Sustainable Lodging Near the Coast

Carey Sweet
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If you’ve ever dreamed of staying on a beautiful Sonoma County farm, you’ll love the Shanti Permaculture Farm just outside the enchanted hamlet of Occidental. Here, you’ll vacation in a private yurt or cottage, feed the resident livestock, meet the chickens, and harvest your own fresh produce from the gardens, as the vacation event of a lifetime.

basket of eggs collected at Shanti Permaculture Farm in Sonoma County

As part of the authentic farm stay program, you’ll “work,” but in a most joyful way, caring for the property’s sheep and llamas, collecting freshly laid eggs each morning and picking specialty berries and other fruits. As a special highlight, you can also help prepare an evening’s farm-to-table meal with the farm staff, utilizing the very ingredients you harvested earlier in the day. All along the way, you’ll learn about the art of ecofriendly agriculture.

But it’s not all labor, gentle as that work may be. Located just eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean coastline and open year-round, the 6.5 acre Shanti offers a peaceful retreat amid redwood forest and pastureland, easy visits to the beach, and jaunts into charming downtown Occidental just two miles away. Also, plan on hiking and mountain biking along the scenic trails at Willow Creek Nature Preserve three miles away – like everything at Shanti, the adventures are kid-friendly.

cottage exterior at Shanti permaculture farm in sonoma county

As owner Elizabeth Medgyesy explains, Shanti is the Sanskrit word for peace or peaceful. And indeed, restful activities for the whole family include whispering to Cosmo the llama, communing with the farm’s own ducks, geese, goats, cats and dogs, and then pampering your own self in a hot tub.

At night, you retreat to a colorful, contemporary, Bohemian decorated redwood cottage outfitted with a king-size bed, or a private hillside 24-foot glamping yurt. For a much more rustic experience (live like a pioneer!) you can pitch your tent in one of several isolated camping spots in the redwoods.

And bonus: The property is dog-friendly, and the cottage is particularly welcoming to pups, with its own large, private fenced-in backyard.

Details: 16715 Coleman Valley Road,Occidental, shantioccidental.com.