30 of America's Hippie Hideouts
The hippie counterculture movement was huge in the 1960s, in part due to the social injustices occurring at the time, as well as violence around the globe, namely the Vietnam war. The hippie movement began in the United States but gradually spread to different countries over time. It wasn't long before the hippie movement really ended up defining the '60s.
The word hippie itself derived from the word hipster, which was a word used to describe beatniks who moved into counterculture capitals like Greenwich Village in New York, the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco and Old Town in Chicago. While these areas became hippie meccas at the time, it didn't stay that way. As the hippie movement declined, they had to spread out and find new places to call home. So where are they now?
The hippie subculture may have waned during the 1970s, but you can still find their ethos of peace, love, and harmonious community in these ten cities across the country. True to form, these concentrations of counterculture aren't found in your traditional state capitals or most populous cities. If you are looking for the sickest hippie hideouts for a little getaway, check out these 30 amazing locations. Let's take a look!
With an unofficial motto of "People's Republic of Boulder," this northern Colorado town marches to the beat of its own drum. Boulder's reputation rests heavily on the University of Colorado. While school officials have recently cracked down on the practice, as many as 15,000 participants collectively "light up" on the quad for April 20th.
However, Boulder is more than just college students getting high—the city actually has a long history with the hippies, including the "hippie invasion" of 1968. Some Boulder residents even claim that the city was ground zero for the natural food movement of the '60s and '70s.
As is common for many cities on this list, Arcata earns the designation of "college town" with nearby Humboldt State's enrollment equal to almost half of the city's population. Known particularly for its environmentalism, the city is the first in the country to have had a majority of its city council seats held by Green Party members. In 1989, Arcata also became a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone by popular vote.
If you happen to find yourself in Arcata, you definitely want to check out the Kinetic Grand Championship, where participants race in "all-terrain works of art" that they create themselves. As hippie-ish as that sounds, the race is actually pretty grueling, taking place over three days and leads racers over "sand, mud, pavement, a bay crossing, a river crossing, and major hills."
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The Ozark Mountain enclave of Eureka Springs is an artistic community all its own from the rest of Arkansas politics. Back in 2006, the city voted 62% in favor of making illegal possession of marijuana a low priority. In 2015, voters overwhelmingly passed a non-discrimination ordinance to cover its LGBTQ citizens and tourists. Both were the first of their kind in the state.
And if you happen to be a hippie who loves the spooky side of life, you're definitely going to want to check out the Crescent Hotel in town. The historic hotel has been around since 1886 and has had several deaths on the premises, leading it to be described as "the most haunted hotel in America."
As the home of the University of Montana, it might not come as a surprise that the town leans a little to the left. Like Eureka Springs, Missoula has worked to decriminalize marijuana, and the town as a whole voted for a non-binding referendum that urged Congress to withdraw from Iraq in June of 2007. Is it any surprise that the town is also home to Hempfest?
You definitely want to schedule a trip during the annual River City Roots Festival, as the hippie spirit of the town will be on full display here. And with a quick trip to the historic Missoula Farmers' Market, you'll have all the fresh ingredients you need to whip up a delicious vegetarian meal!
After the mining boom went bust, artistic counterculturists moved away from the ever-growing commercialization of larger Southwest cities to set up this retreat full of architectural charm. Downtown Bisbee, planned before the popularity of cars, is compact and walkable and the perfect location for the Bisbee Poetry Festival that brings hundreds to visit this diamond in the Southwestern rough.
Even something as simple as a stroll down Main Street will make it evident that Bisbee has a vibrant hippie spirit, and you might also want to stop into the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum to learn just how the town went from the gold rush to the hippie hideout it has become today.
Ithaca, New York
Home to Ivy League member Cornell University, Ithaca is home to farmers' markets, art collectives, and festivals galore. Perhaps the city's liberal leanings stand out more in conservative upstate New York, but Ithaca's focus on community self-reliance shines through in its cooperative programs like the Ithaca Health Fund and Ithaca Hours, an alternative local currency.
If you're still not convinced of Ithaca's hippie cred, consider this—in 2008, the town found fame for officially creating the world's largest human peace sign. More than 5,000 residents and visiting peace enthusiasts completed this feat in Ithaca's beautiful Stewart Park.
How strong is the flower power in Burlington, Vermont? Strong enough to keep out McDonald's. If you want a Big Mac, you'll have to go one town over (South Burlington) to get your fix. If head hippies Ben & Jerry call the city home, then it's no wonder many others followed in their footsteps.
However, there's so much more in Burlington for a hippie to do besides eating some delicious ice cream from the locals. You should also consider visiting during the annual South End Art Hop, where hundreds of local artists display their work in businesses and galleries in Burlington's South End district.
Tourist hotspot Berea is a haven for arts and crafts and home to the Kentucky Artisan Center. The arts culture alone is enough to include the whole town on our Kentucky State Bucket List. Nearby Berea College was the first in the South to be both coeducational and integrated. The college itself espouses the town's cooperative mantra by charging no tuition to admitted students.
No matter when you pay Berea a visit, there's a good chance there will be some sort of arts and crafts festival going on. And if you want to experience some great local music from the region, be sure to check out the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music that's held every year.
Flower children flocked to Oregon and its fertile fields to plant organic farms and participate in cooperative living. Eugene still serves as a model for community ingenuity and urban design. If this image of the Oregon Country Fair doesn't tell you all you need to know, then we're at a loss for words on how to paint a better picture.
On any given day, you're highly likely to find a farmers' market or craft market going on in Eugene. And if that's not the case, just take a stroll through downtown to experience the omnipresent public art. From murals to sculptures, Eugene is probably one of the most colorful places in Oregon.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is the country's reigning champ of hippie culture. Flooded with farmers' markets, arts and crafts, and live music, this southern gem has a long history of street performance and outdoor festivals. It also led the charge in farm-to-table local food production and microbreweries. In fact, there are more breweries per capita than any other city in the nation. It's no wonder the city has become a popular vacation destination even for non-hippie visitors!
If you really want to see the wild, hippie side of Asheville, you'll definitely want to visit during Mardi Gras. The celebration in town involves a parade, the Queen's Ball, and plenty of crazy costumes. It's a much more family-friendly experience than New Orleans Mardi Gras, but it's still a wild, colorful ride!
Joshua Tree, California
Large swaths of California are basically hippie central, but if you really want to feel the peace, love, and happiness, there's one town you don't want to miss in The Golden State—Joshua Tree. These days, it has been a bit overrun by wannabe who are just looking for a cute photo op, but Joshua Tree has genuine hippie cred.
Obviously the biggest hippie draw to this town is going to be the Joshua Tree National Park where you can explore the desert and commune with nature, but there's one other place in town that every self-respecting hippie needs to visit. The Integratron is a local building with a large wooden dome that is self-described by its owners as an "electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel."
When people vacation in Flordia, most tourist head straight for Orlando or Miami. However, if you're looking for one of America's best hippie hideouts, you're going to want to make a stop in Cassadaga. Located just north of Deltona, Florida, Cassadaga is described as the "Psychic Capital of the World."
The city was first founded by spiritualists all the way back in 1875, and it hasn't lost touch with its supernatural roots in the ensuing years. The town is home to lots of mediums and healers, but you can also take care of all your hippie shopping needs at the local crystal and esoterica shops.
While Idaho is probably not the first state you think of when you think of hippie hideouts, The Gem State is home to one of the most popular in the United States. Located northwest of Boise, Stanley is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of town of just over 200 inhabitants with a very hippie vibe.
Stanley is a bit out in the middle of nowhere, so it might not be the place for you if you're looking for art festivals and crystal shops, but if you're looking to commune with nature, you've come to the right place! After a day of exploring the Sawtooth mountains, you might even return to town to find a drum circle going!
Abita Springs, Louisiana
You could do worse than New Orleans, Louisiana when it comes to hippie hideouts. But if you're looking to avoid the crowds and still have a great hippie experience, Abita Springs, Louisiana might be a better fit for you. Located just north of Lake Pontchartrain, Abita Springs is a small town of 2000 but with major hippie heart.
While in town, you're definitely going to want to make a visit to the Abita Mystery House which is an odd place filled to the brim with thousands of pieces of folk art. After that, you can grab a local beer at the Abita Brewing Company and listen to some authentic bluegrass music as the monthly Abita Springs Opry.
Is anyone really shocked that Oregon shows up multiple times on this list? That place is basically one giant hippie enclave! However, if you want to party with the hippiest and dippiest Oregonians, you're going to want to make the trip up to Ashland, Oregon. And there's plenty of far-out fun to be had here!
If you're looking for the OG hippies, Ashland is the place to be. The community may have an aging population, but the grown-up hippies here are still as wild as they were in the '60s! Plus, if you're looking for a great artistic experience, Ashland is home to the annual and iconic Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Hippies in America's heartland? You better believe it! Yellow Springs, Ohio predates hippies by more than a century; however, it's been a "peace, love, and happiness" sort of place since the beginning. Founded in 1825, Yellow Springs began as a town of 100 families looking to create a utopian community like they had witnessed in other states.
These days, no one is really claiming that Yellow Springs is a utopia, but it's still got plenty of hippie charm for you to discover. The town is home to the private liberal arts university Antioch College and has an unusually vibrant arts scene for a town of just under 4000 people.
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina might be the most famous trendy city in the state, but if you want a real hippie experience, you're going to want to travel a few miles south of the city to the town of Folly Beach. This place is so far out that you might not even realize you're still in South Carolina!
Though you might not realize it, Folly Beach is prime real estate for surfing, so the town attracts all sorts of laid-back, beach bum types—perfect for any hippie at heart! After a day of surfing, you might even find that a drum circle has spontaneously coalesced on the shore. And don't forget to give Bert's 24-hour market when the munchies hit at strange times!
The town of Summertown, Tennessee is barely a town at all! And while this tiny unincorporated region might not be teeming with hippies, you'll find them all congregating just outside of town on The Farm. This "intentional community" just outside the city limits is home to 200 true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool hippies.
The Farm was first founded in 1975 by hippie guru Stephen Gaskin and several hundred followers he rounded up from Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. In addition to promoting principles of nonviolence and environmentalism, The Farm is credited with revitalizing the midwife and home birth industries. People are free to visit The Farm without the intention of moving there, and guided tours are provided throughout the year.
There's probably not a person reading this who's surprised to hear that a place named "Unity" is a major hippie enclave. And this small Maine town of almost 3000 people definitely doesn't disappoint! If you're a New England kind of hippie, this is one place you don't want to miss.
The biggest and hippiest draw to the town is definitely the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, but even if you're not a hippie with a green thumb, there's still plenty to do in town. You might even want to enroll in a course down at Unity College—billed as the first college in the country to base all their course offerings around sustainability science.
East Wind Community, Missouri
Branson might be the biggest redneck hideout in Missouri, but if hippies are more your style, you might want to instead head east from there until you hit Tecumseh, Missouri. Just outside this teeny-tiny Missouri town sits the East Wind Community, a commune founded and still run by some of the hippiest people you'll ever meet.
The commune describes themselves like this—"We hold our land, labor, and resources in common. We place great value on cooperation, nonviolence, and direct democracy." So yeah...there's no doubt this place is crawling with hippies. However, don't just expect to pop in for a visit—the community only invites in people who are interested in living there full-time, and even then, your presence is put to a vote by the other members.
Olympia may be most well known as the one-time home of musician Kurt Cobain, but it's not just a mecca for grunge fans—hippies will find plenty to enjoy in this beautiful city as well. If you're looking to commune with nature, you can't do much better than Olympia and its close proximity to Mount Rainier.
Olympia is also home to Evergreen State University—a non-traditional college that "doesn't believe in grades." You probably wouldn't want to spend money on an education so lax, but this should give you a good idea of the hippie mindset that permeates this place. All in all, you won't find many places so chill.
Keene, New Hampshire
If you're in the New England area looking for hippie fun, you'll probably head straight to Vermont. And hey, who could blame you? However, Vermont's next-door neighbor, New Hampshire, has its fair share of hippies too...if you know where to look! One of the best places to find them is in the city of Keene.
This city of 23,000 is home to the annual Keene Music Festival where you can sway the night away like a true hippie. The town is also home to two colleges, which helps contribute to its vibe as well. And you'll definitely want to try out one of the many vegan and vegetarian restaurants while you're there.
Utah may be more known for Mormons than hippies, but you'll find plenty of them in the state if you know where to look! And one of the first places you should look is Moab. While this beautiful desert town draws all sorts of tourists every year, there's plenty of specific hippie fun you can find here.
You're definitely going to want to check out the Moonflower Community Cooperative in town, which claims to be the first co-op grocery store in Utah. Non-members are still allowed to shop here, and you'll find all the ingredients you need to create a hippie, vegan feast before you head into the desert!
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Wisconsin may be Packers country, but you'll find more than just rabid football fans in the state—you might even run into a few hippies if you know where you need to look! One of the best places to start your hippie hunt is in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Eau Claire may have almost 70,000 residents, but it has a very small town feel to it. You don't have to look very hard or far to find live music in the city on any given day, and the town is also home to numerous galleries for those hippies among us who want to get in touch with their artistic side.
Charlestown, Rhode Island
When you visit Charlestown you may find yourself wondering if you're still in Rhode Island or if you've been magically transported to some sort of hippie heaven. This small town of just 8000 residents has such a hippie feel to it that you might not ever want to leave!
The biggest draw of the town is definitely The Fantastic Umbrella Factory, which, in spectacular hippie fashion, has nothing to do with manufacturing umbrellas. Instead, this store bills itself as "a 19th century farmyard shopper's paradise and international bazaar." The Factory is home to multiple stores that sell everything from graphic tees to axes and hatchets. You never know what you'll find there!
When it comes to hippies, Alaska is probably the last state you'd think of. It seems like folks up there are a bit more interested in surviving the brutal elements as opposed to peace, love, and happiness. However, if you know where to look in the state, you can find a bustling hippie enclave in Homer, Alaska.
You can tell that they do things just a little bit differently in Homer right from the moment you hear the town's nickname—the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea. When you couple that with the city's bustling art scene and prime location for viewing the Northern Lights, it's no wonder that hippies flock to this unusual Alaskan small town.
Atlanta may be the main hub of activity in Georgia, but if you're in the mood for a little hippie fun, it's best to skip the big city and instead head on down to Athens, Georgia. It's not your typical hippie hideaway, but once you visit, you'll see that the city does indeed march to the beat of its own drum.
Athens is home to the University of Georgia, and we all know just how offbeat and odd a college town can be! Plus, downtown is gorgeous and full of unusual art and shops for visitors interested in a more unique way of life. Don't disregard this hidden gem just because Georgia as a whole doesn't scream hippie!
In the past, Makanda, Illinois was a railroad town struggling to survive. However, in the 1960s, a unique bunch of hippies decided to make Makanda their permanent home. Since then, it's become a haven for all sorts of artistic types who want to live in the midwest.
This is definitely one town with plenty of opportunities to commune with nature, including the Giant City State Park as well as the Shawnee National Forest. And if you plan on spending a few days in this hippie hideout, be sure to book at room at the beautiful and unique Makanda Inn.
Hippies in Iowa? As implausible as it may sound, creative types are doing just fine in the Hawkeye State. If you really want the hippie experience in Iowa, you'll definitely want to check out the charming town of Decorah, where everyone seems to be very in touch with Mother Nature.
Because the area tends to have unusually high pollen counts, many locals took to beekeeping to try to keep the problem under control—what's more hippie than organic, home-grown honey as far as the eye can see? When you factor in the food co-op and private liberal arts college into the equation as well, Decorah seems like a thriving hippie hub!
On the whole, Massachusetts seems like a state where you're more likely to find WASPs than hippies, but this beautiful New England state is home to one of the best hippie hideouts in the entire country—Northampton. The small-town charm of this tiny place will make you want to move there yourself!
It seems like there's always some sort of music or art taking place in the town. Plus, it's nearby some of the hippiest schools in the country—including Amherst College and Hampshire College—which means that the town is home to some truly interesting characters as well. Northampton might not be on your radar, but if you love all things hippie, you're definitely going to want to visit.