The term “hipster” is tossed around a lot lately, and many people have no idea what it truly means. Contrary to popular belief, just because you have side swept bangs and shop at thrift stores does not mean you are a hipster. The label refers to a subculture of young people, generally in their 20s and 30s who value independent-thinking, progressive politics, counter-culture, and an appreciation of the arts. If you consider yourself a true hipster and not simply someone dressing the part (get those vintage outfits out of storage!) to get noticed you might be interested to learn what cities in America are considered the most hipster-friendly (or worthy).
The state of Oregon is getting a lot of recognition these days. Not only is Portland voted the most vegan-friendly city in the country, it is also one of the most popular places to enjoy the hipster lifestyle. The term “Portland Hipster” is even in the Urban Dictionary now. Hipsters here tend to live in a few distinct neighborhoods, including Hawthorne, Belmont, Burnside, Alberta, Mississippi, and parts of Pearl. Eugene, Oregon does make the “hipster list” with some magazines and news articles, but quite honestly, they may be confusing the term hippie and hipster. The small college town of Eugene is a haven for hippies, but not so much the other.
Baltimore just naturally has a quirky personality and edgy atmosphere that hipsters find attractive. Add in the endless supply of chill cafes and boutiques and it is no surprise that hipsters flock here. If you are thinking about making the move, Hampden and Essex are the neighborhoods to focus on. If you are looking to mingle, Club Charles is a hot spot.
Brooklyn, New York
You cannot have a hipster list without mentioning Williamsburg in Brooklyn. This area is viewed as the epicenter of the movement. Many years ago, Williamsburg transformed into a neighborhood of artists. Only 10 minutes from Union Station yet you get off the train and feel as though you have found a peaceful village. There are no megastores but rather a generous selection of macrobiotic restaurants, antique shops, and thrift stores — many which at one point were simple storage facilities. A large wooden Buddha welcomes you in Perma, a popular clothing store, and just steps away you will find Earwax, a small record store that will have you digging for old David Bowie LPs.
Indie rock, craft beer, and lots of bourbon make this the perfect setting for hipsters. You can shop until your heart is content on Louisville’s vintage clothing trail, and it is one of the country’s top small cities for foodies. Everywhere you turn you see bumper stickers and signs that say “Buy Local First” and “Keep Louisville Weird,” and everyone here is an aficionado of coffee, beer, and wine. It is an artsy, funky, off-beat town that has seen quite a growth in independent businesses and a younger population in recent years.
Venice Beach, California
It is hard to walk the streets of Venice Beach and not feel the cool hipster vibe. Skateboarders, street performers, and bohemian dresses are prevalent, and life just seems to move at a more relaxed pace. Here you will also find Kinney Boulevard, a neighborhood named after a New Jersey-born conservationist. Kinney Boulevard was essentially designed for hipsters, with cafes, organic restaurants, bookstores, and boutiques. There is also a huge medical marijuana dispensary here that has an amazing selection of herbal remedies, yoga mats, and more.