The 5 Best States For Channeling Your Inner Laura Ingalls Wilder

Self-sufficient. Off the grid. Wide-open spaces wherever you look. For some, the simple life away from the bustling demands of the office and crowded city streets has never looked more idyllic. Moving to the countryside and achieving the cottagecore aesthetic may not be the dream for everyone, but plenty of people are striving to find a more rural and nature-filled lifestyle. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has shown that ranch life on your own farm can be a lot of work, yet incredibly rewarding.

While it is indeed a commitment to uproot your entire life, you might already be in the process of looking for your next place to settle down. If you are considering living a more pioneer-like life, you aren't alone. Just because others don't understand the appeal of such a rustic life, you shouldn't be deterred from finding your peace in a quaint "Little House on the Prairie" of your own. These five states are the best if you want to be a modern-day Laura Ingalls Wilder.

5. Wyoming

Wyoming has its fair share of incredible sights that makes it perfect for nature lovers. Those hoping to live a slower lifestyle could find their dreams becoming reality in Wyoming, especially if being self-sufficient is your goal. According to World Population Review, Wyoming is the least populated state in the country, totaling less than 600,000 residents. A large number of Wyoming's families live agrarian lifestyles, with a significant part of the state's economy stemming from agriculture, Movingist noted.

Those hoping to emulate the Pioneer Woman or Laura Ingalls Wilder will definitely find an idyllic setting in Wyoming. Nature buffs will especially feel at home here. With Yellowstone National Park's rivers, canyons, and wildlife mostly being in this state, you'll find that some of the best activities in the park are within the state lines (per Travel Wyoming). Adventure-seekers and slow-livers alike will be content with Wyoming as your new home state.

4. Montana

Colloquially known as "Big Sky Country," Montana still holds plenty of remnants of the frontier, even in the 21st century. The Great Plains and Rocky Mountains meet in Montana, making it a premiere state for nature lovers. And while there are plenty of interesting cities, the agriculture industry — especially for families — is vibrant in Montana. According to Hello Homestead, about 80% of farms in Montana are family-owned. If you want to make your own homestead in Montana, you won't be alone.

In terms of total off-grid living, Montana might just be the best state you can pick. Channeling your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and living off the land is relatively simple in terms of logistics. While some states have strict laws about off-grid electricity, Montana does not. Whether you plan on installing solar panels or small wind turbines, renewable, self-sustaining energy is a great option for enjoying modern advancements while stilling living off-grid. And with land being fairly inexpensive in Montana, you may find that the country life it offers is cheaper than living in the city.

3. Iowa

Iowa is a hidden gem in the Midwest. With a strong economy and lower cost of living compared to the national average, young people and retirees alike are flocking to Iowa (via Mover Junction). And while this state may not bring the frontier to mind, you can still find plenty of ways to emulate "Little House on the Prairie" here. About 85% of Iowa is farmland, according to Living History Farms. Corn, pork, and soybeans are among the most popular crops.

Outdoor aficionados won't be disappointed in Iowa, either. The state isn't all just farmland. At Backbone State Park, you'll find a 21-mile trail system, ample rock climbing faces, and fishing opportunities, per the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. For some of the best views of the Mississippi River in the country, head to Pikes Peak State Park. As the Iowa Department of Natural Resources noted, the park's Bridal Veil Falls is a picture-perfect view that captures the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. With farming, nature, and plenty of space, this is the ideal Midwestern Prairie spot.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the second-best state for anyone who is looking to turn their life into an episode of "Little House on the Prairie." The pioneer lifestyle is so perfect in Oklahoma that Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, has created an entire brand and career off of her family's ranch life and her homestyle cooking in the Sooner State. As noted on The Pioneer Woman website, she and her family call their ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, home. But you don't need a Food Network deal to live a successful and small life out in the big open country of Oklahoma. The cost of living is significantly lower in Oklahoma compared to other states, making it easier for those making a big move to save up and keep spending money for themselves, per Redfin.

Outdoor lovers will be content in Oklahoma, too. Share in the same pioneer-era outdoor activities that the "Little House on the Prairie" family did like bird-watching, hiking, and admiring elk, bison, and longhorn cattle at Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. The preserve evens offers wedding spaces for those wanting to tie the knot close to the frontier.

1. Texas

The Lone Star state takes the cake as the best spot for channeling your inner pioneer. While Texas is known for its vibrant cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston, this large state has plenty of space for anyone looking for a slower speed in life. There are logistics you will need to consider when preparing for your new farming life in Texas — like whether the property you have purchased is zoned for farming or residential purposes. According to Texas Real Food, prices aren't necessarily cheap when it comes to agricultural land. But that is because Texas is an excellent place to get started when it comes to farming. However, you probably won't need hundreds and hundreds of acres for a simple, self-sustaining property with a vegetable garden and chickens out back.

You will have lots to look forward to in your new pioneer life, no matter what state you choose as your homestead. Joining the American tradition of forging independence will be as rewarding as growing your first yield of crops. And soon enough, you'll see that you have what it takes to be a pioneer in these modern times.