3 Great Reasons to Stay at a New England Bed and Breakfast on a Working Farm

What sort of sounds do you and your family wake up to each morning? Surely an alarm, perhaps the sounds of traffic outside your window, the drone of the morning news on the television. Now replace that with a few moos in the distance, the crowing of a rooster, and the chirping of songbirds, and you’ll get a sense for the welcomed contrasts you’ll experience when staying at a farm inn or a New England bed and breakfast on a working farm.

People have increasingly embraced farm getaways as more and more of us move towards cities and away from rural living. To many guests, even those who have always lived in cities, staying at these farm B&Bs somehow feels like coming home. Here are three reasons to stay at a bed and breakfast on a working farm in New England, with a few of our favorite spots featured.

Cows at a Vermont B&B
Your kids will love getting to know the locals!

1. Agricultural Activities

Immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of rural New England by getting out onto a farm. Lend a hand milking cows, feeding livestock, or even bailing hay. A traditional farmstay requires real labor, but a stay at a New England B&B on a working farm gives you the experience without the blisters! For kids (and their parents), a stay on a working farm is an opportunity to learn about food and where it comes from, meet the farm animals, and even participate in chores, like milking cows or collecting eggs. Shearer Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast, on a small working farm in southern Vermont, has a peaceful pasture full of heifers that just love visitors. Their cows even parade through downtown Brattleboro during the town’s annual Strolling of the Heifers Festival.

Farm fresh breakfasts at Inn at Mountain View Farm

2. Fresh, Local Meals

What would the New England countryside be without the New England country breakfast? If a farmers market is local, then a working farm is hyper-local, and often guests enjoy heaping plates of delicious food, right from the farm. The folks at Shearer Hill Farm B&B pride themselves on their baked apple breakfast. Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, VT, is famous for their homecooked meals using local maple syrup, produce from the farm, and Vermont Cabot Cheese (some of which begins with the Liberty Hill Farm cows). Try the maple cheddar pizza! They even offer baking classes and Beth’s Foodie Tour, a suggested itinerary that gets you out exploring nearby craft breweries, cheesemakers, vineyards and wineries, farm stands, maple sugar houses, and orchards. Rural New England delivers incredible artisan foods, grown locally, and best enjoyed locally as well.

Burke Mountain Bed and Breakfast

3. Room for Adventure

If your family is getting a bit restless, there’s no better place to blow off steam than on acres and acres of preserved New England farmland. Go for long walks or jogs, take a bike ride, or simply sit back on the porch and look out as far the eye can see. The Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, VT, gives visitors access to 440 acres of Vermont farmland, laced with miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoe trails. This farm inn is also only a few minutes from fantastic downhill mountain biking and skiing at Burke Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Many of the farm estate’s original buildings still standing, providing an intriguing glimpse into the way things were when farmland blanketed the country. The Mountain View Farm Animal Sanctuary is the latest incarnation of the inn’s agricultural roots, and is a home for rescued donkeys, pigs, cows, and sheep who welcome visitors.

While a beach trip has its day in the sun and a big city weekend will stimulate the senses, there’s really nothing like a getaway to a New England farm inn. Whether you’re looking to clear your mind, or to get your hands dirty, you won’t be disappointed.

Photos: Liberty Hill Farm; Inn at Mountain View Farm (second & third).