Feeling overwhelmed by all the emails, tweets and retweets, and Instagram posts? You might need a digital detox. It’s a good idea to disconnect from your devices and the online world, and reconnect with yourself and the world in real life every now and then, and there’s no better time to do so than in spring when everything feels renewed and refreshed. Take a look at some of our favorite hostels you can escape to for a tech-free spring adventure.
HI Point Reyes is the quintessential hostel for a digital detox, mainly because of its idyllic location in the middle of the stunning Point Reyes National Seashore, but also because it’s a Wi-Fi- and tech-free zone, so you couldn’t even cheat if you wanted to. Not that you would, because once you get here you’ll want to get stuck into some good hiking, wildlife viewing, and beachcombing. The food is good up here too, so while you’re nourishing your mind with good views, you can also nourish your belly with tasty treats like local oysters and cheese. Pure bliss.
One of the best ways to get your mind and eyes off all those tempting apps is to do something that makes you forget to look at your phone. At HI Mississippi Headwaters hostel, located inside Itasca State park in Northern Minnesota, there are so many opportunities for beautiful distraction, from hiking and biking the miles and miles of scenic trails, to engaging in water sports and renting a boat. After a day of outdoor adventure, all you’ll want to do when you get back to the cozy hostel is kick your feet up by the fire and trade stories with new and old friends.
While you’re visiting San Francisco, which is a stimulating metropolis of things to see and do, you might want to add on a night or two at HI Marin Headlands hostel, just across the Golden Gate Bridge. Here you’ll find yourself in a completely different world with wildflowers blooming on the ocean-side cliffs and magnificent views to be found at the end of winding, climbing trails. The serene hostel is not that far from the city, but it’s so peaceful and quiet that it won’t take much to get you to unwind and unplug. Take sunset strolls to Rodeo Beach or wander down to Sausalito to admire the houseboats free of the urge to add an Insta-filter to it all.
Sitting pretty atop a hill above the C&O Canal Trail and the Potomac River, HI Harpers Ferry is yet another idyllic hostel where you’ll be too busy reveling in the real world to even think about checking your phone. You can get active and hike a little piece of the famous Appalachian Trail, or take it easy with a lazy tube float down the river. At the end of the day, you can fire up the grill and fire pit for a relaxing evening under the stars.
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Nature-lovers rejoice! You can experience the natural beauty of the U.S. without having to pack a tent and sleeping bag. Here are seven of our favorite hikes near HI USA hostels that you’re sure to love.