BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Looking for the best summertime staycation adventures for you and your family? Drexel Gilbert takes you to Weeks Bay Plantation in Baldwin County for Family Time on the Farm!
It’s summertime and the kids are out of school. That usually means it’s time for summer vacation! But with travel restrictions still in places, far-away options are limited. Luckily for us, we live in an area where there are plenty of opportunities for “staycations” and Drexel Gilbert found a great one at Weeks Bay Plantation!
Tynes Stringfellow owns and manages the plantation where the big attraction for families is his 20-acre blueberry farm packed full or big, ripe, organic blueberries.
“Organic blueberries are so much healthier for you,” says Stringfellow. “And getting out in the farm environment is also healthy. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s somethings people can do as individuals but it’s also something that brings families together.”
The day we were there, families ranging from preschoolers to grandparents took buckets in hand, spread out among the many long rows and picked big, juicy blueberries to take home and enjoy.
In the time of social distancing that we find ourselves in, Tynes wants you to know that families or individuals can be assured that their health is of concern to Weeks Bay Plantation staff.
“We have arranged for advance bookings, via “Signup Genius” on our Weeks Bay Plantation Facebook page, so we know how many people will be here at a given time. We have 10 slots per hour and each group or family can spread out on a row all by themselves without interacting with other people.”
Stringfellow says this summer’s “Family Time on the Farm Day” getaway isn’t limited to the blueberry picking, however. The plantation has its own organic vegetable garden and while you can’t pick your own veggies right now, you can tell the staff which ones you want (they have tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other vegetables) and they will pick them for you right then!
Families can also enjoy the 10-acre lake that’s located on the property. There lie opportunities to kayak, canoe, fish and cook out in one of the most peaceful places in Baldwin County.
“It’s still, it’s calm, it’s peaceful. Week’s Bay Estuary is just beyond the tree line. So, you see lots of nature here. Baby turtles and eagles for instance.”
We took a leisurely kayak ride around the lake where the only sound was that of the paddle hitting the water and a quiet conversation with my kayak mate. It’s another way to be socially distant while interacting with your family and friends. The lake is also stocked with fish and if you bring your fishing pole, you can cast a line as part of your Family Time on the Farm experience.
If you’d like to turn the experience into more than one day, that’s okay, too, because Weeks Bay Plantation offers three different “bungalow” options for overnighters: a small lakeside cabin or Airstream trailer sleeping one or two people, and a bunkhouse that sleeps multiple people.
In all, Stringfellow says a Family Time on the Farm experience, whether limited to blueberry picking or expanded to “the works,” is a great way for families, or individuals, to safely have a day away while experiencing local flavor in a peaceful, natural environment.
Weeks Bay Plantation is located at 12562 Mary Ann Beach Road off Highway 98 just south of Fairhope. To make your reservation for blueberry picking or for a day of Family Fun on the Farm, go to the Weeks Bay Plantation Facebook page and look for the Sign Up Genius.
Drexel’s favorite experiences at Weeks Bay Plantation? Blueberry picking and kayaking on the lake. PS- She says the cucumber water at the organic produce stand is also excellent!
For more information on Week’s Bay Plantation visit their site here.
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