Sometimes, a hostel is just a hostel. But when it comes to HI-USA's Northern California properties, sometimes a hostel is a trip back in time. From Marin to Montara, San Francisco to Sacramento, our hostels' walls have stories to tell.
The California coast has long exerted a powerful pull for visitors in the summertime: When the weather heats up, locals and travelers alike start to dream of mornings riding Pacific waves, afternoons of lazy beachcombing, and evenings cooled by ocean breezes.
HI’s Pigeon Point Hostel, located on the site of a historic lighthouse overlooking the Pacific Ocean, can feel as if it’s truly perched at the edge of the world. This is the go-to hostel for anyone who wants to feel secluded, removed from the bustle of everyday life.
So, you finally come out to California for your sun-filled, beach-tastic vacation, and what happens? It decides to rain. It's nothing personal: the Northern California weather can be indecisive, with warm snaps in the winter and rain storms pretty much any time. The good news is, the rain isn't always here to stay. And the better news is, even when it's cats and dogs outside, there are still plenty of ways to experience everything that makes Northern California special.
Winter in Northern California means cool, bright days and crisp, chilly evenings. It also means always having a great excuse to duck into someplace cozy for a pick-me-up. From fire-lit bars, to brick-oven-warmed bakeries, to restaurants chock-full of cozy ambiance, we asked the staff at our seven Norcal hostels for their favorite local spots to warm up. Read on for their picks, and get ready to settle in for the winter.
Every winter and spring, approximately 18,000 Pacific gray whales embark on an annual migration from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Bering and Chukchi Seas to warm birthing lagoons off the coast of Baja California. During the epic 10,000+ mile round-trip journey -- one of the longest in the animal kingdom -- gray whales hug the coastline, offering a rare opportunity for land-dwellers to catch a glimpse of these enigmatic creatures.