Hoosier Highlights: A Guide to Staycation at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks Farms

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NOTE: This post was created in collaboration with Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® Fair Oaks Farms, but all opinions are my own! Please check out my disclosure policy for more information.

If you’ve ever made the long drive (ok, 3 hours…ish drive) from Indy to Chicago or vice versa, I guarantee that you’ve seen the quirky ads that urge you to pull off on exit 220 to visit Fair Oaks Farms if you’ve ever made the trek along I-65. When you see giant tank trucks parked by the interstate that say things like “We Dairy You To Exit 220” you might get a little curious to see just what lies off the interstate at Exit 220.

If you’ve driven by in recent months, you might have noticed a new property going up that looks like a barn. That “barn” is actually a brand new, one-of-a-kind hotel and I recently went up north to check it out for myself. Located directly on the grounds of Fair Oaks Farms, and connected to the acclaimed Farmhouse Restaurant, stands a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®…that looks like a sparkling new barn.

It’s a PERFECT Indiana staycation or destination option!

From the front.
Looking at the hotel – connected to the Farmhouse Restaurant

Checking Out the Farm

My travel partners and I arrived on a very chilly morning at Fair Oaks Farms, so we had plenty of time to explore the grounds of this agritourism destination before The Art of Hospitality event. Visiting the farm grounds is a mostly self-led experience; however, they have options for groups if that better fits your needs.

We got to visit the Dairy Adventure, but we didn’t get down to the milking barns. There was still PLENTY to interact with onsite, without taking the bus tour. From fun photo ops to interactive museum-type exhibits, their passion for educating the public about sustainable farming shines through. Making these types of experiences accessible is a great way to see just how much farming affects our everyday lives and the foods we eat. Walking through their interactive exhibits and checking out the upgrades to the Dairy Adventure kept us pretty busy and entertained. Plus, we arrived at a perfect time to see the birth of a baby calf! There’s even a traffic signal outside of the barn that can tell you if one is on the way soon.

A baby calf was being born!
One of the baby calves that was born earlier that day!

Any review of Fair Oaks Farms mentions stopping at The Cowfé for ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the plethora of cheese samples. Yes, there is a PLETHORA of cheeses to sample. Fair Oaks is indeed a dairy farm with award-winning cheeses and dairy products, so of course, those items are worth checking out! It might have been snowy-ish and about 10 degrees out, but that didn’t stop us from getting ice cream! Or cheese. Or butter. I’m just sayin’.

TIP: Ask for the Cheese Profile Tasting Sheet if you want to keep track of all of their offerings and which ones you liked.

Fun fact: You can see some of their production facilities while visiting The Cowfé for snacks, coffee, candy, and other souvenirs.

Unfortunately, the Pig Adventure was closed on the day we went, but we also got to check out the Crop Adventure. Learning more about how the food we eat is planted, grown, and harvested and how the population affects the amount of food that must be grown every year is mind-blowing! There’s also a really cool spot in the exhibit that takes you decade by decade to learn more about how farming trends have changed. See my photo below about limited water!

Clever photo op!

If you’re traveling with kiddos, this place seems like the perfect stop for an adventure in the warmer weather! There are so many opportunities for hands-on learning and outdoor activities. In the chillier months, it’s pretty calm, but I’d imagine that once it is warm, the attendance will spike!

Staying in the Hotel

As I mentioned above, the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms is brand new this year! As part of their recent The Art of Hospitality event, I had the opportunity to stay in the hotel! During my visit, we had the chance to learn about how this new hotel was conceived and of course, learn more about the art chosen for the hotel.

Beautiful lobby area
Whew! Snacks onsite since there aren’t many options nearby!

During the opening remarks, Suzanne McCloskey, a co-owner of Fair Oaks Farms, mentioned that “…our mission was to have conversations in a fun but really relevant way about what it takes to produce food here in this country.” Now, with a hotel on site that’s equidistant between Indianapolis and Chicago, this Indiana agritourism destination can share sustainable farming with an even larger audience.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms is built to look like a barn on the outside, but as we ventured through the hotel during the event and during our stay, we noticed so many more details. Beautiful woodwork surrounds you as you walk through the walkway between the Farmhouse Restaurant and the hotel, not to mention the outstanding artwork that adorns the walls from room to room.

Art in this hotel has been curated very specifically – featuring abstract pieces, photographs, and even a mosaic! The artists Michael Kessler, JD Dennison, and R. Tom Gilleon have created pieces that are on prominent display around the hotel – the lobby, guest rooms, and even the pool area.

As the hotel is shaped like a barn, there are definitely some silos attached. These silo rooms are perfect for groups, including bridal parties or those traveling with kids. The round rooms are perfect for a little extra space. Plus, wouldn’t everyone want to stay in a round silo room?!

Brand new workout room!

Aside from the silo rooms, there are over 60 traditional rooms in the hotel for travelers to enjoy. Our double queen room had plenty of space for two people and a dog! Did I mention that the hotel is also PET-FRIENDLY!? With a little dog walk area off of our side of the hotel, plus the large dog park on-site at Fair Oaks Farms, this nugget was such a happy traveler! Plus, he had a great view of the outside during all of the festivities.

So much space for the doggos to run around!

Food options at the hotel are top-notch! When you’re staying on the grounds of a dairy farm, there are PLENTY of farm-to-table choices to enjoy. During the event, there were so many food choices to sample. Charcuterie, steak, pork belly, ham, and just about anything else you could be craving was on the menu during our stay. There was also an abundance of specialty cocktails and plenty of Fair Oaks ice cream for dessert. It’s also worth noting that there is a complimentary breakfast every morning at the hotel’s grand lobby area.

Needless to say, the opening of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms bringing another huge destination option to Indiana travelers and families. This place is great for a day or weekend trip between Indianapolis and Chicago, plus it’s great for all ages.

RELATED: Check out more of my Hoosier Highlights!

In Short

The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms is perfect for:

  • Families visiting the farm who want to make it a weekend or spring break getaway!
  • Families or other groups getting together for meetings, reunions, and even weddings.
  • A quiet “staycation” since there isn’t much close by to distract you.
  • Farm-to-table enthusiasts since many of their food options come from nearby places.
  • Travelers with pets!

NOTE: This post was created in collaboration with Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® Fair Oaks Farms, but all opinions are my own! Please check out my disclosure policy for more information.

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