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Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance

butterfly in the rainforest

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

Rainforest Alliance also supports and promotes certification in sustainable tourism as a tool for improvement and market competitiveness and we work together with local certification schemes form the countries we are working with. We are leading the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas as a way of facilitating the communication between programs and also standardize a minimum of criteria acceptable in order to be part of the network and recognized as a verifiable program. We are currently working in the second edition of a catalog that includes all the certified businesses in the continent.

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Travel Tip For Today

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Dad, mom and daughter, the all american family

The Family Travel Blog

Travel advice, deals and other tidbits from our professional travel writers, families on the go and special guests!

At Home On The Farm This Summer

Beautiful farm setting for a family vacation

Ranches and farms offer a special kind of vacation to families, particularly in the summertime, when kids are out of school and ready for some adventure. Ranches are unique in that they offer not just a home base during a vacation, but the activities and resources needed by families looking to relax and have an experience during their family getaway. Farms can be much the same, giving their guests a chance to tour the grounds and discover the magic that surrounds and grounds those living this idyllic lifestyle. Kids find special meaning in enjoying this vacation style, as it offers a productive outlet for their energy in addition to the singular experience working and living on a farm or ranch.

The biggest and most exciting draw to a family-friendly farm or ranch is undoubtedly the activities offered by the location and nature of the place. Kids from quite young to teenagers can enjoy the hustle and bustle that is necessary to run a ranch, and these properties almost always have ways for guests to interact with the running of the place, whether it be feeding the chickens in the morning, grooming the horses, or planting seeds and gardening. These makeshift “chores" are an excellent learning experience for kids, especially if rural living is something new to them.

family hike

Ranches and farms are also known for having regularly scheduled activities for their guests, such as trail rides, hiking expeditions, and tours for their guests. When inquiring, definitely ask dude ranches you are looking at about the various activities they offer to guests, as well as what the recommended ages for children are. Since horseback riding may be an integral part of your stay, looking into whether your ranch or farm offers riding lessons can assuage some fears for families that are novices when it comes to horse safety and protocol.

The biggest drawback for many of those wishing to travel to a ranch of farm this summer can be the cost associated with ranches. It can appear quite pricey but travelers should take into account that a lot of farms and ranches supply not only the lodging and activities, but 3 meals a day as well. This can cut back significantly on the cost of your getaway, especially with children in tow. Ask about discounted rates for children too, but most places will count them as adults if they are old enough to trail ride or enjoy the other various activities around the property.

a meal setting for an Outstanding in the Field event

I recently came across an interesting project, Outstanding in the Field, which focuses on creating a unique dining experience where local food is highlighted in its natural setting - on the farm. Their mission, according to their website, is “to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it". With a cookbook, a van, and a genuine belief in the power of a locally grown harvest, Jim Denevan has found the heart of what attracts people to the rural outdoors: a calm and peace that surrounds a place of growth and beauty. Check out the events he has coming up on his website, or ask your ranch or family farm if they plan on hosting any similar dinners, barbeques, or events during your stay.

Families can take a leaf from this outdoor dining style and have some memorable dinners right at home this summer. Adding a few buffet surfaces to your patio or deck will help greatly, or some path lighting for more secluded areas of the yard. A portable firepit is an awesome investment if alfresco dining becomes a ritual, and can help expand the night from a simple dinner into an all evening family hangout. Remember to use the elements of outside to decorate your new dining room – the reason it's so lovely to eat outside is because it's fresh and elemental, so put emphasis on that with fresh garden flowers, foliage, even garden rocks as decorations. The summer, now in full swing, can be truly appreciated through the days and nights spent at a family friendly ranch or farm. Take the kids, get away from the chaos of everyday life, and enjoy the quiet simply life offered by rural lodging!

the happy family picnic

Best wishes for a long and hot summer,



Thank you that is such wonderful advice...we too have had many family vacations that have started out with trips to explore possible new colleges and have ended up being such fun with all our family involved. You can certainly see some wonderful and unexpected sights on these road trips.

Jane Smith, Virginia.

Thank you Pamela for all your ideas. You have inspired my wife and I to take a long road trip this summer while taking our son to his new college. We are planning a different route there this time and hope to take in the many wonderful sights along the way there.

Mallard Cross, Oregon

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Featured Property

Creekside Inn & Resort
Guerneville, CA
United States

A relaxed and friendly atmosphere best describes this bed & breakfast, situated in the redwoods near the Russian River. We have a delightful bed & breakfast, an assortment of charming cottages, sunny decks, a pool, picnic areas, and affordable rates!

Creekside Inn & Resort

Contact Information

PO Box 2185
Guerneville, California  95446
United States
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Fax: 707-869-1417
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Lynn & Mark Crescione
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