(Courtesy of Bar SZ Ranch)

3 NorCal Farm Stays Promise Fresh Eggs, Cute Barnyard Animals & Bucolic R&R

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If literally farm-fresh scrambled eggs, a meandering ride on horseback, and an afternoon nap in a hammock sound like the makings of your dream escape, then book a stay at one of these Northern California farms where slow is as fast as it goes.


Bar SZ Ranch, Paicines

Step out of city life, even if only for a long weekend: Bar SZ Ranch, located just east of Pinnacles National Park (about two hours south of San Francisco), is a picturesque getaway straight out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. A favorite among brides but also great for families and groups of friends, the ranch offers three rental houses ($400-$500/night) that sleep at least eight people each; full kitchens and WiFi (if you must) promise you'll be comfy, but it's the mountain and valley views of the 660-acre ranch that inspired the famous landscape painter himself, who was known to stay here. Help gather eggs or feed the cattle, hike to the property's western ridge for killer views, or slip into your denim and boots for some horseback riding and skeet shooting. Once you've worked up an appetite, grill your dinner (BYO food) over the aged oak of the Santa Maria–style barbecue. Grab a cold brew and scooch up to the campfire to swap stories of your day's adventures. Planning a wedding or family reunion? Rent the ranch and have the place to yourself ($1,800/night; sleeps 36 plus additional space for camping). // 10001 Willow Creek Rd. (Paicines), barszranch.com


The friendly goats of Full House Farm.(via Yelp)

Full House Farm, Sebastopol

Organic everything—eggs, bread, butter, coffee, tea—await your arrival at Full House Farm, where you can pick your own farm-to-table feast of tomatoes, artichokes, berries, fresh herbs, and more to accompany fresh rock cod and oysters (picked up in nearby Bodega Bay) during your stay in the farm's three-bedroom house ($195-$245 depending on the season; sleeps 10) or studio cottage ($145-$185; sleeps two). Mingle with Full House's chickens, goats, horses, and sheep, and even help out with the farm chores if you so desire. Then, explore the property's many private hiking trails. Be sure to ask proprietress Christine Cole about buying some of her goat cheese, goat milk caramels, and kefir to take home—that is, if you don't polish it all off while taking in the sunset from the hot tub. // 1000 Sexton Rd. (Sebastopol), fullhousefarm.com


Casa de la Pradera offers proximity to wine tasting in the Shenandoah Valley.(Courtesy of Fiddletown Farms)

Casa de la Pradera, Fiddletown

Mosey up into the Sierra foothills for a stay at Fiddletown Farms, a working organic CSA and bed-and-breakfast where Casa de la Pradera offers cozy country-style queen rooms ($110/night) with a shared European-style bath. You'll feel like a welcomed guest. Take a short walk over the hill to explore quaint downtown Fiddletown, rich in Gold Rush history; or, three miles away, you'll find the wineries of the lush Shenandoah Valley. Swing by downtown Sutter Creek for an afternoon of wine tasting on Main Street. The highlight of your stay, though, will be breakfast (perhaps a fluffy farm-fresh frittata with homemade scones and locally sourced meats and produce), served beneath the oak trees. For an additional fee, you can also have a home-cooked dinner on the farm. Need to get out? Make a reservation at nearby Taste Restaurant and Wine Bar. // 20161 American Flat Rd. (Fiddletown), fiddletownfarms.com
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