A staycation can be considered one of life’s simple pleasures. While we all have big vacation dreams, sometimes life just doesn’t cooperate. Holidays get expensive, work gets in the way and other schedule commitments don’t always line up with getting out of dodge for an extended period of time.
And with staycations growing in popularity over the last decade, all kinds of great opportunities are popping up to discover more of your own backyard.
When the economy is down and the exchange rate for your dream destination blows, staying within your own country sounds a little more appealing. Or when when you’re saving up for that bucket list trip but still need a getaway, staycations are the answer.
While we’ve known this for a while and most of us have likely had our fair share of staycations, have you ever considered an agritourism staycation? What about staying on a working farm for your holiday?
Farm stays are growing in popularity. Partly as a way for farmers and ranchers to supplement their income and partly because travelers are looking for more in depth and immersive holiday experiences.
Farm stays offer a unique angle to staycations; you can travel just outside of your city, yet feel like you’re hours away.
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Beach holidays, amusement park vacations and city tours are busy, expensive and over done.
Wide open spaces, thousands of acres of trees and forest, home cooked meals, evening campfires under the darkest yet brightest night skies. These are all incredible experiences most people never have the opportunity to explore.
Agritourism Is The Answer
Farm stays offer so many options for what type of experiences you’re looking for.
If you simply want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet out in the wilderness in your own farm house or log cabin. Sometimes a couple of days off grid is just what the mind and body needs.
Depending on the farm, they may have farm animals for you to pet, admire and tend to during your stay. Many farm stays have bountiful gardens on the property. Who wouldn’t want to pick their own fresh vegetables for dinner that evening?
A walk through lush flower beds can heal the soul or spark some needed creativity.
Or consider a working farm where you get the opportunity to learn and experience country living and farm operations. Take a weekend to connect to the land and learn about where your food comes from.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, some farm stays offer camping fishing and hunting opportunities right on the property.
If you ever find yourself stressed out from a busy schedule or need a weekend to disconnect and recharge, a farm stay may be a great option.
Why Consider a Farm Stay?
Responsible tourism is traveling in a purposeful way to minimize your environmental and social impacts on the places you visit.
While at the same time, choosing to find ways to positively impact the places you visit, contributing to small economies or choosing practices that leave the place in better shape than when you arrived.
It’s not just about tree huggers that should be passionate about responsible tourism anymore, every traveler should be more cognizant of practicing it.
Avoids Contributing to Overtourism
Overtourism is the travel buzzword of 2020 and for a good reason. Cities and villages around the world are succumbing to the negative impacts of the high influx of tourists.
Higher rent is pushing locals out, roads and sewage infrastructure is collapsing that was never meant for the amount of people using it and many other issues.
Supports Small and Family Businesses
With many farms and ranches starting to get into the hospitality business to supplement their income, you’re directly helping a small family business and the local economy.
Cheaper Way to Travel
In most cases, whether you’re renting a private room or an entire guest house, it’s a less expensive alternative than the same equivalent in the city.
If you’re an urban family, it’s an opportunity to let the kids roam the land, get their hands dirty and learn where their food comes from. Many farm stays and guest ranches are located on hundreds (if not thousands) of acres land, making it safe to explore.
Now, let’s dive into some unique places to stay in Canada for an agritourism staycation. You’ll find cottages and cabins, farm houses, guest ranches and even houses in the middle of a vineyard.
Vineyard and Winery Staycations
In Prince Edward County, Ontario you can stay in a vineyard loft at the ThreeDog Winery. Plus, your suite is directly above a yoga studio for any yogi travelers.
On summer weekends at the winery, there’s live jazz music on the patio, right out the front door of your loft.
For a great alternative to the typical Ontario cottage country homes, check out this adorable secluded cottage. Located on 14 acres of land, including riverfront, there’s plenty of room for fishing, lawn games and campfires.
It’s also the perfect hub for a weekend getaway as you’re within a 45 minute drive to the beach of Lake Huron, small town antique shops and all the roadside vegetable stands you can handle!
Walking distance to a fresh bakery, fruit market and wine tasting anyone!?
Or rent a house walking distance to dozens of wineries located along the Naramata Bench – my favorite wine region in Canada.
The house we rented was the perfect place to park it for a few days to wander up and down all the wineries that hug Lake Okanagan. We even got to pick our own veggies and herbs from the host’s garden for our meals!
There are so many hidden gems to discover in the entire Okanagan region itself. It’s the perfect place to spend a week enjoy time at the beach, going on hikes, and visiting wineries, farms and fruit markets.
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Horse and Cattle Ranches
You can stay on a working organic farm just outside of Hamilton and experience life in the country as an organic farmer. With daily farm tours that include visits from furry friends like horses, goats, calves and chickens, you’ll be in countryside heaven.
Or better yet, enjoy a stay at an Alpaca farm retreat! Start your day with a home cooked hearty breakfast, play around with the Alpacas, find out what morning chores are like and then head into town to check out some great local breweries.
In Kyle, Saskatchewan you can book a stay at a working cattle ranch, La Reata Ranch. If you really want to escape the crowds, you can’t get much more rural than this place.
With miles of rolling pastures and on-site horse riding lessons, you’ll quickly fall in love with the ranching way of life. All bookings come with breakfast, lunch and dinner, so it’s a great value!
In Valemount, B.C. (not far from Jasper, Alberta) stay in a cottage among the peaceful Caribou Mountains and bask in the cuteness of the property’s miniature horses, donkey, ducks, turkeys, chickens and cats!
In Nova Scotia you can stay on an off-grid tiny house, only 7 minutes to Lunenburg and nearby sandy beaches. Enjoy the magic of truly unplugging.
For a remote cabin retreat in Atlantic Canada, head to New Brunswick. Here you’ll find a cabin perched on top of a cliff overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
Truly off grid, this solar powered cabin is the perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic weekend getaway.
5 minutes outside of Nelson, B.C. (the coolest town in Canada) is an old barn that’s been converted to a loft. Pick fresh veggies from the garden or roam the property’s wildflower meadow. Then relax in the a-fram wood-fired sauna, right beside a glacier creek for some free cryotherapy if you dare!
Still within the Okanagan and outside of Kelowna, there’s an adorable A-frame cabin you can rent which overlooks Idabel Lake. It sleeps up to 4 adults and averages around $85 cad per night making it a great budget friendly option.
Southwest Alberta is known as ranch country, so why not stay at this adorable Bed and Bales property. With both mountain and ranch views out your window or from the patio, this is the perfect spot for an unplugged getaway. Close to Crownest Pass, history buffs will love exploring the many ghost towns in the area, including the historic Frank Slide.
In Newfoundland, head over to Tors Cove to stay in an eclectic cabin. You can choose between teepees, tiny homes or larger cabins and cottages. All come with incredible Atlantic ocean views.
Luxury Rural, Farm and Vineyard Options
If you’re looking to soak up the rural experience but not interested in roughing it, head to Quebec for a stay at La Cache A Maxime. It’s a luxury hotel is located on a working vineyard and includes a world class spa on site.
Save a pin for your summer staycation plans!