Take a hipster vacation in cities rich in beards, bikes and breweries: Berkeley, Portland, more

·4 min read
Berkeley diners feast on takeout on a highway median, a popular spot for picnics.
Berkeley diners feast on takeout on a highway median, a popular spot for picnics.

If your perfect day involves biking across town to refresh your wardrobe at a vintage shop, flipping through vinyl records at a music store and stopping at a barbershop for beard oil, maybe you need to take a hipster vacation.

The apartment search website Rent.com sought out the best cities for hipsters, a group known for taking an unconventional approach to style and fashion. The site considered factors such as bike trails, coffee shops and craft breweries.

“We looked for things that have a locals-only feel,” says Brian Carberry, the site’s managing editor. He shared his findings with USA TODAY.

Berkeley, California

You’ll find countless handlebar mustaches, cuffed pants and V-necks in this hipster-friendly, hippie-heritage hot spot, Carberry says. Many head to Telegraph Avenue, home to stores such as Amoeba Music, which has an extensive selection of vinyl records. There’s also the Berkeley Hat Co. and Indigo Vintage Co-Op. “If we did this list 50 years ago, Berkeley would have been on it, and it’s still here today,” he says.

More information: visitberkeley.com

Madison, Wisconsin

Coffee and bikes are never far away in Madison.
Coffee and bikes are never far away in Madison.

This college town has everything a hipster might need, including bike trails, breweries, and Madison Circus Space, one of the nation’s few circus arts centers, where aspiring performers can learn skills. Other highlights include Machinery Row Bicycles and Young Blood Beer. “It’s a fun city with lots of lakes and tons to do. There’s an outdoor scene, and the breweries are top-notch,” Carberry says.

More information: visitmadison.com

Portland, Oregon

Portland's Mississippi Records is a spot you can shop for old and new school vinyl records. It also has a great used selection of vinyl records.
Portland's Mississippi Records is a spot you can shop for old and new school vinyl records. It also has a great used selection of vinyl records.

If hipsters had a capital city, it would be Portland. The TV show "Portlandia" cemented its claim to fame, and folks come for cold brew from the original Stumptown Coffee on SE Division Street; browsing at Powell’s, the world’s largest independent bookstore; and scarfing down Thai fried chicken at Hat Yai.

More information: travelportland.com

Washington

Washington's 9:30 Club has hosted up-and-coming bands since the punk days.
Washington's 9:30 Club has hosted up-and-coming bands since the punk days.

The nation’s capital isn’t just for lobbyists and lawyers, it’s also home to a slew of hipsters. “There are really a ton of options to have a great time,” Carberry says, citing the 9:30 Club, which has been hosting indie bands since the punk days. Others might head to American Ice Co. for local brews such as DC Brau served in Mason jars or to H Street Country Club, which offers mini golf along with Mexican food.

More information: washington.org

Fort Collins, Colorado

The Exchange development in Fort Collins attracts beer lovers, hipster and non-hipster alike.
The Exchange development in Fort Collins attracts beer lovers, hipster and non-hipster alike.

Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins lures hipsters with more than 20 breweries, including New Belgian and Odell. “It’s one of the best cities in the country for beer lovers,” Carberry says. Popular hangouts include The Exchange, which serves food and craft beverages from converted cargo containers. The city also has an extensive network of urban bike paths.

More information: visitftcollins.com

Minneapolis

Minneapolis' tiny Bryant-Lake Bowl welcomes a diverse crowd.
Minneapolis' tiny Bryant-Lake Bowl welcomes a diverse crowd.

Carberry calls Minneapolis the unofficial hipster capital of the Midwest. The city, which prides itself on its bike trails and arts scene, is home to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with 50,000 students. It wins points for its eight-lane Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theater; the Up-Down Arcade Bar, which has more than 50 games; and vegan Herbivorous Butcher restaurant. “It’s a college town in a big city,” Carberry says.

More information: minneapolis.org

Ann Arbor, Michigan

As a college town, Ann Arbor has no shortage of bookstores.
As a college town, Ann Arbor has no shortage of bookstores.

No surprise that the home to the University of Michigan is rich in new and used bookstores, including Literati and Dawn Treader, both popular with students and hipsters alike. You can catch independent films at the historic Michigan and State theaters, and there’s plenty of street art and festivals, Carberry says. “You’ve got an area near the campus that almost has a small-town feel, with lots of restaurants and local bars.”

More information: annarbor.org

Seattle

Seattle features hipster-friendly neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill.
Seattle features hipster-friendly neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill.

The city that first welcomed grunge rock 30 years ago has held on to its hipster credibility. “It has the same vitality it had when Nirvana came out,” Carberry says. Although Seattle has grown to be a global tech hub, it still has neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, where there are plenty of coffee shops; and the University District, which includes stores such as Red Light Vintage & Costume. Even the airport leans hip with an outpost of the Sub Pop store, run by the Seattle-based record label.

More information: visitseattle.org

Tempe, Arizona

Town Lake serves as an oasis for visitors to Tempe, Ariz.
Town Lake serves as an oasis for visitors to Tempe, Ariz.

Hipsters aren’t scared away by the heat at this Phoenix-area college town. Millennials come for its low-cost neighborhoods, dive bars and Tempe Town Lake, a desert oasis with kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, Carberry says. Whether they’re grabbing a cold brew at King Coffee or ordering the chipotle chicken lavash pizza at Pita Jungle, hipsters will feel at home.

More information: tempetourism.com

San Francisco

WIth street art everywhere, San Francisco has plenty to keep hipsters happy.
WIth street art everywhere, San Francisco has plenty to keep hipsters happy.

If not for the expense of living there, San Francisco would be hipster paradise. “There’s a kind of West Coast, hipster, old school hippie mentality that has carried over to a younger generation,” Carberry says. Hipster hot spots include Valencia Street in the Mission District, where visitors can pick up a bottle of beard oil, or coffee shops such as Four Barrel and Sightglass.

More information: sftravel.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hipster vacation destinations: Berkeley, Portland, DC, Minneapolis

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