English (US)English (US)
California Now News
Local Tips
Visit Native California
Family Vacations
Road Trips

Travel Videos
Travel Guides
Welcome Centers


5 Central Valley Farm and Ranch Experiences

5 Central Valley Farm and Ranch Experiences

Get to know the nation’s richest agricultural region with these intriguing agritourism options, including farm stays, tastings, and fruit picking

California's Central Valley is a veritable agricultural mecca, with over 35,000 farms producing an astonishing array of crops––more than 250 in total. Learn to lean into the farm-to-table lifestyle like a proper Californian on your next visit. With these five unique agritourism activities, you can taste, sip, and pick your way through this charming region of the Golden State.

1. Full Belly Farms Farm Dinners

It’s a quick trip from farm to table at Full Belly Farms in Capay Valley. From March to November, Full Belly hosts monthly dinners that include farmer-led tours of this 400-acre certified organic operation about an hour from Sacramento. With an emphasis on seasonal produce, the alfresco events feature five or six courses served family style at long communal tables. Or visit the farm during one of its pizza nights in summer and fall.

2. Naylor’s Organic Family Farm Stay

Go back to the land at Naylor’s Organic Family Farm, a working farm southeast of Fresno. With three country-style rooms, as well as a cottage overlooking the orchards, a farm stay here is an immersive introduction to Central Valley agriculture. Whether you visit during blossom season or as the farm’s 30 varieties of stone fruit begin to ripen, farmers Mike and Nori Naylor will give you an inside look at their operation. And for a truly hands-on experience, get to work and pick your own fruit.

3. Pacific Star Gardens

Fruit just tastes better when you harvest it yourself. And at Woodland’s Pacific Star Gardens, you can literally take your pick of the juiciest of strawberries and blackberries. At the family-owned, certified organic farm, strawberries ripen first, typically in April; blackberries debut later and last into early summer. Call ahead to see what’s still avail- able. After berry season, you can shop at the roadside stand for tomatoes, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

4. Menagerie Hill Ranch

With shimmering eyes, luxuriant lashes, and winsome expressions, alpacas are darn easy to fall in love with. On tours (by appointment) at Menagerie Hill Ranch near Vacaville, you’ll get up close with these South American natives. Gaze into those gorgeous eyes and stroke the wooly fur as you get the chance to feed an alpaca, including the babies, known as cria. The ranch store carries alpaca-themed gifts and yarns made out of fiber shorn from the Menagerie Hills herd, and you can pack a picnic to enjoy on the grounds.

2023 California Visitor's Guide, Agritourism, Sciabica's California Olive Oil

5. Sciabica Family California Olive Oil

With nearly 40,000 acres of olive groves in production, California is a world-class region for olive oil. Modesto’s Sciabica Family California Olive Oil pioneered single-varietal oils and is considered the state’s oldest continuously operating producer. In addition to specialty olive oils infused with such ingredients as oranges, jalapeños, and cilantro, the farm’s tasting room and store carries an assortment of flavored balsamic vinegars aged in oak barrels.