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Witness the gray whale migration in Northern California

Gray whale fluke

Isn’t it magical to think that while you’re standing on the shore of a beach, gazing at the blanket of ocean, there is an entire world just underneath the surface, a world that’s home to one of the biggest creatures that has ever lived? And while we hardly ever see them from the shore, there’s a special time of the year – every winter and spring – when the Pacific coast becomes a highway for the great grey whale migration and land-dwellers get to spy these enigmatic animals.

A Volunteer Guide for Visitors and Locals

volunteer with hiusa

The more and more we travel the more our eyes are opened to the realities of the world and our responsibilities as global citizens. As we interact with people and explore different environments, it’s difficult not to want to help make the world a better place, and increasingly for a lot of travelers, volunteering while vacationing has become an essential part of the itinerary. “Voluntourism” – as this type of traveling has become known – is not an entirely new concept, but it’s picked up over the years and has become an industry in its own right.  

Stay at a Hostel, Meet the World

HI USA Marin view

In the past, hostels have generally been associated with over-zealous, boozed-up young adults; dingy, dodgy dorm rooms with ultra-thin mattresses and far-flung European destinations à la the movie Hostel. But at HI USA, we believe hostelling can be a real force for good. And as more and more people are opening their eyes to the joys of travel, this form of social, budget-friendly accommodation is fast becoming the popular choice for young and old who are looking to explore the United States and beyond.

8 Ways to Participate in the UN's International Day of Peace

Hi USA sleep for peace

Each year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Annually, HI USA has been joined by HI hostels around the world to host various events in celebration of promoting peace. If you can’t make it to one of our hostels on September 21st, don’t fret! Here are 8 other ways you can celebrate the UN’s World Peace Day.

East Bay Escape for Sunny Trails & Picnics

Tilden park hiking

By Marguerite Richards 

If you’re beginning to curse the magical mist of San Francisco, we understand. This is California, people. Sheesh! Where’s the sunshine? We know our fairytale fog can start to feel comedic or even tragic after a while. So if you’re getting a hankering for heat, we suggest you head over to the East Bay for a hike in the sun. Check out East Bay Parks for many great ideas. 

Exploring Sausalito, Tech-Free and on a Budget

Sausalito Herring Festival

By Marian Schembari

I first traveled through Europe with nothing but a few torn pages from Lonely Planet, meaning I spent a lot of time getting lost and discovering hidden gems. But Today, whenever I travel, "fear of missing out" requires I bring a smartphone so I don't "miss anything."

But instead, I end up navigating, nose to the screen, missing everything.

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