As of 2021, there are a lot more options if you want to travel around in the US and use cannabis. Thanks to the wave that has the states moving toward legalization, you’re safer than ever toking up, especially in cities.
We decided to create a list of the best recreational cannabis cities across the United States in 2021, and here it is. Ready for a road trip? These cities deserve a stop on any stoner’s itinerary.
[Remember, according to the feds, cannabis is still illegal, so use caution on the road and in public.]
Los Angeles, California
Why LA? Between High Times and Merry Jane, and tons of well-curated dispensaries, LA is home to countless 420-friendly experiences, whether you live there or not. You’ll love the ability to smoke up and then enjoy the boardwalk at the beach, and places like Wisdome’s immersive art park. Toke up again for some pampering at a local Korean day spa, followed by conveyor belt sushi.
For the special cannabis experience, visit the Original Cannabis Cafe and enjoy your smoke outside on the toke patio along with infused eats. Check out the 420 Games for athletes if that’s your jam, or if you’d rather eat some more, visit the Cannabis Supper Club. Participate in cannabis-centric events from Grassfed and Hazy, get a green tour of a glass-blowing factory with Tommy Chong, or just join the Stoned Video Game League. It’s all here.
Denver was already a great place to visit if you like hiking, green spaces, and craft beer, but if you love 4/20-friendly rideshare services, cannabis tours, and tons of amazing dispensaries, it’s even better. Colorado Cannabis Tours help you get acquainted with the overwhelming options, and the progressive regulations in Denver mean you can take advantage of everything from public smoking lounges, social clubs, the original puff, pass, and paint scene, and yoga classes uplifted by cannabis. And if you’re a gourmand, you’re in luck. Denver is home to Scott Durrah of Simply Pure and Jaime Lewis of Mountain Medicine, two of the most famous cannabis chefs in the US.
The Bay Area, California
Yeah, we know it’s not just one city. But between San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, and the rest of the area, the Bay Area as a whole is a top cannabis tourist destination in the US. In Berkeley you can consume cannabis on-site at dispensaries, so you can start right, knowing what you got. Or, enjoy a social smoke at the on-site vapor lounge and dab bar at Magnolia Wellness. Check out a 420-friendly event or class at the Oakland Cannabis Creative Space—maybe some “medicated comedy” if you can remember what time it starts. And don’t forget the standard stuff, just walking through Golden Gate Park and the Haight, enjoying the effects of your cannabis.
Think about it: if you’re used to getting snowed in, bigtime, you probably know what to do with some high-grade cannabis—and folks in Anchorage know. The Anchorage cannabis market is mature and friendly, and it’s easier to smoke outside than it is in private spaces like a hotel room anyway. Don’t miss visiting a glacier, whale spotting, or viewing the Northern Lights with cannabis on board.
Chicago is a great city. Go there for excellent flower or artisanal edibles from Mindy Segal, a local chef and winner of the James Beard award. New to the legalization scene, Chicago is not yet home to many 420 events or on-site consumption lounges, but any day of the year you can enjoy a psychedelic day off in the Windy City. Get stoned to the bejeezus, and check out Millennium Park for a free movie or concert with a lunch outside, do a bit of arcading at Emporium, and wrap it all up with some live comedy. It’s funnier high, trust us.
Portland has a reputation for creativity as well as cannabis tourism, both well-earned. There are almost 200 dispensaries in town, and you can explore them solo, or with either of two local tour companies: High Five and The Potlandia Experience. High Five offers tours that focus on cannabis farming in the region or local dispensaries and landmarks; the Potlandia Experience focuses more on a 420 take on Portland’s foodie scene—but you may not be able to visit the NW Cannabis Club, because it’s members only.
Or leave town altogether to take in the natural beauty. Just south of town in Newburg you’ll find Homegrown Weed and Wine Tours. And unlike most of the destinations you might visit, it’s easy to find 4/20-friendly hotels in and around Portland. You can even check into the Jupiter Hotel for a “4/20 Package” and welcome kit. Either way, you will never run out of cannabis tourism adventures in Portland.
You may get a picture of the White House in your head when you think of DC, but you should also think of cannabis. Although you can’t smoke up anywhere in public or possess cannabis on federal land (which means lighting up at the top of Washington Monument is off limits), DC is still a destination. Visit the city’s excellent dispensaries if you have a medical card, or head to neighboring Maryland. The National Cannabis Festival happens here, too, in April, which is something all stoners should do at least once. And never underestimate the appeal of galleries like the Smithsonian or the National Air and Space Museum while on edibles.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Yes, it’s a natural match: cannabis and Las Vegas. As we all know, Las Vegas wastes no time trying to convince people to visit, and that’s true of cannabis fans as well. The world’s largest dispensary, Planet 13, is here, and it’s truly a standout among great flower shops, not to mention a weird hybrid that makes it seem like Legoland and Costco got high and had a baby. Take a shuttle to this 112,000-square-foot cannabis warehouse day or night, because it’s open 24/7, and then head to the Strip for—well, whatever. And if you’re still not burnt, take some cannabis pastry classes, do a puff and paint, or chill on a 420 bus tour. It’s here, whatever it is.
Seattle enjoys a healthy, normalized cannabis market that makes it easier to light up in public. This also means you have lots of excellent brands competing for your attention at hundreds of stores, which adds up to some of the highest quality, low cost bud anywhere. Plan your trip for August and Hempfest, the world’s biggest cannabis rally, or just see a view of glacier-covered volcanoes amidst skyscrapers in the city. A high visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit is a must, as is Gas Works Park, canoeing the arboretum, Bainbridge Island Ferry, or just relaxing at Alki Beach.
Burlington, Vermont is like the crunchy capital of New England, so it’s also the de facto cannabis capital. Recreational cannabis has been legal since 2018, and although there’s no wealth of dispensaries here, there’s a lot of locals who are home growing. Find local events to attend all year long through media and activist group Heady Vermont, or just hike or bike the forests or lakeshore trail accompanied by some bud.
Don’t miss Denver, but also remember Boulder! Colorado has had recreational cannabis long enough to create a thriving social and retail scene, and the local cannabis culture dates back years. One of the biggest free smoke outs in the world happens at the University of Colorado Boulder on 4/20. And the dispensaries here really have the personal touch, and are anything but corporate—a genuine piece of local Boulder culture. You’ll love the cannabis-infused massages, Weed Tours, Ganja Yoga classes, and smoke-friendly hotels you’ll find in Boulder, not to mention the super chill vibe.
The Motor City is officially a cannabis tourism spot. Detroit has been using the introduction of legal cannabis businesses to shed its less savory reputation, and dispensaries in Detroit have been seriously busy ever since legalization. It’s also a great city in its own right, perfect for eating, exploring, and chilling.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Yes, along with some other new cities on the list, New Jersey adult-use dispensaries opened in 2021, although the medical market paved the way. If you’re an adult, you can carry up to six ounces of cannabis in New Jersey, so why wouldn’t you? In Jersey City, you can smoke up and get smarter at the Liberty Science Center, walk the waterfront, and cure the munchies with snacks at the Second Street Bakery.
New York City, New York
At last, New York State has legalized adult-use cannabis, and now you can dance to the HBO theme in Bryant Park while high—legally. While you’re there, walk to MedMen on Fifth Avenue, or go big and throw a private party with Chef for Higher Hawaii Mike. And let’s face it, cannabis is the only way to make something like Times Square bearable, let alone memorable.
If you’ve ever wondered how people survive when it’s that hot all year—now you know. Arizona finally and reluctantly joined the rest of the West Coast states and legalized in 2020, opening up a huge recreational cannabis market in 2021. Up to one ounce of flower and five grams of concentrate are on the menu for any adult in Phoenix, and you have a huge number of dispensaries to choose from. A nice spliff by the pool is a great way to beat the heat, and if you don’t mind it, get out and hike the amazing scenery while totally blazed.
We didn’t hit them all, but we hit our favorites, what can we say? We’re just grateful that there are this many to choose from these days. Let’s get on the cannabis travel trail!