In honor of April being National Grilled Cheese Month, BnBFinder is blazing a trail from coast to coast, sharing our picks of the can't-miss dairy farms that pepper our great land. Cheddar, Blue, Brie, hard, soft, pungent, mild... these notable creameries offer a cheese variety for every taste.
BnBFinder has paired these cheesemongers with beautiful local bed & breakfasts and inns to create unforgettable culinary tours. So prepare all the fixings -- this read will have you lighting the stove, buttering the bread, and getting excited to pay homage to the almighty grilled cheese.
Looking Glass Creamery, Fairview, NC
Located just outside Asheville, North Carolina is a small family farm built on a wealth of experience. By the time Jennifer and Andy Perkins opened the Looking Glass Creamery in 2009, Jennifer had spent more than a decade building her fromage knowledge. Looking Glass produces a diverse array of cheeses, from soft-ripened pasteurized to hard, aged raw milk varieties. Ellington, Chocolate Lab, Ridgeline, and Bear Wallow are some of the unique creations that this small-batch creamery produces by hand.
Just 10 miles down the road in Asheville is the Sweet Biscuit Inn. Built in 1915, this exquisite Colonial Revival home features seven charming bedrooms and a carriage house. With 11-foot ceilings and Tiger Oak floors, the Sweet Biscuit Inn exudes urban sophistication in the quiet, wooded neighborhood of Kenilworth. Located just 1 ½ miles from downtown, Sweet Biscuit Inn provides easy access to Asheville's finest shops, galleries, and restaurants. Each morning, their French-trained chef prepares fresh, gourmet breakfasts using local and organic ingredients. Her cheese crepes are a must-try!
Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Shelburne Farms is a working farm and nonprofit sustainability education center located on 1,400 acres in Shelburne, Vermont. The farm's heart is its herd of 125 purebred Brown Swiss cows. Shelburne visitors receive a behind-the-scenes look at the cheesemaking process - see firsthand how Shelburne's experts turn the highest-quality milk into their award-wining Farmhouse Cheddar.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Heart of the Village Inn was built in 1886, and converted into a bed and breakfast in 1996. This elegant Victorian home is located in the center of the historic village of Shelburne, just a short bike ride from Shelburne Farms. History runs deep at Heart of the Village, with five rooms in the main house and four rooms in the carriage barn each named after an important figure from Shelburne's past. With spectacular perennial gardens and a picturesque wraparound porch, Heart of the Village offers the perfect ambience for enjoying your newly bought cheese with a glass of wine from the inn's impressive collection.
Carr Valley Cheese Company, La Valle, WI
The All-American Cheese Trail would not be complete without passing through Wisconsin. Carr Valley Cheese Company is one of the most heralded artisan cheesemakers in the nation. Carr Valley has been owned and operated by the Cook family for more than 100 years, and the family's passion for cheese is evident. Current owner Sid Cook is a fourth-generation certified Master Cheesemaker, a distinction awarded only to veteran craftsmen who have undergone 15 years of advanced training and education. Carr Valley offers more than 100 delicious varieties, including their award-winning American originals Cocoa Cardona and Gran Cardona.
Built in 1895, Parkview Bed & Breakfast is a four-bedroom Queen Anne Victorian located in the charming, slow-paced town of Reedsburg. Innkeepers Tom and Donna Hofmann have lived in the area for over 40 years and offer guests a wealth of local knowledge on what to do and see. Donna is also renowned for her fresh, seasonally prepared breakfasts. Did someone say "cheese omelets"?
Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma, CA
Cowgirl Creamery began when two friends, (both supremely well-versed in the food business), wanted to start something of their own and take on a new challenge. Two decades and dozens of awards later, the Cowgirl Creamery has four retail stores and two creameries. At the Petaluma creamery, visitors can learn about the Cowgirl story firsthand, watch their famous cheese being made, and sample cheeses at different stages of aging.
Aaron Crespi is a furniture designer and builder, which explains the impeccable craftsmanship of the Howard's End Petaluma Cottage. Crespi used 13 different kinds of wood to build the cabinets, floors, countertops, and shelves in this masterfully constructed bungalow. With easy travel to Point Reyes National Seashore, Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Country, San Francisco, and, of course, Cowgirl Creamery, Howard's End is a convenient escape for those seeking a private getaway where they can enjoy the delicious spoils of the day.
-- Mary White, Founder of BnBFinder.com