America’s Best Cities for Hipsters – Santa Fe Ranks #13

By Katrina Brown Hunt
They sport vintage bowling shoes and the latest tech gear—but they also know all the best places to eat and drink. Here are America’s cities with the biggest hipster scenes.

It’s our take on the debated term hipster, which can inspire eye rolls or admiration. Once used to describe counterculture types, hipster is now so prevalent it’s at a possible tipping point. Whatever your take, you generally know hipsters when you see them—most likely in funky, up-and-coming neighborhoods. A smirking attitude toward mainstream institutions means they tend to frequent cool, often idiosyncratic restaurants, shops, and bars—the same kinds of venues that appeal to travelers looking for what they can’t find at home. ( now even has a search feature for “hipster” ambience.)

There’s also an eco-conscious influence in contemporary hipsterdom. Some of the trendiest places to shop in New Orleans, for instance, are thrift shops. In Denver and Minneapolis, hipsters gather in coffee-or-tea cafés that double as low-carbon-footprint bike shops. Upping the ante, Portland, OR, is the home of BikeBar, where you can pedal stationary bikes that actually generate electricity for the organic micropub.

Indeed, techie haven Seattle got some serious competition from the craft-beer-loving, food-truck-dining, and notoriously mustachioed Oregon city. After all, Portland arguably corners the market on quirkiness, the X factor of hipness. Portland-based TV and film casting director Lana Veenker says that clients frequently ask her to hire “Portland hipster types”—and it’s not hard.

  • No. 1 Seattle, WA
  • No. 2 Portland, OR
  • No. 3 San Francisco, CA
  • No. 4 New Orleans, LA
  • No. 5 Portland, ME
  • No. 6 Providence, RI
  • No. 7 Austin, TX
  • No. 8 San Juan, P.R.
  • No. 9 Philadelphia, PA
  • No. 10 Denver, CO
  • No. 11 Savannah, GA
  • No. 12 New York City, NY
  • No. 13 Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe
Even if the city took the silver medal in the offbeat locals category, these cool southwesterners like to keep a low profile: the city also won the category for peace and quiet. All the better, perhaps, for making the most of the great shopping scene. The artsy New Mexico city won for its independent boutiques as well as the home décor and design shops. To see the locals whoop it up, come to the Plaza for live music on summer evenings.

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