The Best Local Farm Tour in Every State
Farms aren’t just for dairy cows and rows of corn. (Although we love those things, too!) From honeybees to Christmas trees and everything in between, these are the most unique farm tours across the country.
Pecan Point Farm, Hurlsboro
A decadent pecan pie is a classic Southern dessert we all salivate over. The crunchiest pecans can be found in Alabama, where they’ve been the official state nut since 1982. Tour the pecan orchards (yes, they grow on trees) and watch how the nuts are harvested in the fall. Make sure to buy a bag, either shelled, halved or even tossed with the farm’s signature maple nut granola before you leave.
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Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, Juneau
While not technically a farm, a salmon hatchery—like this one in Juneau where they raise over 130 million king and coho salmon—is a must-visit if you’re in the country’s largest state. Learn about how wild Alaska salmon are raised and, if you’re in the area during spawning season (June to September), watch the adult fish return home and swim up a 450-foot ladder into giant aquariums. Come hungry and taste some smoked salmon after you walk around the hatchery.
Red Rock Lavender Farms, Concho
Who knew there were so many kinds of lavender? Varieties like Provence, Royal Velvet and Buena Vista are all grown here at Arizona’s first lavender farm, where every summer they host a festival specifically devoted to the fragrant flower. Picnic in the dreamy fields of amethyst blooms (it’s okay to pick a few to take home with you), and if you buy a boxed lunch on-site, you’ll be treated to dainty lavender cookies (like these!).
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Moss Mountain Farm, Roland
Home to well-known author and conservationist P. Allen Smith, Moss Mountain is dedicated to inspiring and educating visitors about the organic and local food movements. The gorgeous estate overlooks the Arkansas River and includes a one-acre vegetable garden, rows of vibrant rose bushes, fruit orchards and a flock of heritage-breed poultry. If the Southern sun gets too hot, cool off inside with a tour of the historic farmhouse or country home.
Castello di Amorosa/Jim Sullivan
Castello di Amoroso, Napa Valley
A glass of wine for the adults and a castle to explore for the kids = the perfect Napa Valley getaway for all ages. Led by a guide, you’ll feel like a queen (or a king) as you cross the drawbridge over the moat and wander the halls of the Tuscan-inspired Castello and savor the delicious grapes in the tasting room. The view of the vineyards from the top turret is worthy of a postcard—and a bottle or two of wine to take home. (Here’s how to store it upon your return.)
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The Living Farm, Paonia
The “farm-to-table” trend really comes to life at this Colorado farm where the Living Farm Cafe serves some of the freshest meals straight from the field. With all ingredients grown organic and free of any chemicals, you can feel good about the vine-ripened tomato pesto grilled cheese you’re eating. Once you clean your plate, head outside to learn how to plant your own high performance garden.
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Silverman’s Farm, Easton
While there is plenty of family fun to be had at Silverman’s from frolicking with barnyard animals to picking your own fruits from the orchard, the main draw is the pumpkin patch. During the fall season, people flock from all over the state to hand-select their jack o’ lantern—and if you guess the weight (within two ounces), you get to take your pumpkin home for free! Get your camera ready, too—celebrities like Hugh Jackman have been spotted here with their families.
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Hopkins Farm Creamery, Lewes
You scream, I scream, we all definitely scream for the freshly churned ice cream at this New England sweet spot. Situated on family-owned Green Acres Farm, it’s the largest dairy farm in the stater. Stop in for a cone of frozen goodness and tour the facility or just watch the ice cream makers work their magic from the walk-up window.
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Knaus Berry Farm, Homestead
The Redland region of Florida is a strawberry lover’s dream. But one farm in the area is known for something even sweeter—cinnamon rolls. While you can pick strawberries at Knaus Berry Farm, you’ll definitely want to come in the morning to try one of the gooey, frosting-smothered pastries. (The wait can sometimes be up to 90 minutes for these treats so get there early to avoid the rush!)
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Dickey Farms, Musella
From May to August, Ray Charles isn’t the only one who’s got Georgia on his mind. It’s prime peach-picking season in the Southern state, where over two million bushels are grown annually. Some of the best and juiciest peaches can be found at Dickey Farms, Georgia’s oldest peach packing facility. (It’s been around for over 120 years!) Sample some of the stonefruit fresh from the orchards while you sit a spell in the rocking chairs overlooking the orchards. How peachy!
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Greenwell Farms, Kealakekua
Hiding in the volcanic hills of the Big Island lies fields of coffee plantations growing the famous Kona coffee bean. You’ll marvel at the 100-year old coffee trees as you learn about the entire farm-to-cup process from planting to harvesting to processing. And while you sip a sample of their full-bodied brew, find out the difference between cold brew and iced coffee.
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Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, Idaho
Between the scenic Salmon River and the snowy caps of the Sawtooth Mountains, you’ll find the slice of outdoorsy heaven that is Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. After a day spent galloping through the hills on horseback or hiking one of the many trails, you can soak in the hot springs pool under the stars or enjoy a hearty Midwestern meal.
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Tempel Farms, Wadsworth
Giddy up! The elegant horses you see prancing around the ring at Tempel Farms aren’t your average barnyard animals—these prestigious ponies (from the Lipizzan breed) are world-class dressage performers imported all the way from Austria. Go behind the scenes of stable life, watch a dressage training in action and stay for one of the famous shows. It’s like ballet, but with horses.
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Fair Oaks Farms, Fair Oaks
If there was a list of who’s who in the agritourism world, Fair Oaks would be at the top. At the country’s largest farm destination (it’s 36,000 acres just to give you an idea), you’ll choose one of three adventures: pig, dairy or crop. One cool thing to know when deciding which trip you’ll embark on for the day—on the dairy tour, you’re likely to see a calf being born right there in front of you… an experience unlike any other!
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Sawmill Hollow, Missouri Valley
Like grapes, but better. That’s how the farmers at Sawmill Hollow would describe their crop, the formerly endangered aronia berry. At the country’s only organic aronia berry plantation, you can roam the 150 acres covered in 13,000 berry bushes or sip a flight of aronia berry wines in the tasting room. While this particular fruit is known as the ultimate superfood, you should add these other healthy fruits and veggies to your next grocery list, too.
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The Walters Farm, Burns
Pumpkins, pumpkins and, well, more pumpkins. That’s what the Walters Farm does best (they even host Pumpkinfest every year). Take a hayride to the 30-acre patch to pick your own jack o’ lantern or, if you want a little excitement, shoot a squash or two from their pumpkin cannon. And on a chilly October afternoon, nothing warms you up faster than a bowl of Walter’s Famous Pumpkin Chili and a mug of hot apple cider.
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Winstar Farm, Versailles
It’s not called the “Horse Capital of the World” for nothing. Any trip through Lexington should include a tour of one of the elite horse farms, like WinStar Farm, home of the sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Get to know the champion stallions at this Thoroughbred racing barn and see what a day in the life of a stablehand or jockey is like. Plus, you’ll visit the breeding shed and ride the shuttle around the whole property.
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Tallgrass Farm, Roanoke
Summer nights call for a Creole crawfish boil complete with potatoes, corn, sausage and—the real star of the show—crawfish. The state’s signature seafood is raised and harvested on farms like Tallgrass, where you can watch the whole process pondside. After working up an appetite touring the swampy grounds, drive to Breaux Bridge (the Crawfish Capital of the World) to crack open a few Cajun crustaceans yourself.
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Avena Botanicals, Rockport
This definitely isn’t your back porch herb garden. Over 1,800 pounds of fresh medicinal herbs are grown and harvested at Avena Botanicals each year. Attend a course at the Herbal Classroom or meander through the beautiful blossoms in the main garden. (We want to go on the moonlit fairy garden walk!) Leave with an herbal remedy from owner and author Deb Soule‘s on-site apothecary.
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If you happen to be driving through Maryland this July, add McKee-Beshers to your itinerary… and make sure you bring your camera. While it’s technically a wildlife management area (the blooms are planted to attract birds and deer for hunting), the fields of stunning sunflowers make for the most beautiful photo op. Pack a picnic and traipse through the 6-foot tall sunflowers to find a spot to spread your blanket and bask in the summer sun.
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A.D. Makepeace Company, Wareham
Trade the apple orchards and pumpkin patches this fall for a cranberry bog. At the world’s largest grower of the Thanksgiving “super” berries (they supply Ocean Spray), a farmer will guide you through the growing and harvesting process on a 90-minute tour. The best time to visit is during peak cranberry season which runs from September to October. A stop at the country store to stock up on cranberry treats and fresh-baked pastries is a must.
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Domino’s Farms, Ann Arbor
If you’re looking for a place where kids of all ages will have fun—and learn a thing or two while doing it—look no further than the Petting Farm at Domino’s. For just $2, you can buy a big bag of feed to dole out to sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, ponies and even a few llamas. During the summer, take advantage of First Fridays—on the first Friday of every month, the farm is open in the evening with activities, food trucks and more.
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Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm, Waseca
Okay, so they don’t actually grow pizza (although wouldn’t that be nice!) but the farmers at Pleasant Grove do cultivate all the necessary ingredients from juicy tomatoes to aromatic oregano. Then, on Thursday and Sunday evenings, they use the fresh veggies to fire up some of the tastiest pizza you’ll ever bite into dripping with fresh mozzarella. Have a slice—or two or three—or opt for the equally delicious pizza fries while enjoying live music and a gorgeous sunset.
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Dockery Farms, Dockery
Put on your dancing shoes—we’re heading to what’s considered the birthplace of blues in Dockery, Mississippi. On what used to be a cotton plantation and sawmill (and is now a registered state landmark), you can walk through the old plantation for free. You’ll see the old service station, the church, the cotton gin itself and more. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a live local blues band performing.
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Green Dirt Farm, Weston
More cheese, please! That’s what you’ll be saying after your visit to Green Dirt Farm. The quaint creamery tucked next to the Missouri River raises its sheep using a dirt-to-table approach—they believe the soil in the pastures affects the flavor of their award-winning cheeses. Tour the cheese kitchen and milking parlor to watch the creamy deliciousness get made, then stay for an afternoon cheese tasting.
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Cowboy Cricket Farms, Belgrade
The motto at Montana’s first ento farm? #CricketsAreFood. We aren’t sure the crispy critters really taste like chicken but if you want to find out for yourself, make a trip out to Cowboy Cricket Farms. You’ll learn all about why edible insects are a growing trend (and how they help the environment). Plus, at the end of your tour, you can savor a Chocolate Chirp Cooke made with, of course, crickets.
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Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City
Go back to where it all began… Arbor Day, that is. There’s no shortage of fun activities for the whole family at this famous farm—some highlights include climbing the 50-foot tree house, getting hands-on in the Nature Explorer Classrooms or taking a covered wagon ride through the surrounding forest (you’ll stop at the orchard for fresh-picked fruit, too).
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The Farm, Las Vegas
Take a break from the neon lights and loud casinos of the Las Vegas Strip with a day at The Farm. As soon as you pass through the main gate, you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different world. At its core, The Farm is an animal rescue and sanctuary but has grown to offer much more—browse fresh produce, jams and baked goods at the market, feed the animals or take a hayride with the kids.
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Frost Farm, Derry
Follow the road not taken (also the title of one his most famous poems) to Robert Frost’s family home and farm. Wander the rooms of the two-story New England farmhouse which is said to have inspired many of Frost’s poems and, if the weather is nice, walk the nature/poetry trail. The half-mile path goes around the property and includes 14 different checkpoints featuring a piece of prose.
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Wightman Farms, Morristown
Pumpkin picking, apple picking, a corn maze, a hayride, games galore… you’ll get all of that for $7 with the Ultimate Farm Experience at Wightman’s. Oh, and you’ll get a delicious homemade cider doughnut. What are you going to do with all those apples leftover after your day of farm festivities? Bake one of these recipes for a delicious dessert.
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Que Sera Alpacas, Santa Fe
Forget the cows and chickens—the barnyard at Que Sera Alpacas is filled with much more exotic furry friends. Spend a day with the Huacaya alpacas and steal a smooch from Broonie, the resident kissing alpaca, before taking a peek at the fiber processing area where the magic happens. A skein of super soft yarn makes the perfect souvenir.
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Verticulture Farms, Brooklyn
When you think of New York City, farms and homegrown produce are probably the last things on your mind. But that’s what you’ll find inside the former Pfizer Factory in Brooklyn where Verticulture has set up shop. The aquaponics farm uses vertical growing techniques to not only produce fresh veggies but also to raise tilapia fish.
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Duke Homestead, Durham
Tobacco has long been North Carolina’s most important crop. Learn about its history at Duke Homestead, the home and farm of Washington Duke in the late 1800s. Regular led tours are available or you can simply walk around the museum and property. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the lush lawn (try one of these simple recipes) as you breathe in the sweet scent of drying tobacco leaves. (Don’t worry, the museum doesn’t glorify smoking!)
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Logging Camp Ranch, Bowman
Don’t expect a luxurious vacation at this working cattle ranch. You’ll get the real cowboy experience and an up close look at ranch life, from branding the herd to hunting pheasants. If that sounds a little rustic, no worries—you can also just rent a cabin and enjoy the other outdoor activities like horseback riding, fishing and bird watching along the trails.
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Bob Evans Farm, Rio Grande
Yep, we’re talking about THAT Bob Evans. The founder of the famous breakfast chain started it all on this 1,000-acre farm in the Ohio valley which you can now tour along with his homestead-turned-museum. Come with an appetite, too—each tour starts with a hearty bite to eat at “The Sausage Stop” (the original Bob Evans restaurant).
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Maple Creek Berry Farm, Poteau
Blueberry pie, blueberry cobbler, blueberry ice cream… the list of ways we love to eat the tiny summer superfruit are endless. And so are the rows of blueberry plants at Maple Creek, family-owned farm tucked away in the serene countryside. Pick your own from June to July and, whatever you don’t use right away can be made into jams and jellies—the farm even provides you with canning labels.
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No Regrets Farm, Albany
Drop into downward dog—er, downward goat—at this trendy Oregon farm. It’s where the goat yoga craze originally began, started by founder Lainey Morse as a type of alternative therapy. Sign up for a class at the farm and you’ll flow through your usual yoga poses while tiny pygmy goats traipse around you and, yes, occasionally climb onto your back. The combination of cute animals and guided meditation is the relaxation you’ve been craving.
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Old Windmill Farm, Lancaster
In the heart of Amish country, get the authentic experience of living on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm. Here you’ll be treated to a tour of the working farm where you can bottle-feed a calf, gather fresh eggs from the chicken coop and learn about the culture of the Amish. Refuel with a stop at the candy shop afterwards—the homemade chocolates will melt in your mouth.
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Matunuck Oyster Farm, Wakefield
Aw “shucks,” this is one of the most unique ways to spend a day in Rhode Island. Crawl the coastline for oysters at the seven-acre shellfish farm at Potter’s Pond where you’ll also learn about the local ecosystem and the different species that live in the offshore waters. When the hour-long tour is finished, hit the Matunuck Oyster Bar to slurp up a few fresh oysters from the raw bar.
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Charleston Tea Plantation, Charleston
Welcome to the only tea plantation in the whole country! It’s located south of historic Charleston and owned by the well-known Bigelow Tea Company. Ride a trolley through acres of tea bushes, then tour the tea facility where they produce nine flavors of tea including their original American Classic Tea.
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Old MacDonald’s Farm, Rapid City
Old MacDonald really does have a farm—and it’s located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Home to over 100 barnyard animals, kids will love running from pen to pen, petting and feeding all of the creatures from sheep to cows to the crowd-favorite baby goats. And with pig races daily, an activity area and pony rides, the whole family will be entertained for hours.
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Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm, Murfreesboro
Halfway between the Great Smoky Mountains and good ol’ Music City is one of the most picturesque Christmas tree farms we’ve seen. Cut your own white pine or Leyland cypress (they provide the saw), then curl up under a warm blanket for a hayride around the property followed by hot cocoa by the fire pit. You can also get a custom wreath made in the Wreath Shop. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
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Walker Honey Farm, Rogers
What’s all the buzz about Walker Honey Farm? Well, not only does it produce some of the sweetest stuff in the Lonestar State, it’s also a great place to take the family for a day. Sample the 10 different honey varieties in the farm store, then get ready for the “bee-to-bottle” tour of the premises. You’ll be shocked at how much goes into the whole honey-making process, from the beehive to the moment that familiar jar hits your kitchen table.
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Wheeler Historic Farm, Salt Lake City
This Utah landmark has something for everyone, from tractor-drawn wagon rides to hands-on cow milking demonstrations to tours of the historic Victorian farmhouse. You can even feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness (even though you’re in the desert) by following one of the many trails along Little Cottonwood Creek.
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Sugarbush Farm, Woodstock
Pour some sugar on… everything at this Vermont mainstay! The state is known for its sticky sweet maple syrup. Open all year round, Sugarbush has over 9,500 maple trees ripe for the tapping which you can see along the nature trail before heading to the sugarhouse where you can watch the syrup actually being made (the best time to see this is March and April). But our favorite part of it all? The free syrup samples of four different heavenly varieties.
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Stribling Orchards, Markham
The only thing better than picking fresh apples in the fall is doing it with the breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bundle up in flannel, pour a mug of hot apple cider, then head out to the orchards at this 200-year old farm to fill your basket. If you have an extra hand on your way out, snag a loaf of their signature apple cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast the next morning.
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Tulip Town, Mt. Vernon
Nothing beats the rows and rows of brightly colored blooms at Tulip Town. Home to the world-famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, the farm’s flowers are an extraordinary sight to behold, especially the field boasting a rainbow-hued pattern. Take a trolley ride through the field and browse some of the local artwork in the gift shop, then pick a plant to take home with you.
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Gritt’s Farm, Buffalo
Gritt’s is the spot where foodie meets farmer at their infamous summer evening dinners. On long family-style picnic tables overlooking the scenic grounds, you’ll be treated to a gourmet farm-to-table dinner prepared by a professional chef and using ingredients straight from the fields. Relax in the joyful atmosphere and let the kids burn off their energy on a tour of the farm following your meal.
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Hinchley’s Dairy Farm, Cambridge
All those Wisconsin cheese curds have to come from somewhere—like Hinchley’s in Cambridge, where over 100 dairy cows roam the fields. The two-hour farm tour is as extensive (and as fun) as it gets. Not only can you pet the baby calves in their stalls, you also get to milk a cow yourself! Now that’s something you don’t get to do every day…
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Terry Bison Ranch, Cheyenne
“Home, home on the range” is likely what you’ll be singing at this Wild West escape. Hop aboard the train which will take you for a narrated tour through the rolling hills as you stare in awe at the massive bison grazing in the pastures. Spend the rest of the day fishing, hiking or taking a trail ride on horseback. And make sure you leave with a container of fresh bison meat in tow.