Are you seeking more alpaca action in your life?
Do you crave the sight of fluffy fur clouds? Come join me on a joyous tour of an alpaca and llama farm in Williamstown, MA to satiate these cravings!
The spot where these cuddly creatures roam is called Sweet Brook Farm, and it is SO worth a visit if you’re anywhere around Western Massachusetts. Even if you don’t enjoy alpacas (WHAT?!) the farm’s views of the Berkshires Mountains are priceless. Our two young kids cavorted through the fields, gulping in sunshine and ogling the animals.
Sweet Brook Farm is over 100 years old (it’s part of the elite “Century Farmers” club), and is run by a man named Pete who represents the seventh generation of Phelps family farm owners. That’s a lot of generations!
In addition to raising alpacas, the farm makes its own maple syrup. (When I called to fact-check this article, Sweet Brook was deep in March maple syrup production.) The farm’s syrup is so good, that we took home a bottle and used it on our waffles today, back home in Boston.
Our son was particularly entranced by the farm store, which features alpaca wool socks (my husband bought some purple ones and refuses to take them off, they’re so comfy), syrup, and… the poofy alpaca doll that little Devi wanted to marry.
“Mama! It’s so SOFT!” Devi cooed, cradling the alpaca doll.
His toddler sister, Jojo, snagged her own doll, grunting, “My ‘Paca. MINE. ONLY MINE.” (Yes, she is doing the Terrible Twos thing like a champ.)
Our girl sleeps with “‘Paca” to this day, and he’s held up surprisingly well, despite the baby drool now mingled with his fur.
Let’s head back outside and meet the actual alpacas, shall we? First, the winner for best hair goes to this ‘paca, pictured above. Though the alpacas had been recently shorn and were all sporting jaunty buzz cuts on their coats, this one kept a shock of spikes on its head, eyes peeking from under the bangs like a too-cool teenager.
Why an alpaca farm instead of a standard, less fluffy farm?
Farmer Pete decided to shift away from cows and towards fiber-producing animals, and concluded that alpacas were a more delightful choice than sheep to reach that goal. The farm got its first alpaca, Mimi, in 2007. Sweet Brook Farm now has 16 charming alpacas… and one llama named Zabu.
I applaud Pete’s choice of animals. My own alpaca obsession began in 2014 when our family stumbled upon an alpaca farm in Martha’s Vineyard, of all places. I shall never forget that first moment of touching alpaca fur — a coat so thick and deep that my hand sank completely out of view. I wanted to swim in that fur.
Taking this alpaca love to the next level, I planned trip to Peru for February to see llamas and alpacas in the wild. Alas, I had to unexpectedly cancel the trip when it came time to get on the plane, due to delirious fever that would not have matched well with 11,000-foot altitude of Cuzco. I shall continue my quest to seek out alpacas in every corner of the world, however — starting with my own state of Massachusetts!
Here, now, are some tips, should you plan to stop by Sweet Brook Farm. Parking is free, and the hours are 10am to 5pm, year round. Their website and (affiliate link) TripAdvisor page have some useful details, as well as the address and contact options.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a wedding venue, Sweet Brook Farm offers its rolling hills for a picturesque option. As much as I loved our reality TV wedding in Boston, I have a slight pang of regret that I did not ride into matrimony on the back of an alpaca.
For nearby eating, I HIGHLY recommend this Williamstown restaurant, The Store at Five Corners, keeping with the theme of eating locally-produced, high-quality goodies, and history-steeped shops that are over a century old. Drat — now I’m hungry for their fresh pizza.
Want culture? Right near Sweet Brook Farm in North Adams sits MASS MoCA, one of the best modern art museums in the United States. Meanwhile, the Clark Art Museum stands strong, just up the road in Williamstown, itself.
Seeking accommodations around Williamstown?
Here are some options. (Note: These are affiliates that provide a small commission on purchase or click, at no extra cost to you.)
- Here’s an easy link to the top-rated hotels around Williamstown.
- Our favorite site to rent a whole home or condo is this one. (We used it for this trip to find a house with great mountain views, and economically stuffed it with family!)
I’ve traveled all over the world, but am always awed by the splendor of New England, just a three hour drive from my home in Boston. We had a such good time in Williamstown (in part because of Sweet Brook Farm and its joy-inducing alpacas) that we are going back to Western Massachusetts for a week again this summer! Will we go see the alpacas again? You bet.
So what do YOU think? Have you ever been to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts? To Sweet Brook Farm? Do you also feel alpaca adoration? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!