Capay Valley B&B, Capay, CA : Set on a working ranch with over 80 animals ranging from ducks to llamas, take advantage of the Family Package, including a room with two queen beds, TV/DVD player, breakfast for four and a tour of the zoo. You might even see baby zebras! Kids love the swimming pool and water toys too.
Craig Ranch B&B, Limon, CO: At this 15,000-acre working cattle ranch, 80 miles east of Denver, enjoy a first-hand view of gathering or branding cattle; if you've brought your own horse, ride with ranch hands to participate in the round-up. Kids will also enjoy the swings, basketball, tetherball, ping-pong, and billiards. Try your hand at spinning wool, or learn about a 1900s train robbery on the ranch. The Cowboy Package includes accommodations plus dinner for two, breakfast for two, and a pickup ranch tour or a ride on the range.
First Farm Inn, Idlewild, KY: Eight friendly horses of assorted colors and breeds offer noses to pet and eagerly take carrots and apples from outstretched hands at First Farm Inn, just outside of Cincinnati, OH. The farm's two-hour horse experiences include grooming, tacking up, and riding. Family packages include accommodations in a room with queen-size bed, day bed, trundle, and TV/VCR; access to the video library, large breakfasts with kid-friendly entrees, use of the outdoor hot tub, rowing around the pond, and horseback rides. Well-behaved, closely supervised children welcome.
At The Lake B&B, Marion, MT: Families will enjoy pristine McGregor Lake. Evening campfires with s'mores are a highlight, along with canoeing, paddleboating, swimming, and taking in the supreme beauty of this exquisite Northwest location.
A Slice of Home B&B, Spencer, NY: Located in the Finger Lakes, just 15 miles from Ithaca, area state parks and Cayuga Lake, with hours of fun and R&R for the whole family. Borrow bikes and take a picnic, or just relax in the hot tub. Plentiful snacks and hearty breakfasts are a highlight too.
Pipe Creek Farm B&B, West Falls, NY Kids and pets are welcome at this upstate B&B, just 15 miles south of Buffalo. Riding lessons offer the chance to learn everything about horses from the ground up, including brushing, tacking and riding. A large in-ground pool, a variety of board games, and TVs in all guest rooms will keep children busy when they're not riding.
Cedar Creek at Spruce Hill B&B, Spruce Creek, PA: This working farm with cattle, chickens, honey bees, rabbits and cats, invites families to spend fun weekends gathering eggs, playing with the bunnies, or even suiting up to visit the hives. Depending upon the season, you might help with berry picking, canning, making jams, jellies or apple butter. Nearby caves, Revolutionary War forts, fishing and swimming offer additional central Pennsylvania diversions.
Earthshine Mountain Lodge, Lake Toxaway, NC: Escape to western North Carolina for a Pioneer Heritage Festival, and apprentice in the blacksmith shop, learn how to ride and care for horses, feed the barnyard animals, spin wool, mine for gems, press apple cider, and make candles. Next, travel back in time to a secret Cherokee village to learn traditional customs, including horseback riding Cherokee-style for the kids. Afternoons, hike to thundering King's Falls, slide down Crystal Creek, or play water games in the mountaintop meadows. Kids ten and up thrill to the High Ropes Course and the "Flight through the Treetops" zip line. The 30-foot climbing wall is a huge hit for children six and up, and there's even a kids' camp for those five and under.
Sunrise Farm B&B, Salem, SC: Children of all ages are welcome at this farm, set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and enjoy visiting the llamas, miniature horses, and Muffin, the pot-bellied pig. Other activities include boating, swimming and fishing in nearby lakes, mountain biking, hiking, berry picking, and the self-guided tour of 30 area waterfalls. Cottages with kitchens, living rooms (with video library), porches, and grills accommodate families nicely.
May Farm Bed and Breakfast and Maple Leaf Cottage, Stowe, VT: The Taste of Vermont Package includes four nights in the Maple Leaf Cottage, plus tickets for four to Rock of Ages Granite Quarry Tour, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, gondola ride to the top of Mount Mansfield, Stowe Trolley Riding Tour, and the May Farm moose sighting map.
The Inn at Quail Run, Wilmington, VT: Not only do the innkeepers here have a herd of children to serve as ready playmates or babysitters, guests also enjoy mingling with the llamas, sheep and chickens here too. This totally kid-friendly B&B also has a heated outdoor swimming pool, children's movie room, and a ping-pong table. The cottage accommodates up to 13 people, perfect for a small family reunion.
Country Chalet B&B, Bluefield, WV: Enjoy whitewater rafting, hiking, biking and much more in the beautiful mountains of southern West Virginia, plus free access to the nearby swimming pools at the Princeton Health and Fitness Center. Families of four are easily accommodated in two second-floor bedrooms that open to the great room, featuring a mini-fridge, TV/VCR and piano.
Note: Information has been supplied by BedandBreakfast.com members; these properties have not been visited by the editors of the BedandBreakfast.com Report.