If you are ever driving on Highway 99 between Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe, make sure you stop at Bravo Farms in Traver, Californiato refuel your car and your stomach. You’ll have a very pleasant surprise!
A Brief History of Bravo Farms
Bravo Farms in Traver, California, started in 1976 as a small gas station and café. Back in the day, Bravo Farms was known as the “Hitching Post”. Over the years the place has grown into a mini Knott’s Berry Farm, a favorite destination for the locals and the travelers of Highway 99 alike.
What Made Us Stop at Bravo Farms
We discovered this place a few years ago, while traveling towards Lake Tahoe. The drive from our house to the famous ski resort is about 8 hours long and we don’t usually stop on the road for more than a few minutes, to pump gas. But this particular time we needed a break.
What caught my eye were some very enticing signs on the side of the highway. The first one was just an ordinary one, advertising Bravo Farms some miles ahead. I wouldn’t have paid much attention to it, but for the following ones.
The next sign was a little more imposing: “You Must Stop!” This already caught my interest. “Must Stop?” But why?
The next two ones were pleading: “Please, Please, Stop!”
By now we were really intrigued. What can be so great about this place? Why would we stop? But at the very last sign we gave in. There was no call to action, no pleading, just a faint, almost hopeless “Please…”
That was it! We just couldn’t resist the pretty ‘please’. They won us over, so we stopped.
What to Expect at Bravo Farms
Bravo Farms is not your regular gift shop/café on the side of the road. Once you go inside you will be amazed at all of the things they have.
First of all, there is a restaurant with very tasty food and a large selection of beers. You can choose to eat anywhere in the yard, or inside. On week-ends they make barbecue outside in the backyard.
The food is a bit pricey, but portions are big. This is a great place to stop and have a meal. If you have kids, they’ll have a great time.
After you finish eating, you can browse the store which is filled with everything, from food to very unique gifts, antiques and metal works. You can easily spend an hour just walking around.
They sell hand-crafted cheese, jarred food, packaged nuts, sausages, salami, wasabi peas, and a wide variety of wine. Their antiques and goods for sale are overpriced, but some of the stuff they sell is really unique.
Charm Inside and Out
The back yard is where this place gets its charm. It is very rustic, decorated with a lot of vintage stuff and antique signs, all of which are for sale. There are tree houses, an old fashion swing, animals to feed, and many little things you can explore. The tree house is absolutely adorable. The inside is very tight. There is only room for 1 person up or down the stairs at a time.
There are a few little goats that people usually feel. The little goats are very cute and are obviously aware of their celebrity. The moment they notice you, they come quickly to check if you have any food for them. And if you do, they’ll take the food from your hand with a giant lick.
And if you aren’t into feeding goats, they also have chickens that you can feed. They are also very eager to check your palms for some food.
There is also a giant scarlet macaw, very friendly and eager to get some bred crumbs.
And since you stopped, don’t forget to fill up your tank. There is a gas station right next to the restaurant and the prices are good.
We are sold on Bravo Farms! Since we first discovered it, we stop every single time we are on our way to Lake Tahoe.