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Montara, CA 94037

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A Traveler's Guide to Thanksgiving in Northern California

We've all heard that there's no place like home for the holidays. But at HI USA, we believe there's a hidden meaning behind the old adage: sometimes, spending the holidays far from your comfort zone can be a great thing! Just ask any traveler who's ever shared a holiday meal with a group of new friends, or anyone who's unwittingly arrived in a foreign country at the start of an exotic holiday season. 

Where to Get a Shot of Coffee Culture in Northern California

A caffeine fix, a break from the go-go-go lifestyle of backpacking, a ringside look at the local culture – there are so many reasons we love stopping into neighborhood cafés wherever our travels take us. And here in Northern California, there are endless ways to make a run-of-the-mill refueling stop into a one-of-a-kind experience: from no-frills cups of Joe at corner mainstays, to sweet concoctions in exotic neighborhoods, to artful pours of espresso at high-class hideaways, here a few of our favorites spots for coffee and culture.

Artists in Residence: Chris Bauman at HI-Point Montara

From National Park land to downtown streetscapes, hillside perches to coastal lighthouses, HI USA hostels are located in some of the most beautiful settings Northern California has to offer. So perhaps it's not surprising that so many staff members across our hostel network are talented (and prolific) artists: they've got a lot of inspiration to work with!

HI-USA Sleeps - and Gardens, Talks, and Watches - for Peace

On September 21, HI-USA and guests from across the world joined together to promote tolerance, understanding, and world peace. 

It sounds like a lofty goal, sure, but it's one that the United Nations encourages people to spend at least one day each year working towards. Since 1981, the United Nations has recognized an International Day of Peace; in 2001, the UN established September 21 as an official annual day of global non-violence and ceasefire. 

Our Favorite End-of-Summer Cycling Destinations in Northern California

Ever hear the old saying that life's about the journey, not a destination? Out here in Northern California, we tend to take it a step further: Here, sometimes the journey is the destination. Transit time in our lovely region isn't just a way of getting from Point A to Point B – it's an eye-opener in and of itself. Just ask anyone who's ever taken a bicycle tour, big or small, around our neck of the woods! 

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