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Bluffdale Vacation Farm

The Bluffdale Vacation Farm is located in Eldred, Illinois, and is open year-round to the public. During the spring, summer, and early fall, the business is run as a resort, whereas it is operated as a bed and breakfast in the winter months. All the features of the property are included in the resort, while there is an extra charge for those staying at the bed and breakfast. Such features and activities on the property include horseback riding, tractor rides, speed boating, paddleboarding, and bonfires, to name a few. Breakfast is included in both types of stays, though lunch and dinner are exclusively reserved for the resort. The farm has been in Ken Hobson's family for over 200 years. In 1963, the land was converted into a resort, with the bed and breakfast following in the 1990s.


The Bluffdale Vacation Farm is located in the town of Eldred, Illinois. Luxury cabins are available for reservation, which are meant to accommodate families. Amenities specific to these cabins include a master bedroom, multiple kids' rooms, and a front porch, to name a few. There might be two master bedrooms in one unit, depending on the cabin. Ken, the owner, explains that this is to allow multiple families to stay in one unit; it also "works out real good for grandparents," says Ken. There is also a guest house on the property that can fit up to seven families in it; however, the owners have not used it for guests recently and only do so occasionally. Out of all the units, Ken report that the Lost Pines is the most reserved unit among patrons.

Common areas on the property are primarily located in the main house, which is also where the meals are served to patrons. "The whole farm is a common area, so to speak," states Ken. There are over 320 acres of land available for visitors to roam and utilize the activities available to them. Such activities provided on the premises include horseback riding, paddle boarding, riding in a pontoon boat, speed boating, tractor rides, feeding the farm animals, bonfires, and sing-alongs. Amenities available throughout the property include ping pong tables, billiards, a swimming pool, a basketball hoop, and a volleyball area. The property also offers the option of visiting the local Raging Rivers Waterpark. Finally, White Hall is a location for fishing that Ken has been known to visit with his guests.

Breakfast is another feature of the business, with it being served every day to those staying on the property. Meals include eggs, bacon, coffee, waffles or pancakes, and toast. Breakfast is typically served around 8:00 AM for those staying at the resort. Ken is willing to accommodate dietary needs and restrictions when making breakfast if he is notified in advance. The resort provides meals throughout the day to those staying at the farm; otherwise, the bed and breakfast guests do not receive lunch and dinner with their meals.

Bluffdale Vacation Farm is run as a resort during the spring, summer, and early fall, while the remaining time during the winter is designated as a bed and breakfast. All activities offered on the property, such as horseback riding, bonfires, and boating to name a few, are included in the stay at the resort. However, patrons staying at the bed and breakfast can only participate in these activities for an extra fee. According to Ken, the resort side of the business is the more popular out of the two options.

The resort is located next to a bluff, with over half the land being a wooded area. Ken's grandfather took over the farm in 1935. During that time, he cut down a decent amount of timber, creating a clearing in the area. However, Ken reports that there are still a relatively large amount of trees on the property that are over a hundred years old and guesses that one close to the property is "around 360 years old. My ancestors camped under in when they got here in 1820."


The Bluffdale Vacation Farm is available to accommodate weddings; according to Ken, "it's mostly local weddings" that utilize the property, though he is open to others as well. Pets are permitted on the property, but it should be noted that there are multiple animals on the farm. Smoking is prohibited inside the buildings but is allowed outside.

Ken says he wants his guests to "feel like family" when they stay at either the resort or bed and breakfast. He tries to do this through all the amenities and activities he provides to his patrons on the premises. One past patron remarks, "I visited Bluffdale Vacation Farm with my family for four years in a row every summer. Wonderfully welcoming, down-home people ran the farm." In comparison, another guest commented that "My daughter and I went for a week and had an amazing time. The hospitality was out of this world, and the food delicious. It was much better than we anticipated." According to Ken, the history of the property and buildings is one of the unique things about the vacation farm. Overall, the property is open year-round to visitors, with the business either being run as a resort or bed and breakfast, depending on the time of the year. Ken says that the summer is the most popular time of year for the business. Those who come to the property are "mostly families with young kids," says Ken, and adds that Bluffdale Vacation Farm is usually the destination they are in the area to experience, rather than outside attractions. A relatively large amount of patrons tends to be repeat visitors to the business.


The Bluffdale Vacation Farm's land has been in Ken Hobson's family for multiple generations. Officially, the family has been located on the land for over 200 years. It was in the 1820s when his family first came to the area and settled the land. The main house on the property was built in 1828 and continues to be in operation today for the bed and breakfast and the resort. The buildings were built by John Russell and his wife, Laura Anne Spencer Russell.

Ken's family converted the farm into a resort in 1963, opening the bed and breakfast side of the operations years down the road in 1997. The luxury cabins were built at the same time that the bed and breakfast were opened. About eight years ago, Ken officially took over the business; however, he has been helping operate it for the past 30 years. Ken was the one to help aid in the addition of the luxury cabins. The owner has multiple things he wants to add to his property, with a to-do list that he suspects will take roughly three years to complete. One of the features he wants to add is day trips for those with special needs.

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R.R. #1, Box 145
Eldred, Illinois 62027
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Ken Hobson

Owned Since
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