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Louisiana's got a Hippie Haven in the forgotten little village of Abita Springs. The town is located on the northshore of Lake Pontchatrain, about 40 miles north of New Orleans. Once a resort for turn-of-the-century New Orleanians who wanted to flee the summer heat and yellow fever of the city, the old hotels and cottages remained, long after the tourists stopped coming.

During the 1970's hippies moved in to the old houses to raise children, make art in community, and swim naked in the cool artesian water. At one point there were 16 jewelry artists living in this town of 1200, and the old "Longbranch Hotel" was a celebrated hippie commune and sight of now mythic hippie parties and gatherings.

Today, we have a funky folk art museum, a microbrewery, a town shadow play, a monthly blue grass hootenanny called "The Piney Woods Opry" held in the old town hall, and the most thoughtful "controlled growth" plan of any northshore community.

But there are lots of hippies and coffee house scenes sprinkling the northshore, Covington's Columbia Street Grocery, Mandeville's Java Grotto, and I don't know if they qualify as hippies, but damn near everyone gets stoned in Lacombe. Hippies new and old have a loose affiliation of spirit thriving on the northshore. We'll see if it can survive the rampant development and violent loss of greenspace that's occuring as thousands flee suburban New Orleans to build and live here.

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Added: December 8th 2001

Hits: 3648


Posted by ~belle~ on 2005-09-29 23:24:31
My Score:
um....if you wanted to see new orleans before it got whammed, you ain't gonna now. just some sarcastic belle

Posted by eatthefrickinpie on 2005-08-08 05:15:10
My Score:
Now...I love New Orleans but there isn't too many places to go but the places you have listed. I mean whatsa hippie to do?! But,you know what's funny...i didn't have a clue that the Northshore was a "hippie haven"... might have to go up there sometime...thanks for the info.

Posted by lauren on 2005-02-23 21:56:51
My Score:
New Orleans has a wonderful hippie commune. Plenty of places such as the Maple Leaf bar, Twiropa, Shiloh, Tipatina's, and others you have to search your city. Check out the newspaper listings for live music. We are everywhere.

Posted by Robert on 2003-11-12 23:16:02
My Score:
Been seeing a rise in hippies at LSU and our trio, Drifthouse has been playing at SugaCane's in Hammond and this weekend we'll be back at the hippie haven of Covington at the Three Rivers Concerts. Got booked there by our long-haired buddy Bo who keeps the garden growing and the music flowing. We're keeping the spirit alive. In addition to our usual folksongs, we learned John Lennon's "Across the Universe" the other day.

Posted by on 2003-08-15 12:56:05
My Score:
Yes, the Northshore(Abita Springs, Mandeveille, Covington) is perfect for my project. I'm one of a trio of musicians. We call ourselves Drifthouse and we play whatever music we want--folk music from various countries, classical, Yes, etc. We're guitar, flute, cello. we often play at Java Grotto in Mandeville, at St. John's Coffeehouse in Covington and at the Farmer's Market in Covington. This is area has the openness to our peaceful, eclectic music that one would expect from a "hippie haven". We will be at St. John's this Saturday night.

Posted by D.T. on 2003-06-04 15:48:56
My Score:
to spazette; go to whole foods market on esplanade ave. hang out in produce dept. go to nearby coffee houses. don't go at night, or try to walk there from downtown. take a cab during the day. try magazine st. also. same applies, not at night and watch your back.

Posted by spazette23 on 2003-01-02 14:49:02
My Score:
i am in new orleans there is no where u can go here at all. it is all gay bars, preppy hang outs, college drunk houses, or biker bars, i need a refuge any ideas??

Posted by on 2002-11-12 15:23:56
My Score:
The only hard part is finding out where all the old hippies "hang". I live in Covington, and I see more preppies than hippies. But the atmosphere is damn near the same. I love it here.

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