‘Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair’: 33 Pictures Of The Summer Of Love In San Francisco

Published November 13, 2022
Updated December 20, 2022

Known as "The Summer Of Love," thousands of young people flocked to San Francisco in 1967 to experience music, free love, and hallucinogenic drugs.

Hippie Dancing At Festival
Avalon Ballroom Face Paint
Woman Holding Flower
Summer Of Love 1967
‘Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair’: 33 Pictures Of The Summer Of Love In San Francisco
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If the hippies had a coming-of-age party, it was the entire summer of 1967 — better known as the Summer of Love.

The Hippies Migrate To Haight-Ashbury

The San Francisco neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury became the hub of the counterculture by 1967 after property values plummeted and its older, middle-class citizens made a frenzied dash for the suburbs. The newly low rents attracted beatniks and disaffected student communities in what was nothing less than an invasion.

The hippies came by Volkswagen bus, by thumb, and by foot, armed largely with their idealism and the flowers in their hair. They sought to promote peace and love, tuning in and dropping out.

Record stores openly sold psychedelic drugs right beside their LPs. Exotic wares began filling the streets, representing a hodgepodge of creative interests and identities. All in all, some 100,000 people by some estimates descended on Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love and made it the capital of a counterculture movement that was just then reaching its tipping point.

A Counterculture Movement Takes Shape

Hippies During The Summer Of Love

Ted Streshinsky/Getty ImagesA woman gets her face painted in Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love in 1967.

Kicking off 1967 — and setting the tone for the Summer of Love — was the Human Be-In, a music festival/pro-LSD rally in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Jan. 14. The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane performed, poet Allen Ginsberg chanted, and LSD advocates Timothy Leary and Owsley Stanley handed out their wares.

"The cool thing about that day was that so many people from so many backgrounds came," Anthea Hartig, executive director of the California Historical Society, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"They came to protest the Vietnam War and to celebrate love — in short, to ramp up the revolution. That vision remains provocative today and especially striking in this moment's segmented and polarized environment."

The Summer Of Love In 1967

Six months after the Human Be-In, the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in June virtually set the prototype for almost every music festival to follow. Held on the south face of Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco, the show featured musicians such as Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors. In true environmentally responsible fashion, all litter was picked up and binned at the end of it all, leaving the lovely Mount Tamalpais as they found it.

Later that same month, the Monterey International Pop Music Festival further established the connection between music, drugs, and mass outdoor gatherings that were quickly coming to define the burgeoning hippie movement.

The likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin performed for as many as 90,000 people and the Summer of Love was truly now underway in ways that would resonate throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and across America.

See how that one amazing season played out — and left a legacy that impacts clothing, music, politics, and more to this day — in the gallery of Summer of Love photos from San Francisco and beyond above.

After this look at the Summer of Love, experience history's most iconic music festival with these Woodstock photos. Then, step inside the hippie communes of 1970s America.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Kelly, Erin. "‘Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair’: 33 Pictures Of The Summer Of Love In San Francisco." AllThatsInteresting.com, November 13, 2022, https://allthatsinteresting.com/summer-of-love. Accessed June 12, 2024.