Get a real sense of what makes farm life tick at a California farm stay. Lend a hand collecting eggs and tending vegetables, or just sit back and enjoy the picturesque landscape. Listed north to south, these unique accommodations feature one of the Golden State’s best assets—its abundant produce.
Mar Vista Cottages, Gualala
Families love these 12 self-catering cottages nestled in dramatic coastal hills along the North Coast. Kids can collect eggs and harvest berries for breakfast, and owners encourage you to use the produce on the property to prepare meals in your cottage’s kitchen. Good news for Fido: Mar Vista Cottages are dog-friendly (with a fee).
Willow Creek Ranch, Mountain Ranch
Try your hand at milking cows, gathering eggs, quilting, and other farm tasks at this pretty ranch in rolling Gold Country foothills (day visitors also welcome for the “get-your-hands-dirty” tour).
Naylor’s Organic Farm Stay, Dinuba
This family-run orchard southeast of Fresno in the sunny Central Valley invites guests to pick and eat their fill of juicy, organic peaches and other stone fruits (in season mid-May to mid-August). Every day starts with a home-cooked meal by owners Mike and Nori, which includes fresh-squeezed orange juice (while in season) and warm muffins.
Rancho Dos Amentes, Monterey County
This Central Coast property offers everything you’d hope for in a farm stay—goat milking, egg gathering, u-pick fruit trees—with touches of modern comfort. You can learn how to master farm-to-table dining at of the ranch’s cooking classes and end your night with a fireside glass of vino from nearby Paso Robles.
Flip Flop Ranch, Lucerne Valley
Full days of feeding chickens, making soap, and helping with other homesteading activities keep overnight guests busy at this family-friendly guest ranch on the east side of the San Bernardino Range.