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3 Agritourism Hotspots to Visit This Summer

A vineyard seen in Mendocino County, next to U.S. Highway 101.

vineyard seen in Mendocino County

Looking for a different idea for a summer getaway? Agritourism—a general term referring to the notion of visiting a farm for recreational or educational purposes—is a growing sector that gives anyone a chance to experience farm life, while also providing another revenue stream to said farmers—no WOOFing required (unless you want!).

Many regions have farms that also run (or partner with other organizations to run) restaurants, breweries or distilleries, B&Bs, workshops, and other interesting experiences, making these areas great choices for summer road trips. Here are three of our favorite picks.

1. Haywood County, North Carolina

This picturesque part of the Appalachians lies west of Asheville, on the way to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Despite the rugged terrain—Haywood County has the highest average elevation (3600 feet) of any county east of the Rockies—more than 700 small farms are tucked into the hills, hollows and valleys.

Known For: Ramps, ginseng and moonshine

Local Flavor: The region has a long history of mountain crafts, from the illegal (bootlegging whiskey) to the artful (weaving and pottery). More recently, it’s become a haven for urban expats and back-to-the-landers of every stripe.

Sights and Sounds: The Blueridge Parkway snakes through the high mountains on its way to Asheville—a great way to soak in the serenity of the Appalachians. Haywood County’s small towns are a great place to soak in the local bluegrass scene.

Where to Eat: Frog Leap Public House in Waynesville sources a hearty portion of it menu—from the collards and ham hocks to the pickled ramp chevre and the pecan-crusted sunburst trout—through local purveyors.

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