Fall Travel Guide: Custom Weekends: Feel all “Home on the Range” (at Somebody Else’s Home)

Butler County, PA

Yes, there’s a framed photograph of Paris — not the celebutante, but Jan and Don Phillips’s first cria (that’s a baby alpaca) — ­sitting on the dresser in the bedroom of your spotless guest cottage. And yes, there’s a tea cozy with an alpaca on it hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and a plate of fresh-baked alpaca-shaped cookies resting on the coffee table. But it’s not until Don raps on your door


Yes, there’s a framed photograph of Paris — not the celebutante, but Jan and Don Phillips’s first cria (that’s a baby alpaca) — ­sitting on the dresser in the bedroom of your spotless guest cottage. And yes, there’s a tea cozy with an alpaca on it hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and a plate of fresh-baked alpaca-shaped cookies resting on the coffee table. But it’s not until Don raps on your door and matter-of-­factly informs you, “We’re going to be breeding Isaac and Sonatina tomorrow morning, if you want to watch,” that you realize these people are crazy for alpacas.

[sidebar]Four Points Alpacas, a farm in Butler County that breeds these South American members of the camel family, bills itself as a place where those thinking about alpaca ownership can get a sense of what it’s like to own a herd. But the well-kept old industrialist’s estate, perched on a hill overlooking acres of meadows and soybean fields that spill upward into a bushy crowd of trees, is a place where anyone might want to stay. Be careful, though: At sunset, when the alpacas come out to gambol in the meadows, or when Zamie, a spunky three-month-old, trots over and puts his funny little triangle-shaped nose up against your hand, well, you might just go crazy for alpacas, too.

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