Attention hipsters-at-heart: You too are running out of time to plan your vacation. Okay, so the summer just officially started, but hotels are booking up fast, festival ticket booths are hanging the “Sold Out” banners, and flights are getting more expensive. So if all you’re looking forward to is to having an excuse for growing a mustache, getting a tattoo, spending a few days eating organic, locally grown food, drinking coffee and biking around, check out our 5 top picks for a real hipster vacation and start packing. Tip: skinny jeans for him, cut-outs jeans for her, sunglasses, and an instrument required.
Hipsters started flocking to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in the early 2000’s, and in just a few years the area has become the ultimate boho-chic spot. As housing prices soared in the area due to its popularity, hipsters started moving to more affordable yet equally cool neighborhoods in Brooklyn, such as Greenpoint and Bushwick, and spreading the lifestyle. There's now a bunch of farmer's markets, hundreds of cool bars, and dozens of organic restaurants all around the borough. However, Williamsburg is still the place to catch a show at one of its hundreds of venues (ranging from small holes in the wall –check out Pete’s Candy Store--, to larger spaces like Brooklyn Bowl), get a drink, or even get a haircut (an expensive one, that is) in an old garage that doubles as a trendy tattoo parlor. Round up the experience with a trip to beautiful Carroll Gardens, family-friendly Park Slope, and even up-and-coming Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Where To Stay: ALOFT NEW YORK BROOKLYN
- Why It’s a Hipster Haven: The ultra-hip Aloft Brooklyn draws adventurous travelers with hip, edgy decor, playful amenities like a billiard table and cocktail bar, an indoor rooftop pool, and guest rooms filled with modern conveniences -- all at a rate usually well below the Manhattan standard. Plus, it’s an easy subway ride away from Williamsburg and other hip Brooklyn areas.
- Favorite Hipster Feature: The Lobby is the perfect place to mingle and socialize with fellow hipsters. It has an industrial feel to it, with exposed pipes, concrete floors, and open spaces; lots of comfy seating, and a pool table.
Austin is a kooky mix of straight-laced business types and creative artists, but it’s the hip, trendy vibe that dominates here. The city is famous for its art culture and decidedly alternative vibe, and it draws young hipsters for its renowned festivals such as SXSW and City Limits, laid-back style, great food, bike-friendliness, and active nightlife. Known for vintage clothing boutiques, funky clubs and restaurants, and a lively music scene, South Congress (SoCO) is arguably the trendiest area in town.
Where To Stay: HOTEL SAN JOSE
- Why It’s a Hipster Haven: The 40-room property, originally built as a motel in 1939, incorporates a stylish, minimalist design and sits at the center of Austin's SoCo neighborhood, a trendy area known for great music. The hotel reflects its hipster surroundings by offering lots of cool stuff on loan: an excellent music library, Polaroid cameras, bicycles, and even a Remington typewriter. There's a small swimming pool, an outdoor lounge serving drinks and snacks, and the locally famous Jo's Coffee next door. Urban-chic rooms have modern wooden platform beds, polished concrete floors, paisley bedspreads and flat-screen TVs. It's an excellent boutique pick overall, and is especially popular during the South by Southwest music festival.
- Favorite Hipster Feature: The original Jo’s Coffee, a shack-style spot popular among young Austinites, is located across the parking lot from the front door. It offers locally roasted Cuvee Coffee, baked goods from Quack’s Bakery, and yummy sandwiches.
PALERMO VIEJO, BUENOS AIRES
Palermo Viejo used to be a pretty run-down area in northwestern Buenos Aires where few tourists (and locals, for that matter) ventured-- But the early 2000’s brought extensive gentrification, and it is now a trendy hotspot where artsy Portenos and tourists mingle in shaded squares and laid-back bars housed in old warehouses and factories. Street art covers the walls of small, decaying buildings lining narrow alleys, and it’s not rare to peek through an open door and find an art exhibit or an impromptu music show. There are a myriad funky bars, local restaurants and bohemian boutiques selling everything from hand-crafted jewelry to local designer clothes –especially in Palermo SoHo, the more-gentrified, chic area in the neighborhood. Palermo Viejo, located north of SoHo, is quieter, but boasts an active nightlife and charming cobblestoned streets perfect for a stroll in between cold Quilmes.
Where To Stay: OWN PALERMO HOLLYWOOD
- Why It’s a Hipster Haven: The Own Palermo Hollywood is a boutique hotel in hip Palermo Hollywood neighborhood. The 16 rooms are spacious and modern, with bright white dominating the color scheme and giving the illusion of more space. Rooms resemble trendy, urban studio apartments, and all have convenient kitchenettes. Targeting the younger crowd with Free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, minimalist decor, and a stylish bar and lounge, this addition to the Palermo scene fits right in with its young, bohemian-chic vibe.
- Favorite Hipster Feature: Every room has a bar featuring three quality Argentine wines, along with other standard minibar items, such as chocolates, chips, and whiskey.
DE PIJP, AMSTERDAM
This quaint, working-class neighborhood located south of the Canal Ring and within walking distance of the Museum Quarter is arguably the hippest district in already trendy Amsterdam. The area is popular with young locals, who pour to De Pijp on weekends to enjoy brunch in one of the multiple sidewalk cafes or roam the famous Albert Cuyp Market, where one can find the freshest vegetables and fish in Amsterdam, as well as clothes and even kitchenware. The area is known for its stylish bars and mellow coffeehouses, and its streets are packed with bicycles rain or shine. There are many tapas bars and restaurants in the neighborhood, but one of the best spots for a drink is the former Heineken brewery and its adjacent square.
Where To Stay: CONSCIOUS HOTEL MUSEUM SQUARE
- Why It’s a Hipster Haven: The eco-themed Conscious Hotel Museum Square is a quirky, modern establishment within walking distance of the Van Gogh Museum, De Pijp neighborhood, and local tram stations. The lobby features an overflowing live plant wall, and there are several bikes for rent. Rooms are large, simple and clean, with soft beds, basic, white bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs -- but no other amenities.
- Favorite Hipster Feature: There's a bright and modern breakfast buffet, which offers a daily organic continental breakfast with muesli, cereals, milk, juices, cold cuts, bread and eggs.
Portland is not only home to dozens of music festivals, some of the nation’s best breweries, and hundreds of restaurants focusing on sustainable, organic, local ingredients– it’s also one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the U.S., where well-kept bike lanes and an extensive public transit system make it easy to move around in a sustainable way. Downtown is laid-back, multi-cultural, and very bike-friendly, so for those who want a real hipster experience, that’s the place to be. Young Portlanders like to keep it mellow, and there’s a ton of cool, hip bars where you can grab a craft beer, especially in the Pearl District area, and enjoy some quality live music. For a good cup of Joe, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a favorite hipster spot.
Where To Stay: ACE HOTEL - PORTLAND
- Why It’s a Hipster Haven: This boutique emphasizes style over space or luxury, featuring touches such as reclaimed school chairs, nightstands made out of books or suitcases, turntables, and stacks of vinyl records. Hotel highlights include a local, organic breakfast in the breakfast room, a great happy hour scene at the Clyde Common lobby bar, and coffee at the Stumptown Cafe. This pet-friendly hotel has a great central location for exploring Portland on foot or on a bike.
- Favorite Hipster Feature: The hotel has free rental bikes for getting around the city, and an analog black-and-white photo booth in the lobby.