These Are The 10 Best Cities For Hippies In North Carolina

We used science and data to determine which NC cities probably wear tie dye the most.

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You might think that the whole hippie movement has faded away, but the truth is, there are plenty of hippies out there in North Carolina. While they aren’t necessarily in your face all the time with war protests and the next Woodstock isn’t being planned any time soon, we thought it would be fun to look at which cities in the Tar Heel State where the most hippies would live.
And, after crunching the data, you know what? It was pretty spot on, we have to say.
How do you decide where the most hippies live? By the number of yoga studios, organic markets, and most importantly, where the liberals live in droves.
Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where hippies might live in North Carolina, and then put out a list.
So, put on your tie dye shirt and your sandals as you go through this list with us. After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The 10 Best Cities For Hippies In North Carolina:

  1. Hillsborough
  2. Pineville
  3. Asheville
  4. Carrboro
  5. Chapel Hill
  6. Black Mountain
  7. Durham
  8. Waynesville
  9. Morrisville
  10. Boone

Read on below to see where your town ranked, young flower child.

What beatnik criteria did we use?

In order to rank the best cities for hippies in North Carolina, we had to determine what criteria defines a hippie.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Number of yoga studios per capita
  • Number of organic markets per capita
  • Number of pet adoption centers per capita
  • Number of vegan restaurants per capita
  • Number of thrift stores per capita
  • Each city’s liberal voting population

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

1. Hillsborough


Population: 6,114
Liberal voters: 70%
Pet adoption per capita: 3rd
When you look at the sheer numbers, it’s pretty clear that Hillsborough is the most hippie (hippiest?) city in North Carolina. Or at least, that would be the best city in the Tar Heel State for them to live in.
Just a short drive from Durham, over 70% of the population of this small city is liberal. That’s the 3rd highest rate in the state. And, there are quite a few hippie type places in Hillsborough, too. It ranks 3rd for pet adoption centers per capita, and 8th for yoga. All that’s really missing are lots of vegetarian options (but they’re still 30th of 147 for that, too.)
So, if you want to be at one with the earth and talk about love and peace and possibly see a few stoners around, this would be a great place to start.

2. Pineville


Population: 7,562
Pet adoption: 2nd
Vegan rank: 5th
Liberal voters: 61%
Seems like Pineville would be a great place for hippies, man. Wait – where is Pineville? It’s a smallish place just outside of Charlotte near the South Carolina border. Does that seem like a hippie place? You might be surprised to hear this area is more than 60% liberal.
For a small place, there are quite a few options to adopt a stray dog or throw back some hummus. There might even be some hemp oil in the air, too.

3. Asheville


Population: 83,766
Liberal voters: 55%
Organic rank: First
Vegan rank: 3rd
How did Asheville not win this whole thing? Talk about a cultural center point. You might be shocked to hear than only 55% of the population votes left in Asheville. There are obviously lots of art loving republicans in this area.
But you won’t be shocked to hear that Asheville has more organic markets per capita than anywhere else in North Carolina, and that it ranks 3rd for vegan options as well. Plus, there are lots of yoga studios here.

4. Carrboro

The now-closed (too bad, it was a hippie place) Southern Rail Bar in Carrboro

Population: 19,702
Liberal voters: 70%
Organic rank: 4th
Vegan rank: 10th
If you’ve ever been to Carrboro, this wouldn’t surprise you. This ‘alternative’ city to Chapel Hill is crawling with a hippie vibe. Lots of people smoke, drink, and there’s a counter culture here that you can’t find for hours in any direction.
7 of 10 residents vote left, and lots of restaurants here either serve vegan only, or have lots of vegetarian options.

5. Chapel Hill

Franklin St, Chapel Hill. Wikipedia

Population: 57,088
Liberal voters: 70%
Vegan rank: 6th
Pet adoption: 13th
If Carrboro is going to rank high on the hippie list, then you know Chapel Hill will, too. Sure enough, around 70% of the people here are liberals (it’s a college town, so that factors into it.). And if you’ve ever driven up and down Franklin Street, you know the place is brimming with vegan and organic options.
Are college students hippies? Maybe not in the traditional sense. But they’re far more likely to wear sandals, smoke pot and protest for things they believe in.

6. Black Mountain

Black Mountain. Wikipedia.

Population: 7,885
Liberal voting: 55%
Yoga rank: 6th
Vegan rank: 7th
Folks outside of Asheville might not have heard of Black Mountain. It’s a smallish place along I-40 just outside of Asheville. While they don’t vote liberal in huge numbers, it’s huge for North Carolina – at 55%.
Like many other cities here, it’s a strong place for veganism and yoga posing. And maybe even some asparagus water.

7. Durham

Downtown Durham. Wikipedia.

Population: 229,749
Liberal voting: 76%
Vegan rank: 13th
This might come as a shocker, but Durham votes far more liberal than any other city in North Carolina. There’s a whole new generation of younger voters moving into Durham over the last ten years, and the place is really taking on a younger, more progressive vibe.
The vegetarian, yoga and all around ‘organic’ side needs some work to make Durham a true hippie haven. Lots of what you’ll get here is burgers and beer.

8. Waynesville


Population: 9,864
Liberal voters: 42%
Thrift store rank: 2nd
Vegan rank: 11th
Waynesville might be considered a little hippie town just west of Asheville. While they vote more Republican, obviously they value the true hippie creed: cheap, vintage clothes and vegetarian food.

9. Morrisville


Population: 18,585
Liberal voters: 55%
Vegan rank: First
Pet adoption rank: 5th
This one kinda came out of nowhere, but the wealthier enclave of Morrisville, just outside of Raleigh, cracks the top ten. These might be more progressive hippies here; they sure do love their vegetarian food, and they have bleeding hearts, since there are quite a few places to get stray cats and dogs.
You probably won’t see many tie dye shirts here, but we’re willing to bet lots of the baby boomers and middle agers here probably have some Phish and Bob Marley on their iTunes playmixes.

10. Boone


Population: 17,261
Liberal voters: 47%
Vegan rank: 9th
Organic rank: 2nd
This totally makes sense, doesn’t it? Whenever new people come to the area, they always ask about the liberal ‘hippie’ town of Boone. The home of Appalachian State University, this place may not vote entirely liberal, but they sure do live the lifestyle.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
There You Have It
If you’re measuring the locations in North Carolina where there are lots of liberals, and there there are many options for vegan food, yoga and thrift stores, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious, here are the least hippie places in North Carolina:

  1. Trinity
  2. Sawmills
  3. Marvin
  4. Unionville
  5. St. Stephens

  6. The Hippiest Cities In North Carolina with detailed information

    Desktop users, below is a complete chart with the data, along with the liberal voting rates for each city:

    City Overall Hippie Rank Liberal Voting %
    Hillsborough 1 70.00%
    Pineville 2 61.00%
    Asheville 3 55.00%
    Carrboro 4 70.00%
    Chapel Hill 5 70.00%
    Black Mountain 6 55.00%
    Durham 7 76.00%
    Waynesville 8 42.00%
    Morrisville 9 55.00%
    Boone 10 47.00%
    Matthews 11 61.00%
    Kill Devil Hills 12 41.00%
    Cornelius 13 61.00%
    Raleigh 14 55.00%
    Morehead City 15 29.00%
    Hendersonville 16 36.00%
    Southern Pines 17 36.00%
    Wilmington 18 47.00%
    Cary 19 55.00%
    Charlotte 20 61.00%
    Mebane 21 43.00%
    Davidson 22 61.00%
    Brevard 23 41.00%
    Apex 24 55.00%
    Whiteville 25 46.00%
    Wake Forest 26 55.00%
    Carolina Beach 27 47.00%
    Knightdale 27 55.00%
    Huntersville 29 61.00%
    Nashville 30 50.00%
    Clayton 31 36.00%
    Mooresville 32 34.00%
    Kernersville 33 53.00%
    Elizabeth City 34 57.00%
    Aberdeen 35 36.00%
    New Bern 36 41.00%
    Henderson 37 64.00%
    Woodfin 38 55.00%
    Morganton 39 37.00%
    Sanford 40 45.00%
    Jacksonville 41 36.00%
    Forest City 42 33.00%
    Rockingham 43 51.00%
    Hickory 44 35.00%
    Wendell 45 55.00%
    Holly Springs 46 55.00%
    Shelby 47 39.00%
    Spring Lake 48 59.00%
    Fletcher 49 36.00%
    Summerfield 50 58.00%
    Wadesboro 51 62.00%
    Fuquay-Varina 52 55.00%
    Dunn 53 40.00%
    Oak Ridge 54 58.00%
    Siler City 55 52.00%
    Goldsboro 55 45.00%
    Garner 57 55.00%
    Lumberton 58 58.00%
    Clemmons 59 53.00%
    Burlington 60 43.00%
    Belmont 61 37.00%
    Hope Mills 62 59.00%
    Williamston 63 52.00%
    Fayetteville 64 59.00%
    High Point 64 58.00%
    Greenville 66 53.00%
    Oak Island 67 38.00%
    Mocksville 68 28.00%
    Smithfield 69 36.00%
    Kinston 70 50.00%
    Harrisburg 71 39.00%
    Lincolnton 72 30.00%
    Statesville 73 34.00%
    Salisbury 74 36.00%
    King 75 28.00%
    Albemarle 76 29.00%
    Conover 77 35.00%
    Clinton 78 44.00%
    Pinehurst 79 36.00%
    Elon 80 43.00%
    Edenton 81 47.00%
    Winterville 82 53.00%
    Reidsville 83 39.00%
    Stallings 84 34.00%
    Ahoskie 85 72.00%
    Tarboro 86 68.00%
    Oxford 86 52.00%
    Washington 88 40.00%
    Roanoke Rapids 89 66.00%
    Concord 90 39.00%
    Roxboro 91 44.00%
    Wilson 92 53.00%
    Laurinburg 93 58.00%
    Havelock 94 41.00%
    Newton 95 35.00%
    Wesley Chapel 96 34.00%
    Gastonia 97 37.00%
    Monroe 98 34.00%
    Eden 99 39.00%
    Cherryville 100 37.00%

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends. .

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.