Best hippie towns in Midwest

The vibe lives on. Here are some hot spots in the American heartland:

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Bloomington, Indiana
  3. Decorah, Iowa
  4. Duluth, Minnesota
  5. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  6. Lawrence, Kansas
  7. Lincoln, Nebraska
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Makanda, Illinois
  10. Yellow Springs, Ohio

(Disclaimer: I’m relying largely on Thrillist and have been to slightly fewer than half of these.)


Looking across the country, we’d add Athens. Georgia; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, natch; Port Townsend, Washington; Cambridge and Northampton, Massachusetts; and Burlington, up in Vermont. Again, half of these are by reputation, not direct experience.

What other towns should be noted, anywhere in the world?

5 thoughts on “Best hippie towns in Midwest

  1. Ha, I had this list when I was mapping out my journeys for the next few years…I am intrigued by Yellow Springs, OH, but maybe I should check out Lawrence while I’m here in Kansas!

    1. Excellent question, especially given the difficulty of defining hippie, then or now. Nobody’s being rigorous, but my assumption is that these communities are more likely to be more open to progressive causes and more welcoming to diverse ideas, have more vegans and bookstores per capita, and probably revolve around a college or university. In a more flippant vein, I’d say you’re more likely to find a poetry reading.
      As I reflect on this, I’m having to admit both Dover, which I’ve just left, and Eastport, where I’m settling in, score high on the scale yet don’t quite pass over into “hippie” zone.
      What would make a “hippie town” for you, Ashley?

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