6 Reasons To Try A Hostel

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Hostels are no longer just for college kids traveling Europe, they are for everyone and everyone is taking notice. If you doubt it, check out Hi Hostels/Hostelling International. Hostels can be found in a large number of locales with new ones being added constantly.  They are worth exploring and that’s a fact.

We’ve bunked right outside of Yosemite and climbed Half Dome and Nevada Falls, walked the black sand beach at the Marin Headlands, beachcombed and hot-tubbed at the base of a lighthouse, on the ocean at Pigeon Point. We’ve enjoyed the incredible views at Point Montara, got our Zen on at the Point Reyes Hostel, and swung energetic in the bustling beach town of Santa Cruz. Whatever you crave, there is a hostel for you.

Below we’ve compiled 6 reasons to check out a hostel as well as six different California hostels we’ve visited and recommend.

1) Save Money – Flat out, they are cheaper than hotels in almost every single case.  We stayed oceanfront along Pacific Coast Highway in California for under $80 a night for a private room, shared bath, at a lighthouse.

2) Family Friendly – Yes, we have found them to be family friendly with the ones we’ve booked offering private rooms. Also available are full/community kitchens if you like to cook. We had homemade seafood chowder that I brought along in the cooler when we visited San Francisco and then walked on the black sand beach at sunset, again under $80 for a private room.

3) Experience Culture – You will absolutely encounter people from all over the world and if you enjoy socializing, there are always fellow travelers looking to exchange information on hot spots in any city. If hearing a multitude of other languages floats your boat like it does mine, you will be in for a treat.

4) They’re Clean – With the exception of one individually owned hostel not up to par on cleanliness, we found them all to be clean and well maintained. That said, they are not slick and formulaic like hotels, however, HI Hostels has raised the bar on the many they run and decorated them beautifully.

5)  Reservations Accepted – You can plan ahead and grab private rooms or fly by the seat of your pants and hope for an empty spot as dorm rooms are more easily snapped up on short notice during peak times.

6) Amenities Abound – These are not stark dorm-style accommodations. Hostels are varied and offer fun individual perks so always ask. There is a day spa at the Yosemite Bug that is very relaxing and cost-friendly, offering massage, yoga, and herbal baths as well as a cafe that sells beer and wine for your post-spa spirits while the Pigeon Point Hostel ponies up an ocean-side hot tub that is for rent by the hour and it’s located at the base of a lighthouse.

Below are the hostels we’ve stayed at and enjoyed in California. We’d love to hear of your experiences staying in hostels and your tips for creating a successful get-away by utilizing this money-saving alternative.

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Point Montara Hostel

Limontour sunset (1)This beach is ten minutes from the Point Reyes Hostel

Santa Cruz hostel

Santa Cruz Hostel (check times allowed in rooms on this one)

Black Sand Beach at sunset

Black Sand Beach, 5 minute walk from the Marin Headlands Hostel which is minutes from San Francisco

Early morning view of the bridge from the Marin Headlands

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands hiking area

Pigeon Pt.Pigeon Point Hostel

Bug 002

Yosemite Bug hike to the seasonal waterfall

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