San Francisco might be a small city in terms of square miles, but what it lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in its sheer volume of culture and history. Take for example the stretch of Mission Street between the 16th Street and 24th Street BART subway stations: in those few blocks, all of your senses are bound to be tickled by something interesting, tasty, eye-opening, and even tastier, and you’ll experience the strange sensation of feeling like you’re definitely in San Francisco but that you could also be in Latin America.
San Francisco is a city of bicycle riders despite the fact that it’s also a city of crazy steep hills. But if you’re up for some adventurous exploring local-style, one of the best ways to do so is from the seat of a bike because you can cover a lot in one day while also having the luxury of stopping whenever you want. There are even ways you can avoid the steepest of hills, and you’ll gain a better sense of the unique little cultures of San Francisco’s colorful neighborhoods.
At HI USA, we believe in the power of travel to open minds and the power of community service to open hearts. Above all, we believe that these experiences should be rewarding – not costly. That's why, for the sixth consecutive year, we are offering groups across the country free overnight stays at HI USA hostels in January and February 2016 through our Great Hostel Give Back (GHGB) program.
What is GHGB?
There aren’t many places you can sit in the city with a view of the Bay and a reasonably priced cup of coffee, but then, there aren’t many places like Café Franco at HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hostel. The cute and cozy café, which is open to both hostel guests and the general public, is the perfect spot to stop by for a breakfast bagel or a hearty soup-and-sandwich lunch when you’re taking a break from strolling the greens of Fort Mason.
One of the things that makes San Francisco beautiful is the colorful collection of people from many corners of the world who contribute to the eclectic melting pot of a city. Generations of settlers have brought the rituals, arts and foods of their home countries, connecting travelers and visitors with different cultures just within the Bay.
So you’ve decided to visit San Francisco – ride a trolley, eat a giant burrito, see the Golden Gate Bridge – and you’re wondering what else you can do after ticking off those big bucket list items. The right answer is to go across the famous bridge and spend a night or two at HI Marin Headlands hostel, which sits pretty within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.