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travelers playing board games at HI Marin Headlands hostel

4 Idyllic Hostels to Visit When You Need a Digital Detox

Know before you go: Want to visit the places recommended in this article? With local regulations changing frequently, it’s a good idea to check the web site of any attraction or business to make sure it’s open before you go. 

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 every now and then, and to reconnect with yourself and the world in real life. 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 hostel

adirondack chairs at HI Point Reyes hostel

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 beach combing. 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.

HI Marin Headlands hostel

two people on the porch at HI Marin Headlands hostel

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.

HI Point Montara and HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostels

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Who needs Netflix when you can watch the waves outside your window instead? On the northern California coast you’ll find two hostels where the attention-grabbing scenery includes native plant gardens, hidden beaches, and historic lighthouses. HI Point Montara Lighthouse hostel, just 25 miles south of San Francisco, is the perfect place to cozy up and forget it all for a few days, with an on-site coffee bar, wood-burning stove, outdoor fire pit, and killer ocean views from most windows. At HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostel, another 28 miles south of Montara, there’s a cliff-side hot tub just for guests that makes a wonderful alternative to checking your e-mails. Both hostels offer plenty of outdoorsy fun nearby, including tide-pooling, wildlife-spotting, and small-town exploring.