Bolinas, California is a faraway place. Technically, it's only 25 miles from the Marin Headlands Hostel and 19 miles from the Point Reyes Hostel, but it's as far away from the rest of Marin County as you can get. This tiny, unincorporated town without a mayor or a city hall maintains such an indie, insular culture, and an obvious aversion to non-native species, that it's literally off-the-map.
A native of the Midwest, Mallory Goelz grew up in Danville, Illinois. She spent the last six years living in various states, slowly making her way to the West Coast, until she landed in Montara. She's been at the front desk of the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel for a year and a half now, and loves everything about Montara. Indecisive, or "all decisive" as she calls it, and a child of the "flat middle," she can never choose between coastal waters or rugged mountains. Luckily, the Northern California coast gives her both.
The Embarcadero, San Francisco's scenic eastern waterfront, holds some of the city's most well known attractions as well as some wonderful hidden spots in between. One Saturday afternoon, I set out on the Embarcadero's pedestrian walkway to see what I could discover on the path from the Ferry Building to the San Francisco Giant's AT&T Park.
The California coast offers an alluring escape -- beautiful views, ocean breezes, fresh seafood, and adventurous water sports. And while braving a maverick wave on a surfboard isn't everyone's idea of fun, thanks to the revival of a much more relaxing Hawaiian pastime, now everyone can surf the sea.
If anyone has the inside scoop on what to do with kids near the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, it's Janice Pratt -- she and her family live there! Janice and her husband, hostel manager Christopher Bauman, run the place (with a little extra "help" here and there from their two daughters, ages 6 and 9).