Sometimes, a hostel is just a hostel. But when it comes to HI-USA's Northern California properties, sometimes a hostel is a trip back in time. From Marin to Montara, San Francisco to Sacramento, our hostels' walls have stories to tell.
The California coast has long exerted a powerful pull for visitors in the summertime: When the weather heats up, locals and travelers alike start to dream of mornings riding Pacific waves, afternoons of lazy beachcombing, and evenings cooled by ocean breezes.
We get it: planning a getaway is tough. Vacations get jam-packed with must-see cities and must-do check lists, and every-day life gets so busy it can be hard to remember to slow down for a few days. But sometimes we all need a little time to surround ourselves with trees instead of skyscrapers, to seclude ourselves and recharge.
Standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, it seems silly to point out how windy it is. But the wind is all I can think about. It's chilling my hands and beating on the hood of my fleece jacket, all while making me look a bit like a dog with its head out the car window.
At the Marin Headlands, you don't have to go far to see the kind of cuddly creatures Northern California is famous for. From seals and sea lions, to river otters and even grey whales, this ocean-side piece of National Parks land just north of San Francisco attracts all kinds of marine mammals and the visitors who love them.
Let's be honest: what traveler among us has never dreamed of working with National Geographic? Exploring the great outdoors, discovering new species, photographing plant- and animal-life up-close… there's something inherently adventurous and cool about this company that's been "inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888."