Communes to Run Away to and Live a Natural Life

Trista - November 23, 2021

More and more people worldwide are making the alternate lifestyle decision to ditch the cord and live off the grid. Advances in technology have made it even easier to escape from urban life and enjoy the modern world and the open road simultaneously. You can live off the land and still use various gadgets and appliances in communes. You can even log on to the Internet. A natural life can be just the ticket to disconnect from the stress and reconnect with what is important.

True, it sounds easy, but there is a lot more to consider. Sometimes all you would need is a place where people with similar mindsets can live together. These utopian communes can be found throughout the globe. Several areas lean themselves well to the hippie-like lifestyle. Once you have determined to go for it, you can decide where you would like to live. Whether joining an existing community or starting one of your own, these US locations and a few overseas could be just the thing you are looking for. Check out this list of possible and famous places that can be the home sweet home you never knew you always wanted.


What Is a Natural Life?

Before you decide to live off the grid, you may research to learn more about living a more natural lifestyle. Basically, living off the grid and adjusting to a natural life requires you to forego many things that come with living in a house. It is a more primitive lifestyle. Instead of a sewer, you have a septic tank, field bed, outhouse, or composting toilet. You do not use natural gas to heat your house or run your appliances. Many people opt for solar or wind panels to conserve electricity.

Others use a natural life as a political statement. It is a way to divorce yourself from a system that worships materialism, greed, and corruption. They enjoy the independence and freedom that comes from fighting a system that they deem oppressive. Since you are living a more sustainable lifestyle, you are lessening your carbon footprint. You can take pride in doing what you can to replenish the earth’s resources. Continue reading to learn about how to get resources for living this type of eco-friendly lifestyle.


Know How To Get Your Off-the-Grid Resources

There are things you are going to need and take notice of when you are selecting a place to live, even if it is off the grid. You need to review where you will get your energy, what kind of panels you need, generators, and other power sources. What type to bring depends on the size of your home and how much power you plan to use. Some may work better than others, and some may not work at all. Experts say a 1500 watt solar system is considered the average.

Another vital thing to consider is your water source. Your geographical location plays an essential role on how you will be dealing with water delivery, well drilling, or pumping and hauling your supply from a body of water. Find a suitable way to collect water so that you can use it for other purposes. You will also need to factor in the cost, labor, and how practical it is. If you plan to live off the land, you will need to know how to hunt, fish, or trap wild game and gather the hunting supplies you’ll need to use. Be sure to read up on the best ways to preserve and dehydrate your foods.


Finding Your Home or Communes

Once you have secured the land and the shelter and have chosen a place on the map with a climate you can live with, you can visualize your dream becoming a reality. If you have committed to living the glamorous natural life, you can find your own version of paradise. While you can look for a distant and secluded place, and the seclusion may be ideal for a while, you may miss a sense of community. It may be nice to have a neighbor to show you the ropes.

These self-described utopias are more than opportunities to reimagine your way of life; they are chances to appreciate the simpler things in life. Also known as intentional communities, those who live in this area often share similar beliefs. After considering everything, you can figure out what kind of place would make your ideal home away from it all. Check out the list of what could potentially be your next neighborhood. There are a number of already-established natural-living neighborhoods in the United States and worldwide. If you want to start your own, this list also features several towns and regions that are ideal for a natural lifestyle.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Missouri

Missouri is filled with gorgeous country land. If you are interested in adopting a natural lifestyle, you can consider the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri. The eco-town has a vision that people can work together to build a healthier alternative social structure that aims to be non-exploitative as well as vibrant. The history of Dancing Rabbit dates back to the 1990s when three individuals had a vision and purchased 280 acres. That dream would grow to be its own town. The population varies from 500 to 1,000 people living in the village at one time.

Dancing Rabbit requires each resident to live a self-sustainable lifestyle that is environmentally friendly. Other eco-communities may have the reputation to exclude from mainstream life. This eco-village focuses on functioning alongside it. Homes are built using alternative techniques such as straw bale. They are also powered by renewable solar and wind energy. More than 10,000 trees have been planted to restore the land to its pre-colonial ecology. It also provides a wood source for the community in the future.


Three Rivers Recreation Area, Oregon

This special place is a bit on the fancier side of natural living. If your first idea of living off the grid is one that foregoes comfort for sustainable living, Three Rivers Recreation Area in Oregon is about to change your mind. The private gated community is approximately 40 years old, and it encompasses 4,000 acres of land surrounded by natural resources. It is located by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Grass Lands, Forest Service Lands, and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on the Metolius River.

The sizeable eco-friendly community houses 600 properties, and it promises a state-of-the-art alternative lifestyle. There is an abundance of things to do, including enjoying the wildlife, hiking, or taking part in water sports. Three Rivers also includes 40 miles of roads, and it is about six miles from the gate to Lake Billy Chinook. One unique feature is a black sand private beach with an enclosed swim area, diving platform, and picnic areas. The site utilizes solar and wind power with a few fuel generators to power this lifestyle.


Greater World Community

The world’s first “Earthship” subdivision was found in the Greater World Community, and it touts itself as the only completely off-grid community. The Earthship homes are made of sustainable materials like Adobe and recycled tires, and they are solar-powered buildings. The community strikes themselves as ones who can impart as much knowledge to people who live there. Its philosophy is to teach and empower its people to build autonomous houses and learn about sustainability.

You can find Greater World sprawled across more than 634 acres and is about 10 minutes west of Taos, New Mexico. The Earthship Greater World Community furthers its mission by following a few objectives, including reducing economic and institutional barriers that people can experience with their habitat and creating a less stressful plane of existence. Individuals who live their find and distribute the resources needed to ensure a more balanced life can be led.


Emerald Earth, California

Emerald Earth is a great example of an off-the-grid community in smaller quarters. Located in Mendocino County, the living space is one big house with about a dozen people calling it home. The community has a composting outhouse so that you would be free from the state sewage system. The intentional community lies above the coastal rolling hills of the Anderson Valley, where the beautiful backdrop shows off some of the most beautiful sights on the planet.

Those who live in the house include eight full-time residents who care for the land, grow a portion of their food and work to sustain a community that benefits the planet instead of trying to deplete its resources. Those willing to learn the lifestyle can find out more by signing up for workshops, internship positions, farm stays, scheduled tours, or overnight visits. The purpose is to honor how sacred the earth can be and how everything is interconnected to all other things.


Communes in El Paso, Colorado

The Centennial State is becoming a more welcoming and popular place for those who want to get away from it all and keep it that way. Many state codes are getting more flexible, and sustainable buildings are popping up in several Colorado counties. A large part of the state is considered a desert, so finding a good solution for your water supply can be a bit challenging but not impossible. A lot away from the cities can be a great place to set up your new home.

El Paso County can be an excellent place to live off the grid, even if it is the county with the highest population density in the entire state of Colorado. Even with those figures, El Paso averages around 625,000 people living in an area of 2,100 square miles. The county size will allow you to pick up land reasonably cheaply. Of course, this is one of those times where you would go it alone, or find a small group, before heading to a huge intentional commune. Make sure you have enough resources with you.


Beaverhead County, Montana

The Big Sky State can be an excellent place for running a ranch and living off the grid. The mountainous wide open spaces can shield you from harsh prairie winds, and the mountains have better winters than the other parts of the state. Montana is a great place to harness the powers of the wind to build up your energy source through wind turbines. People who live off the grid in Montana tend to use wood burning to generate heat, which is a relatively inexpensive way to stay warm.

The south and southwestern section parts of Montana have a better climate than the other areas of the state. Beaverhead County sits on the southwest side, and it has an average elevation of over a mile. Here you will be able to grow your vegetables for longer amounts of time during the year than you would be able to in other Montana, an ideal solution to live off the land like the rancher you have always wanted to be. Keep reading to find other great areas to start your natural lifestyle.


York County, Maine

Maine has plentiful places to find remote and inexpensive properties that lend themselves well for those wanting to live eco-friendly. It is known as the Pine Tree State for a good reason. Take advantage of the forested areas, as it has the most wooded areas as any state in the US. Along with timber, you are also like to find abundant areas with rock and water all within reach. Maine has lenient building codes, which welcomes communities and their residents can live in tranquility and peace.

Maine is known for its agriculture and has a reputation for good soil. Nearly every place in Maine can produce a variety of crops. Many people grow their own organic foods and make a good living from what they grow, as Maine’s popular farmer’s markets attract visitors. The weather is not the same for everyone. York County is located in the southern tip of the Maine inland, and it can be an excellent place for off-grid living because the climate is milder than the rest of the state.

Earthhaven Ecovillage, North Carolina

Few places have the versatility and the beauty of North Carolina. The Tar Heel State has mountains, forests, and beaches, and you can pick up some of your own lands for a low cost. North Carolina has seen a growing population of people who want to live an all-natural life. One particular place is near the Black Mountain and the city of Saluda. This place is a picturesque paradise, with 18,000 acres of Green River Gamelands and the Greenville Watershed nearby. It is a great place to get away and still have some proximity connection to civilization.

The Earthaven community is also located in the mountains, near Asheville. Dozens of people call this eco-village home, which is located on 320 acres. Earthaven Ecovillage has room for up to 150 dwellers. Supplied by hydropower and solar energy, the neighborhood is dedicated to creating a caring space for its people and Mother Nature while adopting a holistic and sustainable lifestyle that honors all living things. Earthaven villagers offer in-person and virtual tours for people to get to know the lifestyle better.


Breitenbush, Oregon

The Pacific Northwest has many areas that are lovely on the eyes, especially its massive forests. Breitenbush has an elevation of 2,225 feet. It is an unincorporated community in Marion County situated on private land surrounded by the Willamette National Forest. The area is known for several hot springs. Breitenbush has a rich history, as legend has it that the land was first a homestead in 1888 that later became a resort with its own post office. The hot springs were even supposedly used during that time due to their medicinal and spiritual benefits.

Oregon has suitable lands and a much milder climate compared to other places on the map. If you like to fish and hunt, you will likely find a great place to put up residence and take in the beautiful scenery. Breitenbush, in the modern era, is a worker-owned co-op, while some of the homes were privately-owned summer houses. There are also about 70 individuals who live on the land all year-round. The community has its own fire department that worked to protect the retreat and conference center. The wildfires in Oregon have destroyed many structures, but owners have vowed to rebuild.


Communes in Canyon, Texas

The Long Star State is known for its big open skies. If you are itching to get away from it all and stay gone, consider Canyon, Texas, also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas. It is nearby the Palo Duro Canyon, and it is part of the canyon system in the panhandle portion of the state. The earliest inhabitants of the Palo Duro Canyon came to the area about 15,000 years ago. Why? Because it was located near Prairie Dog Town Fork and the Red River. The region has a very reasonable price, and sustainable lifestyles are for going off-grid.

The amazing views and gorgeous sights are just a portion of what Texas has to offer. The beautiful scenery of the Palo Duro Canyon is something better than a postcard. There are loads of natural resources, including wildlife like deer, turkey, quail, and living. The northern parts of the Canyon are great for adjusting to a warm climate with less humidity. The great state of Texas is sure to have a place you can call this slice of heaven home. Keep reading to find more areas that are ideal for natural living, as well as already established communes.


Pikeville, Tennessee

Tennessee can be an inexpensive place for you to live off the grid. The taxes and the rural cost of living are low, so you can buy something next to nothing and feel like you are living like a king. Plus, there are plenty of natural resources for you to fish and hunt. Plus, because of the climate and the environment, there are 250 days to grow your own foods throughout the year. Because relocation can be a big deal for you and your family, Tennessee can make the adjustment easy and comfortable for anyone thinking about taking a leap of faith and living a natural life.

Pikeville is the county seat of Bledsoe County, and the rural community only has a population of 2,000. There is plenty of wildlife in the area, so that it can be a great place for natural living. The nearby Sequatchie River is perfect for providing water and fish, while the nearby town can be the place to supply the rest of your needs. Imagine waking up every day to the gorgeous forest and grassland scenes in the valley between the Little Mountain and Walden Ridge. What more could you ask for than this wonderful adventurous new life.


Green River Reservoir, Vermont

It may be a small state but don’t sleep on the beautiful scenery of Vermont. The apply nicknamed Green Mountain state features several options for those wanting to live an off-the-grid life. The northeastern part of the US can be a bit pricier than other sections, but your getaway can be well worth the extra investment. For example, the Green River Reservoir has been a state park since 1999. It has 19 miles of shoreline with tons of remote and private campsites. You can find plenty of resources to make for your new life.

Green River Reservoir is a “quiet lake,” and no boats are allowed except those you can row. There are more than 5,500 acres, and it is easy to see why people don’t consider this your typical Vermont State Park. All of the campsites can be reached only by paddling to them, with some as far as one to two miles from the launch site. Much of the park remains in its wild and undeveloped state, and it hopes to stay low-impact well into the future to keep high-quality outdoor experiences for visitors. The philosophy of protecting the environment and its resources remains as true today as it had years ago.


Groton State Forest, Vermont

Vermont is full of amazing places for communes and natural living. Another gorgeous green option in Vermont is the Groton State Forest, where those wanting the natural lifestyle have more than 26,000 acres to call home. There are a whopping seven state parks included in this ecosystem: Big Deer State Park, Kettle Pond State Park, New Discovery State Park, Boulder Beach State Park, Seven Lodge State Park, Ricker Pond State Park, and Stillwater State Park. Take your pick and enjoy the great outdoors in the great Northeast.

The state forest system’s history dates back to 1919. They manage the space for various natural resources, including timber, wildlife habitat, and other living places. This place is home to many rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals. Thus, they take great care to protect the life there. There are plenty of water resources, as there are eight lakes and ponds located throughout the Groton State Forest. It is open for recreation activities, such as camping, fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, and trapping. There will be lots to do to keep up with your new natural life.


Cascade River Community, Washington

Few places are as luscious as Washington state, and those who want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle that is off the grid can find an attractive option in the Evergreen State. It is right there in the name! The weather is moderate, with the average temperature at 45 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer. Places like the Cascade River Park feature a variety of beautiful sights that are sure to be great to call home. There are approximately 400 properties located within the Cascade River Community Club.

The Cascade River Community Club maintains the roads, picnic areas, and a water system for all residents in the park. Anyone who owns a lot inside is considered an automatic member. Residents are in charge of maintaining their own energy supplies and building their own homes. The park is known as the “Shangri-La of the Mountains” because it has both idyllic sceneries and is secluded from the rest of civilization. Winters here are also milder than the rest of the state because their elevation is only about 500 feet. So kick back and relax and set up your life for a simple and beautiful life that can be filled with new memories.

Torri Superiore, Italy

If you are going to move overseas to live off the grid, you should definitely consider Torri Superiore in Italy. It is a medieval village built entirely in stone. It is located near Ventimiglia and just a few kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and the French border. The structure contains 162 rooms on different levels that are connected by narrow passageways and staircases. You will feel like you are living in a magical labyrinth or castle here! It has been described as a “little jewel of architecture,” and here, you will find not a place to live but a community that is willing to work together to achieve its ideal lifestyle.

Torri Superiore the village dates back to the fourteenth century, with the last towers built then. Over the past century, wear and tear have taken their toll. So, they founded the Associazione Culturale in 1989 to preserve the village by making it an eco-village. The association owns one half while members own the other half. Twenty residents share all of their meals and take care of each other. There are cultural and social activities, like organic agricultural programs, and even an eco-guesthouse for people to visit.


Raoul Island, New Zealand

Have you ever dreamed of having an island to yourself? The Raoul Island in New Zealand is a great place to commit to living off the grid fully. New Zealand has many countrysides that look like they have been plucked completely from a postcard, and Raoul Island is no different. The island is part of the Kermadec Islands, and it is filled with subtropical forests dominated by a canopy of trees. The area may be rugged, but you cannot beat the view. Whales have been known to swim by daily, and there are native parrots throughout the forests.

Raoul Island is the only habitable island in the Kermadec Islands, and it is home to three volcanic lakes. There is no port, but Fishing Rock does have steps that are cut within it. You are only able to dock on these rocks if the weather is calm. The Marine Reserve was created in 1990, and it has a steep volcanic area that has primarily native palm trees alongside it. While this is one of the tougher places on this list to rough it, it could be well worth the adjustments for the right type of adventurer.

Lammas Ecovillage, Wales

Named as one of the top 10 best eco-homes in the United Kingdom by The Guardian, the Lammas EcoVillage remains one of the best options on the list for those who want to live off the grid and still have a sense of a close-knit community. Everything in this eco-village centers around what is best for the group and how each individual could help the other obtain a self-sufficient life. It is a collective of smallholdings and other eco-dwellings in the Preseli Hills in Wales.

Residents are able to explore alternative models to living on the land, which goes well with the Welsh governmental policy. Smallholdings combine old-school and traditional farming methods and building techniques with innovative environmental design and green technology to create a sustainable living model. You can go on a tour, take courses, and partake in the volunteer opportunities available. Lammas EcoVillage aspires to demonstrate the alternative teachings that are modern and adaptable. Residents come from all walks of life to this area. The plots come with their own house, covered growing area, barn, and working space.

Life & Soul Magazine

The Konohana Family in Japan

Although they are half a world apart, the Konohana Family in Japan has a similar setup to the Lammas EcoVillage. It focuses on the community and thrives on everyone working together to achieve the off-the-grid and sustainable lifestyle. Starting two decades ago, the land began with the purchase of 40 acres of land. There are approximately 80 members in this self-made family today who cooperate in every way of life.

The village is as spiritual as it is functional. More than 200 types of fruits and vegetables are grown here, and they also raise free-range chickens and eggs as well as honey. They only purchase sugar, salt, and a few spices; everything else is grown or made within the property. The purpose of the Konohana family is to establish a community where people can live in harmony by following the law of the universe, and each person brings their own talents to the table.


Kovcheg Village, Russia

Sure, you probably envision Russia as a cold country with not much in the way of natural living resources. However, in 2001, Kovcheg Village was started by four families who leased nearly 300 acres of land from the Russian government. It was located 87 southwest of Moscow. The neighborhood has now grown to include 40 families with 120 individuals total. There have been 15 children who were born inside the village. Residents vow to keep an environmentally friendly lifestyle by caring for the land that surrounds the town and protecting the nearby forests from illegal logging.

This trend was the start of something new in Russia. The government has since launched a new program that gives away parcels of land to residents in the Far East region utterly free of cost. It was a way to boost settlement in the thinly populated areas of the country, and the potential is there. The number of eco-communities in Russia has grown exponentially in the past decade, with people opting to get back to a simpler kind of life.


Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

If you are looking for a place with incredible charm, consider Cabo Polonio in Uruguay. There are no roads to this village, and it is located in an area where the government had designated a national park. The fishing village became a part hippie cooperative with 70 houses scattered across the stretches of beach on either side of the residences. The town has no running water or electricity, and also no roads. Only a few generators are used for a shop and a few makeshift bars.

It is easy to see why this village has been known as one of the most unconventional places to live in all of Uruguay, and it can be perfect for anyone wanting to live a natural life. Cabo Polonio residents live a simple kind of life. Everyone cooks by candlelight, and some nights, the locals gather around a bonfire for some communal time. You can retrieve water from any of the nearby water wells or from collecting rainfall. One of the perks of living in Cabo Polonio is a working lighthouse.

Tinkers Bubble, United Kingdom

Tinkers Bubble lies on 40 acres in the Somerset region of England. This 40-acre rural eco-village was first established 21 years ago. The off-grid woodland community has nearly 30 acres of trees along with a wood-fired steam-powered sawmill. Tinkers Bubble has a vibrant community that works in pastures, gardens, orchards, and other areas around the region. The residents use environmentally sound methods while they work the land without the use of fossil fuels. They press their own apple juice and cider for sale, grow their own vegetables, and even raise their own chicken and cattle.

Tinkers Bubble is powered through solar and wind electricity, and the community uses spring water on tap and compost toilets. Most people wash their clothes by hand, and life is lived mainly by enjoying the outdoors. Many wildlife is also in the area, including badgers and deer. There are 12 adults and four children living there right now, and the community is open to new live-in members looking for a way to live and earn off the land.

National Geographic

Freedom Cove, Canada

Figure out how to spend the next phase of your life floating on top of the water. Located on Vancouver Island, Freedom Cove is something, unlike anything you have ever seen. Built by an artist couple named Catherine King and Wayne Adams in 1991, the community floats on top of a lake. So you do not have to worry about where you are going to get your water supply. The residents grow their own food from the greenhouses and can fish in the nearby bay. For power, there is an array of 14 solar panels that came with the original design. The community decided not to replace them and instead worked with a 3,000 watt per day generator to light the on-water residences.

The trend that the couple started thirty years ago has now become part of a trend. The artificial islands are called seasteading. People all over the globe are living off the grid and enjoying the beauty of nature. Freedom Cove also allows for visitors so you can test out the waters literally before you set up your permanent residence. This is not the only Canadian haven for off-the-grid living. Keep reading to discover another amazing place that offers a natural lifestyle to all residents — all 425 of them!


Lasqueti, Canada

Here is another Canadian village that is perfect for natural living. In fact, Lasqueti is one of the most well-known off-the-grid communities. You can reach it by taking an hour boat ride from Vancouver. The island is home to people who vow to live completely naturally. What type of resources are there? Of course, renewable resources provide the electricity. How? A hydro infrastructure powers it. The residents live in cozy, smaller-sized homes. One resident even concocted a bus that runs on vegetable oil.

Lasqueti has about 425 permanent residents. The island is home to a community that prides itself on taking a simple life back. People come from all walks of life. Many of those who call Lasqueti home are some of the most highly educated individuals on the entire Vancouver providence. That includes poets, artists, professional consultants, musicians, and physicists. There are even loggers, fishermen, commercial agriculturalists, and tree planters. With a group like that, it is easy to see how a village can thrive independently. Thanks to the talents of the residents, everyone can contribute something important to society.


Vieques, Puerto Rico

This island is known as the Spanish Virgin Islands, and it is home to the brightest bioluminescent bay in the entire world. Vieques can give you the seclusion you want so you can enjoy the slower and more relaxed pace of island life. The island is uncrowded, lush, and beautiful — a sight that is unparalleled to anywhere else in the world. It is also home to the largest wildlife refuge in the Caribbean.

Vieques is famous for its fantastic beaches, and there are plenty of them that range from pure white sands to soft black. The area is renowned for free-roaming horses that live on the island. One interesting fact about Vieques is that the US Navy had used the area as a bombing range site for military training exercises. A large portion of the island remains off-limits with signs that remind you that there could be land mines. Keep reading to see the last two places you would want to live off of the grid. You can assume they are beautiful places, with great climate, natural resources, and affordable living.


Communes in Florida and Hawaii

You can find a place to call your own that is secluded in the Sunshine State. All you need is a good water source and a working septic system, and you would be just fine left to your own devices. In Florida, you can install whatever your preferred alternative energy source and home addition is. A garden, wind turbine, solar panel system, and other gadgets can be tailored to make your home a place you would be glad to stay in. Rural land is reasonably priced, and several places in the state have an abundance of water and timber. Liberty County is located in the northwestern part of the state, so it is a favorable climate for growing crops. The summers here are not as hot as those in the southern parts of the state. It also contains one of the lowest prices of land and property within the Sunshine State.

But Florida isn’t the only tropical type paradise you can settle in. If you are going to live a natural life, why not select one of the most beautiful places on the planet? The cost of moving to Hawaii may be high, but it could be well worth the trouble. Get your complete independence and live away from the mainland, and you will swear you live on your island. The electric grid in Hawaii does not extend any further than the city limits, so finding your place is practically limitless. Hawaii has nutrient-rich soil, plenty of sunshine, and bountiful rains, perfect for your island homestead. You can grow nearly anything you would desire there. That includes things you can’t grow in the other lower 48 continental US states, even coffee beans. The possibilities can be well worth the start-up costs to live in paradise.