The Rural Cure-All

Country is now cool as metropolitans – migrate to the mountains to decompress.

T here are places where being star-struck isn’t about a celebrity sighting, but the breathtaking expanse of a clear night sky: welcome to the backcountry – the yin to urban’s yang.

Betsy Wadsworth, of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty in West Dover, Vermont, covers territory including the Stratton and Mount Snow ski resort, where a steady stream of vacation homeowners from the metropolitan areas of New York and Boston come to “decompress”. These retreats are gathering spots to spend quality time with loved ones under one roof – an investment in family as much as in real estate. The setting may be pastoral but it’s never boring. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, mountain biking, fishing and hiking keep people active year-round. Some properties have large grounds, while other plots are bounteous with wildlife.

When it comes to new builds, it’s not unusual for second-home owners to want to take risks, says Andrew Ashey, co-founder of AAmp Studio. “It’s wonderful to have a client willing to do something new and daring, especially with a property in a rural setting, because you have a blank slate.” In Vermont, one of Wadsworth’s listings is a custom-built Adirondack-style residence in the town of Wilmington. Though just 20 minutes from the slopes of Mount Snow, it’s set on 12 acres with views of the Green Mountains. Walking trails lead to the undeveloped shoreline of Lake Whitingham, where bald eagles soar. “The home itself is the perfect mountain retreat, checking all of the boxes,” says Wadsworth.

Far-flung areas offer a way to detach from the world, but with greater connectivity and the ability to work from anywhere, many people are opting to stay put, becoming the last thing they expected to be – residents.

Wilmington, Vermont

Just 20 minutes from the slopes of Mount Snow and Haystack and walking distance to Lake Whitingham lies this custom Adirondack-style home offering serene mountain and lake views. Log beams outline the living room and a stone fireplace provides that classic Vermont log-cabin feel, while leathered granite, state-of-the-art appliances and views of the lake add that special touch of luxury. At the heart of this cabin is a three-seasons porch with built-in grill and unmatched views of the lake. Just a short walk from the property is access to an undeveloped lake for boating, fishing, paddle boarding or even snowmobiling.


$2,250,000 Property ID: D5EXM8 |
Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty
Betsy Wadsworth +1 802 579 8689

Miami, Florida

Villa Las Palmas is the ultimate family retreat designed by Jose Suarez of Sieger Suarez Architects and landscape architect Bill Eager. Over 10,000 sq ft of courtyards, covered balconies and terraces present ample opportunities for relaxing, entertaining and dining. This very rare estate has been lovingly maintained by the original owners for 25 years. Villa Las Palmas is perfect for those who have a vision for complete privacy but also like to be close to the beaches and city life. Just 15 minutes from your private airport or 35 minutes to fly commercial from Miami International Airport, this Miami retreat offers the best of both worlds.


$8,925,000 Property ID: 10915902 |
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty
Barbara Estela +1 786 239 4227

Umatilla, Florida

Nestled in the quaint Florida countryside, this majestic masterpiece presents an exceptional opportunity. Iron gates and a winding, tree-lined drive welcome you to a picturesque paradise upon 50 acres of awe-inspiring natural beauty. Manicured grounds, serene ponds and a spacious barn form a setting that exudes a feeling of seclusion and tranquility. Distinctive architecture, superior design, fine finishes and extraordinary detailing define this exceptional residence, which was built in 2010 and also features an outdoor dining pavilion, wellness pavilion, three-bedroom guest house and a five-car garage.


$9,000,000 Property ID: TYL98W |
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty
Carolyn Burgiel +1 407 864 0605

Cobham, England

Introducing the Grange. Sitting just in the pocket of one of the UK’s most sought-after villages and within its own 15 acres of pasture and gardens, this Regency-period home enjoys the most spectacular gardens, of the quality and type that would be found only in famed visitor attractions. With stables, woodlands, a tennis court and swimming pool, this house has it all. There is also a separate fitness gym, staff accommodation and a soft gun shooting range. Some of the UK’s best schools are within easy reach and, being only 10 minutes from the country’s leading motorway network, access to the airports, London, and the rest of England is right around the corner.


£5,500,000 Property ID: COB180056 |
UK Sotheby’s International Realty
Cobham +44 (0)1932 860 537

Bozeman, Montana

This Nordic “cabin” is the ultimate Montana mountain experience. Located on the Southwest edge of the Bridger mountains, this private, end-of-the-road retreat offers expansive views to the north, south and west overlooking beautiful Bozeman, Montana. With no neighbours in sight, this property consists of 58.8 acres of mountainside, backing National Forest and with a year-round spring creek. The property has some of the most phenomenal wildlife, from wild turkey to grouse, deer, moose, bear and elk, all while being located just 10 minutes from downtown Bozeman and 25 minutes from Bridger Bowl.


$3,500,000 Property ID: 4L69KV |
Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty
Charlotte Durham +1 406-581-8891

Kilaua, Kauai, Hawaii

“Every 20 years or so, a trophy property as rare as this appears on the market,” says listing agent Mark Goodman, of the exceptionally private estate on Kauai, the Garden Isle. The spectacular and unique acreage, named Cloudwater, was conceptualised by Michelle Rose and award-winning architect Parker Croft. This seven-bedroom estate harmoniously blends multiple living structures under a single thick copper roof. 1,500 ft of lazy waterways and private swimming holes lined with ferns, wildflowers and orchids wind around the 20-acre estate and home accented by craggy, cloud-capped tropical mountain views.


$8,500,000 Property ID: S3L5VL |
Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty
Mark Goodman +1 808 651 5466

Sarabah, Queensland

Located at the foothills of Lamington National Park and a short drive from the Gold Coast or Brisbane, Sarabah Estate presents a unique rural opportunity. Gated and very private, the grand 50-acre property includes a luxurious residence, vineyard, olive grove, cellar and restaurant facilities. The residence exudes elegance and incorporates the outdoors with multiple patios and numerous vantage points throughout the home from which to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Five en-suite bedrooms, a family room, a formal dining room, a basement wine cellar and a four-car garage provide ample space for all.


$8,800,000 (AUD) or $6,300,000 (USD)
Property ID: TVG7Z2 |
Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty
Michael Vettoretto +61 438 705 745

White Oak, North Carolina

Welcome to Butler Farm, a famed equestrian retreat in North Carolina’s coastal plain, where world-class Arabian horses have been bred, trained, stabled and presented since 1997. Experience the farm’s quintessential Southern charm as you enter the custom wrought iron gates that lead you down the crepe myrtle-lined Devin Drive. The state-of-the-art, 64-stall brick and block barn is the centrepiece of this amazing property, complete with a breeding lab, training centre, executive offices and living quarters above. Other thoughtful structures add another seven stalls, including four certified isolation stalls and three mare stalls. Overlooking the picturesque 350 acres is the Georgian colonial owner’s estate with a lushly landscaped courtyard. There are 10 ponds, stunning wildlife and ample pastureland to serve as the backdrop to the ultimate equestrian lifestyle.


$8,000,000 Property ID: M6QY7F |
Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty
Sheri Hagerty +1 919 876 7411

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