While the Capitol, the Smithsonian, the Empire State Building, The White House and all the other structures we can pick out of a crowd do deserve recognition, sometimes a big city can make us feel even more enclosed. The constant frenzy of people all around, the stars masked by florescent drapes, the ease of spending cash, regulations, crowds, smog, traffic, endless noise, lack of space, expensive dining, no free parking, the list goes on and on to the point where a travel group can stop and say, “What do we REALLY want from a trip?” Especially a vacation where the aim is to relax! Considering fresh air, free-range exploration, unobstructed sunsets, fewer people and more of your own natural pace? If your team is looking for a hands-on approach to understanding a self-sufficient lifestyle or simply curious to take home a new skill, consider a rural heritage tour! Below is a shortlist of what rural America has to offer group travel teams ready to get their hands dirty in the great outdoors!
1. Hummerhaven Farmstead in Millerstown, PA
Quaint accommodations await weary travelers (up to 14 in total) with options ranging from a log cabin style cottage to a farmhouse cozied up to the edge of the woods close to everything! Care for exotic creatures like miniature donkeys, goats, and horses as well as down-home common pets like chickens, rabbits, sheep, and horses. Your own pets are even welcome to join in on 127 acres (including two ponds) which offer guests canoeing, paddle boating, horseback riding, swimming, ice skating in the winter, fishing and camping!
2. Chaffin Family Orchards Feather Down Farm in Oroville, CA
A 2,000-acre five-generation family farm in Sacramento Valley welcomes up to 24 people per group for tent stays complete with all the amenities of home like candlelight, outhouses, running water and wood-burning stoves. Orchards and waterfalls nearby bring complete peace to the day while knowing the Chaffin family encourages green power lets you rest easy at night beneath a blanket of stars. Activities may also include milking, gardening, making bread, bee handling and so on!
3. Mississippi Modern Homestead Center in Starkville, MS
Accommodating no more than 35 people this solar-powered lakefront homestead boasts gardening, fishing, chickens, bees, deer, boating, soap making, cheese making, organic farming, hunting, archery, canning, preserving, bread making, yoga, cooking school, swimming, orchards, milking, fiber workshops, goats and even more just three hours from Memphis! The six acres offers the option of primitive campsites or a house to reside in.
4. Twin Valley B and B Horse Ranch in Walland, TN
This quaint bed and breakfast actually encompass an exquisite blend of Pigeon Forge activities and an easy Smoky Mountain getaway. With on-site country music bands available your travel group can arrange a serenade all while becoming real ranch hands; learning to ride horses, caring for chickens, rabbits, goats, a pig, llama, and donkey, cooking by the campfire or hiking the Smoky trails! Lodging varies between a ranch house, cabin retreat or a log lodge complete with morning meals!
5. Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, VT
With 270 cows, barn cats, chickens and more to keep your team company, you will relish a day of berry picking, maple sugaring, kayaking, fishing, bottle feeding baby animals, gardening, dairy tours, sleigh rides (seasonal of course), bonfires, beaches and anything else you could imagine from fireflies to free WiFi! Discover the wholesome richness of locally grown goods, take up skiing or hitch a tractor-drawn wagon ride down to a bonfire! Also enjoy snowshoeing, snowmobiling or cross country skiing in the winter!