This was the photo that introduced me to HI-USA Northern California Hostels. It's the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest in America, and also a hostel where you can actually stay in four houses set just beside the lighthouse. Guests enjoy cozy indoor lounges, fully equipped kitchens, cove beaches, tidepools, and an oceanfront boardwalk. Amenities include satellite Internet, free WiFi, and free parking. On weekends, free history walks guided by State Parks docents are available on the hostel grounds. Pigeon Point Lighthouse is also a popular spot for whale watching, and a convenient base for exploring nearby coastside communities as well as the ancient redwood forests at Butano State Park, the bird sanctuary of Pescadero Marsh, and Año Nuevo State Reserve, breeding site of northern elephant seals. There's even a small hot tub for guests to use, and the view's not too shabby.
Dorm rooms are divided into men and women's and prices start at just $25.50/night. Not into sharing sleeping space? Opt for a private room (from $74/night), or if you're traveling with a group a triple or family room (from $101/night).
Pigeon Point is one of 8 of HI-USA's hostels located throughout San Francisco, Sacramento, and California's Central Coast, all similarly well priced and many downright stylish. Here are some more shots from around Pigeon Point and some of their other properties.