On our trip to the Finger Lakes in New York, we were guests at the Bed & Breakfast at Farm Sanctuary, an advocacy and rescue group for farm animals. Farm Sanctuary is situated about ten minutes outside of Watkins Glen in the surrounding countryside. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend one night in a cozy cabin on the farm property itself.
We arrived at Farm Sanctuary around 4:55pm after spending an afternoon hiking at the Watkins Glen Gorge and State Park. The check-in time at Farm Sanctuary is between 3:00 and 5:00pm; otherwise, the cabin key and information about staying overnight at the farm is left in a small box attached near the front entrance of the “People Barn” (the main Visitor Center). We made it there just in time to introduce ourselves to some of the staff members, and a friendly girl who worked there gave us a quick tour of the facilities for overnight guests. We stayed at Cabin #3 (out of three cabins for rent there). Some of the other guests were sitting out on their porches and we were warmly greeted by all, including a friendly resident cat.
Our cabin was very comfy, cozy, and welcoming. It felt like home right away to us. In fact, it was so cozy that Justin passed out on the bed for a little snooze as soon as we arrived – and we can attest that the beds are incredibly comfortable! Admittedly, I closed my eyes and rested for a little bit, too. The room has two double beds, a sitting area, a fridge, and there are framed pictures of resident farm animals hanging all around the room. The cabins also have air conditioning / heating, so you don’t have to worry about roughing it.
There is also a book there for guests to write about their stay at the farm. It was really nice to read about how guests who had stayed prior to us in our cabin had thoroughly enjoyed spending time at Farm Sanctuary! Of course, we added our own story as well. It was also really great that there were many pamphlets and information about area attractions, shopping, and local restaurants that serve vegan food in the region. There are so many restaurants in Watkins Glen and Ithaca that cater to vegans and vegetarians. Be sure to check out Glen Mountain Market, Rooster Fish Brewing, and the Great Escape Ice Cream.
The bathrooms and showers are not attached to the cabin. There is a communal bathroom/shower in the Visitor’s Center to use during your stay. This might catch you off guard as you may not like the idea of sharing a bathroom or having it located at a distance from your cabin. Fear not: the bathrooms were a very short walk from the cabin and we didn’t feel inconvenienced by this at all! The bathrooms were incredibly clean, and I actually didn’t encounter anyone using the bathroom or shower at the same time as me during our whole stay. The showers are in a separate area from the bathroom, and there are two showers in each restroom (of course, a separate restroom for men, and a separate one for ladies). They provide plenty of towels in each cabin, along with a complementary bar of handcrafted vegan soap from a local business.
Meet Sorella: She’s one of the resident cats that lives at Farm Sanctuary. This beautiful girl greeted us when we arrived to the farm at the Visitor Centre. After our little nap in the cabin, we opened our door to find her laying on our porch! She loved getting some attention from us! We were really missing our cat, Chickpea, so it was nice to have a little cat around while we were away from home!
There was a beautiful sunset that evening before darkness set in. It was an incredibly clear night, and as we were far enough out in the country away from light pollution, we were able to see plenty of stars above. At night, our kitty friend, Sorella was hanging out on our cabin porch. In fact, she was waiting for us on our welcome mat when we returned from dinner! When we opened the door, she kept trying to run into our cabin, so we eventually invited her to come inside. Sorella made a beeline for the bed as soon as she got into the room, jumping up on the plush pillows and blanket. We would have loved to have her stay in our room, but we didn’t know if she might have wanted to use her litter box in the night, so we let her back outdoors.
We awoke to a beautiful, sunny day without a cloud in sight! We could hear the faint sounds of roosters crowing off in the distance. Included in our stay at Farm Sanctuary was a complimentary one-hour farm tour before it opened to the public, plus a vegan continental breakfast. I’ll be devoting an entire blog post to the farm tour itself very soon!
Breakfast was served between 8:00 and 10:00am in the Visitor Center’s video room, so you could grab some food at your convenience. There were plenty of yummy choices, including bagels with vegan cream cheese or jam, huge vegan pastries (this one was raspberry and it was so good!), oatmeal, fruit, coffee, tea, and juice. It was definitely the best buffet breakfast that I’ve ever had as a vegan – usually, continental breakfasts at hotels are not too great for someone who follows a vegan diet. It was really nice to be able to eat anything that they served!
Tips for Staying at Farm Sanctuary:
- Book Early. This is an extremely popular place to stay at, and there are only three cabins available! The cabins book up fast, so if you’d like to visit, be sure to call and book as early as you can. We originally wanted to stay on the Saturday night (the actual night of my birthday), but it was already booked up! Thankfully, there was one cabin left on the Friday night, which ended up working out great. The cabins are open from May 1st – October 31st each year.
- Membership at Farm Sanctuary: To stay at the cabins, you must be a member of Farm Sanctuary. This means that you will have donated at least $20 in the past year to their charitable organization. Not a member? No worries! You can easily contribute when you book your reservation over the phone! Justin and I were already members as we thoroughly support Farm Sanctuary and all that they do to help the plight of farm animals.
- Shelter Tours: You are invited to take a complimentary one-hour tour of the farm at 10:00am before any other members of the public arrive for their tours later in the day. After your tour is done, you’re able to explore the farm as much as you’d like! You are not permitted to enter any enclosed areas unless a staff member is present. Also, you can join in on any public tours throughout the day, too!
- Vegan Policy: To respect the rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary, as well as the beliefs of the charity, please do not bring any meat, eggs, or dairy on the property of the farm. While you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to stay here, please be respectful of these wishes. Although after you visit and interact with the amazing farm animals, you might want to start incorporating more vegan meals into your life! If you have any questions about veganism, the staff would be happy to assist you in any way possible. There are plenty of vegan dining options in the area, and the gift shop at the sanctuary has so many books and movies about going vegan!
- Give as a Gift: You can purchase gift certificates for a loved one to stay at Farm Sanctuary’s bed and breakfast! The gift certificate also comes with a one-year membership to Farm Sanctuary. This would make such a lovely gift for that animal lover or travel fiend in your life!
- Take a Tour Without Staying the Night. You are more than welcome to visit the farm without staying overnight! You can take a public tour of the farm to meet all of the rescued animals. Tours run on the hour between 11:00 – 3:00pm from Wednesday – Sunday and it costs $5 per person ($3 for children).
- Visit their locations in California! Are you visiting the West coast of the USA rather than the East coast? There are two sanctuaries located in California. We haven’t visited either of those sanctuaries, but would love to someday.
Looking for other ideas for visiting Watkins Glen? Check out my 1 day travel itinerary!