Homes Away From Home

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The dairy cows at Long Dream Farm live outdoors and are only milked once a day. (Photos by Max Whittaker)

Long Dream Farm

The first thing you might see pulling up Long Dream Farm’s long, winding driveway is Attila, a mastiff the size of a small horse, padding along at a stately pace, carrying a bucket of dog food in his mouth. He’s off for a picnic, as is his afternoon habit. Picturesque picnic spots abound on this 90-acre working egg and dairy farm in Lincoln (tip: bring along a sketchbook, or a Great American Novel). The rustic four-bedroom, two-bath guesthouse you’ll call home for your stay just begs to host your next family vacation, but you’ll want to be outside from the moment the rooster crows to when the cows come home at sunset.

You'll feel at home on the ranch, where animals like emus, horses, goats and alpacas roam free, pastoral picnic spots are plentiful, and a rustic guesthouse offers respite from the rush of city life.

Start your visit with a tour narrated by co-host Krista Abrahams or her husband Andrew. The couple, who resides in a separate house on the ranch, purchased the acreage seven years ago and set about creating an agrarian paradise where once there was only a log cabin-style home. Today there are barns, chicken coops and a dairy, where early risers can try their hand at milking cows.

After (strictly voluntary) morning chores, you’re free to wander, or push your young’un on a swing atop a knoll overlooking a field where horses, burros and alpacas roam, and if you’re lucky, a flock of emus plays kickball. You can supplement that picnic basket with samples of the Abrahams family’s fresh-made cheeses or custard-style ice cream (sold by the scoop or pint) and maybe some deviled eggs from the 1,500 chickens that Attila and six other working dogs on the property protect from coyotes and mountain lions—just don’t forget to pack the crackers, as it’s 15 miles to the nearest store, and like the cows, you’ll be eager to come home. $115 per night (two-night minimum on weekends) plus fees. bit.ly/longdreamfarm —Hillary Louise Johnson