destination: Weatherbury Farm Vacation Bed and Breakfast near Avella,
Ideal for: Two-day Trip
Distance from downtown Pittsburgh: 45 minutes
Why visit here?
Trade in your yard work and overscheduled weekends for a taste of the simple
life. Weatherbury is one of more than two-dozen farms in Pennsylvania inviting
guests to experience country living for themselves as part of a farm vacation.
'When I was young, my grandma lived on a farm, but grandmas don't live on farms
anymore,' proprietor Marcy Tudor says. 'This a chance for kids to see a working
When you arrive:
Settle in and enjoy the fresh air, millions of stars visible in the open sky
and all the peaceful noises of the country. In the morning, breakfast is
served promptly at 8:30 a.m., a late start for a farmer's crack-of-dawn
sensibilities, but a compromise to allow guests a little extra sleep. Guests
gather at long wooden tables to enjoy dishes that are likely to include the
farm's fresh eggs.
After breakfast, kids head out with farmer Dale
Tudor to help with morning chores such as feeding the more than 100 resident
animals, giving bottles to eager sheep and collecting pastel-colored eggs from
Araucana chickens. After about an hour with farmer Dale, families can explore
the Weatherbury's 100 acres or go swimming in the in-ground pool. 'It's a life
in the slow lane vacation,' Marcy adds.
The farm is only a few miles from nearby
towns, where guests can visit local restaurants and other attractions including
the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life, a permanent historical
exhibit of country living. Slide behind an old-fashioned school desk or into a
barbershop chair -- the museum's 19th-century village re-creation offers a
glimpse of life more than 100 years ago.
Where you'll lay your head: Farm living
doesn't necessarily mean roughing it at Weatherbury. There are five
different rooms or suites on the farm, all comfortably appointed with antique
furnishings and claw-foot tubs, as well as modern conveniences such as
refrigerators and air conditioning. A 100 -year-old barn houses three two-story
suites sleeping between five and seven people each. The second-floor deck
overlooks a field of grazing cows and orchards ripe with apples, peaches and
plums trees. A second freestanding building has two more single guest rooms,
comfortable for four people each.
The best time to go:
Summer on the farm includes harvesting, the birth of new animals and lots of
sunshine in open fields. As fall arrives, there are local festivals to visit and
Weatherbury's folk-music workshops.
Planning your trip:
Make reservations in advance, especially if you have a particular room in
mind. Take along comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as a bathing suite and
sunscreen. There is a two-night minimum for families participating in the kids'