The ocean breeze stirs your hair, and you inhale deeply, the smell of salty water and beach filling your senses. The sounds of waves hitting the beach below and the edges of cliffs draws you down towards the beach. You head off down the trail, and stop to notice the flowers lining both sides-the greens and pinks stretch up to the edge of cliffs. Behind you, the Point Montara Lighthouse stands guard, a mother hen protecting the surrounding area.
Sound like an ideal setting? Indeed, Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel is the perfect place to spend a weekend or a week. Located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, California, this hostel is based in a lighthouse on the coast of California near Half Moon Bay.
I know what you’re thinking. You hear hostel and think: rundown and dirty, for twenty-somethings just out of college. But that’s where you would be wrong. The Point Montara Hostel is for all ages and is extremely well kept. Both dorm rooms ($20-$26 per person) and private rooms ($59-$93 depending on occupancy) are available. Though the prices may be a little steep, the private rooms are an excellent option, even though they generally have a shared bathroom. I stayed at Point Montara last summer, and my friend and I only had to share a room with one other room. Our room had a bunk bed-double on bottom and twin on top. Also, many of the rooms have an ocean view and a desk.
Point Montara is a great place to escape the noises of the city. Half Moon Bay is a small town, and Point Montara Hostel is on the outskirts. Therefore, it’s quiet and calm. Plus, there are many activities to do in the area. You can go whale watching, biking, swimming, surfing, hiking (on Mount Montara), kayaking, and fishing. Pillar Point Harbor, located several miles south of Point Montara Hostel, is a great start for a number of these activities. You can also take a walk along the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve; during low-tide, the pools contain starfish, crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful creatures.
If you’re hungry, a couple of options are available to you. Half Moon Bay has a variety of restaurants from fast food to local seafood places. (If you’re looking for good seafood, I would recommend Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, located just down the road from the hostel. They have fresh seafood dishes, local music, and great beer brewed in-house-though the restaurant is a bit pricey). But you can also buy groceries and cook right at the hostel, which has a shared kitchen. If you’re really adventurous, you can ask some of the people staying at the hostel if they want to cook with you-and go in on a meal together. It’s a great way to make new friends.
A visit to Point Montara Hostel is a must if you are in the area. Any good life contains adventure, new friends, relaxation, and great food-and all of these can be found at Point Montara Hostel.