If the frenzy of urban life has you at wit's end, you may find quiet refuge closer than you'd think. The city of Woodstock, located on the northern fringe of Chicago's urban sprawl, offers both a historic downtown and a small-town atmosphere — horse farms and all. Better yet, there's almost always a handful of country retreats for sale in the tranquil burg.

While Woodstock's main draw may be its proximity to Chicago, the city is also a short drive from popular attractions in Wisconsin, namely Lake Geneva and Kettle Moraine State Forest. And there’s plenty to do in Woodstock itself, from farmers markets to summer festivals to shows at the historic Woodstock Opera House.

Unlike in nearby Barrington Hills, a few acres in Woodstock won't cost you a million bucks. In fact, a budget of half that is plenty to find the rural retreat of your dreams. Here are four on the market for less than $400,000.

14407 Perkins Road, $350,000

PHOTO: Keller Williams Infinity

The design of this three-bedroom country cabin, which employs vaulted ceilings in its main living areas, makes its limited square footage feel spacious. Step outside, though, and it's a different story: the property is set on ten sprawling acres of quiet woods.

13906 Sunset Ridge Road, $367,000


This 2,300-square-foot log cabin combines all of the best qualities of a country retreat: it’s rich with exposed wood, has a fireplace in its cozy living room, and includes three generously sized bedrooms. A bar and screened porch are added bonuses, making this find a plush refuge from fast-paced city life.

14008 Davis Road, $374,500

PHOTO: VHT Studios

With an orange-red exterior and classic faux wood paneling inside, this 2,500-square-footer built in 1977 should appeal to fans of a rustic look. A five-acre lot only boosts its credentials.

14300 West South Street, $398,500


This four-bedroom Colonial on a woodsy five acres is heavy on Americana. The listing notes that the property is zoned for agriculture use, meaning the new owner won’t catch any grief from the city for keeping chickens or even horses. There’s also a little sliver of pond on the property, pulling together the scenic landscape.