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.
There are giants in California. They jut out of soil dampened by fog rolling in from the Pacific and reach greater heights than any other living thing on the planet. They are the coast redwoods: the world’s tallest trees. Many of them grow to be over 200 feet tall and the tallest soar to over 350 feet -- higher than a 30 story skyscraper.
On September 21, 2013, individuals and organizations from around the world will participate in the annual International Day of Peace through celebrations, ceremonies, a global Peace Wave, and much more. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982, the International Day of Peace -- also known as Peace Day -- serves as a time of collaborative focus on worldwide peace, and encouragement for all of humanity to work in cooperation towards this goal.
Who doesn't love passport stamps? Stamps are like little badges of honor, awarded to the adventurous wanderer, and serve as tangible reminders of the memories made while exploring new places. Hostelling International is pleased to offer 27 stamps to add to your collection, with the HI-West Coast passport. Collect a free souvenir stamp at each West Coast hostel in the U.S.