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Visit these 7 Fantastic Farms in Vermont

Vermont has long celebrated its agricultural heritage by welcoming visitors looking for authentic farm experiences in Vermont.

A few of our favorite farms in Vermont.
A few of our favorite farms in Vermont.

From farm tours and workshops to one-of-a-kind farm stays and food experiences, Vermont farms are taking steps to diversify their offerings and connect with their communities.

While there are dozens of fabulous farm-based experiences across the state, here are eight of our favorite farms in Vermont that you can visit on your next day trip or weekend getaway!

Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT

A heard of cows in front of the historic barn at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.
Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is a 1,400-acre farm that includes a dairy herd, children’s barnyard, orchards, and beautiful walking trails through fields and forests. As a local nonprofit, it’s dedicated to education and sustainable farm practices.

Park at the Farm Store & Welcome Center, where you can pick up picnic provisions, artisanal cheeses, and local maple syrup before boarding a tractor shuttle or walking the 3/4-mile Farm Barn Trail to the Children’s Farmyard (open between May and October). This is the spot to meet a variety of farm animals, learn how cheese is made, and take part in different farm-based activities throughout the day.

During our past visits to Shelburne Farms, we’ve had the opportunity to watch mischievous goats frolic in the goat playground, bottle-feed calves, and pet the softest Angora rabbits. While this Children’s Farmyard is a magnet for kids, adults love it too!

From the Children’s Farmyard, it’s a 1/4-mile walk up to Lone Tree Hill, which offers up stellar views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. The trails at Shelburne Farms are not dog-friendly, but this trail network is one of our favorites for easy hiking near Burlington.

Spend the Night at Shelburne Farms Inn

The gorgeous Shelburne Farms Inn is a fantastic spot to spend the night
The gorgeous Shelburne Farms Inn is a fantastic spot to spend the night

Located on a hill overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, Shelburne Farms Inn is a gorgeous historic inn built in 1889.

Choose from 24 beautifully appointed guest rooms or several private guest houses, enjoy gorgeous Lake Champlain sunsets, expansive formal gardens, and delightful farm-to-table fare. This is a perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion!

Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, VT

One of the adorable Jersey cows at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock.
One of the adorable Jersey cows at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock

Farming roots run deep in Woodstock and the surrounding communities, and there’s no better way to experience life on the farm than at Billings Farm & Museum.

Located just outside of Woodstock Village, Billings Farm & Museum combines an award-winning Jersey dairy farm with one of the finest outdoor history museums in the country.

Not only can you meet more than 70 beautiful cows, but the farm is also home to goats, pigs, chickens, and five draft horses. 

Farm life exhibits are spread out across four historic barns and include displays featuring the seasonal activities that would have taken place on a Vermont hill farm more than 100 years ago.

The exhibits tell the story of rural life in Vermont at the turn of the century. What was it like to cut ice from the pond, shop at the general store down the road, or boil down maple sap into sweet syrup? 

After exploring the exhibits, be sure to stop at the Museum Store and Dairy Bar, where you can sample award-winning Billings Farm Cheddar and eat your fill of Vermont-made Wilcox ice cream. 

Finally, be sure to meander around the pastures, orchards, and Heirloom Garden.

Also Read: 10 Perfect Things to Do in Woodstock VT

Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, VT

Milking one of the cows at Liberty Hill Farm. Photo credit: Asia Kennett

The 200-year-old farmhouse at Liberty Hill Farm has hosted thousands of guests since they began inviting guests in 1984. People come to the Rochester dairy farm from all over the world to experience life on a Vermont farm first-hand.

Bob and Beth Kennett have raised dairy cows at Liberty Hill Farm since 1979, and they’ve been hosting overnight guests and giving farm tours since before agritourism was a trendy buzzword. Book a night or two in the cozy Greek Revival home, which includes a hearty breakfast and a farm tour, or come for an Airbnb experience tour to learn about what it takes to run a successful dairy farm with more than 150 holsteins.

Farm tours are scheduled five days a week at 9 am to coincide with daily chores in the dairy barn so that visitors have an opportunity to experience the milking process and even try their hand at milking a cow or bottle-feeding a calf.

Merck Forest & Farmland Center in Rupert, VT

Saying hi to the sheep and lambs before cabin camping at Merck Forest.
Saying hi to the sheep and lambs before cabin camping at Merck Forest.

Merck Forest & Farmland Center is a nonprofit working farm and forest in Rupert, Vermont. The sixty acres of farmland are managed using low-impact, ecologically sensitive practices. Pigs, sheep, chickens, and horses are raised here according to the highest standards of humane animal management.

Visitors to the farm can say hi to the animals and purchase farm products, including pick-your-own blueberries (in the summer), pastured pork, grass-fed lamb, maple syrup, and fleece products.

Merck Forest is comprised of more than 3,100 acres surrounding the farm, with 30 miles of trails in the Taconic Mountains. The terrain is perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.

Not only do we love visiting the animals and taking part in the programs at Merck Forest, but it’s also our favorite place to go cabin camping in the winter! It’s the perfect rustic getaway for outdoor lovers — just be sure to book your cabin well in advance as we’re not the only ones who love camping here.

Hildene Farm in Manchester, VT

The former summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, Hildene is a Georgian Revival mansion built in 1905. This beautiful estate, grounds, farms, and woods are now run as a nonprofit, and it’s a fantastic spot to check out when you’re visiting Manchester in Southern Vermont.

The Hildene Estate alone could easily fill a day’s worth of activities; the manor itself is massive, with a deep history to delve into, and can be explored in guided tours (reservations required) or individually. 

After seeing the manor, step out into the beautifully maintained and vibrant gardens, venture out onto the 12 miles of trails woven across the sweeping grounds, and take a walk to both the Hildene Farm and the Dene Farm to see goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, llamas, and cows. 

Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT

Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, Vermont is a gorgeous property that is free to visit every day from dawn to dusk. In addition to the myriad of special events offered throughout the year, you can stop by to watch frolicking goats and baby calves, explore the expansive gardens, hike the nature trails, or enjoy the forest playground.

This sprawling historic farm is a wonderful spot for peaceful reflection, connecting with the land, and learning more about sustainable practices. It’s one of our favorite spots to enjoy when visiting Brattleboro.

UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, VT

A gorgeous Morgan horse in Vermont
A gorgeous Morgan horse in Vermont

Vermont’s state horse, the Morgan is known for its versatility. It was one of the first horse breeds developed in the United States, beginning with a horse called Figure who was born in Randolph, Vermont in 1789.

The UVM Morgan Horse Farm is home to the oldest, continuous Morgan horse breeding herd in the world. Established in 1878, this beautiful historic site is a working farm near Middlebury, Vermont with 40+ Morgans. It is open to the public between May and October annually.

Visit the Morgan Horse Farm every Saturday in June between 10 am and 2 pm to meet the new foals, picnic on the grounds, and take a guided stable tour.

Do you have a favorite Vermont farm? Drop us a comment and let us know which farms in Vermont you love to visit!

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Tara Schatz is a freelance writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Vermont Explored and Back Road Ramblers, an American road trip blog. She is also the co-author of the 3rd edition of AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont, released in May 2023, and the author of 100+ Wonderful Ways to Experience Vermont.