14 Surprising Small Towns the Stars Call Home

For camera-shy celebrities, the best way to dodge paparazzi is often to get out of Dodge. These 14 notable names have done just that, temporarily—or even permanently—escaping the trappings of Tinseltown for small towns across America that offer low-key luxuries, a little privacy, and plenty of star power.

  1. Tom Hanks - Ketchum, Idaho

    Tom Hanks - Ketchum, Idaho

    Tom Hanks has picked up a fair number of awards as well as palatial properties in Los Angeles during his storied acting career. One residence, however, stands out from the crowd—if only for its remote location. Situated in Ketchum, Idaho, a charming mountain town, Hanks's second home is within striking distance of plush amenities, such as skiing, a vibrant nightlife, and the conviviality of a resort community, all set against the backdrop of Sun Valley's Bald Mountain.

    Related: What 11 Ordinary People Paid to Live in Your Favorite Movie Homes

    wikimedia.org and istockphoto.com

  2. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel - Big Sky, Montana

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel - Big Sky, Montana

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel changed their tune when they became parents, moving their primary residence from Hollywood to Big Sky Country. The popular tourist town's five-star resorts, alpine lakes, and rolling mountains contribute to a peaceful atmosphere that's ideal for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


  3. Taylor Swift - Westerly, Rhode Island

    Taylor Swift - Westerly, Rhode Island

    Since catapulting to stardom, country- and pop-chart-topper Taylor Swift has snatched up a number of luxe properties on both coasts, but it's her New England digs that have perhaps garnered the most attention. Although her renovations to the beachfront summer home caused some bad blood with the neighbors, she's decided to stay put—at least for now. It's no wonder. Westerly, Rhode Island, a town renowned for its pristine white beaches and eclectic local performing arts scene, is a must-visit spot anyone would like to call home.

    Related: 11 Floating Homes That Really Deliver on Best Water Views

    istockphoto.com and wikimedia.org via GabboT

  4. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively - Bedford, New York

    Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively - Bedford, New York

    Tiny Bedford boasts several brag-worthy features, from the riveting exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art to the historic John Jay Homestead—and now, a pair of celebrity parents seeking the quiet life. "Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds of “Green Lantern” fame have forged a home with their kids in this unassuming Upstate New York town—when they're not working in Tinseltown, that is.

    flickr.com via Sonja Lovas; wikimedia.org via Grant Brummet and Josh Jensen

  5. John Mayer - Paradise Valley, Montana

    John Mayer - Paradise Valley, Montana

    Who knew? "Paradise Valley," John Mayer's sixth studio album, was inspired by the Montana town of the same name. Mayer has made a home in the spot, no doubt due in part to the scenic surroundings. With the area's natural hot springs and world-class fly fishing, it's easy to see why the singer-songwriter left the hustle and bustle of Hollywood for luxe cabin living in the tranquil river valley north of Yellowstone National Park.

    Related: The 20 Best (and Most Unusual) B&Bs in America

    istockphoto.com and wikimedia.org

  6. Meryl Streep - Salisbury, Connecticut

    Meryl Streep - Salisbury, Connecticut

    While it would seem that the three-time Oscar winner feels most at home on the silver screen, Meryl Streep's real-life residence is in Salisbury, Connecticut. Her waterfront estate on the eastern seaboard is rumored to include a main house, spacious studio, cottage, and two barns, all surrounded by the rustic beauty of Salisbury's ample ponds, lakes, and picturesque hamlets.

    Related: Barn Again: Breathing New Life into 11 Old Barns

    istockphoto.com; flickr.com via Jimmy Emerson, DVM

  7. Toby Keith - Norman, Oklahoma

    Toby Keith - Norman, Oklahoma

    Country music lovers praise singer-songwriter Toby Keith for his down-to-earth lyrics, which he bases on his early life in Clinton, Oklahoma, as well as in his present home two hours away, in Norman. Listed among Money magazine's "Best Small Cities" in 2008, Norman continues to draw tourists and home buyers alike with its charming hospitality and an affordable cost of living.

    Related: Would You Recognize These 9 Iconic Streets Way Back When?

    wikimedia.org via Willis Coley and Okguy

  8. Spike Lee - Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

    Spike Lee - Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

    When Spike Lee first ventured to Martha's Vineyard during his college days at Morehouse, he purportedly had two dreams: to become a filmmaker and own a home in Oak Bluffs. The second dream came true when the famed director returned to the town to have a house custom built while he filmed “Malcolm X.” Boasting Carpenter Gothic cottages, four public beaches, and a scenic fishing pier, Oak Bluffs remains a dream destination for both travelers and home buyers.


  9. Kevin Costner - Aspen, Colorado

    Kevin Costner - Aspen, Colorado

    The small town of Aspen has long been a snow-covered magnet for billionaires. Stars seeking respite from the paparazzi, flashing cameras, and red carpets can carve out a laid-back life in this mountain playground. Hollywood veteran Kevin Costner, for instance, made the ski town his home when he snagged a sprawling ranch just outside Aspen. Even if you're not a winter sports enthusiast, the beautiful mountain views and world-class cultural events make Aspen an enviable place to call home.


  10. Eminem - Rochester, Michigan

    Eminem - Rochester, Michigan

    Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, got his start in the Detroit rap scene, and two decades later, the real Slim Shady has stuck close to his roots. Today, the rapper resides in the affluent Detroit suburb of Rochester, where historic homes, municipal parks, and meandering trails infuse the landscape with as much colorful personality as Eminem himself exudes.

    flickr.com via Scott Kinmartin and istockphoto.com

  11. Steve Martin - Brevard, North Carolina

    Steve Martin - Brevard, North Carolina

    When the legendary comic decided to escape Tinseltown, he headed to the tranquil city of Brevard. The North Carolina town's mild climate, sparse population, and proximity to the Pisgah National Forest allow locals like Martin to revel in nature without distractions.

    wikimedia.org and istockphoto.com

  12. Morgan Freeman - Charleston, Mississippi

    Morgan Freeman - Charleston, Mississippi

    Though his acting chops and silky smooth voice have earned him a place alongside Hollywood royalty, Morgan Freeman has eschewed the glitter of Tinseltown for the southern charms of Mississippi. At his home in Charleston, built on land originally owned by his grandparents, you might spot Freeman riding horses, frequenting a local blues club, or dining at a trendy local restaurant.

    wikimedia.org via Thomas R Machnitzki; flickr.com via David Sifry

  13. Glenn Close - Scarborough, Maine

    Glenn Close - Scarborough, Maine

    After tying the knot on the coastal peninsula of Prouts Neck more than a decade ago, the award-winning stage and screen actress Glenn Close made Scarborough, Maine, her primary residence. Bordered by scenic Cape Elizabeth and Old Orchard Beach, the resort town is a summertime haven for outdoor enthusiasts, though the presence of the Scarborough Historical Society & Museum also makes it a must-see for history and culture buffs.

    istockphoto.com and flickr.com via Doug Kerr

  14. Stephen King - Bangor, Maine

    Stephen King - Bangor, Maine

    "The King of Horror" may have decked out the front gate of his mansion in Bangor with an ornamental spiderweb and bats, but the surrounding city is rife with more conventional charms. The New England town offers a plethora of public art works, historic homes, and scenic views of the Penobscot River. Bangor made such an impression on Stephen King that it inspired the fictional town of Derry featured in many of his best-selling novels.

    Related: The 22 Weirdest Town Names Ever Put on the Map

    istockphoto.com and flickr.com via pinguino k

  15. Don't Miss!


    Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!