7 Affordable Farmstays
Your guide to visitor-friendly ranches, wineries, and dairies around the world.
An antebellum southern dairy
The Inn at Celebrity Dairy, an eight-room, Greek-Revival farmhouse an hour southwest of Raleigh, rewards early risers: At 6 a.m., the five dozen goats are milked, and soon after, guests dig into award-winning cheese and eggs from the inn's free-range chickens. celebritydairy.com, doubles from $90.
The full-fledged wine-country visit
Milk a goat; ride horses; feed rabbits; gather eggs; help harvest cilantro, strawberries, and zucchini—all at the 23-acre Full House Farm in Sonoma County, minutes from wineries, redwoods, and the Pacific Ocean. fullhousefarm.com, cottage rental from $125.
A kid-friendly family retreat
The Weatherbury Farm, 45 minutes southwest of Pittsburgh, raises grass-fed cattle, but it specializes in children. Little ones help bottle-feed baby lambs, pump the old well, and feed chicks as part of the 100-acre ranch's Official Weatherbury Farm Kid program. Parents can pitch in, too, or relax in one of three newly renovated suites. weatherburyfarm.com, from $203 nightly for a family of four.
An Emerald Isle B&B
A 30-minute drive south of the city of Cork, the Lochinver Farmhouse is a four-room, classic Irish B&B with stone fireplaces, friendly and gracious hosts, and homemade brown bread, black pudding, and breakfast sausages. Its setting is what sets it apart: The wood-shingled two-story building sits on a 30-acre working dairy farm, surrounded by brilliant green hills that seem to roll into the serene River Bandon. lochinver.net, doubles from $97.
Relaxation in Tuscany
Tucked in a quiet pocket of Tuscany, Fattoria di Rignana was born as a nobleman's castle in the 11th century. The 297-acre property now produces wine and olive oil, but guests come more for a rural retreat than to get their hands dirty. The villa is newly renovated, with eight rooms and an infinity pool that overlooks olive groves. In warm months, a breakfast of fruit, cheeses, and breads is served outside in the courtyard. rignana.it, doubles from $118.
Cattle, sheep...and penguins?
Set on 1,000 acres at the southern tip of the South Island, Catlins Farmstay B&B is New Zealand at its most rugged. With 150 cows and 2,800 sheep on the farm, the three herding dogs earn their keep—and guests can, too (often by shearing some of those sheep). A 10-minute drive away, penguins gather on the craggy coastline and dolphins cavort just offshore. catlinsfarmstay.co.nz, doubles from $145.
Wilder than your average animal farm
Bartholomeus Klip, a 6,000-acre ranch an hour north of Cape Town, is like a farmstay and safari in one. Between tending the farm's 4,000 sheep and relaxing in the four-room Victorian homestead, guests are likely to spot zebras, antelope, and wildebeest roaming nearby. Bartholomeus also owns a private nature reserve, visited by guests on twice-daily game drives. bartholomeusklip.com, lodging, all meals, and game drives from $239 per person.