While the days of social distancing, self-quarantines and social isolation are hopefully coming to an end, the pandemic inspired many to relocate or acquire second homes away from the hustle-and-bustle of cities—with room to roam. These fabulous listings may convince even the most ardent urbanites to give the great outdoors a second look.
5205 Mertz Road, Fayetteville, Texas, $2.7 million
A short drive from Austin’s hustle and bustle, this modern 4-bedroom abode features spectacular views from every room of the property’s open meadow, rolling hills and statuesque live oak trees. The whopping 148-acre property also boasts a second-floor sleeping porch ideal for stargazing, a spacious deck with a fire pit, two barns, a natural spring and multiple ponds.
101 West County Line Road, Barrington, Illinois, $2.45 million
Set on 10 secluded acres that include mature trees and beautifully manicured grounds, this magnificent manse offers 12,000 square feet of living space that includes a walkout lower level with an indoor swimming pool and spa. Designed for day-to-day life and posh parties, the interior has walnut hardwood flooring, custom millwork, arched entryways and a family room with soaring ceilings and jaw-dropping views of the grounds. Car aficionados will no doubt appreciate the five-car garage and two detached garages. There’s plenty of countryside here, yet downtown Chicago just a one-hour drive away.
250 Elm Brook Road, Fairfield, Vermont, $2.1 million
Calling ski enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike. Surrounded by farmland, this 232-acre property includes a large, wooded area, bucolic meadows, rolling hills, a bonafide waterfall and a swimming hole. Custom designed by the current owner while living abroad, the traditional yellow house was built like a tank, with solid oak posts and beams. It features spacious, open rooms, a light-drenched kitchen with a walk-in pantry and two refrigerators, and fireplaces built with stone harvested from the property. Steps away are a detached garage and workshop.
11 Greenwood Way, Kentfield, California, $3.195 million
Perhaps the best of both worlds; not far from the city yet set on nearly 2 acres in the in-demand Kent Woodlands, this spectacular designer home stands atop a knoll with giant Eucalyptus trees and a spectacular view of the Ross Valley. Offering indoor-outdoor living, the property includes a spacious deck and a serene swimming pool. Steps away are Kentfield’s and Larkspur’s shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as access to hiking and biking trails.
2628 Skinner Road, Belgrade, Montana, $5.85 million
Situated on more than 300 acres a short drive from Bozeman, this elegant, custom-built adobe offers nearly 7,000-square feet of space, 5 bedrooms, and gob-smacking views of the Gallatin Valley and multiple mountain ranges from nearly every room. Elk, deer, antelope and other wildlife regularly traverse the land.
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Tate Gunnerson is a Chicago-based freelance journalist with an equal appreciation for natural beauty and good design. He is a passionate supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.