The truth is, there aren’t many reasons not to visit Northern California if you have the chance to. Who doesn’t enjoy epic road trips with postcard-perfect scenery to match, curious cities and towns with a bunch of great culture, and friends and fellow travelers to make memories with at HI USA hostels? In case there’s someone out there who might need convincing, or if you’re already planning your next trip and just looking for a bit of inspiration, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite images from NorCal hostels that will make you want to pack your bags right now.
This farmer’s market haul from HI Monterey
The Salinas Valley in California’s central coast is known as the salad bowl of the world, so when you stay at HI Monterey, you’ll also be able to get your fill of fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the source at a farmer’s market (there’s one every day of the week!).
Low tide at HI Point Montara Lighthouse
With a little beach cove for a backyard, HI Point Montara makes for a quintessential stop when you’re exploring this corner of the country. When all the elements come together, you might find yourself on the beach at low tide, when the little creatures living in the rock pools are revealed.
This classic view near HI Marin Headlands
The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands is an undeniable favorite of locals and travelers, whether it’s their first or 50th time in the Bay Area. You get bonus points if you hike from the hostel at sunset so you can catch one of the best views in the country in all its golden glory.
This delicious plate of food from a restaurant near HI SF Fisherman’s Wharf
It’s said there are so many restaurants in San Francisco you could eat out every day of the year, and you’d still wouldn’t cover them all. We can’t vouch for all of them, but there are many that are staff approved, including this pretty plate from vegetarian eatery Greens, near HI SF Fisherman’s Wharf.
This mural you can see during a walking tour from HI SF Downtown
Sure, the coast is a magical place, but there’s also something about the colorful, lively streets of San Francisco that makes you want to explore and experience more. All three San Francisco hostels host a number of walking tours where you can see the city’s underrated and underexplored gems, like the murals on the Saturday Mission neighborhood tour.
This traffic jam near HI Point Reyes
Things are pretty laid back in NorCal, and up in the Point Reyes National Seashore, that reputation is taken to the next level. Here, guests happily give upphone signals and Wi-Fi in exchange for miles of hiking trails and endless, beautiful views. And here, during peak traffic, you’re more likely to hear a lazy moo than a honking car.
These epic sunsets
It’s hard to pick just one mesmerizing sunset moment from hostels up and down the Northern California coast, so we figured we’d let you pick the one that inspires you to hit the road the most.
HI USA Tip: Find more Northern California inspiration with our quick guide to Tomales Bay near HI Point Reyes hostel.