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.
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!
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. When you’re in the middle of redwoods and look up, you won’t be likely to see the tops of the trees and it’s fascinating to realize there’s a hidden world in the canopy above.
Hailing from Washington D.C., Hostel Assistant Kate Reese is a newbie Northern Californian with a passion for the great outdoors. On her days off, you'll find her nose-deep in a good book, wandering around a Bay Area flea market, or lost in the wilderness with her trusty pair of hiking boots.
Spring has sprung, and at Audubon Canyon Ranch near Stinson Beach, that means the 100 pairs of great egrets and great blue herons which nest there are starting to mate and lay eggs. It also means the wildlife preserve is opening to the public for their visiting season, March 20 - July 11.
If you don't think you can face another holiday weekend in a crowded shopping mall… then don't. Treat yourself to a more meaningful gift than a new toy: a day of wildlife watching in the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore.