Agricultural tourism is booming. Otherwise known as “agritourism,” the principle is pretty simple: A working farm, ranch, or winery opens its doors (or fences) to travelers looking to reconnect to the land, learn about rural ways of life, and surround themselves with natural beauty. As more and more people look to escape the hustle and bustle of the daily grind and hyperconnectivity, farm stays are becoming increasingly appealing. In addition to overnights on the farm, popular agritourism activities include pick-your-own fields, farm to table dinners, barn dances, classes or tours, corn mazes, fairs, festivals, and hunting or fishing. Looking to get in on the rural action? Head to any of these popular farm stay destinations around the world:
Here you can learn about any of a huge diversity of agricultural products, from tropical flowers to beef or sugarcane. The country is also known for its cutting-edge sustainability initiatives. Fly into Rio de Janeiro and enjoy the laid-back beach culture for a few days before heading to the countryside.
One of the most searched-for farm stay destinations, this mountainous Spanish region has been a hotbed of agritourism for years. To reach it, start by flying into Barcelona, which is an easy drive to many of the mountainside towns.
Go to Grenada for the spice farms, stay for the cocoa plantations. The Caribbean country is a lesser-known but gorgeous agritourism destination. Because it hasn’t yet achieved the popularity it deserves, the island boasts affordable lodging options.
Fertile and bursting with tropical produce, Hawaii’s gorgeous islands allow agritourists to learn about unique crops such as macadamia nuts, taro, guavas, and papayas. Whether you fly into Honolulu or Wailea (Maui), gorgeous land awaits.
New Mexican deserts are home to a surprising number of productive farms growing everything from lavender to fresh herbs and organic produce. Fly into Santa Fe to be near the largest variety of farms.
Rich in natural resources, the tropical country boasts more than 30 agritourism sites and counting, including organic farms and pineapple and coffee plantations. Be sure not to miss the rice terraces in Northern Luzon.
Taiwan is gradually staking a claim for itself as a hub of agritourism, thanks in part to its “leisure farms,” which offer farm tours, on-site and locally grown dinners, and the occasional home stay. Many tea plantations have started opening their doors to tourists, as well. You’ll find the cheapest flights going into Taipei.
One of the destinations that first sparked the agritourism industry, Italy’s Tuscany region is well known for its old farmhouses, stunning countryside, and fresh, local food. Flying into Florence will land you smack-dab in the middle of the best that Tuscany has to offer.
While Burlington is an exciting destination in its own right, heading to the countryside pays big dividends. Vermont’s farms offer the perfect blend of stunning natural scenery and quaint architecture in the form of old barns and charming bed and breakfasts. If you’re there in July, be sure to check out the Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival.
Farming provides a livelihood for approximately 2.6 billion people around the globe—and without farmers or their land, none of us would survive very long. Agritourism can teach us a lot about how food is grown and reconnect us with the people and the land who feed us all year long. Plus, no matter where you book a flight to go, it’s bound to be gorgeous.
This post first appeared on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on 3rd November, 2015.