Spotlight: San Francisco
San Francisco, the funky and vibrant city in Northern California, is easy and quick to get to from Western Canada, making it an ideal weekend or week-long travel destination. The arts scene and nightlife are alive and well and compliment the picturesque oceanside city perfectly.
There are three HI hostels in San Francisco, and if you're only going for the weekend, you may want to spend a night in each! They've all got something different to say, but they all offer the same great amenities and activities - like thrift store crawls, a Bike the Bay tour and day trips to Yosemite and Napa Valley.
When HI-San Francisco Downtown says downtown, they mean downtown. The most central of the three San Fran hostels, this one's in a newer building, close to everything, including shopping at Union Square and swanky restaurants, bars and galleries. You're also within walking distance of Chinatown and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At the hostel, you'll find spacious dorms, free breakfast, free wireless internet and loads of daily tours and activities.
HI-San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf is an escape within the city. Located in a park, HI-San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf is a 10-minute walk from world-famous Fisherman's Wharf where you can find Pier 39, fresh seafood restaurants, museums and more. The hostel has spacious common rooms, a relaxed atmosphere and even a café overlooking the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. If you're after a true City by the Bay experience, this is a good place to start.
HI-San Francisco City Centre is in arts central, within the city's Tenderloin District. It's near theatres, underground bars and loads of artsy people and attractions. The hostel itself has a lot of character - housed in what was once the Atherton Hotel. There are many affordable restaurants nearby, or you can grab free breakfast from the on-site café.
San Fran Podcasts
Do some audio research before you go. Check out HI-USA's collection of San Fran-related podcasts including walking tours and history lessons.