Buying land and living the land dream can, in many cases, take decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars to realize once you factor in costs for developing the land, building property and improving your land and habitat for future use. Of course, you could simply buy a remote parcel far from civilization and drop off the grid, but even that requires planning and an ability to tough it out as your self-sufficient land dream takes shape.

Here at the Land.com Network, we’re fortunate enough to showcase some simply amazing properties from around the country every week—from award-winning architectural masterpieces to legacy ranches with trophy hunting and fishing—but the truth is, many of these properties are far beyond the budget of most aspiring landowners.

Short of finding a long-lost rich uncle with a ranch to share out West, we decided to take a look outside the realm of the incredible land for sale on our own network of land marketplaces—Lands of America, Land And Farm and LandWatch.com—to find some places where you can sample the land lifestyle. Call it a chance to try before you buy. And where better to get a taster than the home-sharing website Airbnb.com, home to three million worldwide listings that includes everything from homesteads to yurts to some 1,400 treehouses?

1. Live like a millionaire

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Yoga class as part of Ocean View Ranch experience (image courtesy, Airbnb)

Going beyond short-term vacation rentals, Airbnb rolled out its “Experiences” program in late 2016 to offer hosted trips and tours with locals in various markets around the world. One such Experience is a four-day, three-night vacation in the company of the owners of the 1,200-acre Vandenheuvel Ranch in California’s San Luis Obispo County. In between excursions to enjoy wine tasting, kayaking and yoga, the ranch offers a place to contemplate the good life amidst the world-famous vineyards of California’s Central Coast.

2. Escape to the backcountry

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Mary May’s carriage house near Bozeman, Montana (image courtesy, Airbnb)

Mary May’s carriage house scooped the accolade of “Best Airbnb Property” from the outdoor gurus at Outside magazine in 2015, a testament to the small timber-framed cabin’s enviable location in Bozeman, Montana, on the doorstep of some of the country’s finest outdoor spaces. Better yet, the property offers 50 acres of private land for hiking, access to numerous backcountry trailheads, a creek for fishing and a pair of cruiser bikes for guests to get down and dirty on their adventurous taster of the land life.

3. Glamp it up in Texas Hill Country

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View of of the Texas Bell tent in Texas Hill Country (image courtesy, Airbnb)

Here’s an idea for getting a low-cost income-producing operation going on a future land purchase: the Texas Bell Tent in the accessible Hill Country area of Comal County north of San Antonio. The luxuriously appointed platform tent comes with queen bed, A/C, fireplace and outdoor hot-water shower. Enjoy peaceful evening views as you sit out on the deck enjoying a distinctly Texan landscape. Portions of the property’s main home are open for dining and a further taste of the iconic Hill Country ranch lifestyle.

4. Burrow into your own hobbit hole

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View from the Underground Hygge near Orondo, Washington (image courtesy, Airbnb)

Not all land is created equal, which sometimes means surmounting challenges Mother Nature can throw your way—like undulating hillsides, pesky floodplains or unstable soil layers that make home construction impossible. For a glimpse at working with the materials you’ve been given, look no further than the cozy Underground Hygge tucked in the hillsides overlooking the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. Bilbo Baggins would be right at home here.

5. Drop off the grid!

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Exterior of the Off-grid itHouse in the California desert near Joshua Tree National Park (image courtesy, Airbnb)

If you want to see how off-grid living is done, then look no further than SoCal’s Off-grid itHouse, the prototype for a series of 100-percent off-grid, solar-powered IT homes built in California. In fact, the IT Home’s design was nominated as one of the “Best Homes in America” by the editors of dwell magazine in 2011. Located in the sun-baked high desert region on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, here’s your chance to see if the concept of off-grid, carbon-free living is the thing for you.

6. Get into the woods without leaving the urban jungle

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Atlanta’s in-town treehouse, Airbnb’s “#1 Most Wished-for Listing Worldwide” for 2016 (image courtesy, Airbnb)

City dwellers who aspire to the land lifestyle but who can’t seem to escape the urban jungle might want to spend a night or two in Airbnb’s top-rated treehouse dwelling: a secluded spot perched amidst the treetops of a residential neighborhood in suburban Atlanta. Enjoy the comforts of three rooms connected by rope bridges as you contemplate whether buying land and building the dream country home—be it a rustic cabin, nature-inspired lodge or ranch masterpiece—is the path for you.

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    The Land.com Network is the largest online marketplace for the purchase and sale of rural land and real estate. The network includes online marketplaces LandsofAmerica.com, LandandFarm.com and LandWatch.com, plus the LAND Magazines publications, LAND and TEXAS LAND magazines.

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