Traveling with children is a lot different than traveling solo or with a friend or two, but that doesn’t mean you have to rule out hostels as an option when you’re looking for a place to stay. In fact, hostels are great for families: not only are amenities like shared kitchens and private family rooms great for traveling on a budget, but your kids also get the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world in hostels’ shared spaces. Take a look at some of our favorite family-friendly HI USA hostels for your next getaway.
HI Point Montara Lighthouse
Grab a family room at HI Point Montara Lighthouse hostel on the California coast if you’re after a quiet seaside retreat. This smaller hostel just south of San Francisco is set a little way off the beaten path, so it tends to attract the kinds of guests who are looking for a peaceful place to unwind. The hostel overlooks a small cove beach perfect for family picnics and tide-pooling by day. By night, cozy up around the fireplace with a board game after enjoying a family meal at the communal dining table, set in front of a picture window looking out over the Pacific.
The nearby town Half Moon Bay hosts family-friendly activities year-round, including the famous Art & Pumpkin Festival each fall. The hostel itself also gets into the autumn spirit every Halloween, when the family of artists who run the hostel transform the property into a fun, “haunted” experience for guests and locals of all ages.
Private family rooms sleep up to 3 people, with one double bed and one bunked single bed.
California’s capital city is a popular destination with school groups for good reason: Sacramento is chock-full of history, and there are plenty of ways for visitors of all ages to engage with it. Visit Old Town Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort, and the beautiful Capitol building to get a better understanding of California history dating back to the Gold Rush.
HI Sacramento hostel’s family rooms are the perfect place to relax at the end of a long day in the sun, and the hostel itself – set in a historic mansion – offers endlessly fascinating spaces for kids to explore. Since Sacramento enjoys warm weather much of the year, you’ll want to take full advantage of the hostel’s private outdoor patio, where you can fire up the BBQ for dinner or enjoy an outdoor movie screening with locals during the spring and summer months.
Private family rooms sleep up to four people in two double beds, or up to six people in two double beds and one set of twin bunk beds.
HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Tidepools, wildlife watching, and easy access to an endless array of beaches and forests make HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostel’s corner of the California coast a perfect choice for families who want to enjoy some time outdoors. The hostel is set up perfectly for kids, with ample kitchen and dining space so your whole family can make and enjoy meals together, and comfy lounges stocked with games for when you need some downtime.
Private family rooms sleep up to four people in four bunked twin beds.
HI Houston hostel is tucked away in a neighborhood mansion, so you’ll get that instant homey feel as soon as you walk through the door. There are plenty of places in the city to keep kids happy, including the zoo, the children’s museum, and the Space Center Houston, but we bet the kids’ favorite activity will be playing in the hostel’s private in-ground pool at the end of the day.
Private family rooms sleep up to four people in one queen bed and one set of bunked twin beds. /
HI Martha’s Vineyard
Open yearly from May through October, this seasonal hostel is the perfect spot for families seeking a beachy escape. HI Martha's Vineyard is known for being homey and friendly, and there’s a big yard where travelers of all ages can connect, explore, and play. The island is filled with hiking trails, nature and wildlife reserves, and kid-friendly beaches, so there’s plenty to please families of all interests.
Private family rooms sleep up to three people, in one double bed and one single bed, or five people, in five single beds.
You Might Also Like:
6 Myths About Hostels
We dispel some common myths about staying at hostels.