Northampton named ‘Most Hippie Town’ in Massachusetts

Aug 23 2016

Paradise City gets nod from

Apparently Amherst needs to up its game as far as grooviness.

Maybe the move of the Extravaganja marijuana festival from Amherst to Northampton was the tipping point, but whatever the reason, Paradise City has been named the “most hippie town” in Massachusetts.

Although most Western Massachusetts residents would probably rank Amherst higher than ‘Hamp when it comes to the hippie quotient, deemed Noho as the tops in the Bay State when it comes to the freak factor.

The Thrillist article named one municipality in each state that seemed the most hippiest. It must’ve been hard to choose one in a place as large and groovy as California (for the record, it’s Santa Cruz, according to Thrillist), and it’s somewhat surprising that Western Massachusetts got the nod here, as many times anything west of Worcester is ignored by these national surveys.

The article notes that “hippies have become kind of hard to define” compared to a few decades ago, when they could be identified by flowers in their hair or (the wretched stench of) patchouli. But it claims that everyone still probably knows one hippie.

The piece goes on to state that while Massachusetts is a fairly progressive state, most of it isn’t bohemian.

But Northampton, it says, is an “epicenter of hippie get-away-from-it-all mentality” known for its art, music and “leftover college graduates from nearby weirdo sanctuaries such as Hampshire, Amherst, and Smith Colleges.” (At least Amherst gets a nod here. And I guess UMass is too much of a broad-based school, but no Mount Holyoke?)

The writer also makes a clever play on Northampton’s “greenery,” meaning both its environmental consciousness and its relaxed pot laws.

Northampton certainly has its share of hippies and those who embrace the 1960s ideals, but Amherst has always seemed to embrace that ethos more. Oh well, there’s always next year.



Apr 2024