The following is a list of places where there exists a sizable hippy population, where there is tolerance towards hippies, where hippies are free to pursue their lifestyle with community support. Whether you’re looking to visit or relocate, you can be sure there’ll be places to stay, interesting things to see and do, and lots of other hippies in these places. Please note, most of these were reader contributions! If you know of any other places to add to this list please write to us.
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San Pedro is apparently the remnants of what was once a port nestled in the cliffs of Cabo de Gata, Andalucia. It was discovered and is now the home to several permanent residents and many, many other travellers from all over Europe and the world, who may pass by.
It is completely unreachable by vehicle – only accessible via a 1hr walk (scenic is an understatement) along the cliffs from the nearest village, las Negras.
Its a piece of paradise and a place where nature leaves you awed and humbled, by day and by night. Its also a place where, if you come with the right intentions, strangers will give you what you need. San Pedro welcomes those who like to leave without a trace.
Located in Monroe, Utah, Mystic Hot Springs is an unexpectedly layed back place to chill. The owners are old Dead Heads who stumbled in after the last concerts in Vegas in 1995. They have been collecting old cabins and school buses and coverting them into overnight lodging. They also have a music venue that attracts many nationally touring JamBands.
The Hot springs soaking pools are outside and overlook a beautiful Valley. Funky and cool this place is a welcome stop if you find yourself on the road exploring the wonders of nature in southern Utah. They also are a wwoof place and do a work trade if you can’t afford the $10.00 per night fee.
This town is right by the top of cape cod. Considers itself alomst a sistertown to Key West. Ferries come from Boston. Even a shipwreck tourist spot. Lots of fudge. Tie-dye clothing.
The year-round population of 5,000, largely comprised of gays, lesbians and various artsy types. 50,000 visitors in the summer on the beaches. A premier gay vacation spot.
A popular hippie town. Near the Tappanzee Bridge right on the Hudson. Much tie-dye clothing, organic health stores, yoga, antique and used book stores. Much art. Reputed as the home of Rose O’Donald.
I’ve travelled high and low across Canada to find ‘paradise’, and the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia has loads of organic farms and many back-to-land hippies probably due to the cheap older heritage homes for sale in the region. They’re practically giving these homes away. Bear River in ‘the Valley’ as they say is known as a funky arts and environmental hang-out. The Annapolis Valley has stunning scenery, and the mildest weather in Eastern Canada. Forget about the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia – really conservative.
The West Coast along the Bay of Fundy is more liberal and the vegetation more lush with green forested hills and farmland (and in some places along the Fundy shore, you’ll even find turquoise tinted waters).
Totnes is a small market town nestled at the mouth of the beautiful river Dart surrounded by the green hills of the South Hams in Devon. New Age happened here before it hit most other places, and although time has taken its toll and the pace of the place has changed, it still remains a magnet for artists, musicians, healers, pagans, witches and searchers. If you want to pay a visit make sure you come on a Friday or Saturday – market days – when the whole place comes alive…and more so in spring and summer. Vegetarian restaurants galore, vintage/retro clothes shops, organic health food shops, colourful cafes to lose track of time in…..and from spring to the end of summer pay a visit to the castle at the top of the hill.
Totnes may be small, but its the magic of the place that counts, and I’m sure you’ll feel it.
Walk along the river towards Dartington and you’ll arrive at Dartington Hall, a college for the arts set in a beautiful green valley, and where Ravi Shankar came to study dance as a boy. Further on you’ll get to the Dartington Cider Press, a centre selling local crafts such as hand-blown glass and pottery, with adjoining Crank’s cafe, serving great veggie food.
During a holiday from the university, six friends went on a trip to the Sinai peninsula in eastern Egypt. They ended up at a remote beach camp and it was there that the group chose to stay for a number of days. It is impossible to say how long it was they stayed at Ras Abu-Galum due to the mind-expanding nature of the drugs they were taking during their sojourn there, and because the scenery that surrounded them on all sides was so vast and breath-taking that it served to obscure the reality in which they existed.
From the Tarabin/Nuweiba campground a few hours south of the Eilat border crossing, six friends climbed into the bed of a rusted pick-up truck and piled their gear in the center. Having agreed on a price for the trip, the driver jumped in the cab with his partner and a Cairene on his way to Dahab and the group made for the main road and began driving South. An hour or so into the trip the truck careened onto a dirt path, spilling completely the contents of a joint being rolled. The truck stopped briefly and the driver hopped out of the cab, informing the travellers that he needed some grass or hash to give to his cousin in a nearby village. All too happy to oblige, four or so grams of hash was shared between eight people at a nameless village on a dirt path. Night fell and the group in the bed of the pick-up became restless and paranoid. In the middle of nowhere, they were scared that their isolation might be an invitation for someone with the inclination to rob, rape, or murder a group of young westerners. One look at the sky, however, changed their entire way of thinking. It seemed as if the entire galaxy had been painted onto the black canvas of the sky especially for them to see. Countless stars formed into bright clusters that flowed along the milky way guiding them through the mountains that loomed on either side of the dirt track. At this moment the group was blessed with another spliff and a mile or two of smooth road on which to enjoy it peacefully.
Out of the pitch black night the pick-up drove slowly into Ras Abu-Galum and stopped in front of a small hut made of palm fronds. They were met first by a flock of curious young children and soon thereafter by two men representing one of the families in the village. The driver negotiated the price of a hut and food for the six travellers and what had become their Cairene guide/interpreter/companion. Being an astute negotiator, the driver also procured for the group a small quantity of opium in exchange for the hash that he had been given earlier that day.
There was a small splash as the opium dropped into the tea kettle and disappeared. Having laid out all the gear for the night the group sipped leisurely on their tea and recounted the events of the day, spending extra time to meditate on the good fortunes that had managed to find them among the huge expanse of desert and mountains in which they were surrounded. After the tea, the girls in the group were escorted away by the women of the family hosting them so that they might help with the preparation of the evening meal. The remaining travellers cleaned a large quantity of herb and smoked until the women returned with an amazing and delicious meal of lamb, rice, fish, and fresh dates. Intoxication wove in and out of every person in that hut.
Exploring their surroundings seemed like the next logical thing to do; three of the six set off along the dusty path that was the main road in the village. They met a man with a long black beard and black ringlets that dropped below the shoulder of his dark-blue thobe. To their utter surprise this man was fluent in english and after the necessary greetings the three were invited to his home. Around the fire they all sat smoking and talking; this wise nomad had copius amounts of hash, grass, and brown sugar, a diluted form of opium that the group would become very familiar with that night.
Their stash being in need of rejuvenation the nomad blessed the group with a few stalks of bud and some brown sugar. The three travellers and their nomadic companion walked along the shoreline back to the hut where the rest of the group were drinking more tea and smoking. Introductions were made and they all formed a circle in one portion of the hut around a small fire. For hours they conversed about life, philosophy, politics, religion, marijuana, and countless other subjects all the while passing joints of hash, herb, and free-basing brown sugar, until it was obvious that morning was fast approaching. Their spirits and minds high, they all crept into their sleeping bags and passed out.
Awoken by the incessant buzzing of flies and the heat of the morning sun, one by one the travellers sat up and looked out over the smooth blue water towards the rocky shores of Saudi Arabia. The majestic beauty of this place collectively dawned on them, though it went unspoken. The spliffs were rolled and the six friends got high under the shade of their hut watching the local children splash in the Red Sea. They followed the shoreline back to where they had met the bearded man the night before. Also the proprietor of the only cafe in the village, the Bedouin with whom they had shared the Earth’s fruits with only hours before prepared for them a meal of shakshuka and omlettes.
For the rest of their time in Ras Abu-Galum, six people enjoyed the beauty of the Sinai relaxing by the cool waters of the Red Sea, swimming, smoking, talking with the locals, and meeting other travellers lucky enough to pass through this remarkable village.
This account of the journey I was lucky enough to be a part of is not meant to be a template by which future travellers should try to follow. Like all places, Ras Abu-Galum changes with the passing of time; the experience I and my friends shared is only one of many possibilities and I do not expect that everyone who visits or has visited Ras Abu-Galum will find it as peaceful and free as I was blessed to find it. In the near future I expect that Ras Abu-Galum will retain much of it’s beauty and tranquility, and during the time I spent there, through the lens of my mind, it was truly a hippie-haven.
In general, Albuquerque is pretty non-descript, but Central Ave especially in the University of New Mexico is hippy-friendly. The hippy hangout is Winning’s coffee shop. The Peace and Justice is located nearby and has all the local info for events. La Montanita co-op, Peacecraft, Stella Blue (dead-head music club), The Guild Theater, a few head shops, bike shops, the big weekend flea market, music stores, alternative video (Alphaville), and Buffalo Exchange (kinda pricy for a thrift-store), are all right on Cental. The downtown and University scenes are also right off Central.
Perhaps the hottest destination for Europeans these days (it’s cheap!). This friendly country has much to offer, including great beaches, culture, and shopping. Again, toe the line – remember the movie “Midnight Express”!
Montreal as many know is a MAJOR hippie mecca of Canada with enormous urban counterculture activity. For those of you who love nature, mountains and forest, and more organic, health-oriented back-to-the-land hippie havens, a short trip just north of Montreal will find you in the Laurentian Mountains which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet in the Canadian summer. Loads of organic outdoorsy hippies from Montreal and other parts of Canada hang out in the Laurentians to commune with the shimmering lakes, birds, beautiful bright green trees, and the bluest of skies around for the months of May-October.
If you want to live in the Laurentian mountains, the cost of living is next to nothing – you can find a small cottage for a very cheap/good price. Americans can buy cheap, cheap land/cottages, and take up residence in the Laurentians for up to six months a year. You might bring a English/French dictionary and compliment the passionate french locals – since it’s mostly a french-speaking area. However, there’s about 25% English speaking people in the Laurentians and so you can easily get by with just English particularly on the edge of the resort areas where many Americans travel from i.e., New York to vacation. People flock to the area from all over the world (mostly northern Europe). And, it has a very left-wing, progressive European feel about it.
Loads of free, peace-loving hippies in and around the Laurentians. Communes, yoga and artist studios, an incredible bike path (use to be a train line) that goes to Montreal, and endless nature/recreation!