The coolest neighborhoods offer modern life with creative inspiration all around, and America abounds with iconic enclaves like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and the East Village in New York City. But that’s just the start — if you're looking for a new vacation destination or just wondering where to go for a weekend, you might chuck the corporate downtown motel for a boutique room in a friendly neighborhood with an artsy edge, live music, and plenty of local dining. If you're not a tourist but looking for a new place to start a family or take root as a singleton, one of America's hippest neighborhoods might just have a loft or tiny house just for you. Most hip neighborhoods have grown over time and are rooted in the history of their town, so if you want to look forward and back at the same time, take a visit to one of America’s hippest spots and dig in.
Not far from the sweeping arch of St. Louis is the lively neighborhood of Soulard. This area brims with history, festivals, commerce, and a harmonic diversity that makes it a hip Mecca in the Midwest. Adjacent to the legendary Anheuser-Busch brewery, Soulard has deep roots in city legends and takes pride in many historic churches and an open-air market that feels more like an arts festival. With blooming gardens, colorful parades, walking tours, holiday lights, and food and drink around the clock, Soulard is a St. Louis spot to love.
The mile-high city of Denver is home to all walks of life and has no shortage of hipster culture. You'll find the heart of hipness in Cheesman Park, a neighborhood near downtown that offers dreamy views from prime hilltop locations. Enjoy the blend of quiet residential blocks and vibrant streets alive with music, shopping, food, breweries, and cocktail bars. Join the residents for spectacular summer concerts at the amphitheater, and don't forget to meander through the botanical gardens and the Cheesman Park itself. Be careful at night — some say it's haunted!
America's capital city abounds with things to do, but anyone looking for hipness should head over to Adams Morgan. Compressed into a few city blocks, this hotspot is packed with international flair and 24-hour fun. You can shop for hours in eclectic boutiques filled with carpets, tapestries, jewelry, and other treasures, and then choose your dinner vibe. Ethiopian, Mexican, and even Russian restaurants will lure you in with their spicy smells and authentically ethnic interiors. This musical and magical epicenter doesn't have its own Metro stop, but every DC cab driver knows the way.
Manhattan is magnificent, but there are other places to see in the New York City metro area. Hop on the G Train or ferry to Greenpoint, a creative neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn. Known for its quiet cool, this hip hamlet sits on the shore and offers panoramic views of the city skyline. Walk the wide sidewalks and discover a robust selection of Polish sausage and pastries, homage to the area's roots as an immigrant community. The well-kept parks are where you'll find fun little surprises like a radio station operating from a storage container!
Seattle might be one of the hippest cities in the country, but even in the capital of hipness, some places are extra-cool. Such is the case with Fremont, a Seattle neighborhood that tags itself as "the center of the universe." Highlights include plentiful sculptures on the streets, murals, art galleries, bookstores, and comic shops. Festivals pop up throughout the year—drop-in during Oktoberfest and toast with the crowd. You'll never go hungry for food or art in Fremont, and the community is always inspired to help you. Brochures, walking guides, and easy transportation make this place a find for those off the beaten path.
You can't do Dallas right without visiting Deep Ellum, a live music epicenter and artsy neighborhood with a rich and diverse history. Dress for the weather (usually hot) and stroll through streets exploding with shops, cafes, clothiers, and open-air markets. If you're in for a few days, book a room at a hostel or renovated motel and dive into the local history because immigrants from all around the world made this place into what it is today. Try some Hungarian food or a frozen margarita from one of the many taco bars.
Pack your suit and sunscreen and land yourself in Las Olas for a beachside community infused with food, friendliness, and fun. With water sports nearby, you can plan for long days outdoors, cooling off in the many downtown breezeways and enjoying the twinkling lights as the sun sets. Join the residents for dinner at any one of the gourmet restaurants or, if you're on a budget, one of the easy-going coffee shops or cafes. Don't forget to take a trolley ride!
Deep in the city of Raleigh, NC, is Five Points, a historic neighborhood marked by an intersection of five streets coming together in a vibrant circle of commerce. Residents love the safe sidewalks, chic cafes, and upscale salons. The legendary Rialto Theatre plays old favorites, new indy flicks and puts on the Rocky Horror Picture Show on first Fridays. Book a room at one of the many guest houses and get your bus pass. Raleigh is yours to explore!
Cross the Detroit border, and you're in downtown Ferndale, a community exploding with creativity and cuisine. You'll find live music on Motor City's legendary Woodward Avenue, plenty of window shopping on the Nine Mile boutiques, and supermarkets full of flowers and fresh produce. Browse the art market, hop on a rental bike and ride through streets of restored bungalows and communal gardens. You might wind up in a food truck park or local brewery. Cheers!
Adjacent to the French Quarter is the thriving neighborhood of Marigny. This riverside community bustles with the best of New Orleans energy, offering its residents room to stretch out in historic homes and enjoy the benefits of good public transportation and plenty of shopping. You'll find shift stores and high-end boutiques beside each other as you travel through the tree-lined streets. Take a break for a cup of coffee and listen to the jazz musicians warm up. It's going to be another awesome night in Marigny!
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