Each one is different so I never know exactly what to expect until I check in. The rooms usually have bunks for about 4-8 people, but these dorms can be for men only, women only, or co-ed. Most also have a few private rooms at a slightly higher cost. Mattresses can range from very bad to very good, and earplugs are an absolute necessity! Most have a kitchen where food can be stored and cooked. Prices (today) start at about $20-$30.
I began my retirement with a six week trip from Portland, Oregon, down the coast of California to my brother's house in the LA area. These are the hostels I stayed in:
- Northwest Portland - a great Victorian house within walking distance to downtown
- Redwood National Park - just across Hwy. 101 from the beach (closed right now)
- Point Reyes - an old ranch house 30 miles north of San Francisco
- Marin Headlands, Sausalito - just 10 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge
- San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf - right on the bay, walk to the wharf
- Point Montara Lighthouse - former Coast Guard quarters 25 miles south of S.F.
- Pigeon Point Lighthouse - lighthouse keeper's quarters 50 miles south of S.F.
- Monterey - Cannery Row, the aquarium and a short drive right into Steinbeck' books
- Santa Cruz - the Beach Boardwalk and some great surfing
- San Luis Obispo - a bit more inland than the rest, in California farm country