Los Angeles is the largest city in California and is home to the famous Venice Beach and Hollywood Boulevard. There many cool places to hang out and explore here depending on your tastes. While there are hostels scattered all over the city, it is best to stay in some of the outer suburbs instead of downtown Los Angeles as the downtown area can tend to be dangerous. Suburbs on the outskirts such as West Hollywood, Malibu, and Venice Beach tend to be better areas to stay in.
If you are wanting to visit Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm from here, you can either do it as a day trip from Los Angeles or you can find a hostel in Anaheim so that you are sleeping right in amongst the action.
North of Los Angeles is the ever alternative and popular city of San Francisco with its iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The city is one of the most liberal cities in all of the United States. Relax and spend some time at any of the many hostels here exploring the windiest street in the world, checking out the seals down on the pier and having a seafood chowder down at the Fisherman's Wharf.
If nature is more what you are looking for, you can head over the bridge to Sausalito to be closer to exploring the Muir Woods with some of the most stunning red wood trees. You can also head from here into the famous Yosemite National Park. Yosemite has incredible hiking and waterfalls. Plan on spending at least a couple of days here to make the most of the experience. It is best in the summer when you can do the hiking and see the animals, such as bears, out in the wild. It also has quite a charm in the winter months when it is covered in snow. But for activities, summer is best.
The second largest city in California is San Diego. Located just above the Mexican border, it is a great place to explore Naval history as it is home to the US Navy. You will also find some great beaches here and San Diego is also famous for its zoo. There are an abundance of hostels here that you can stay in.
You will find a large number of hostels in each of the major cities in California with a few other hostels scattered here and there in some lesser known locations to visit. You should be able to do most of your travel along the Pacific Coast Highway on the Greyhound bus but check with your hostel about alternative transportation for some destinations. If you wanted to stop more along the way while travelling the coast it may even be cheaper to hire a car with a few other people. What ever you choose to do you are bound to have fun in this state! Fun, sun and the high life are what it is best known for!
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If you are going to visit San Diego make sure you stay in Pacific Beach. The beach is awesome with some great surf and the nightlife is impressive. Heaps of great bars with some really good drink specials.
Of course most visitors to Berkeley go to Telegraph to shop, but there are plenty of other areas that offer a completely different type of shopping experience, if the begging teenager/dirty hippie scene isn't your thing. Try College Ave (go several blocks past the dorms) and Fourth Street. Fourth Street is a bit …
Sausalito sits just over the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. It's a wonderful port town with higher-end shops, good seafood, and pubs and bars. There are tons of sailboats in several marinas. There is a nice ferry to San Francisco. I'm a native of Marin County -- it is filled with mostly friendly people driving …
I've been to Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Los Angeles is good if you want to experience "Hollywood". Other than that, if you want to experience social beaches I would head to San Diego. If you want a really great city experience, nothing beats San Francisco. There is a lot to do in Los Angeles but be …
Pack a sweater! Because Santa Cruz is in California and a beach town, many people think it will be warm and sunny. Actually, it can get surprisingly cold. Also, don't count on swimming in the ocean, unless you wear a wetsuit. As with most of Northern California beaches, the water is freezing.
Big Bear Lake is an awesome town hidden in the mountains. I felt like I was in the Alps! I stopped there on my way to Las Vegas and Joshua Tree. I stayed for three days when I only planned to stop for the night. I went kayaking and hiked to Castle Rock which has great views of the lake and alpine forest. I'd love to …
There is a Farmers Market festival every Thursday in Fullerton, with music and lots of food. Great location for Disneyland, Knox Berry Farm, California Adventure, and other scenic adventures.
Visit Sacramento -- it's a tranquil place. I suggest enjoying a delicious coffee in the naked lounge -- it's great!
Don't miss the Haight Ashbury area (centered around the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street) to get a taste of what the San Francisco 60s was all about.