|  Lists

17 Best U.S. Cities for Hippies


While some may think all the hippies have burned out or faded away, the truth is they’re still out there, still busily making love, but not war. We here at Estately set out to find communities where they’re heavily concentrated, as well as providing ideal habitat for the next generation of flower children.  To determine this we used a formula based on marijuana availability and legality, number of stores selling hemp, local counter-culture icons, tie-dye availability, hippie festivals, progressive government, intensity of Occupy protests, and a Facebook poll. In the end, we determined these places are the 17 Best U.S. Cities for Hippies…

17—Arcata, CA / 16—Bloomington, IN / 15—San Francisco, CA / 14—Manitou Springs, CO / 13—Berea, KY / 12—Oakland, CA / 11—Missoula, MT / 10—Bisbee, AZ / 9—Austin, TX / 8—Berkeley, CA / 7—Ithaca, NY / 6—Burlington, VT / 5—Portland, OR / 4—Boulder, CO / 3—Asheville, NC / 2—Olympia, WA / 1—Eugene, OR



Via: Etsy

The scent of patchouli oil is so strong in Arcata that it can be smelled from space. While this hasn’t been independently confirmed yet, it is a fact that Arcata is the first city in America to elect a majority of its city council members from the Green Party. The city also passed the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Act in 1989 and a host of other restrictions that would make a hippie proud.

No one knows how much of the city’s population is dependent on the large cannabis industry that’s central to northern California’s economy, but let’s just say the locally-sourced and smokeable veggie is paying for a lot of organic produce at the local co-ops. The environmentally-conscious town is a hotbed for radical tree huggers and various forest preservation efforts, and it’s a nice halfway point when hitchhiking between Eugene, Oregon and Berkeley, California.



Via: Flickr

Just because Indiana is one big, conservative corn maze doesn’t mean there isn’t a place where hippies can let their freak flag fly. Located in the southern part of the state, beautiful Bloomington is a hippie-filled college town where many a drum circle can be had, provided the Occupy Movement isn’t using the park at the time. Original hippies meet up with hippies-in-training from Indiana University at Laughing Planet, where they feast on burritos filled with steamed squash, kale, and seitan. Those calories are easily burned off after a non-competitive game of hacky sack or a few hours of swaying. The welcoming town is even home to the brother of his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s, Thubten Jigme Norbu, who founded the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington.



Via: Flickr

The city where most of this hippie stuff started is mostly running on hippie fumes at this point. San Francisco still has the progressive politics and activist culture, as well as some bong shops in Haight-Ashbury, but it’s a long ways from the Summer of Love. All the same, flashbacks do occur and you’ll see various remnants and attempted revivals of the hippie glory days at the city’s parks, protests, and festivals. And maybe it isn’t that the hippies are gone, it’s just like they’ve… you know… evolved, man. Now they’re like in an alternate state of consciousness where they’re still hippies, but also like financial planners and art dealers and other heavy stuff.

Homes for sale in San Francisco, California




For those who like their hippies new age, prefer mate to coffee, and want to legally buy weed in a store, Manitou Springs is a place that’s both mellow and trippy. Sometimes called the “hippie Mayberry,” the town at the base of Pike’s Peak is a haven for the artsy, spiritual types. The city was once ruled by Mayor Bud Ford, a down-to-earth hippie who wears tie dye and looks a lot like Jerry Garcia.

Originally, the town was a scenic health resort with healing mineral springs, but the waters were eventually made undrinkable after sewage polluted them, which is such a hippie thing to do. However, the problem was fixed and now the mineral springs are drinkable and have become a tourist attraction again.



View More: http://megwilsonphotography.pass.us/meg_wilson

Via:  Whippoorwillfest.com

What do you get when you mix Haight-Ashbury with Little House on the Prairie? The answer is Berea, Kentucky, a town that was counterculture before counterculture was cool. The city is home to Berea College, which was the only integrated and co-ed college in the South for nearly forty years. The politically progressive community is home to organic farmers, hundreds of working artists, and even author and social activist bell hooks. The granola is just a little bit crispier in Berea, and probably homemade.



The hippies may have come of age in San Francisco and Berkeley, but most got priced out and ended up in Oakland (the ones who got rich moved to Marin). While Oakland doesn’t always embody the ethos of peace and love, it does have 30 stores offering hemp products, is keeping the protest going with Occupy Oakland, and it’s home to Oaksterdam University, where students have been studying the craft of growing marijuana since 2007.


 Homes for sale in Oakland, California


Snapshot 7:30:13 1:29 PM


Neighboring Bozeman might be jealous, but when it comes to the true bastion of Montana hippiedom, Missoula definitely comes out on top. It’s not just the vast array of sustainable transportation options or progressive non-profits, Missoula’s government has worked to decrease arrests for marijuana possession, and passed resolutions calling for a withdrawal from Iraq (2007) and to amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that “corporations are not human beings” (2011). That’s pretty hippie.

The city hosts Hempfest, as well as other festivals that provide an excuse to imbibe in Missoula’s favorite medicinal plant. Old deadheads got stuck in town years ago after their microbuses broke down climbing the I-90’s steep hills outside of town and they’ve been here ever since. Now they mingle with University of Montana students, especially whenever Yonder Mountain String Band comes to town. While the rest of the state is more conservative, in Missoula there’s no shame in men sporting long hair like Brad Pitt did in A River Runs Through It, and not just because the film is set in Missoula.



Via:  Weekend Zona

Once a productive copper mining town, Bisbee reinvented itself as a hippie-filled art colony after the mine closed. Some residents still live in updated caves in the middle of town, and it’s not unheard of to see naked folks in cowboy hats strolling the main street in the middle of the night. The New York Times called it “a Greenwich Village West,” and there are certainly no shortage of artists, poets and turquoise shop owners carving out a living along the steep hills of Bisbee, Arizona.

In Bisbee, there’s no shortage of marijuana, which frequently wanders in across the nearby border with Mexico. There are a few pillars of the Bisbee business community who’ve spent some time in Mexican jails for attempting to bring pounds of weed back across the border, including the legendary local brewer Dave Harvan, whose Electric Brewing Company makes a damn good lager.



 Homes for sale in Bisbee, Arizona




Austin may be best known for its music and barbecue, but the Capital of Texas is also a sanctuary for the state’s free spirits. The city has more hippie-themed Meetups than any city in the country, as well as Hippie Hollow, a clothing optional nudist park where hippies can recreate in the buff. The popularity of Hippie Hollow is evidenced by a simple Google image search of “Austin Hippie,” which turns up far too many NSFW photos of these naked folks. Austin is also home to 12 local shops advertising hemp products, the “Hippie Church” at the local Taco Xpress, and thousands of locals ardently working to Keep Austin Weird. Click HERE to learn more about joining them.


 Homes for sale in Austin, Texas.


Snapshot 7:30:13 8:59 AM


Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Berkeley was one of the premier college towns for student activism and a real force affecting social change in America. However, as the years passed those hippies aged, grew gray beards, and became local business owners and professors. The iconic hippie city still draws young trustafarians, tree sitters and assorted eccentrics, many longing for the fiery protests of the past, but the city has turned decidedly mellow. According the The Daily Beast, Berkeley remains one of the Top Pot Smoking Cities in America, but the tie-dyed glory of the past is slowly burning out just like so many Berkeley hippies did before.


 Homes for sale in Berkeley, California


Snapshot 7:30:13 11:56 AM

Ithaca holds the record for the largest human peace sign, an accomplishment that only scratches the surface of this city’s true hippie nature. This central New York town has it’s own currency called Ithaca Hours, which is essentially good for one hour of work and can be traded between local residents. That’s groovy.

In 2000, Ithaca’s residents churned out more votes for Ralph Nader than for George W. Bush, and it would have been even more if Nader had paired up with Dennis Kucinich. The city is home to astronomer Carl Sagan, the influential hippie eatery Moosewood Restaurant, and the Namgyal Monastery—a branch of the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama. In short, it’s a hippie heaven where residents are practically required to have a minimum of 10 bumper stickers supporting social and environmental causes.



The largest city in Vermont has a population of just 42,0000, but an estimated 20,000 of them are alleged to routinely wear Birkenstocks (citation needed). Despite its small size, Burlington is home to some of America’s most iconic hippies, including the jam band Phish and the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. So just go ahead and meditate on that amount of hippie royalty…

Burlington’s hippie ethos extends to its elected officials, with a city government stocked with democrats and members of the Progressive Party. It even liked its democratic socialist mayor so much the locals elected him to the U.S. Senate. Burlington is also home to a year-round farmers market, the liberal University of Vermont, and the Burlington Earth Clock‚ a giant sundial made of slabs of granite that is reputed to help “restore inner peace and inner strength,” just like Ben & Jerry’s.


 Homes for sale in Burlington, Vermont



You’d think with all the rain in Portland that the granola would have turned soggy years ago, but the dreams of the 1960s are still alive in Portland. While the city’s gaining a reputation as a hipster town, Portland’s spiritual core still belongs to the hippies (and lumberjacks). Citizens gather in the thousands for nude bike rides, they plaster their bumpers with hippie slogans, and everyone works to out-green each other. The hippie movement was never a passing fad in Portland, it’s just somethign the city has refined and reinvented. Portland is what you get when flower children grow up to be flower adults.


 Homes for sale in Portland, Oregon


Snapshot 7:30:13 9:59 AM

Via:  Flickr

A popular hippie town back in the 1960s, Boulder re-invented itself as an affluent outdoorsy town, but it’s still very rooted in its hippie traditions. Residents enjoy their progressive politics, organic produce, public nudity, and WOW do they love them some marijuana. It’s kind of surprising that the first city in Colorado to ban smoking in bars, was probably the one that worked the hardest to legalize marijuana statewide. This devotion to weed is celebrated almost every year on April 20th around 4:20pm, when between 8,000 and 15,000 residents gather on the CU Boulder campus to smoke a whole bunch of pot.

Known to some as “The People’s Republic of Boulder,” the city was the setting for the sitcom Mork & Mindy, is home Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and people there seriously smoke an unbelievable amount of pot. Is that clear? Lots of pot. It’s the Capital of Weed Smokin. The local bread may be gluten-free, but practically the whole damn town is baked.


Snapshot 7:29:13 2:57 PM


It takes some guts to grow out your dreadlocks and wear a sarong in the land of Dixie, except if you’re in Asheville, North Carolina because that’s pretty typical there. This hippy haven is a southern Shangri-La for lefties, crispers, and those longing for a little more peace and love. While the city has pulled funding for the annual street festival Bele Chere, the town is loaded with farmer’s marketslive music, and numerous disc golf courses. For those who are southern-fried, the great city of Asheville is truly the Hippie Capital of the South, as evidenced during the weekly drum circle.


Snapshot 7:30:13 3:28 PM

Via:  Flickr

Whether you’re an aging hippie, a hungry freegan, or a barefoot street musician who only knows one Bob Dylan song, Olympia is your safe harbor from stormy seas. The buds are kind, the vegetarian options are abundant, and there are frequent protests dedicated to just about every cause under the sun. Olympia is home to The Evergreen State College, which offers a class called “Looking at Animals,” and has the geoduck (giant clam) as its mascot. It’s a most welcoming place for those who run counter to culture, and avoid soap and deodorant like the plague. Good school, though.



Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the hippiest of them all? It’s Eugene, Oregon. Hands down. No contest. Eugene wins this thing by a mile.

When the hippies turned on, tuned in, and dropped out, they seemingly dropped right into Eugene, Oregon. Whether they were card-carrying Merry Pranksters or simply counter-culture types escaping conformity, large numbers of them flocked to Eugene and the surrounding countryside. Some started communes, others became organic farmers, and some formed an arts and crafts movement that continues to this day. Eugene’s traffic slows behind aging VW Microbuses, the smell of marijuana is never far (especially at Univ. of Oregon), and tie dye has never gone out of style. From the city government to the Chamber of Commerce, hippies have infiltrated every aspect of the city, and they’ve definitely earned Eugene the title of #1 U.S. City for Hippies.

  1. Ken Kesey, Merry Prankster and author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was a local boy.
  2. You can buy tie-dyed underwear from numerous sources.
  3. The city elects a a SLUG Queen each year.
  4. Eugene hosts the annual Oregon Country Fair, a hippie spectacle that has to be seen to be believed.
  5. There are multiple Birkenstock retailers in town.
  6. Plenty of radical environmentalists, anarchists, and other political raconteurs.
  7. The weekly Saturday Market features organic produce and handmade creations by local residents and served as an inspiration for many other similar markets.
  8. Home to Toby’s, makers of fine tofu and and more.
  9. A local bicycle shop gives away free tofu when the local Les Schwab Tire Centers give away free beef to customers.
  10. Numerous vegetarian restaurants like Laughing Planet, Cornbread Café and Café Yumm.


Ready to move to one of America’s best hippie cities? Whether you’re looking to buy a yurt off the grid or a house big enough for a commune, you’ll find it on Estately.com or with the Estately App. Download it for FREE today!


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  

Did we forget any other great hippie towns? Let us know in the comments.

Other articles by Estately…

18 Best U.S. Cities for Bros

11 Best States for Bigfoot to Live

13 Best U.S. Cities for Mermaids to Live

  • Zola MacKenzie

    Yellow Springs, OH. When I first walked around Yellow Spring about 3 or 4 years ago I felt like I was back in CA in the ’60s!

  • Rene’ Williams

    Oh yes we do! Drivin our Pruis . wearing our Birkenstocks n tye dyes. Growing our own food n meds. You bet your ass we vote.

  • Jerry Kenney

    I would have been disappointed if Ithaca did not make the list (it did). While attending a summer program at nearby Elmira College, I visited the Saturday market at Steamboat Landing and found where all the hippies had fled to.

  • Michael Plummer

    Are you kidding? Bellingham didn’t make the list?

  • Xtine13

    I’m curious how actual “hippies” could afford to live in the majority of these towns.

  • No Assumptions! Question Bias!

    There isn’t a SINGLE vegan restaurant in Boulder. NOT ONE.

  • No Assumptions! Question Bias!

    All campaigns, parties and elections are bought by special interests and corporations. No candidate with any party backing him / her is going to represent the people’s best interests.

  • Kimberly

    Im from Eugene Oregon and A PROUD self proclaimed Hippie.. (No, I’m not “Crunchy”. That is a term used by people who are wannabe Hippies IMO) Yay Eugene #1

  • James Taylor

    Yellow Springs, Ohio. Jorma Kaukonen went to Antioch College there it’s very bohemian/liberal/hippie

  • Spaceone

    Someone tell me why Woodstock Ny is not at least in the top 10! Show up on a Sunday when the rainbow family starts the drum circle every Sunday.Yes! they bring lots of drums for folks to play.Or go to a Woodstock party in the woods. It is still going on!

  • Howard

    New Paltz NY

  • Christine

    This entire piece of “writing” is shallow, offensive, and completely off base.
    If that’s all you think hippies are, you need to spend some time educating yourself on facts and not just shallow based book cover opinions.

  • James Anderson

    I saw my first Boobs in Eugene from some lady who was selling cookies at the country fair there. I was 8

  • Henry

    Ya know what, anybody who calls President Obama “Barry” is a total jackass!

  • Rafel Sanchez

    Your right Hank Bary is a total jackass.

  • alison mote

    Nevada city ca

  • maydemia

    Sedona AZ is totally hippie. So is Telluride I believe.

  • zepplinmoon


  • Chip

    Nederland CO is pretty astounding hippie town. Also Denver, there are two Grateful Dead bars in Denver

  • Shea

    Girdwood AK plz

  • Dacotah

    Boulder Colorado is now a VERY racist, yuppie, classist community. Only go there if you have a LOT of extra money to party with and you’re white.

  • Jean S.

    I’d say Santa Cruz and Ashland OR should be here

  • Y

    A “wingnut” is someone who is mentally “out there” – perhaps even “perma-fried”. The term has nothing to do with political persuasion.

  • gamgls

    Taos, New Mexico.

  • Lisa Stern

    What no Taos, No Santa Fe? so wrong.

  • Marsea Lopez

    Fayetteville, AR! Not only is it nicknamed “Fayettechill” but it’s basically a requirement that to reside there you must have a Keep Fayetteville Funky car sticker. You can find dancing dread heads and their babies at the farmers market every weekend during the summer. Fayetteville is home to many vegan friendly restaurants and a couple 100% raw vegan ones as well. There’s an annual pride parade and block street party where local vendors sell everything from homemade fruit pops to henna tats.

  • Wendy Dodd

    I don’t understand how cities can attract hippies if they are so expensive to live in?

  • Dani

    Jim Thorpe, PA ??

  • juliasimmons

    no wonder, it is a mafia insane asylum now, was wonderful for years until the ACLU took over the maul and turned it into a refuge for speed dealers and violent sneak nutcases.

  • hideousnormal

    Portland is now very similar to Atlanta, and Eugene, with the addition of the EMX is starting to feel very much like Cleveland.

  • Luka

    Decatur, Georgia where the local high school is full of weed

  • Emelie

    It’s more hipster than hippie I mean look at 5 points

  • Jeremiah Moore

    Eugene is a great place to live and I really hope Portland shuts up

  • lora

    Northampton, Ma! Can’t get more hippie than that.

  • Zenber1

    You underestimate completely the impact of Supreme Court justices if you don’t vote.

  • ABR Ballard

    I grew up in Eugene, left for the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981 when unemployment in Eugene was 25%, and I struggled to find work with my English Literature degree from the University of Oregon. Now that I am closer to retirement, and the water is running out in California, I am back in Eugene. It truly has more hippies per capita than Berkeley, San Francisco, or anywhere! And, I might add, more environmentalists per capita, which was what the hippie movement meant and still means to me. So, I love it here. Had the hippie tree-huggers been listened to more often, and ridiculed less often, we might not be in such a horrific Global Warmeggedon mess on this planet. Okay, time to go ride my bike somewhere….. #thetreehuggerswererightafterall

  • Metavict96

    Santa Cruz CA is out because the wealthy took over the City Council. Santa Monica and Venice have anti camping ordnances. Mt. Shasta is great in the summer but is a smaller community.

  • Metavict96

    I was wondering what happened to that town! People raved about it in the sixties.

  • Metavict96

    IF you want to avoid tickets don’t camp in the city of Santa Cruz. Haters and cops complain and harass hippies. I lived there nineteen years- seven in an RV. Too sad. Moved to Mt. Shasta – more freedom and cheaper except for food, There is a great health food store Berryvales.

  • Susan Mary Doran

    Do you know any better suggestions? :)

  • Susan Mary Doran

    Burlington isn’t on the list….

  • Angel Lovely-Tattoos

    Those are the transplants My Great Great Grandmother came on a buckboard wagon with her one year old daughter year from Hazard Kentucky To Biltmore NC She came all by herself through Newfound Gap. My mothers Great grandfather was Drake as in Sir Francis Drake’s relatives they were here long before there State joined the union. So I guess that makes me a true dyed in the wool Buncombe County resident. So trust me the most snooty hipster people are transplants trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents. They have wrecked the cities natural beauty with 250,000 Condos and Hotels for 900. The area we are from was a poor neighborhood all our old families homes have been “recycled” into Hipster “land” More Star Bucks per capita than Seattle. Small business are nearly all gone. Most have been converted by outside interests To things like Urban Out Fitter, The Gap and a handful of Wall Marts. They are moving the hippies out of the city and out to the Rivers and The whole of West Asheville. Some changes were okay but the last ten years Asheville is suffering from all this attention because the tourist go there the Big Business buys and disobeys the orders of how they may or may not develop. They don’t care about the natural resources, or historical values of the area. I mean Tiger Woods and Company Tried to build condos and a golf course on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If it were not for his extra marital affairs he would still have the backing to build that Monster. A man Denied to build his home on the top of a mountain, pays his fines builds what he wants too anyway.
    The more transplants the less and less do I even go into town. Moved out to Mars Hill Just to get away from those hipster snooty elitist types.