Have you ever felt like getting away from it all for a while or living an eco-friendly lifestyle? If so, an off-grid lifestyle will potentially suit you. Living off-grid involves disconnecting from the electric grid and not relying on municipal services, such as water supply. People's motivations for choosing this lifestyle vary but can include wanting to live an eco-friendly life and getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Not all locations in the United States are suitable for this type of lifestyle, while other states have the perfect landscapes for off-grid living. Here are the 20 best places to live off-the-grid in the U.S.
Many off-gridders choose locations that have a low cost of living to begin their off-grid lifestyle, as this is one of the most important factors for the success of this lifestyle. Wyoming makes it onto the list of the best places to live off-grid in the United States as it is one of the cheapest places to live off-the-grid. Wyoming also offers freedom for off-gridders, as there are many counties without building codes.
Mississippi is another great option for off-gridders due to the low living costs. It is a state that also offers those who want to enjoy this lifestyle a lot of freedom for two reasons. First, it has riparian water rights, so off-gridders have no restrictions on the water to which they have direct access. Rainwater harvesting is legal, and there is a decent amount of annual rainfall in this state to support the lifestyle. Second, there are many counties in Mississippi that do not have building codes.
The only downside to choosing Arkansas to begin an off-grid lifestyle is that there are very few established communities. However, if you do not mind going it alone, then you should not let this put you off. It is legal to harvest rainwater in this state, and there are 50.6-inches of rainfall each year. The cost of living in Arkansas is reasonable, and the potential to use natural power sources is good.
Indiana is an all-rounder, as it scores well in many of the areas that off-gridders consider when choosing a location in which to live. All the counties in Indiana have no building codes for owner-built properties, and the state has riparian water rights. The natural power source options are reasonable, and the cost of living is lower than the national average. However, there are not many established off-grid communities.
In terms of the cost of living, Louisiana is one of the top options for an off-grid lifestyle. Louisiana also ranks well in many other areas. One of the best features of the state is the large areas of agricultural land, so off-gridders can live a self-sufficient lifestyle. On the one hand, the cost of land is quite high, but this is counteracted by low property taxes. Another plus is that rainwater harvesting is legal in this state. However, there are also some downsides to choosing this state to live off-the-grid. First, there are not many established off-grid communities in the state, which means you will probably go it alone. Also, Louisiana does not score highly in terms of freedom for off-gridders due to the many building codes that are in place throughout the state.
The off-grid power potential is one factor that makes Texas a popular place amongst off-gridders. Texas ranks well for both solar and wind availability, which are both useful sources of power for off-gridders. There is also lots of agricultural land in Texas, which offers the potential for creating an off-grid garden for self-sufficient living. Water rights vary across the state, so some areas allow you unlimited access to water, while other areas require a permit. It is also worth noting that many Texas counties do not have building codes, which gives off-gridders greater freedom.
Rainwater harvesting is legal in Tennessee, and there is a decent amount of annual rainfall to make living off-grid viable in this state. There are also many counties in Tennessee that do not have building codes, so there is greater freedom to choose the type of property and the lifestyle you want to live. Furthermore, the cost of living in Tennessee is relatively low, which also makes it a place worth considering for your off-grid lifestyle.
For many off-gridders, a self-sufficient garden is a vital element of the lifestyle. If this is one of your priorities, then Georgia is in the top ten states for growing an off-grid garden. However, that is not the only reason to consider living in this state if you want to enjoy an off-grid lifestyle. Georgia also has a low cost of living and riparian water rights. The only area in the state with building codes is Truelten County, so this is an area to avoid if you want to live off-grid. The one downside is that there are not many established communities in Georgia, so you may find yourself learning how to live the lifestyle alone.
Missouri is on the list of the best places to live off-grid in the United States for many reasons. First, it offers good freedom of living as there are riparian water rights and many areas without building codes. The cost of living is also relatively low, and there are established off-grid communities, including the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Missouri ranks as the sixth-best state for growing an off-grid garden, which is essential for a self-sufficient lifestyle.
Off-Grid Permaculture lists Alabama as one of the top states to live off-grid. The state scores highly for freedom of living, as there are many counties within the state without building codes, and it has riparian water rights, which means that if you can access water, then you can use it without reason. Alabama also has a lot of agricultural land, which means it is ideal for those who plan to live off the land.
10. New York State
Just making it into the top ten best places to live off-grid in the United States is New York state. There are some challenges in beginning an off-grid lifestyle in this state, as it is one of the strictest states in terms of regulations regarding waste, water, and electricity. However, that does not mean it is impossible to live an off-grid lifestyle in New York. It just means you will need to spend longer making sure you have the right licenses, permits, and inspections to live the lifestyle legally. The strict rules have not deterred people because 3.46 percent of the posts about off-grid living are from New York state residents.
9. New Mexico
The climate in New Mexico makes it a great state to choose if you plan to use solar power. There are already many well-established off-grid communities in the state, the most famous of which is the Earthship Biotecture, which is in Taos. The community was founded in the 1970s by Michael Reynolds, and it is famous for the buildings' eye-catching designs. The community consists of solar-powered, self-sufficient homes, along with upcycled buildings that are made using materials such as glass and car tires.
Some of the reasons why Utah is a great place to start and off-grid life are the self-sufficient mindset, the affordable real estate prices, and the vast wilderness. Finding ways of heating and cooling are often problematic, but many builders in Utah have experience working around these issues for those who want to live off-the-grid.
The large areas of wilderness in Alaska mean that it is little wonder that so many people choose this state to begin their off-grid lifestyle. Alaska tends to attract the more hardcore off-gridders who want to live completely off the land without modern conveniences. Many build their own homes and do not eat anything that they have not sourced themselves. According to Primal Survivor, the microgrid laws in Alaska are very progressive. The downside is that Alaska is not the best state for using solar power systems as daylight is limited during the winter months.
A rumor began that it was illegal to live off-grid in Florida, but that is not the case. The story stemmed from a woman being evicted from her off-grid site, but other factors were responsible for the actions. Although it is legal for people to live off-grid in this state, they need permission to collect rainwater and use solar power systems. 4.24 percent of social media posts using #offgridliving came from Floridian off-gridders.
Off-grid residents of Hawaii are responsible for 4.46 percent of the posts about the lifestyle. Business Insider says that the climate and landscape of Hawaii make it a good choice for off-grid living. The abundance of wind, rain, and sunshine give options for power and not using the main water supply. There is also plenty of agricultural land that is ideal for the self-sufficient lifestyle. Of all the Hawaiian islands, it is the Big Island that is most popular amongst off-gridders, and there are several established communities on the island where living off the land is a way of life.
There are many off-grid communities in Oregon, but one of the most notable communities in this state is the Three Rivers Recreation Area. It is a gated community that covers 4,000 acres, and it sits near Lake Billy Chinook and the Metolius River. There are approximately 600 properties in this community, and it has its own airstrip and marina. However, there are only around 80 permanent residents on the site. The other properties are used by part-time off-gridders and those who travel to different locations. Another famous off-grid community in Oregon is Breitenbush. More than seven percent of the #offgridliving posts were made by people living in Oregon.
Arizona is a popular place to live for those who want to live off-the-grid, and this is partly due to the landscape, which offers large areas that are ideal for the lifestyle. Off-gridders in this state often use solar power, as the climate is perfect for a constant source of solar power. Although getting a residential solar power system installed is expensive, those who choose this as their power source save on bills, use clean energy and receive a tax credit.
The second-most popular state in the United States for off-gridders is Colorado, as off-gridders in this state posted 9.57 percent of the posts about the lifestyle. Many off-gridders who live in this state choose San Luis Valley in Alamosa County. In this area, off-gridders are beyond the reach of electricity and other aspects of infrastructure that mainstream society accesses. The stunning landscape is also appealing, as there are mountains in every direction. Furthermore, buying land in this area is cheap.
According to HomeAdvisor, the best place to live off-the-grid in the U.S. is California. They ranked the states based on algorithms of casual off-gridders who use social media and have used the hashtag #offgridliving to promote their lifestyle. Of course, it is worth noting that lots of people who live an off-the-grid lifestyle do not use social media. In California, there is a large community of what is known as plugged-in off-gridders. These are people that access the Internet, but they live the off-grid lifestyle in many other ways. Examples of aspects of their lifestyle are keeping hens for their own eggs or hunting and gathering for food. The off-gridders of California were responsible for 12.9 percent of the posts about this lifestyle. A well-known off-grid community in California is Emerald Earth.
Written by Liz Flynn
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