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Columbus, Ohio

pop. 2,500,000. High Street @ Ohio State University (Largest University in the US, 70,000 students) dozens of head shops, 100’s of specialty stores including 50 record and tape stores (tons of used) dozens of hemp clothing stores.

UPDATE: Many of the head shops are being forced closed because the campus area is becoming “revitalized” (read: influx of money, respectability, and high price residences and stores). Also, the Police Department issued a warning to Columbus citizens and business that Phish was a “cult” and to avoid serving those that were in town for the concert. Columbus is fast becoming an anti-hippy haven.

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43 Responses to Columbus, Ohio


  • you are so wrong ohio has more festival freedom than many other states maybe the city not that important . ohio is a very large open as of now festival haven

  • you are so wrong ohio has more festival freedom than many other states maybe the city not that important . ohio is a very large open as of now festival haven

  • Cincinnati used to be a hippie haven but now the riots have stoped the hippies “Dead” in there tracks

  • i agree with you ohio was a large hippy haven but as you stated that is being eliminated. i belive the school is moving away from that very quickly infact its rather alarming to see so many shops go out of bussiness so quickly…i just want my home back

  • The newport is a great place to see live music, but college kids can be assholes. Also watch out for crazed street preachers, and singing bums.

  • visit nelson ledges quarry park. https://www.nlqp.com

  • hey howdy hey, my family and I r moving to the portland area around may or june. Would apreciate any info on where is coll to live, jobs anything. Thanx JAH bless

  • Why is this called a “hippie” town? I have been here all my life and the closest thing to a “hippie” I have seen are grungy college kids on campus and old dirty people with no job and ambition, and of course, all the racists. The people I have come in contact who appreciate getting euphoria off of mother green are definitley not hippies. This slow ass town has ignorance beginning with first entering Ohio, where the speed limit drastically changes from 75 to 55. Maybe the cops are hippies,,they can’t even catch the so-called highway shooter,,just flying around wasting money. I have had the fortune to live elsewhere in the U.S where people are friendlier and smarter. Don’t worry,,all you nuts who respond to this will say something racist and ignorant,,it’s in your DNA. Go ahead,,tell me to leave,,I already have. Good riddance to Columbus.

  • im looking for a headshop in columbus ohio, can anyone help me?

  • I have lived in ohio now for over 25 years in a town called Fremont. I started smoking herb when I was 19, and I have been arrested already for possession at the age of 20. Since I have been smoking bud, people in ohio respond to you differently, and the cops have a vendetta against you.
    When I was arrested, the police officer TOLD me that if I was drinking in my car instead of smoking ganja he would have poured out the beer and let me go home, but since I was smoking weed, he had to call in a drug dog and have me arrested which took over three hours to bust me for a roach and 2 pipes. Upon getting to the police station, there is a huge sign outside of the building stating that the police are against drunk drivers… even though they would prefer that I drink and drive instead of smoking bud and parking.
    There is very little love left in America for the new generation of hippies, even among our own peers. I blame the media, the police and the DARE program for spreading falsehoods about marijuana and the supposed “dangers” it presents. I have known legitamite old-school hippies here in Ohio and things are nothing like what they remember. At 25 years of age I am looked at as more of a criminal or terrorist supporter for smoking weed than I am looked at as a pothead, which I would rather be known for. Overgrow the government and smoke weed every day!


  • Hi, i live in Ohio. i am from sandusky, then i moved to cleveland, i visit columbus almost every week bc of my so called boyfriend ( i dunno what we are right now)..we are both hippy spirited kind of ppl i guess you could say and well Ohio just is not that. In cleveland we have the highest rate of proverty out of the whole country and yet my state still voted bush, it makes no sence. ppl here are cold and mean and seem down all the time..i dunno if its bc its so cold or what? but its not a happy place. i smoke pot so i get look down upon. and columbus just has a bunch of preppy kids who look down upon you for being yourself. there is a lot of new wave emo kids too, which is cool, but a lot of them are straight edge, its hard to meet any free-spirited loving ppl in this town. Anthony lives in columbus and its funny bc he was just complaining to me how mean ppl are there. i wouldnt call it a hippy haven at all. i would call it a place where kids get drunk, and your scared to walk the streets alone at night, and bums stop you for money. if your looking for a hippy haven please dont come to ohio, i have been all over ohio and its not great at all. its becoming a more conservative state and money hungry. thats why im taking a road trip when i graduate highschool and moving to cali! i havent decided where yet, but im not to worried about it, im goin with the fLow! 🙂

  • Okay, i have alot of opinions when the word “hippie” is used. Maybe to some, the word hippie means: a state of being.. .To me i guess it means a fashion statement, someone who has accually lived in the 60’s.. maybe i’m wrong.. I personally like culture, and diversity in a society. I think columbus has alot of diversity. Last few times i visited there. I saw that. So does almost ever big city though. Even small towns/cities have that as well.I guess its a matter of finding it. I mean look @ asheville. Its a pretty small place, with ALOT of things happening. I think columbus has alot of things to see artistically wise!. The Gallery Hop for insence. Plus osu has a good art peogram available. I personally can say on my last few visits to “Cbus” that i met some really Good/honest/Genuine “heads”. & not to mention I had an amazing time!. Also met a person I will never beable to forget:X. I accually have considered “moving” there. I’m not one to even like to settle somewhere. For i love to travel. I think if i have considered it in that way. I must think its a pretty chill place. Maybe I’am wrong. Hey thats me though

  • Columbus is off the hippie map. OSU is a police state. Cops busted a couple student athletes for pot, so now there’s a huge crackdown underway with massive increases in drug testing for student athletes. High Street is being turned into a clone of Easton, a giant upscale yuppie shopping mall. Nearly all the head shops have been eliminated. The ones that remain have a disclaimer list that reads like some Enron contract. The few cool venues that remain are being taken over by straight edge stockbroker wannabees
    with wireless laptops and overpriced coffee drinks. It’s not about cultural diversity, it’s about economic diversity, namely the (few) haves and the (many) have nots.

    …see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars,…and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.

    Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums, 1958 (Yes, that’s just part of one sentence!) https://www.hipplanet.com/hip/famous-hippy-quotes/

    Dig it, while you still can.

  • I live around the OSU campus area, and have for the last 7 years. I really love this city and all it has to offer. In the past few years they have torn down a lot of the small stores to make way for campus partners (OSU purchased some of the delapidated land around south campus to “rejuvenate” the area) however in regards to head shops not much has changed. Most of the private owned businesses that were shut down were bars. I am not for the extreme comercialization of the area (barnes and noble and movie theaters will abound) However there are still many things to do in many parts of the city. The campus partners area is 3 blocks at most. This is a city with many distinct neighborhoods all with there own charm. It was also recently voted one of the midwest’s most walkable cities, so get out of your car, walk around the neighborhoods, it’s impossible to say whether people are friendly in a town when you are driving through with a car stereo going. Besides what’s better on a nice day than getting a little baked and wandering around to parks and art galleries. Need other activies? Try the gallery hop every month in the Short North, or Comfest in the Victorian Village, a hippy-fest, started as a political festival in the 60’s and still promotes their political activities. (main goal of comfest is to register un-registered voters) It’s not just for activism though, great bands, rows of tents selling all kinds of interesting things, beer tents, food tents, people with dogs, women without shirts, pot smoking, dancing and sunbathing, what more could you want? 🙂 There is the Columbus Arts Festival every June, Springfest (huge free concert sponsored by the university), Hempfest, The Asian Festival, Latino Festival, and HeritageFest. Have a dog? Take them to Antrum Park to play with tons of other dogs. Walk the bike trail along the Olentangy River, or go to campus and play on the oval with a frisbee. Columbus seems to have a fairly strong local music scene, the residents enjoy there local bands and support them. Local bands especially at Little Brothers, Brother’s, Larry’s and Victory’s. In the seven years I have lived here I have met a ton of people who I could relate to, from all different types of places and backgrounds. I am not saying Columbus is unique from other cities in this way, I just think that every city has tons to be explored and enjoyed, and since it seems most of the posts regarding Columbus were fairly negative, I wanted to let you all know that there are lots of positive, entertaining, and welcoming places to go in and around the Columbus area. Oh, and head shops? My two personal favorites are Underground Glass, and The Import House, both located on High Street by the OSU campus.

  • I moved away from Columbus 2 years ago this May 2005. I felt that most people that I met were not real and are mad a something all the time. Racism is prevelent and I have never seen so many NASCAR stickers on cars in any other state other than in Ohio. I lived on West 8th Ave. (next to OSU) for 3 years before i moved to Missouri, not to mention the other 5 years I lived in the campus vicinity. Where do I start. . .The first month I lived on 8th my car was stolen from my parking lot. My best friends truck was broke into (I actually caught him and he wasnt in good shape after) my other friends car was ransacked and of course had missing objects. On new years, at exactly 12 midnight, my friends and I listened for 10 minutes to constant gun fire, I’m guessing in celebration. Not a safe place to live especially as a young college student who does not know where they are. Girls are raped IN THEIR OWN HOUSES! by bums, there was a weekend of riots after OSU beat Michigan, I found a stolen car in the alley behind my house, I was asked for money every 50 feet and even when I said I had nothing to offer the guy cursed me under his breath but luckily for him my girlfriend stopped me from letting him know what was on my mind. I made a group of great, dedicated friends, who are all NOT FROM OHIO. I truly feel that the bad weather, kids who are finally away from home, and the slacker police are a big reason that people are not in good moods around that city. I recommend that people think twice about making Columbus their home.

  • ya my state ohio isn’t the best but your going on one city. ther’s all sorts of places to go and they all have thier little riffs and ya the popo aint the best peeps on earth. but hey it’s a great place to live. i’ve lived here all my life. and i just turned out as a hippie nothin wrong far as i’m concerned

  • Why does every body here whine about how terrible this town is? One guy is even bragging about how he beat up a thief (You should have seen the other guys condition) I thought the hippies were about peace. Also Every where I look on THIS website there is things for sale with a hippie motif (all fake) the hippies were the original DIY. This town may not6 be Haight Ashbury 1967 but we still have Free Stores, Free Clinics,and an Underground Newspaper (The Free Press) There are still Head shops and great shows are still to be had at the Newport. Buy “Steal this book” alot of that stuff still works about how to furnish your own apartment. come on. Tune in Turn on Light up

  • I lived in Columbus in the late 1970’s, in the Harrison West neighborhood (still mostly a hillbilly ghetto at that time – I’m originally from W.Va, myself), and haven’t been back there for 25 years. Columbus was still a Nice Place to be, even though “old dirty” Charbert’s & Pearl Alley of the 60’s was long gone. I’m sorry to hear things have changed so much, Columbus had a large and dynamic arts community, in which I was privileged to participate. Great places to hang out, like Frank’s Bar and the Blue Danube, food coop on West 5th., the neat little bookstore on High Street near Clintonville. Life is change, I suppose. This wasn’t so much of a current review as an Old Fart Hippie reminiscing…maybe if you find some sort of time warp…Good look to all you whippersnappers, hope yours is as good a trip as mine has been.

  • VW Jetta Driving Marianne Beard is so hot and sexy. Those little lips are so hot. Yummie!

  • OK Duane-What would you do if you caught somebody in your backyard stealing stuff out of your friends car that he just broke into? Since your such the “HIPPIE” is suppose you would go give him a special brownie and a PHISH bootleg, huh. That was the last straw for me after MY car was stolen causing me a lot of money, time off of work, and not to mention the police had to come inside my house to take a report, and my experience with “HIPPIES” is that the police are not exactly the most cooperative with each other. And what WAS his condition? He would not help himself so he stole from others who ARE helping themselves? I WAS NOT BRAGGING!! I said before, I was fed up and this piece of trash got caught!! I am no hippie or a dead head, I will always remember the great times and people I met at the Dead shows that I had the privlege to attend. But, all things come to an end and all we have are the memories.

  • um all u people need to get off our nutts plz k thx have a nice day

  • Ohio actually is a really fun place for festivals. I dont live in columbus but have friends that live at OSU. Always have a good time when Im there. All i can say is that i dont label myself as a hippie nor do i want to be labeled at all. I have fun nomatter where Im at and Ohio is a great place to live. all of those people who write in to complain about ohio and its recent suppression have obviously never been to the ledges. every summer the weekends spent at nlqp are never forgotten; or rememberd for that matter. Check it out if you have the chance.

  • Columbus rules you slut. Go Bucks!

  • Relatives/friends just move to Columbus – I plan on visiting with them soon. I live in Houston and Houston is cool – come visit https://www.lastconcert.com in the ‘ole warehouse distrist of dtn Houston. Sure, there are red-necks, Bush lovers, but we have hippies too and alot of them. You just need to know where to go. One of the best places is The Last Concert Cafe – we’re their house sound and we get the best jambands there. Come on down, but while I’m in Columbus, where do you recommend I go to find jambands and our hippie culture?
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  • I just want everyone who thinks Columbus is terrible to know that you haven’t seen half of the city. Most of you have only lived on campus and I would have to say that is not the best choice…unless you are going to school. I’m guessing most of you are not or were but dropped out. OSU is a great campus and if your not into partying all of the time then you can find nice places to live. Give good ole C-town a chance.

  • Towards the end of the year me and my 2 yr old son are going to be moving to Columbus. I have never left Missouri (thats where im from). What is in Columbus to do, I need a college to transfer to. Can someone give me some ideas?

  • Smug place is Columbus,for the most part.I`ve lived here for a year or so,and I am not sold on it being a hippy haven.Although the short north area near campus has some interesting galleries,bars,musichouses and such,and for as fast as it is growing there are several parks and outdoor activities.I do feel though the mindset of a vast majority of people in Columbus is tuned into the proverbial american dream,or in other words brainwashed,but what do I know

  • Columbus is a nice place for Hippies.
    “Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart,you just gotta poke around.”
    check out https://www.ekoostik.com the band Ekoostik Hookah and you will find your like minded people

  • Athens, Ohio… nuff said

  • I grew up in the 60’s were my family lived on 11th ave and Chittenden Ave. I was a child hippie than and still am at heart. It was always friendly and safe on campus. The hippie’s took very good care of the children when we would hang out a the lake with them on campus. I loved the hippie era and will always hold their philosophy in my heart. Even during the race riot which were endured during that era. Hippie’s still stuck to there belief’s ” Love one another”.
    Mary S. White

  • Columbus Ohio rules!

  • I just found this website and find it very informative! My two children, wife, dogs and I are planning on moving your general direction soon. Although we are not quite sure exactly sure where and havn’t the money to adequatly explore before settling on a town. We would like to be within half a days drive from Saginaw MI (family is there, but may be the biggest ghetto ever!). Ann Arbor would be o.k. but is way to expensive and conservative for our taste. We are looking for a community where our children can hopeful pick up on our “green and free” values from others. At ages 4 and 6 their classmates are making them feel isolated in our current home of Pueblo CO! We enjoy a active and outdoor lifestyle, love good music, and try to eat naturaly. We have many skills, cooking, gardening, art, etc. My wife is a fine mathmetition and would like to continue her education in physics or chemisty. We are very open minded and open to most ideas, our kids come first! We have done the rainbow thing and followed Jerry and still catch shows when we can! So I am hoping for a few quaility suggestions on a place where I can be a dready guy, not get dirty looks at my kids school, and not have to comprimise my values to feel comfortable around town! If some where like this, near you exist please let me know. Would love to find a place where being a good human is more important than being a powerful and rich american! Peace, love and Anarchy! Adam
    Email: cassidylan@yahoo.com

  • Yellow Springs Ohio! woah going there is like floating a little hippie cloud! i LOVE it there cafes, and inscense as far as the eyes can see! i dont live there but i would like to one day.

  • Columbus is not going anywhere in terms of hippy life!

    There are community gardens that exist and are sprouting up throughout parts of the city. There are info shops around and many opportunities for free yoga classes on and off campus! We did recently loose a good music shop on High St. (strings’n things), but alas, life goes on!

  • I lived across from OSU campus all through the Hippy days of the 60’s. I had the hair and played the game, but never bought into the flower child crap. I am amazed that some people even to this day thought it was real. It was not. It was an excuse to be bums, to be lazy, to be immoral. Love? Try leaving something laying out in the open around those people and see how long it would last. Charberts was a haven for junkies, pushers, theives and perverts. I knew them all, was friends with them all, but always watched my back. The VD clinic was like a reunion for many of them. Now they have festivals like Com-Fest to glorify those days. Pathetic…The only thing glorious about it was our youth. I practically lived in Charberts. It was free entertainment. What a collection of unusual people. One thing would be cool, is a true Charberts reunion. In spite of everything, there were some nice people there too. J

  • Hey, what about; we, the original hippies? I’m 55 and still want to hook up with some of my age group. You youngsters don’t know what you missed! I won’t even try to explain. Where should someone my age consider going, in Columbus?

  • shut the fuck up, go blue jackets

  • I lived on 12 st. through the whole “Hippie” era. I was at Charberts day and night. I knew everyone, all the Hippies. I had the hair etc. I am always amazed when people talk about the peaceful hippies and the love. It was a sewer of drugs, theft, and immorality. The only people who saw it as some kind of hippie paradise were the “weekend hippies” that showed up to hang out for a few hours and pretend they were in some kind of movement.
    I had some fun down there, and there were some nice people, but if you were not street wise, you ended up ripped off. I saw people destroy their lives with drugs. The VD clinic had a daily line from the Charberts crowd.(No I was not one of them.) Grow up…the hippie thing is dead….as it should be.

  • Com Fest in the summer is a great time with music art and hippy folks. 

  • The city has good spots, bad spots.  if you aren’t out there antagonizing people or being rude, the cops leave you be. Grew up in Hilliard, moved to Columbus after High School. Been here since. 

    I love the short north, the campus area.  Too bad that idiot killed Dimebag here at the Alrosa.
    Green is around, just not flaunted in the open.
    Loads of colleges (Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus State, Bliss, tons more) Decent culture. Festivals. Conventions. Craiglist Freebies community, etc.
    Good people with pockets of thugs. Just be street smart. You will be fine.
  • Used to live on the streets around campus n Columbus Ohio during the late 60’s. Used to hang out at the state house on Saturdays. Wondering if any of my fellow hippies at the time are still around. Names I remember are Terry Hocker, Tinkerbell, Thor, Carl Garabrandt, JC, Litte Donnie. we used to hang out at Charberts, and the shops along 13 th. ave, Murray Penoch, 

    Roger the lodger

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