5 Southern farm stay experiences, perfect for a rural retreat

Unplug and unwind at these pastoral properties, each blending rural charm with modern luxuries

Cows roam the property of the Fearrington House Inn

Photo by Krystal Kast

The Fearrington House Inn
Pittsboro, North Carolina
This Relais & Châteaux–designated destination, built on a 640-acre dairy farm founded in the 18th century, seamlessly blends history with modern luxuries. Each of the 32 rooms and suites are individually designed, all with fresh flowers, Frette bath towels on heated racks, and Kingsdown pillowtop beds clad in 300-thread-count Egyptian linens. Work up an appetite exploring the grounds and gardens on gratis bikes, visit with the herd of Belted Galloway cows, and indulge in an exquisite multicourse meal at the flagship restaurant or opt for something more casual at the on-property beer garden.

Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm
Millboro, Virginia
It’s easy to see why this striking landscape, tucked along a river valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains, allured settlers in the 1750s. Now, guests to the 3,300-acre estate may choose to stay in one of eight lodge rooms, four cabins, two cottages, or two houses fit for large groups. Family-style meals, made with ingredients from the on-site farm, are served in the restored 1850s Lewis Mill restaurant. Spend your days fly fishing or swimming in the Cowpasture River, hiking sylvan trails, and relaxing in a wood-fired sauna treehouse. At night, take in heavenly views from the star-viewing deck.

Windy Hill Farm and Preserve
Loudon, Tennessee
This 650-acre, family-owned parcel, set along a winding river in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, made a name for itself as a top spot for quail hunting. More recently, thanks to the addition of a luxe new lodge—which joined nine cozy cabins and a five-bedroom farmhouse—it’s drawing leisure guests. After hiking or biking shaded trails, exploring a rambling garden and orchard, visiting a collection of farm animals, or learning the basics of beekeeping, fuel up with garden-to-table meals at Wilder, the preserve’s restaurant.

White Oak Pastures
Bluffton, Georgia
Fourth-generation farmer and cattleman Will Harris stewards the property his great-grandfather acquired in 1866. A regenerative agriculture pioneer, Harris shares his love of the land—and the cattle, pigs, and chickens that call it home—by welcoming guests to stay in four cabins and a pond house, all of which are pet-friendly. With no TVs or Wi-Fi, it’s the perfect opportunity for a digital detox. Depending on when you visit, join the zero-waste farm’s workshops, exploring topics including using herbs for everyday health and pasture-to-plate cooking classes.

The inn at Pursell Farms

Courtesy of Pursell Farms

Pursell Farms
Sylacauga, Alabama
Activity junkies and relaxation seekers can easily agree on this idyllic property situated on scenic foothills near Birmingham. Eighty-one guest rooms are spread across the three-story inn, cottages, cabins, a lodge, and the historic 1852 Hamilton Place house. Get your blood pumping with archery, horseback riding, shooting sporting clays, or a round on the top-rated 18-hole golf course; wind down by relaxing at the glittering pool or letting a therapist knead out tight muscles at the spa.

This article appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Southbound.