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American Cities Stuck in the 1960s

Madison, Wisconsin

The longest-running marijuana festival in the U.S., the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, can be found parading the streets of Madison every October. Stop by the local co-op to stock up on snacks before you listen to speakers educate about and advocate for marijuana legalization. If toking up isn't your thing, you can still get the full hippy experience in the streets of Madison. Why not visit some of the city's art venues or coffee shops? Or pick up some hippie threads at a local vintage store!

(image via emilymills, CC)

Missoula, Montana

Missoula definitely has a different vibe than the rest of the state, mostly because it attracts anyone and everyone that's creative. It's home to local markets and cafes where you can get farm-to-table food, and there's always something going on. In August, there's the River City Roots Festival. Then, February brings the Big Sky Documentary Film Fest and the Winter Brew Fest. 

(Image via Missoulian)

Athens, Ohio

A common find among hippie-centric cities is that they usually are also considered a "college town." Athens, Ohio, continues this tradition by hosting Ohio University, a driving and organizing force behind the town's arts community. When you're roaming around one of the many cultural festivals, stop by some of the granola-bohemian stores for unique discoveries.

(image via quiddle, CC)

Portland, Maine

Maine has that live-and-let-live atmosphere that's a perfect home for hippies. It's no wonder there are so many in Portland. If you're looking to sell some of your homegrown or homemade Etsy wares, however, you'll have stiff competition on these boutique-lined streets full of bohemian wares.

(image via pavdw, CC)

Olympia, Washington

If you're grabbing a coffee in Olympia, don't head to the nearest Starbucks (there's only one). In this town, "local" is the name of the buying game. The hippie scene is so pervasive that there are endearing terms for the types of hippies you may encounter: the "sporty hippie" can be seen biking to and fro as you tour the town.

(image via rumicatherine)

Berea, Kentucky

Counterculture is cool in Berea, Kentucky, a small arts town just 45 minutes southeast of Lexington. If Etsy had a physical store, Berea is what it would look like. In fact, the entire town is included on our Kentucky State Bucket List. Come practice your glassblowing skills, and then pull up a chair for a locally-grown organic lunch that probably came from a farm just outside the urban center.

(image via mkennadav)

Ashland, Oregon

The "People's Republic of Ashland" has always been a little out of step with its surrounding neighbors, even from the early days of the town. Their endearing support for Abraham Lincoln and women's suffrage raised more than a few eyebrows in the more conservative southern portion of the state.

(image via theslowlane, CC)

Ithaca, New York

Where there's natural beauty, you'll find environmentalists. Ithaca's sizeable college population helps to support the socially conscious endeavors of the many communes, co-ops, and holistic stores that dot the city. A minimum of 5 bumper stickers are required on all cars (if you can stand to pollute the earth that much by driving one).

(image via ithacascottishgames, CC)

Marfa, Texas

Austin's slogan may be "Keep Austin Weird," but there's no chance Marfa, out in the deserts of west Texas, will be losing its cool anytime soon. This art Mecca is more that just a quick stop off the interstate: the music is funky, the restaurants are retro, and the coolest boots in all of Texas are made right here.

(image via shopfreda)

Jerome, Arizona

This former mining town is known as "America's Most Vertical City." Driving the winding roads around the town, you'll notice the houses look pretty much the same as they did throughout the 1960s and 70s. Not much has changed, and that historic feel is what the locals love.

(image estudianteCC)

Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro hosts more arts and cultural events than many other cities three times its size, and the winter snow doesn't stop the first-of-the-month Gallery Walks. This is Vermont, after all, so the granola is free flowing, and there is no shortage of independent bookstores or natural groceries and co-ops.

(image redjar, CC)

Yellow Springs, Ohio

Yellow Springs was founded with the ideas of utopia in mind. While it didn't quite get there, the town remains a free-spirited, open-minded community that's as physically colorful as its tie-dye-wearing residents. Only in Yellow Springs would you need a store specializing in handmade drums.

(image via mspearman, CC)

Paonia, Colorado

As the town that created Chacos, it comes as no surprise that Paonians love the outdoors. The environmental activism of the town also feeds into a notion of local self-reliance, seen in the number of ranches and organic farms. So pack up the Subaru, and head out on an adventure to explore the western Colorado wilderness.

(image via lazlita)

Madrid, New Mexico

Thanks to the Turquoise Trail, the former ghost town of Madrid is finding new life as a burgeoning arts community. Galleries and boutiques sprout quicker than weeds, and the old mining feel has turned into a biker one. Like Yellow Springs, the city's buildings are brightly decorated to stand out from their desert surroundings.

(image via squishedlizard, CC)

Fayetteville, West Virginia

These hippies headed for the hills! Free-spirited and funky, Fayetteville, West Virginia, is full of murals, crystal shops, and unique buildings. An old cathedral has since been turned into a cafe. Take a yoga class outdoors and enjoy the fresh Appalachian mountain air.

(image via xdstn)

Eugene, Oregon

The Oregon Country Fair is the hippie paradise dreams are made of. Similar to how car dealerships give away turkeys or cuts of bacon, Bicycle Way of Life gives away tofu. Not only are tie-dye shirts available, but shoppers can also purchase tie-dye underwear. Need we go on, or do you get the idea?

(image via stuttermonkey, CC)

Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence residents take their music seriously as the home of many bands, record labels, and music festivals. While perusing the local boutiques, you can purchase some handmade jewelry to go along with your hemp dress in this hippie alcove in an otherwise red-leaning state.

(image via phenger, CC)

Fairfax, California

In 2009, Fairfax was the only city in the U.S. to have a majority Green Party local government, which speaks to the progressive and politically-engaged nature of the residents. With such idyllic natural surroundings, its no surprise that the town takes environmentalism seriously.

(image via jenniferdrose)

Northampton, Massachusetts

Trendy Main Street is home to hemp stores, Moroccan coffee shops, and long gray hair as far as the eye can see. If the rainbow crosswalk wasn't indicative enough, there's a greater concentration of LGBT residents here than the national average. If you're renting a car and making a day trip from Boston, just make sure that it's a Prius.

(image via jboyspicks)

Mount Shasta, California

If things feel a little different in Mount Shasta, that's because the nearby mountain is the root chakra of the world, the place where heaven and earth meet. It's time to polish off those crystals, head out into the moonlight of the surrounding forest, and enjoy the invigorating energies of this unique destination.

(image via earthwalkmedicine)

Boulder, Colorado

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.

(Image via Facebook)

Arcata, California

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.

(Image via Facebook)

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 LGBT citizens and tourists. Both were the first of their kind in the state.

(Image via Facebook)

Bisbee, Arizona

After the mining boom went bust, artistic counter-culturists 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.

(Image via Facebook)

Burlington, Vermont

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.

(Image via Facebook)

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is the country's reigning champ of hippie culture. Flooded with farmers' markets, art 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.

(Image via Facebook)

Nederland, Colorado

Not far from Boulder (another hippie city), Nederland sits for anyone looking to rest their free spirit. Hippies from all over the country travel to this little town so they can hear great music and enjoy what the town has to offer. It’s also home to NedFest, a jam-friendly music fest for anyone that needs a little R&R.

(Image via Facebook)

Topanga, California

Dozens of famous stars have visited Topanga from Shirley Temple to Jim Morrison. Topanga is the perfect place for a hippie to escape the nearby glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. It was particularly famous for the clothing-optional swingers resort Sandstone Retreat. While the retreat closed, that doesn’t stop people from flying their Buddhist prayer flags or jamming out at a drum circle.  

(Image via Facebook)

Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington? No way! Yes, way. Indiana may not be the first place you think of when it comes to hippie towns, but this town will change your mind. Bloomington is a college town where the peace-loving people love to eat at a restaurant called Laughing Planet. The Dalai Lama’s brother even visited once upon a time and founded the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center.

(Image via Facebook)

Manitou Springs, Colorado

Prefer new age hippies? Manitou Springs, Colorado is where you need to go. This place is mellow and trippy at the same time. Sometimes, it’s referred to as the “hippie Mayberry” and even had a down-to-earth hippie as it’s mayor—we’re talking about Mayor Bud Ford!

(Image via Facebook)