The small town life can be pretty great. America’s backbone is its rural communities. Most of the country lives in an area that is considered to be rural rather than urban. The people that live in these communities have often found a peace of mind and become very attached to their way of living. This has become something of a sanctuary for many famous people and for good reason.
Living in Los Angeles, New York, or other huge metropolitan areas isn’t for everyone. When we think of celebrities, we believe they’re all living in these big places to have access to anything and everything related to their work. Believe it or not, many celebrities would much rather live in a smaller place with a quiet atmosphere. Like many very wealthy people, they may have a place to stay in the big city, but home is a different story.
Some of the world’s most glamorous celebs have found happiness in rural America where they can shop in locally owned small businesses and just be known as a regular person rather than have to worry about getting their clothes ripped apart or avoiding the paparazzi. But the celebrities that have chosen the quiet life when off the clock as a famous person may shock and amaze you. The following is a list of the 15 celebrities that live in small towns...that you would never guess!
15 Taylor Swift
There’s no doubt that Taylor Swift could afford to buy her own skyscraper in Los Angeles if she really wanted. But instead, she decided to stay close to her home of Nashville. While Nashville is pretty urban, the beautiful suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee provides a great slower pace and rural feel. The city of Hendersonville has a lot of country music artists living there, as Nashville is just about 18 miles away.
The community is a little more upscale, but certainly the furthest thing from urban. There’s plenty of things to do and they are situated on a beautiful lake. With the hustle and bustle of life as a country and now pop music sensation, Taylor may not always be home, but Hendersonville is certainly where she feels comfortable and at home. We can’t blame you at all Taylor!
14 Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep has multiple residences as you may expect, but it could shock you to learn that she spends most of her time in the small town of Salisbury, Connecticut. This town only has about 3,600 people total and is the furthest thing from big. The community is precolonial and has a typical New England appearance.
Salisbury offers a few private school options that are known throughout the area for their excellence. In addition, people living there have access to beautiful outdoor recreation areas, as well as fun small town shopping and merchants. The town is very respectful of its top celebrity. They keep and maintain a low profile, viewing Meryl as another proud citizen.
13 Lebron James
Basketball legend Lebron James could be arguably the best basketball player of his generation. Lebron is amazing on and off the court. He’s moved on to acting and could get anything with his endorsement to sell in a second! While his home is massive and very impressive, he decided to put it in the small community of Fairlawn, Ohio. Often, professional athletes will reside somewhere away from the team, but not Lebron. He takes great pride in his part of Ohio and loves living in his community.
With just almost 7,500 people living in Fairlawn, there’s no shortage of the small town life in this community. In town, Lebron is another of its fine citizens, but they don’t flaunt it. You’ll not see mention of their basketball superstar neighbor anywhere on community websites. One thing that towns like Fairlawn respect is that celebrities like Lebron just want a place to call home.
12 Ryan Reynolds
Hollywood A-Lister Ryan Reynolds spends a ton of time traveling from location-to-location making films and keeping himself in the spotlight. But it might surprise you to learn that he and wife Blake Lively, would much rather rest their heads on the pillows at their Bedford, New York home. While they enjoy spending time in New York City, these two preferred to start their family at their home in Bedford.
Like so many celebrities living in a quieter setting, they aren’t always home, but the important point is that when they are, they want to let their hair down and not have to worry about being followed, chased and constantly photographed. Bedford isn’t exactly off the grid, but it’s the perfect location for a couple of new parents to just enjoy life. Who could blame them?
11 Julia Roberts
Another celebrity with a few places to live is the stunning Julia Roberts. With multiple residences, it’s hard to tell which one is considered home. Julia makes it pretty clear that she loves spending time at her ranch in Taos, New Mexico. Taos is a community of about 5,700 people, situated in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. She loves living in Taos for its beauty and its local culture.
Taos is known for its landscapes, Southwest architecture and design, artists and food. The community has a substantial amount of tourism, but Julia Roberts didn’t just want to visit, she chose this as her residence. She feels at peace and calm on her ranch and considers it her sanctuary. Like others, she’s not always home, but when she is, she’s proud to be just another proud member of the community.
10 Bill Murray
Not only does funny man Bill Murray live in Charleston, South Carolina, but he is an active and energetic participant in the community. Charleston isn’t exactly a small town, with a population of 130,000 people, but it’s not a metropolis either. Murray is a co-owner of Harold’s Cabin restaurant, as well as the minor league baseball team the RiverDogs. Spotting Murray around town has become kind of a fun side activity for locals and tourists. He loves surprising folks in the most random ways.
So if you travel to Charleston anytime soon, you may well catch him hanging out in some of his favorite local spots. He loves photobombing as well as the well-timed selfie, so you may just be in luck if you catch him. The cool thing about Murray living in Charleston is that he’s just a regular, down-to-earth kind of guy that’s so proud of his community.
9 Harrison Ford
Famed actor Harrison Ford wants nothing more than to live in a beautiful outdoor setting and who could blame him? Instead of a crowded city, he opted for beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Jackson Hole region of Wyoming is surrounded by mountains, but situated in the valley of the Snake River. Grand Teton National Park is located in Jackson Hole and includes some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country!
It’s not surprising that Ford wants to spend as much time here as possible. Locally, the population of Jackson, Wyoming (Jackson Hole is the name of the area) is only about 9,500 permanent residents. But as you can imagine, beauty like this can tend to draw a crowd. Millions of people visit the area each year as tourists.
8 David Letterman
Who doesn’t remember the great David Letterman? He’s a household name in the world of late night talk shows and comedy. All of the late night hosts currently look to David as an inspiration to their work. Not too long ago, Letterman retired from his wildly successful television show filmed at the famous Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, New York! But while David and New York seem to go hand-in-hand, that’s not the whole story.
These days, Letterman is content to live on his ranch just outside of Choteau, Montana. The beautiful rugged setting of Choteau boasts a population of around 1,700 people. Lots of celebrities have looked to Montana as the perfect stomping grounds. Letterman is no exception, but he wasn’t always set on this location. It took some persuading from his buddy Tom Brokaw to look into Montana. But once he did, he was hooked!
7 Huey Lewis
1980s rockstar Huey Lewis, from Huey Lewis and the News was the king of 80s rock music. His music was part of the soundtrack for the blockbuster Back to the Future (in which he also made a cameo.) Huey is kind of known as a city boy, but these days, his primary residence is at his ranch in Stevensville, Montana.
Stevensville has about 1,800 people living there and is rich in history and outdoor attraction. They are a pretty standard small town, proud of the quiet life and scenic beauty that Montana offers. His 5,900 square foot home is situated with a beautiful view of the Bitterroot Mountains. He enjoys fly fishing and the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature when he’s not on the road. It seems as though he’s found the perfect place to call home.
6 Zach Galifianakis
Located in Allegheny County, North Carolina is a beautiful 60 acre farm owned by the hilarious and wildly popular Zach Galifianakis. He apparently likes to keep it simple, because on the property is a log cabin and a barn. Even cellular phone service seems to be in pretty short supply at what he refers to as “farmageddon.” Galifianakis doesn’t think a whole lot of celebrity and seems grounded to a point where he even considers it a bit annoying.
Allegheny County is classic rural America, with a small county population of just about 11,000 people. Covered with beautiful landscape, things aren’t too hurried here and that’s just what Galifianakis wants. It’s a great chance for him to get away from the busy Hollywood life which is how he is able to best think and get away.
5 Nicole Kidman
Leipers Fork, Tennessee doesn’t even sound like it could possibly be a large place. Indeed, it isn’t and that is exactly what Nicole Kidman loves the most. She and husband Keith Urban prefer a quiet life away from both Hollywood and New York. So they found a 36 acre farm just outside this tiny community of about 650 people and haven’t looked back. Located about 45 minutes from Nashville, their farm allows her to keep a garden and the property even has deer and wild turkey.
The Leipers Fork community is so small, it’s not even an incorporated town. It’s nearest to the city of Franklin, which is home to a large number of celebrities. I guess Nicole can’t get away from everyone she knows, but with a farm outside of a town that’s outside of town, she’s still pretty secluded.
4 Dave Chappelle
The story behind Dave Chappelle dropping out of stardom is pretty well known at this point. But where exactly did he go and what happened to him? Well, it turns out that he is a pretty normal guy without all the mental instability or drug problems that were rumored when he abandoned his hit show. He just got sick of celebrity and wanted nothing to do with it for a while. So he ended up living in beautiful Yellow Springs, Ohio with a population of about 3,500 people.
Not far from Dayton, Dave can come and go as he pleases, but Yellow Springs is a nice quiet place for him to reside. These days, Dave has gone back to doing stand-up comedy, along with some other projects. In fact, he recently hosted Saturday Night Live, so he’s apparently starting to come back to his professional life.
3 Eric Clapton
Guitar legend Eric Clapton has a few homes in a few different countries. One of his homes though is where he loves to spend time when in the United States. Located in Columbus, Ohio, Clapton says that he loves spending time in Columbus, because it reminds him of home in England. Of all the places he could have a residence, Columbus speaks to him the best.
Even his family loves spending time there while he’s out touring. Clapton has been spotted in the community as well. He likes to catch a Columbus Crew soccer (although I’m sure he refers to it as football) game every now and again. While not at all small (Columbus has a population of about 850,000), it has a different feel to it that is a little less urban.
2 Jeff Daniels
One of the coolest celebs on this list is actor Jeff Daniels. Not only does he prefer living in a small community, he moved back to his own home town. It’s one thing to move to a small town once you’re already a celebrity, but it’s another when you move to where everyone remembers you as a kid and growing up. For Daniels, Chelsea, Michigan is that community.
With not quite 5,000 people living in Chelsea, it’s the perfect small town to call home. When questioned about moving back there, he said that he always believed that his fame wouldn’t last and when it was over, he needed to be able to feel at home. What better place to feel at home than in your hometown. Congratulations Jeff for staying so grounded and keeping your roots at heart!
Just because you don’t live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or other major celebrity hubs, doesn’t mean you have to live on a farm or in seclusion. Prince was a prime example of how to live away from celebrity hot spots and still have an amazing place to call home. While the passing of this musical legend was so untimely, his home (called Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minessota) is now available to the public for tours.
While most would expect Prince to have lived in heart of celebrity-ville, that simply wasn’t the case. Not only did he love living there, he also had an amazing recording studio in his home, which showed that even when recording, he didn’t want to stray far from home. Chanhassen is very close to Minneapolis/St. Paul with a modest population of about 23,000 people.
Sources: mlive.com, Time, Wall Street Journal, Chamber of Commerce, charlestoncvb.com, New York Times, livability.com, cityoffairlawn.com
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