If you’re hunting for a place to live off-grid, Florida is a great option. Three of the most important things for being self-sufficient are land, water, and timber, and Florida is the land of plenty for these resources. In this article, I’ll be covering the best places to live off-grid in the “Sunshine State.”
Contrary to the popular myth, living off-grid is not illegal in Florida. You just need to be sure to comply with building and waste removal codes. Laws and regulations vary by county, and some are stricter than others. ErikaWithaK has an article that covers going off-grid in Florida in-depth. Here are 13 great places to go off-grid in Florida.
Also see: Where Can You Live Off-Grid in Texas? 5 Great Locations
Many people who go off-grid aren’t looking for neighbors, so if you’re looking for seclusion, Liberty County is the lowest populated county in Florida. The properties here are woody and dense; half the county is Apalachicola National Forest property.
The price for land here is generally on the low end, so if you’re on a budget, this is a great place to start looking.
If you want a wide selection, Lee county has the most acreage for sale. While this is considered an urban area, there are many rural-like properties available. Since it is an urban county, there are larger cities nearby, which is undesirable for most off-gridders. The properties here can price on the higher end because it is a popular area.
The city of Cape Coral is in Lee County and is on the list of Florida’s 50 Safest Cities. Living in a safe area is important, especially if you’re living near a big city.
This county borders Okeechobee Lake, so there are lakefront properties available. Having a lakefront property is a great asset to have when living off-grid.
There’s something for everyone in Okeechobee County. The land in this area comes in many varieties, ranging from beautiful flat grasslands to wooded swamplands. Some are hilly, and some are flat. The price per acre here is surprisingly on the lower end, considering the popular area.
This is a great area for similar reasons as Okeechobee County. Glades County borders Lake Okeechobee more than Okeechobee County, so there’s more of a likelihood you’ll get a lakefront property here. There are beautiful grasslands and shady, wooded plots, depending on the area.
There is often not much land for sale in Glades County, so the prices tend to be on the higher end, but this is not always the case.
If you want a seaside property without the crowded beach house neighborhood, Franklin County is where to find it. This county is called “The Forgotten Coast” because it is the last coastline in Florida to not be overrun with beach houses and city skylines. It is also the third least populated Florida county.
Franklin County is also home to the small town of Apalachicola, which gets the most sunlight per year on average in Florida.
There are many properties available here, but for a high price. The land is sandy, so producing your own food may be tricky. If you find it worth your while, you can buy soil and have it delivered to your land.
Gulf County is another great location for seaside land. While it isn’t a full undeveloped coastline like Franklin County, there are many plots available. Although the land is sandy, you can still find soil, which is vital for growing your own food. The land here is in the higher price range, and for a good reason. These are utterly unique plots of land.
Taylor county is one of the larger counties in rural Florida, but without a large population. This means there’s plenty of land for your new off-grid adventure. There are a few small towns nearby but no large cities, which is ideal for an off-gridder.
There’s a lot of acreages here and for a low price. The land is typically dense woods with tall trees, but you may find a plot already cleared.
Also see: Where Can You Live Off-Grid in Colorado? The 5 Best Places
Owning your own lake on your property is a luxury, especially when living off-grid. This makes Highlands County a great place to look. This county alone has eighty-two lakes, so many of the properties for sale have a lake on them. Lakes are great not only for a source of water but for fishing also.
Lakes and other water sources add a lot of value to land, so the properties here are priced on the higher side. If it’s in your budget, I would argue it’s worth it.
Union County is Florida’s smallest county, but it has much to offer. Given the county’s size, there is surprisingly a lot of acreage for sale. There are a few small lakes which, as you know, are a great asset to have in your area. There’s also variety in the land, ranging from sandy lake beaches to dense forests.
There’s not much to say about little Union County, but take a look at the land, and you’ll see it speaks for itself.
Named for the river that borders nearly the entire county, Suwannee County is perfect if you’re looking for riverfront property. There is plenty of riverfront land, and if you can’t find the property right on the river, you know it’s still close by.
The terrain is typically woody, especially near the water. Because of its prime location, the land price here is on the high end.
This county is known for its beautiful natural springs. Columbia County partially borders both the Suwannee River and the Santa Fe River, so there are many riverfront properties and natural springs within the land.
Within Columbia County lies Lake City, which is listed as a “hurricane-free” area in Florida. Weather is an important aspect to think about when buying property, and knowing your property is safe from a natural disaster like a hurricane is a relief.
If you’re looking for already developed farmland, Madison County is the first place to look. There is plenty of acreages used for many different farming duties, from cattle farms to crop fields. Farming is a great way to earn income in the off-grid lifestyle, so these properties would be a good investment.
The land is wide and flat, perfect for cattle or row crops. The pricing is steeper than other areas since it is already developed, but if you’re looking to jump right into the off-grid life, this would be a great start.
Jefferson County is the last place on this list, but it’s certainly not the least. I saved what I think may be the best for last. Several lakes spread across the county, along with ponds and streams, and as you know, these are a great asset to have in the off-grid life.
The climate here is vastly different from southern Florida, which extends the growing season. It is one of the counties with the most average rainfall. It is also one of the least populated counties in Florida, ranking seventh on the list.
The Jefferson County Government page has extensive information on the county’s climate, terrain, and other important details and explains why I think it’s the best place in Florida to go off-grid.
There are many fantastic places for living off-grid in Florida. Whether you want to start from completely undeveloped land, from an already developed ranch, or anywhere in-between, Florida’s got the perfect spot for you. It just takes a little digging for the perfect property, and with this list, you’re one step closer to living your off-grid dream.