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.
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.
Beacons that once guided sailors safely to shore, relics of pre-GPS navigation, and monuments to maritime culture, lighthouses are typically a hallmark of hazardous coastline, found often in places that are particularly rugged and dramatic.
From nature-inspired coastal art to Native American artifacts, Northern California's rich ecology, history, and artistic traditions have been well documented by some of the region's lesser-known museums and cultural centers.
Once upon a time, the United States gave Mother England a run for her money -- and we're not talking about the World Cup. If you're in the U.S. on the Fourth of July, don't miss the parades, festivals, and fireworks celebrating our Independence Day!