Living Small: Charming Tiny Home Communities Across America

A Tiny Home in Canoe Bay Escape Village, Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Leaves on Yard and Framed By a Tree in the Foreground During Autumn

Canoe Bay Escape Village

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A Tiny Home in Canoe Bay Escape Village, Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Leaves on Yard and Framed By a Tree in the Foreground During Autumn
Canoe Bay Escape Village

Small World

If social and economic anxieties have you thinking about the ultimate in lifestyle downsizing, you are not alone. The disruption of the pandemic has many wanting to spend less, own less, and worry less, leading to renewed interest in the tiny home movement — especially since tiny home communities are often distant from chaotic population hubs. Rules and regulations about them vary considerably by state and municipality, but any of these tiny home communities are worth a look by the curious.

Related: Tiny Houses Across the Country for Every Budget

Three Tiny Homes in Escalante Village, Durango, Colorado, with Mountains in the Background
Escalante Village

Escalante Village

Durango, Colorado
By the Animas River in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, Escalante Village asks if you’re “ready to live” in 400 square feet (or less) at a 6,512-foot elevation. The village offers access to trail networks and a river path, but is walking and biking distance to shopping, nightlife, and downtown Durango. The community is encouraged to be unique and original in how they customize their tiny homes.

Related: Unique Tiny Homes Around the World

A Tiny Home Made By River Ridge Escape, Georgia, on a Plot of Land in a Tiny Home Community
River Ridge Escape

River Ridge Escape

River Ridge Escape is an umbrella organization that includes several tiny home communities in different locations. They include Cloudland Escape, Little River Escape, Mentone Mountain Escape, River Side Escape, and Silver Hill Escape. Depending on the community, you can buy plots or lease, and each option includes a variety of amenities and cool features. Prospective buyers can walk through model homes, which are available in log cabin, luxury, economy, and tiny tow-behind models.

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Aerial of Palm Canyon Mobile Club, Palm Springs, California
Palm Canyon Mobile Club

Palm Canyon Mobile Club

Palm Springs, California
Just a few minutes from downtown Palm Springs, the successfully sold-out Palm Canyon Mobile Club has “fab prefab homes” between 600 and 1,100 square feet — larger than most tiny homes, and designed with modern floor plans with high-end luxury amenities inside and in common areas. Anyone who wants in to the Palm Canyon Mobile Club must wait for a resident to resell.

Many Whimsical Tiny Homes in the Simply Home Community, Portland, Oregon
Tiny House Giant Journey/Youtube

Simply Home Community

Portland, Oregon
Simply Home Community says it was the very first true tiny home community in the United States. The community itself is tiny, too — just eight residents between the ages of 2 and 51 call it home, last time they reported. Likewise for the structures themselves, which put the “tiny” in tiny home. The average is between 100 and 160 square feet.

A Tiny Home in Canoe Bay Escape Village, Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Leaves on Yard and Framed By a Tree in the Foreground During Autumn
Canoe Bay Escape Village

Canoe Bay Escape Village

Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Billed as the first tiny home community in the Midwest, Canoe Bay Escape Village is on 100 sprawling acres of hardwood forest peppered with private lakes and other natural amenities. Renters are welcome, but those looking to buy a home — lots are leased on a yearly basis — should note the community is sold out.

A Tiny Home in Wimberley, Texas with Trees and Yard Surrounding It
RAUL RODRIGUEZ/istockphoto

Spur, Texas

Spur, Texas is not exclusively a tiny home community, but claims to be the first U.S. town to have welcomed tiny homes. In 2014, the town passed first-in-the-nation legislation that allowed residents to build homes of any size. Many of Spur’s roughly 1,000 residents have chosen to build tiny homes to live among the region’s sprawling cotton fields, canyons, wildlife, and rugged Texas wilderness.

Aerial of Tiny Tranquility, Waldport, Oregon with Ocean and Beach on the Top
Tiny Tranquility

Tiny Tranquility

Waldport, Oregon
Lush, green, and seemingly endless Oregon forests are the mountain backdrop of the Tiny Tranquility community — on one side, that is. The other side is bordered by the beach. It was developed exclusively for tiny homes and vintage RVs and comes with on-site amenities such as a greenhouse, common areas, outdoor activity areas, and a dog park.

Orlando Lakefront at College Park, Orlando, Florida, Lake in the Foreground with Four Tiny Homes on Shore, Reflection of Clouds in Sky in the Lake
Orlando Lakefront

Orlando Lakefront at College Park

Orlando, Florida
Orlando Lakefront at College Park is home to dozens of tiny homes, the vast majority of which are on wheels — unlike so many other communities, foundations are not required. The quiet lakeside community has one of the coolest histories of any in the country: It revitalized a 1950s RV park that had been in decline for decades.

A Tiny Home in Park Delta Bay, Isleton, California, Wooden Exterior, Surrounded By Lush Trees
Park Delta Bay

Park Delta Bay

Isleton, California
Park Delta Bay is “the only legal tiny house community in Northern California” and boasts a small, close group of owner-occupants. Time there is passed at fishing docks on the San Joaquin River, tennis courts, a clubhouse, a bathhouse, and other country club amenities. It’s also close to the Bay Area.

Several Tiny Homes in the Community Built By Cass Community Social Services, Detroit
Several Tiny Homes in the Community Built By Cass Community Social Services, Detroit by Andrew Jameson (CC BY-SA)

Cass Community Social Services

The Cass Community Social Services Tiny Homes Detroit program is proof in action of the social welfare potential of tiny homes. The organization has been building more than two dozen tiny homes on foundations and organized into a tidy development for low-income individuals in Detroit. Those who stay for seven years will have the opportunity to take ownership of the home and property.

Related: 16 Creative Shipping Container Conversions

Aerial of Tiny Estates, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Surrounded By Trees, Lake At the Bottom
Tiny Estates

Tiny Estates

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Tiny Estates offers the options of buying a tiny home, entering into a long-term rental, or buying a lot and building a home. There are several rent-to-own options, all starting in the mid- to high $50,000s. The community is surrounded by attractions, including wineries, breweries, restaurants — including several Amish-style restaurants — shopping, entertainment, and more.

A Tiny Home in The Sanctuary Minnesota, Ogilvie, Minnesota, Surrounded By Trees and Forest
The Sanctuary Minnesota

The Sanctuary Minnesota

Ogilvie, Minnesota
The Sanctuary Minnesota is a family-owned operation on 80 acres of pristine Minnesota wilderness. It’s an adults-only community populated with owner-occupants and long-term renters alike. It hosts events such as yoga and writing retreats and personal development and tiny home workshops.

Related: Coolest Tiny Home Rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo