When German schoolteacher Richard Schirrmann took his first group of students on a trip to the countryside in 1909, it's unlikely that he knew he was starting a movement.
What began with an idea to create simple lodgings to encourage youth to travel -- beginning with the world's first hostel in Altena, Germany in 1912 -- has grown in the past 100 years into a network encompassing thousands of hostels across the globe.
This year, Hostelling International commemorates the centennial of the hostelling movement with celebrations across its 4,000 hostels in 60 countries.
Additionally, 2009 marks the 75th anniversary of Hostelling International USA, giving HI-USA an extra reason to celebrate. The official Open Hostel series kicks off August 23, with festivities continuing throughout the week at hostels from coast to coast.
HI-USA Golden Gate Council is joining in the party by hosting special events at all nine of our Northern California hostels, August 22-30. These celebrations are not only a great excuse to get out and soak in the late summer sunshine, but an opportunity to meet and mingle with other travelers while enjoying games, refreshments, live music, and more. All of the events are free and open to everyone!
More information will be available August 1, so mark your calendars and be sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter for updates.
UPDATE: New information about this series has been posted here.
Northern California Events
Saturday, August 22, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel
A seaside party at the Point Montara Light Station State Historic Park, featuring live music, kids' crafts, hostel tours, door prizes, and a lighthouse art show.
Sunday, August 23, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Point Reyes Hostel
A bring-your-own picnic with live performances by local bands, in the heart of Point Reyes National Seashore. Beer and lemonade provided; fully equipped kitchen and barbecue grills available for use.
Sunday, August 23, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Redwood National Park Hostel
A party and open house in Redwood National Park, with live music, travel-themed games, hostel tours, refreshments, and door prizes, plus the chance to contribute your personal stories to Hostelling International’s anniversary video archive.
Tuesday, August 25, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
An old-fashioned ice cream social at the historic Sacramento Hostel, formerly the Llewellyn Williams Mansion, near the state Capitol in downtown Sacramento. Ice cream from Leatherby's Family Creamery, live jazz music, prize giveaways, and a special dedication ceremony honoring former mayor Heather Fargo, who was instrumental in the hostel’s founding.
Friday, August 28, 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Marin Headlands Hostel
A family-friendly celebration with music, hostel tours, refreshments, prizes, and a "Community Walls" painting project for kids, followed by a night hike in the Marin Headlands, led by a National Park docent at 7 p.m.
A progressive event and scavenger hunt spanning all three hostel locations in San Francisco.
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
San Francisco Downtown Hostel
A pancake and mimosa brunch at the Downtown Hostel, one block from Union Square, with tours of the newly renovated facilities.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
San Francisco City Center Hostel
A midday reception in the City Center Hostel's cafe, "Ivy’s Place," with music, prize giveaways, hostel tours, and displays highlighting the mission and history of this beautiful 1920s boutique hotel turned hostel.
2:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel
A bayside barbecue in Fort Mason, a waterfront National Park with views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Food and microbrews from local businesses, live music and entertainment, family friendly activities, hostel tours, and prize giveaways.
Sunday, August 30, 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel
A seaside barbecue featuring live music, puppet shows, prize giveaways, and historic tours of the lighthouse grounds led by State Park docents. Grilled sausages and tofu dogs, plus strawberry shortcake and strawberry lemonade from Swanton Berry Farms.