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Most celebrities who count farms and ranches among their personal residences are not likely to be the ones tilling the fields or cleaning out the stables. They are still rich and famous, after all.
These property owners might be better described as “gentlemen farmers,” in that food is grown on land they own. Or they may only be called “ranchers,” in that they sometimes like to ride the horses that live on their property.
Still, these multiacre rural residences are a long way from the urban landscape of Los Angeles or New York—although one of them is located just minutes from Sunset Boulevard. Some of celebrity owners wear their ecological beliefs on their sleeves and are taking them to another level, while others just want a rustic property big enough to give a concert or to park their car and airplane collection. That said, one thread seems to run through this group of celebs: They’re a little on the earthy side.
The selections here, with numerous suggestions provided by Zillow.com, include a range of antique to modern homes. They represent both current and past locations, where famous people got back to the land—even if only temporarily. More often than not, their properties included private accommodation for plenty of friends and family, or even renting guests.
Click ahead to find out which musicians, actors, and business titans bought the farm (or ranch).
By Colleen Kane
Posted 12 July 2011
Updated 25 October 2012
Location: Central Idaho
Price: $16 million
Property size: 129 acres
Last year it was possible for anyone with $16 million to purchase singer-songwriter Carole King’s geothermally heated ranch, but now (wait for it): It’s too late, baby. The expansive property, located in the White Cloud and Sawtooth mountains, features a restored 7,337-square-foot rustic lodge with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths, which overlooks Warm Springs Creek. In addition to the living space, there is a 1,825-square-foot caretaker’s house and a 2,046-square-foot owner’s home, a recording studio with guest apartment, and room for plenty more guests with eight cabins. The property has a pool, equestrian facilities, and a greenhouse.
Location: Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Price: $13.9 million
Property size: 2 acres
The ivy-clad main house of actor Dennis Quaid’s former equestrian estate has 8,400 square feet of Architectural Digest-worthy interiors, with 8 bedrooms, 8.5 baths, numerous fireplaces, a gym, wine cellar, pool and spa. A second house on the property adds another 2,158 square feet of indoor space, including a studio, and the (comparatively) small property also has a putting green, a creek, and plenty of mature trees. For the horses, there’s a barn, corral, and a private horse/foot path into Will Rogers Park.
Location: Marlboro, Vt.
Price: $1.55 million
Property size: 745 acres
The former Robinson-Winchester farm belongs to actress and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg, and it's been on the market for well over a year. The renovated colonial main house dates to 1790, and the property has numerous outbuildings and barns, as well as a 2 bedroom full residence bunkhouse. The sprawling property might be even more appealing to the horses in the buyer’s family, with 15 miles of trails and more than 67 acres of pasture.
Location: Athens, Ga.
Price: $20 million
Property size: 1,200 acres
Beaver Dam Farms, located on the former site of one of the state’s major plantations, was designed by one Mr. Kenny Rogers. After Rogers sold his home and getaway in 2003, it became a private resort and golf club, though now it’s on the market again. The 12,000-square-foot furnished mansion still bears the stylistic stamp of Rogers, who has successfully dabbled in interior design and is a former partner in Atlanta’s Kenji Design Studios. He designed the 18-hole golf course on the property, as well. Also on the extensive grounds are gardens, a lake house, a 90,000-square-foot equestrian/multipurpose facility, a conference center, two barns, trails, two pools, tennis courts, guest cottages, as well as three lakes stocked with fish.
Location: College Grove, Tenn.
Price: $6.399 million
Property size: 154 acres
Sheryl Crow’s circa 2000 solar farm has been languishing on and off the market at varying prices since 2010. the property was even put up for auction in the fall of 2010, but it remains unsold. The farm’s solar power reduces electric costs by approximately 42 percent. On the grounds are a private in-law residence and a music studio. There are also extensive horse facilities, including a 14-stall barn and an indoor riding arena.
Location: Malibu, California
Famous Occupants: Margo Albert, Mister Ed, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan
Beds / Baths: 4 / 3
Living Space: 4,449 square feet
Bob Dylan’s Shangri-La Malibu recording studio was named when the ranch was the home of its original owner, actress Margo Albert, who starred in the 1937 film Lost Horizon—hence the property’s name. After Albert, the property is rumored to have been a bordello catering to Hollywood elite. In the 1960s, “Mister Ed” was taped at Shangri-La, and Mister Ed himself was stabled on the property. In the early 1970s, Dylan revamped the property to house dual studios, designed to his specifications, for himself and The Band. Eric Clapton spent a few very creative months on the grounds. Many legends have recorded at the studio over the decades, and recent albums produced there include the Gossip, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Metallica, and Weezer. The property, which changed hands last year for much less than the asking price of $3.19 million, can still accommodate horses and has plenty of room for musicians, including a guest house.
Location: Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch is the site of the country legend’s plantation home since 1966, with the famous “Coal Miner’s Daughter” front gate, but the property is also a campground, a ranch, and the site of an 18,000-square-foot “Coal Miner’s Daughter” Museum. Activities such as canoeing and tours, and special events that include the occasional Loretta Lynn live concert make the ranch one of the top tourist attractions in the state.
Location: 15 ranches in seven states (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota.)
Property size: approximately 2 million acres
Ted Turner is the uncontested winner of the celebrity ranching contest (which doesn’t exist). He counts in his possession approximately 2 million acres of personal and ranch land, making him the second-largest individual landowner in America. On those ranches are approximately 50,000 head of bison, making it the largest private herd in the world, some of which later end up on plates at Ted’s Montana Grill eco-friendly restaurant chain. Turner details his ecological land-management policies on the ranches section of his website. Another branch of the great Turner empire, Turner Outfitting, offers hunting and fishing trips on some of the ranches.
Location: Santa Paula, Calif.
Property size: 15 acres
The last home of actor Steve McQueen has the distinction of being the only farm/ranch in this collection for which details of specific on-site crops is available. The circa-1892 Victorian house, which originally listed in 2010 at $1.95 million, then stalled out on the market before selling at $660,000, comes with fruit trees and three acres of Syrah grapes which produce 5,000 to 7,000 bottles of wine per year. McQueen stored part of his collection of cars, motorcycles and planes in the property’s 4,500-square-foot airplane hanger, and he married his third wife Barbara Minty in the home's living room in 1980.
Location: New Mexico
Price: $18.5 million
Property size: 5,238 acres
Actor Val Kilmer once operated the 7 bedroom, 8.5 bath Pecos River Ranch as a bed and breakfast. True to the name, it has six miles of frontage on the Pecos River. The year 2009 brought some tax troubles for Kilmer, when $538,858 in unpaid back taxes resulted in a lein on the property. The ranch went on the market that same year, and it finally sold in early 2011, at a drastic reduction from the original $33 million asking price. The Zillow.com blog noted that Kilmer has a reputation as a difficult neighbor, after he complained about them in several magazine interviews.