Are you dreaming of a self-sufficient lifestyle, living off the land and embracing nature? If so, homesteading might be your calling. The United States offers an array of locations perfect for this back-to-basics way of life.
However, some states stand out more than others when it comes to providing ideal conditions for setting up a successful homestead. From vast wilderness areas teeming with wildlife to fertile soils ready for planting crops or raising livestock – each state has its unique advantages.
I have compiled a list featuring 13 best states across for homesteading where you could potentially set up your own homestead away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Let’s dive in.
Alaska, the largest state in America by land area, is often referred to as “The Last Frontier” due to its vast wilderness and low population density. It’s a place where you can truly live off-grid with nature at your doorstep.
Homesteading here means embracing an adventurous lifestyle that comes along with the challenges of extreme weather conditions but also rewards one immensely through unparalleled natural beauty & tranquility.
The Alaskan government even offers programs such as the Alaska Permanent Fund, which pays residents annually just for living there!
- The abundance of resources: From fishing in pristine rivers or hunting game animals on public lands, timber for building homes, or firewood.
- Privacy: With Alaska’s low population density, you can enjoy a level of solitude and privacy that is hard to find elsewhere.
- Land availability: The state offers programs where one can get land for free or at very affordable prices.
- Harsh climate: Alaska’s extreme cold weather conditions require proper preparation and adaptation. It also makes farming challenging without the use of greenhouses.
- Limited sunlight during winter months may affect mental health due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
- Distance from amenities & healthcare facilities: Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness means limited access to modern conveniences like supermarkets or hospitals, which might pose challenges, especially during emergencies.
Montana, known as the “Big Sky Country,” is a haven for those seeking to live off-grid. With its vast landscapes ranging from rugged mountains and forests in the west to rolling plains in the east, Montana offers diverse opportunities for homesteading.
The state’s rich soil makes it ideal for growing crops like wheat and hay, while abundant wildlife provides hunting prospects. The rivers teem with fish species such as trout, making fishing another sustainable food source here.
Moreover, property taxes are relatively low compared to other states, which can be an advantage when starting your own homestead.
- Diverse landscape: Whether you prefer mountainous terrain or open prairies – Montana has got it all.
- Rich Soil: Ideal conditions exist for farming various types of crops.
- Low Property Taxes: This could potentially save money that would otherwise go towards tax payments.
- Harsh Winters: Similar to Alaska but not quite extreme; winters can still get pretty cold, affecting crop growth & livestock health
- Distance From Amenities: Depending on where one chooses their plot of land, they might have limited access to healthcare facilities or supermarkets
- Limited Job Opportunities Outside Agriculture.
Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest region of America, is a popular choice for homesteading due to its diverse landscapes and climates.
From lush forests and fertile valleys perfect for farming to rugged coastlines offering abundant seafood – Oregon has something suitable for every type of homesteader.
The state’s progressive laws regarding renewable energy also make it an attractive option if you’re planning on living off-grid using solar or wind power In addition, with one of the highest minimum wages in the US ($12 per hour as of 2021), part-time work can be quite lucrative here while setting up your dream homestead.
- Diverse Climates & Landscapes: Whether you prefer coastal regions or mountainous terrains, temperate rainforests, or arid deserts – Oregon offers all.
- Progressive Energy Policies: The state encourages the use of renewable sources like solar/wind, making it easier to go off-grid.
- High Minimum Wage: If the need arises, finding part-time jobs could potentially provide a decent income.
- Land Prices Can Be High: Especially around popular areas such as Portland, land prices might not come cheap.
- Rainy Weather: Western parts especially receive heavy rainfall, which some people may find depressing over long periods.
- Water Rights: State laws regarding water rights could affect farming practices, as under Oregon law, all water is public.
Idaho, often referred to as the “Gem State” due to its rich natural resources, is an excellent choice for homesteading.
With a diverse landscape that includes mountains, forests, and farmland along with abundant water sources from rivers like the Snake River – Idaho offers plenty of opportunities whether you’re into farming or hunting.
The state’s cost of living is also relatively low compared to the national average, which can be beneficial when starting your own homestead. Idaho also has some very friendly laws regarding homeschooling, making it ideal if you plan on raising kids while leading this lifestyle.
- Diverse Landscape: From fertile plains perfect for growing crops such as potatoes (for which Idaho is famous) & wheat forested areas providing timber/firewood.
- Low Cost Of Living: This could potentially save money in the long run, especially during the initial setup phase.
- Friendly Homeschool Laws: If you are planning to raise children alongside running your farm, these regulations come in handy.
- Old winters can affect farming practices.
- Limited job opportunities outside the agriculture sector.
- Potential water shortages during summer months.
5. New Mexico
New Mexico, known as the “Land of Enchantment,” offers a unique blend of cultures and landscapes that make it an interesting choice for homesteading.
From high desert plains to mountainous regions, fertile river valleys perfect for farming, or vast rangelands ideal for grazing livestock – New Mexico has something suitable for every type of aspiring homesteader.
The state’s sunny climate, with over 300 days of sunshine per year, can be advantageous if you’re planning on using solar power in your off-grid home. New Mexico also has low property taxes compared to other states.
- Diverse Landscapes: Whether you prefer arid deserts or lush green valleys, flatlands mountains – New Mexico provides all
- Sunny Climate: With over 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s ideal for solar power generation.
- Low Property Prices: Compared to other states, this could potentially save money during the initial setup phase.
- Water Scarcity Issues: Due to its arid climate, water can be scarce, especially in desert regions, which might affect farming practices
- Crime: High crime rates in certain areas
- Isolation: Potential isolation depends on where you choose your plot land.
Vermont, known as the Green Mountain State, is a popular choice for homesteading due to its lush landscapes and commitment to environmental sustainability. The state’s fertile soil makes it ideal for organic farming, while abundant forests provide timber resources.
The community spirit in Vermont is strong, with many small towns hosting farmers’ markets where you can sell your produce or buy from others.
This also has progressive laws regarding homeschooling, which could be beneficial if planning on raising kids alongside running your farmstead.
- Fertile Soil: Ideal conditions exist here for growing various types of crops organically.
- Strong Community Spirit: This might come in handy when you need help during the initial setup phase or later selling/buying local products.
- Friendly Homeschool Laws: If you plan to raise children, these regulations will prove advantageous.
- Extreme Winters: The state’s brutal winters and long cold seasons make farming challenging.
- Limited Land Availability: Vermont is a small state, so finding large tracts of land to homestead may be difficult.
- High Property Taxes: Property taxes in Vermont are high compared to other states.
Colorado is a state that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to those seeking a self-sustaining lifestyle. The state’s diverse climate ranges from arid desert regions to high mountain peaks, providing opportunities for various homesteading activities.
One significant advantage of homesteading in Colorado is the abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. With its world-class skiing and snowboarding resorts during the winter months and hiking trails, fishing spots, and camping locations in the summer, there is always something to do outside.
Moreover, Colorado has a progressive mindset when it comes to sustainable living practices and community support for alternative energy sources.
- A diverse climate offers various opportunities for homesteading activities.
- There is an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities throughout the year.
- Progressive mindset towards sustainable living practices.
- Limited water resources may require careful planning and efficient usage.
- A harsh climate with heavy snowfall in winter can make infrastructure maintenance challenging.
- Limited access to amenities during severe weather conditions.
Texas, being the second-largest state in the US, offers homesteaders a wide range of opportunities and advantages. From large rural properties to smaller suburban lots, Texas has options that cater to different tastes and needs
In East Texas, you’ll find humid subtropical weather with hot summers and mild winters, ideal for growing crops like vegetables and fruits. Moving further west towards West Texas, you enter arid regions with hotter temperatures and lower rainfall levels. These areas are suitable for livestock raising, such as cattle or goat farming.
The hot summers combined with high temperatures can pose challenges for growing crops during certain times of the year or keeping livestock cool and comfortable. Additionally, water resources may be limited in western regions due to dry conditions or regulations on usage rights.
- Vast amount of land available for different types of homesteading projects.
- Diverse climate, offering opportunities for various agricultural activities.
- Lenient zoning laws provide flexibility in land use.
- Hot summers with high temperatures can be challenging for crops and livestock.
- Limited water resources, especially in western regions, may require careful management and efficient usage strategies.
Maine is an ideal state for homesteaders looking to embrace a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. With its vast forests, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, this northeastern state offers a wealth of natural resources.
The cooler climate provides optimal conditions for growing cold-hardy crops such as root vegetables and berries.
The sparsely populated areas allow individuals to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life while enjoying the peace and tranquility that rural living brings.
Harsh winters with heavy snowfall are common throughout the state, which can make survival difficult. Additionally, limited access to healthcare services or amenities is typical in remote areas.
- Abundance of natural resources such as forests, lakes, and wildlife.
- Sense of isolation and privacy.
- Harsh winters with heavy snowfall can make survival challenging.
- Limited access to healthcare services and amenities in remote areas.
Hawaii is an exotic and unique state that offers a different type of homesteading experience. With its tropical climate, fertile volcanic soil, and abundant rainfall, Hawaii is ideal for growing a wide variety of crops ranging from fruits like pineapple and coconut to root vegetables such as taro.
One advantage of homesteading in Hawaii is the year-round growing season due to its warm climate. This allows for continuous cultivation and harvesting without long winter breaks. the diverse culture of Hawaii promotes sustainability in well-practiced agrculatural methods.
The high cost of living is one significant factor to consider when creating your own self-sufficient oasis on these beautiful islands. Imported goods can be expensive due to their remote location, which may impact the availability of certain resources needed for homesteading activities.
- Tropical climate allows for year-round cultivation.
- Rich volcanic soil provides excellent conditions for plant growth.
- Vibrant cultural heritage supports sustainability practices.
- High cost of living due to the remote location and reliance on imported goods.
- Limited availability of certain resources for homesteading activities in some areas.
11. North Carolina
North Carolina offers a diverse range of landscapes, from mountains to coastal regions, making it an attractive option for homesteaders. The state has a mild climate, allowing for extended growing seasons and diverse agricultural opportunities.
Many rural areas have active farming communities, farmers’ markets, and local organizations that promote sustainable agriculture practices. This network can provide valuable resources and knowledge-sharing opportunities for aspiring homesteaders.
However, the state is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms along its coastline, which can pose risks to structures or crops. Additionally, access to healthcare services may be limited in more remote regions.
- Diverse landscapes with varied agricultural opportunities.
- Mild climate extends growing seasons.
- A strong sense of community support promotes sustainable agriculture practices.
- The risk of hurricanes along the coastline poses potential threats.
- Limited access to healthcare services in remote areas.
Oregon is a popular choice for homesteading due to its mild climate, fertile soil, and diverse ecosystems. The state offers a mix of mountains, forests, and coastal areas, providing a wide range of options for homesteading ventures.
Oregon is known for its sustainable agriculture practices, organic farming, and emphasis on self-sufficiency. Oregon has a mild climate that allows for year-round gardening and crop production.
Depending on the region you choose to settle in, high rainfall levels can be challenging at times or cause flooding issues if proper drainage systems are not implemented. Additionally, wildfires during dry seasons can pose threats to both infrastructures and personal safety.
- The mild climate allows for year-round gardening.
- Diverse ecosystems offer opportunities for various types of homesteading.
- Strong emphasis on sustainability and self-sufficiency practices.
- High rainfall levels may create challenges or require drainage systems.
- The risk of wildfires during dry seasons can pose threats to infrastructure and personal safety.
With its wide open spaces and rugged landscapes, Wyoming is a top choice for homesteading in the United States. Known as the “Cowboy State,” Wyoming offers vast stretches of land that provide ample opportunities for self-sustainability.
One significant advantage of homesteading in Wyoming is the abundance of natural resources such as timber, water sources, and mineral deposits. Additionally, Wyoming has relatively relaxed building codes and zoning regulations when compared to other states.
The drawback is harsh winters with heavy snowfall can make infrastructure maintenance challenging and access to amenities more difficult during extreme weather conditions.
- Vast stretches of land offer privacy and space.
- The abundance of natural resources supports self-sustainable living.
- Relaxed building codes allow flexibility in design choices.
- Harsh winters with heavy snowfall create challenges for infrastructure maintenance.
- Limited access to healthcare services in remote areas may require planning.
The United States is filled with a plenty of states that offer unique advantages for homesteading. Each state brings its own set of pros and cons, ranging from climate challenges to limited access to amenities or healthcare services in remote areas. You’ll just need to choose what you think suits you best.
Ultimately, embarking on a homesteading journey requires dedication, resilience, and careful planning. But the rewards are worth it – from living off the land and becoming more self-sufficient to embracing nature’s beauty and finding peace in simplicity.