What is agritourism?

ag.ri.tour.ism (ˌa-gri-ˈtu̇ r-ˌi-zəm) is the practice of touring agricultural areas to see farms and often to participate in farm activities. (Merriam-Webster)

There are many benefits to being a farmer. It’s stimulating work, the views are spectacular, and there’s lots of sunshine and fresh air. Here’s encouragement to get a taste of this good life, experience the delicious things growing around us, and meet the people behind them.

The City of Oceanside and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors have recognized agritourism as an opportunity to enhance the region’s lucrative tourism industry. Local leaders are taking proactive measures to update ordinances and make it easier for farms, ranches, and wineries to welcome customers.

Connect to where your food is coming from and meet the people growing it. You might also make friends with others who like to geek out over U-pick events and farm stands.

Single-day agritourist experiences

Rural Retail Therapy

From the Vegetable Shop at Chino Farm to the microgreen salad ATM at Fred’s Urban Farm in Spring Valley, entrepreneurs and family operations are getting creative about offering world-class local food shopping, learning, and leisurely experiences in the countryside.

Image: ozgurcankaya/iStock.
U-Pick Events

Keep an eye on the Stehly Farms Organics online event calendar in spring and early summer for some of the best strawberry and blackberry U-Pick day trips to Valley Center. Follow that up with late summer apple and pear picking in Julian and persimmon picking in Ramona in the fall.

Farm Dinners

For the ultimate in low-food-mile dining, book your next table on a farm. Seasonal special events produced by regional growers like Sage Hill Ranch Gardens are becoming annual traditions for fresh vegetable enthusiasts.


Community gardens and food rescue organizations need volunteers to help with numerous efforts and projects. What better way to experience an orange grove than gleaning with friends for a good cause?

Image: Dimensions/iStock.
Winery Tours and Wine Tasting

That's right, friends, visiting a winery is agritourism and there are over 100 wineries in the county. Cheers.

Farm and Ranch Tours

The Perennial Pastures tour includes a hearty regenerative lunch for a very reasonable price.


Becoming an Agritourist originally published in the spring 2023 issue.

Cover image by Amanda Subish.
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About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Edible San Diego's executive editor is a personal chef and lifestyle designer, podcaster on Modern Casserole, amateur pug photographer, grant writer for Media Arts Center San Diego, and co-author of The Intentionalist Cooks. Find her on Instagram @mariafromediblesd.