If you want to stay somewhere really unique, you may want to consider one of New York State's farmstays. Help out with chores like milking cows and gathering eggs, enjoy a slice of country fun, or simply relax amid soothing green acres. From rustic farmhouse to polished B&B, New York has a perfect country home for everyone.
The Country and Farm B&B, a 20-acre horse farm near New Paltz in the Hudson Valley, welcomes families with children as well as couples. Four-season fun includes summertime swimming, autumn trail rides, and cross-country skiing in winter. Kids love the guided Farm Animal Experience: collecting eggs, grooming the gentle horses, and meeting the bunnies and goat. Reserve a room or a small apartment. You can make reservations to bring your pet, too. Dog, cat or a horse, of course! Rates start at $145/night during the week; 71 Stonykill Road, Accord (845-626-4596, countryandfarm.com)
FarmStay at Kinderhook, a 1,200-acre working farm, features a converted red barn with a full kitchen and family accommodations for up to six people. Guests can tag along with the farmers to check on new lambs and calves in the pastures, pick veggies, dive into a secret swimming hole, or nap in a hammock. The farm store sells grass-fed beef and lamb, pasture-raised pork, chicken, and eggs. Don’t miss the spectacular sunsets. Rates start at $300/night; 1958 County Route 21, Ghent 12075 (505-603-1815; kinderhookfarmstay.com).
Don’t be fooled by the polished antiques and Persian rugs. WhistleWood is a working farm with horses, cows, donkeys, and free-range chickens. But this country retreat pampers guests with four-poster king beds, whirlpool tubs, gourmet breakfasts, and an all-day buffet of home-made pies, fresh fruit, and other treats. Explore hiking and horse trails, feed the chickens, socialize in sunny communal areas or curl up by the fire with a good book. Three miles down the road, the village of Rhinebeck beckons with unique shops, fine dining, and good cheer at Foster’s 1890 Coach House Tavern. Rooms range from $200 to $325/night; 52 Pells Road, Rhinebeck (845-876-6838, whistlewood.com)
New York’s Hull-O Farms has been featured on the Today show. This 8th-generation (!) working farm in the northern Catskills hosts about 1,000 visitors each year, with cozy cottages housing up to five families at a time. The friendly hosts specialize in delighting children and despite the farm’s fame, manage to keep it country. Enjoy down-home meals sourced from the farm’s bounty, nightly campfires, hayrides, fishing, and the chance to tend every kind of farm animal your kids could sing about, from a "moo moo" here to a "quack quack" there. Rates vary with packages and season, 10 Cochrane Road, Durham (518-239-6950; hull-o.com)
The sunny four-bedroom guesthouse at Apple Pond, an 80-acre organic farm in the Catskills, has everything you need for a fun and relaxing stay. A friendly burro greets guests, who enjoy farm-fresh experiences from feeding baby goats to learning how to make cheese, cooking a farm-inspired dinner, or driving a horse and carriage. Simple seasonal pleasures range from spring lilacs to winter snowshoeing. The on-site Renewable Energy Center provides educational workshops and nearly 100% of the farm’s energy needs. A two-night weekend stay for up to six people is $600; 80 Hahn Road, Callicoon (845-482-4764; applepondfarm.com)
Although Saratoga Farmstead is only two miles from downtown Saratoga Springs, the peaceful 10-acre sanctuary seems a world away. The 1860 farmhouse has eight guestrooms, wraparound porches, and beautiful outdoor spaces on a gold-rated Audubon green property that’s home to birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife. Hike the lush nature trails, lounge in a hammock, or explore great local attractions and restaurants nearby. The owners are classically trained chefs and create delicious breakfasts and snacks served with local beers and wine. Rates vary, call for information; 41 Locust Grove Rd, Saratoga Springs (518-587-2074; saratogafarmstead.com)
The quaint little Get Awhey (pun-intended) cabin at Nettle Meadow Farm is almost as endearing as the farm's 300 friendly goats. Set in the Adirondacks near Gore Mountain, the dairy is also home to dozens of sheep, chickens, ducks, and several guard llamas. Cheese lovers take note: Nettle Meadow’s artisan cheeses won top awards at 2017 US and world championships. Special events, Saturday tours, and the farm shop feature tastings of swoon-worthy chevre and triple crème cheeses. For information, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org; 484 South Johnsburg Road, Warrensburg (518-623-3372; nettlemeadow.com)
Nestled between the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain, DaCy Meadow Farm invites guests to unwind, feel at home, and enjoy great farm-to-table dining. Meals prepared with local foods are served family-style in the art gallery. Menu items include DaCy Meadow heritage meats, fresh seasonal vegetables, and homemade ice-cream topped with local berries. Help with farm chores, enjoy special events, or roam the trails crisscrossing 150 magnificent acres. Take time to kick back and enjoy the view. The only sound you'll hear is the cows. Rates vary; call for information; 7103 Route 9N, Westport (518-962-8339; dacymeadowfarm.com)
A thousand islands around you and a million stars above add magic to overnight stays at Better Farm. Though the farm is about ten miles from Alexandria Bay and close to Boldt Castle, it goes all-in on getting back to nature and nurturing body, mind, and spirit. The gardens are 100% organic, the farm-fresh food is vegetarian, and all the animals—from ducks and pigs to alpacas—are rescues. Art meets sustainability through year-round music festivals, art programs, and mindfulness classes to keep you grounded. Rates range from $50 to $120/night for rooms and cabins; loft spaces start at $35/night; 31060 Cottage Hill Road, Redwood (315-482-2536; betterfarm.org/visit)
Stay in a private cabin at Country Cousins Farm and wake to sounds of birds singing, cows mooing, and gentle winds rustling the trees. This peaceful Thousand Islands dairy farm with about 50 milk cows and 40 young stock offers plenty of hands-on farm experiences from early morning 'til the sun goes down. Milk a cow, see newborn calves, or help with chores like pitching hay. Other activities include hayrides, bonfires, and bird-watching. Of course, you can also choose to just lounge around and enjoy the tasty home-cooked meals. Rates are $100/night for two adults; additional adults or children (age 3–17) $25/night; 29415 Fults Road, Evans Mills (315-629-2401; countrycousinsfarm.com)
In Finger Lakes wine country, Windswept Farms provides a unique farm-life experience amid 60 acres of dazzling scenery. Along with tours and pleasant chores like harvesting fresh vegetables and gathering berries, four-season activities include swimming in the spectacular gorge with sparkling waterfalls, hiking in the autumn woods, and cross-country skiing through the frosted vineyards. Call for rates; 3934 Tichenor Rd (607-546-2864)
Rule No. 1 at Greenwood Hill Farm: Make yourself at home. Join in farm activities, follow woodsy trails or sleep in every day. Families with children love feeding the animals, garden work, and wagon rides on 125 hilltop acres. Adults find this pastoral haven in Allegany County an ideal place to relax and restore. The rambling farmhouse, surrounded by lovely gardens, has three accessible main-floor guestrooms. Basic rates include continental breakfast. Add-ons include old-fashioned farmhouse brunches made with eggs you collect and ample family dinners featuring produce you help harvest. Rates start at $95/night for two adults; 230 Slaght Road, Andover (607-478-517; greenwoodhill.com)