Ann Arbor named ‘Most Hippie Town’ in Michigan

We’re not surprised

A psychedelic dinosaur puppet at the 2022 FestiFools parade in Ann Arbor. (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – Tree Town’s progressive history and relaxed attitude towards marijuana make it the “Most Hippie Town” in Mitten state, according to Thrillist.

A new list by the travel website has named Ann Arbor as the top spot for free spirits, and literally no one is surprised.

It has a long history of green policies, acceptance of counter-culture and turning a blind eye towards the use of Mary Jane and psychedelics. Hash Bash--an annual event for marijuana advocates--has been going strong since 1972, and the city held its first Entheofest in 2021 to celebrate entheogenic plants and fungi.

Although no longer unique in its progressive views, Ann Arbor is still considered to be one of the more forward-thinking cities due to its environmental policies, like A2ZERO, protected bike lanes and a recent pollinator-aware lawn care campaign.

The southeast Michigan city also regularly finds itself topping lists of animal-friendly and vegan-friendly cities in the United States.

Here’s what Thrillist staff had to say:

Over the years, Ann Arbor may have grown to be more yuppie than hippie, but it still draws counter-culture freaks both young and old. It’s still the home of the Hash Bash, iconic head shop Stairway to Heaven, some of the most lenient marijuana possession laws in the country.

But over the decades, Ann Arbor’s radicalism has tilted toward the mainstream: Nowadays the typical local hippies are baby boomers who have made enough money to afford Ann Arbor real estate, and have kids who have already graduated from Community High. With long silver hair, these boomer hippies still observe the phases of the moon, wake and bake once or twice a week while possibly working a desk job, vote Green Party, have 20+ bumper stickers on their Volvos, and worship multiple gods, including Chandra, the lunar deity, and Jim Harbaugh. —Bison Messink”

Other cities to be given the label of “Most Hippie Town” include Athens, Georgia; Fargo, North Dakota; Moab, Utah; and Charlestown, Rhode Island.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.