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.

Artists in Residence: Lacey at HI-Point Reyes

Point Reyes boat Copyright Lacey Bediz

From National Park land to downtown streetscapes, hillside perches to coastal lighthouses, HI 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!

Make a Critter Connection at the Marin Headlands' Marine Mammal Center

Marine Mammal Center

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.