Seasoned travelers know the best time to experience a destination is before the tourist season kicks into gear. For many of our hostel destinations, that ideal time is spring. We’ve selected our top locations for this time of year, where you’ll find minimal crowds, great weather, tons of locally inspired activities, and a community of travelers waiting to share the experience with you.
Austin, TX – Find your way to Barton Springs Pool, a local treasure that re-opens for the season in mid-March. At 3 acres, this natural pool averages 68-70 degrees all year long and is adjacent to a large grassy sprawl, welcoming swimmers and sunbathers alike. While you’re in Austin, you’ll find plenty of outdoor live music to enjoy and tons of diverse food trucks to indulge in as well.
Baltimore, MD – April brings excitement to Baltimore for 2 reasons: baseball and Maryland blue crabs. Baseball season kicks off April 6, and you have to see the acclaimed modern-vintage Camden Yards stadium for yourself. And you haven’t experienced Maryland until you’ve cracked open a blue crab smothered in Old Bay seasoning. Getting messy and eating outdoors are part of the experience, and there’s no better time than the start of the season.
Houston, TX – Houston has a vibe all its own, which you’ll experience for yourself at the Art Car Parade on April 11. Cars decorated in bright jewels, colorful signs, or larger-than-life statues amaze locals and visitors alike during this annual event. You can also experience Houston’s quirky side at the Orange Show Monument, an outdoor venue designed with handmade architecture, including junkyard type objects.
Madison, WI – They love to celebrate in Wisconsin, especially in spring! Check out the Wisconsin Film Festival (Apr 9-16), Madison Craft Beer Week (May 1-10), and World's Largest Brat Fest (May 22-25). After a cold winter, this friendly Midwest town is bursting with vibrant greenery, and with five stunning lakes to choose from there’s no shortage of water activities to try.
Marin Headlands, CA – Outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to take the path less traveled have lots of options in this tucked away hilltop destination. Located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, HI Marin Headlands is easily accessible to hiking on the Wolf Ridge, Coastal Trail, and the Miwok Trail, where you’ll be enveloped by wildflowers.
Philadelphia, PA – All spring long you will find a festival at least every 2 weeks in the City of Brotherly Love. From Philly Wine Week (March 22-29) to the popular Ritten Row House Spring Festival (May 2) to the Manayunk Arts Festival (June 20-21), there’s something for everyone. Stay at the center of it all at our HI Philadelphia Apple location, or enjoy a quiet retreat at the HI Chamounix Mansion.
Point Reyes, CA – This April and May, get a rare viewing of mother gray whales and their calves close to shore at the Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s also perfect weather to hike in the mountains, stroll along the beach, check out tide pools, and snap photos of flora and fauna. HI Point Reyes is an ideal place to unplug and it’s the only way to stay in the park without camping.
Sacramento, CA – Since Sacramento is America’s farm-to-fork capital, it’s no surprise that three farmer’s markets are within walking distance to our hostel. And they’re all open for business on May 8. For the more adventurous, Sacramento is also known for its world class rapids along the American River.
San Diego, CA – If you have Spring Break on the brain, San Diego is the perfect place to live it up at night, relax on the beach during the day, and dine al fresco whenever the mood strikes. Avoid the summer crowds by visiting this laidback city in spring – but it will feel like summer compared to most other U.S. towns! Choose from the quiet neighborhood hostel, HI San Diego, Point Loma, or stay in the center of the action at HI San Diego Downtown.
San Francisco, CA – Join your fellow hostellers for the start of baseball season for the reigning World Champion, the SF Giants. HI USA is an official partner with the Giants, so hostel guests at any of our 3 hostels can enjoy a weekly tour of AT&T Park. Those who frequent San Fran know that summer weather comes early to the City by the Bay.
LA/Santa Monica, CA – Music and art enthusiasts are allured by the annual Coachella Festival in Southern California, April 10-12 and April 17-19, one of the largest and most famous music festivals in the U.S. But it’s a long trek out to the desert, so tack on some extra time to unwind at our HI Santa Monica Hostel. Located a few blocks from the beach, shops, and nightlife, spring is the perfect time to enjoy this trendy community by foot.
Washington, DC – Nothing says spring time quite like the Cherry Blossoms in the nation’s Capital, which peak in April. Spring is also a great time to discover DC’s famous memorials, monuments, hidden trails, and scenic parks by foot, bike-share, Segway tour, paddleboat, or kayak. Beat the summer humidity and tourists by joining us at our newly-renovated hostel this spring.
As with all memorable journeys, the best ones are experienced with friends – and our hostels have you covered! No matter where you stay, you’ll be embraced by a community of travelers from all over the world. Make the most of this spring with an epic adventure, accompanied by the friends you haven’t met yet.