This Woman-run Farm Stay Is One of the Most Charming Places on California's Central Coast

The Bee's Knees Fruit Farm and Farm Stay is a beautiful destination in San Luis Obispo, CA, where guests can enjoy the farm experience, pick fruit, and more.

Illustrated building surrounding photograph of guesthouse at Bees Knees Fruit Farm
Photo: Illustration by Emily Lundin; Photograph by Barry Goyette

It's hard to think of a more peaceful vacation destination than a farm stay. The sights and sounds can be all encompassing, not to mention the opportunity to unplug from the distractions of everyday life. One luxury farm stay in San Luis Obispo, CA, offers a quiet oasis for guests who stay overnight, as well as a hub for fresh produce for local visitors. And it's all run by Pattea Torrence, an anchor of her community who's dedicated to sharing the beauty of California's Central Coast with visitors from near and far.

Pattea Torrence, the owner of Bees Knees Fruit Farm and Stay
Tracy Waitkus Photography

There are many benefits to staying at locally owned lodging, whether that's an Airbnb or other vacation rental with a particularly friendly host, and after speaking with Torrence, owner and operator of The Bee's Knees Fruit Farm and Farm Stay, it's easy to see why. Torrence's love for her property and the surrounding area is impossible to ignore, making a stay at her farm stay a real window into life on the Central Coast.

Located in the heart of San Luis Obispo, The Bee's Knees provides an authentic experience of life on a California farm. Torrence, a longtime Central Coast resident who's become a pillar of her community, bought the property in 2019 and has since finished the main house into a farm stay-style inn with beautiful outdoor space located within close proximity of the fruit farm. Torrence is known for the unique businesses she's owned and operated in the area over the years, including an upscale consignment boutique, an antique shop, and the Old Edna Townsite, although the Bee's Knees is where her current focus lies.

Interior guest room at Bees Knees Fruit Farm & Stay
Barry Goyette

The farm is a great stop on a day trip as well as a dream destination for an overnight visit. Guests can pick seasonal offerings, including peaches, plums, apples, figs, lemons, and more, while exploring all the property has to offer. If the full farm stay experience is what you're looking for, you can stay in the property's country house, which offers three beautiful, antique-filled bedrooms, as well as a chef's kitchen, dining room, and spacious living area with a fireplace, offering an elegant yet cozy feel. You can also book the property's converted 1800s hay barn for events, which offers stunning views of the fruit orchard and vegetable garden.

The decision to open up the Bee's Knees was natural, according to Torrence, and the beauty of the natural surroundings spoke for itself. "I fell in love with the picture perfect 1916 craftsman style home and the 1800s barn, the well thought out grounds, the mature stone fruit orchard, the driveway, and the unparalleled views from every direction," she said.

Pears growing on trees at Bees Knees Fruit Farm
Caron Karuch

"It's all so encompassing here, there is so much beauty everywhere," Torrence added. "The home is luxurious, the grounds are lovely, [people love] the fruit trees and planted veggies, and also the sounds of our quacking resident ducks."

And while operating the farm and farm stay during the pandemic has certainly been difficult, Torrence mentioned that she feels lucky to have an "extremely loyal following."

"Slowly people from all over the world are starting to find us too, in hopes of making reservations for future stays," she said.

Torrence's passion for sharing the beauty of the Central Coast with locals and travelers alike is clear, although it's certainly not an easy job. "From handling day to day operations, to reservations, to caring for the fruit orchard to the veggie garden, and all the other things that come along in between, focus comes to mind," she said. "Extreme focus is an absolute necessity."

But despite the challenges of operating a small business, especially during the pandemic, to Torrence, it's all worth it. "I like to share a piece of me and my family and the way we choose to live, which is peaceful, loving and free," she said. "To say this special place is 'a slice of heaven' is indeed cliche, however, it's true."

Visit The Bee's Knees Fruit Farm and Farm Stay at 5840 Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo, California 93405.

Madeline Diamond is a Brooklyn-based e-commerce writer at Travel + Leisure, and she's constantly fighting the impulse to overpack for her next trip. You can follow her on Twitter @madgdiamond and Instagram @madelinediamond.

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