We spent Labor Day weekend at Emandal farm near Willits, about a four-hour drive from San Francisco. This is a fabulous three-day trip for families in the Bay Area. It’s a working farm, where the kids get to pet the animals, watch during feeding time, help gather eggs, and even milk a cow. Each evening there’s a campfire. Our first night was perfect–starry night and campfire songs. The food is amazing, most of it grown right there on the farm, suited for discerning Bay Area taste buds. On Saturday, for example, we had burgers made with fresh-baked rolls, huge heirloom tomatoes, and a homemade sauce. The sweet little delicious beef patties were the sideliner, the tomatoes being the real star. On Firday night, there was homemade pizza, with fresh ice cream and berry pie for dessert.
The farm is on the Eel River, and there are two great swimming holes just a short hike down from the cabins. The cabins are basic but adorable–down comforters, cold-water sinks, high ceilings, screen windows. We never had to wait for the shared restrooms or showers, which are very clean and just a few paces from the cabins.
Emandal is open only a certain weekends, and you can stay from three to four nights. A three-night stay for me, my husband, and our toddler, including all food (you bring your own alcoholic beverages) was about $800. The place is lovingly run by Tam, who used to have a children’s summer camp there but now only opens the place as a “family camp.” A great trip for families!