If you are ever traveling through California’s central valley on state route 99, make sure you make a pit stop at Bravo Farms in Traver. I had just embarked on a long summer road trip and was traveling through the central valley on my way to Yosemite when I started to see signs advertising cheese, nuts and ice cream. I thought, I could use some mozzarella to go with the tomato and balsamic salad I had packed for dinner! I pulled off the highway and found Bravo Farms, which at first glance was a basic roadside stand although a bit cooler. The view from the outside was just the beginning, Bravo Farms was holding a secret inside. I was inside the gift shop, checking out the cheese and looking at the cool gift items they had there when I found a door in the back, leading out. Hmmm… where does this go? I stepped out of the gift shop and down the rabbit hole! There was a whole other world in the backyard of Bravo Farms!
Behind the scenes of Bravo Farms is an awesome, well, I’m not sure what to call it… “courtyard” seems inadequate. I didn’t quite know what to look at first! Before I head down the rabbit hole, I double time it back to the car to grab my trusty Sony a7R, which was brand spankin’ new and eager to take some first road trip shots. With camera in hand, I check out Bravo Farms’ Guinness World Record seven story tree house. You can climb all the way to the top and sign your name to prove you were there. This tree house was made for kids tho, and while I did squeeze myself through parts of it, sadly I didn’t record my name for posterity.
Next I wandered over to the chicken coop to check out the rooster who is signalling that it’s time to wake up! For a quarter, you can get a handful of feed and feed the chickens. I can honestly say that Bravo Farms has the coolest chicken coop I’ve ever seen. Like the rest of the place, it’s covered in old signs and license plates.
A staircase will take you up to a 9-hole mini golf course, along the course you’ll find all sorts of relics from a bygone era. The golf course surrounds the buildings and overlooks what I like to call the back yard. I call it that because just behind me is a small fence and the freeway. But I prefer to take in the view and pretend that I’m in another place and time.
So much to see and do here at Bravo Farms! They also have pool tables, a petting zoo and a shooting gallery. You can watch them make cheese and even do some wine tasting. For me, it’s time to head on down the road, I’m burning daylight. I will be sure to stop by Bravo again next time I’m up this way. You should stop here too, you’ll love it and so will the kids.
To see photos from this story, check out my Gallery.