Keen to put on your backpack and discover the absolute best hostels in California? You’ve landed on the right guide in that case!
We decided to explore the major destinations in California and collect the coolest hostels worth a visit. From San Francisco in the North, to hostels in Southern California in hot destinations like Los Angeles – this guide has you covered.
From California youth hostels, to epic stays by the beach and mountain lodges with a health spa. Excited?
This US western state follows the Pacific coast for nearly 900 miles.
Get ready to enjoy Sierra Nevada mountains, palm-lined beaches and the home of Hollywood entertainment.
In this guide we take a look at California hostels in:
Best Hostels in South Lake Tahoe: Mellow Mountain Hostel
Most people head to South Lake Tahoe to experience the Sierra Nevada mountains. It offers a perfect mix of ski resorts and beaches, depending on what you fancy doing. There are also plenty of bars, restaurants and casinos to enjoy.
The dramatic backdrop of Santa Ynez Mountains coupled with red-tile roofed buildings make Santa Barbara a beautiful destination. The city’s Spanish colonial heritage is pretty evident… make sure you visit an award winning winery!
Whilst technically a hotel, we couldn’t let The Waterman get past your radar.
FYI: This accommodation used to be called The Wayfarer.
Seriously, have a look at that outdoor heated swimming pool!
This place has all the amenities of a hostel, with more of a focus on modern & fancy private rooms. Having said that, the mixed dorms are impressive, too.
To bring people together there is a community games room, shared kitchen & dining area, and a colourful library.
Also: There is a unique event space for up to 100 guests.
This is certainly one of those USA hotels you do not want to miss.
Best Hostels in Santa Cruz: HI – Santa Cruz Hostel
Santa Cruz is home to some pretty cool vintage rides such as the 1911 Looff Carousel and Giant Dipper roller coaster. You can also wander around endless vintage clothing stores, galleries and shops. Don’t miss Natural Bridges State Beach!
Okay, now that is a bit embarrassing, currently, we have no special hostel discounts for hostels in California. We are always working on getting promo codes for great hostels in top destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco etc.
The best hostels work hard to make sure that their accommodation is safe for the guests because there is a lot of human interaction among strangers. If safety of belongings is an issue, most hostels offer lockers. If personal safety is worrisome, private rooms are usually available.
How do I choose a hostel?
Always make sure you read the reviews first. Filter by best and worst reviews, they are good indicator on what to expect and what not. Check as well the location rating. You can always check with Hostelgeeks.com if a hostel is safe.
Are hostels in California safe?
Generically speaking, yes, hostels in California are safe. Always check reviews with websites like Hostelworld, Hostelz.com and Hostelgeeks.com. Always do a quick research on the hostel you are about to book.
Destination not Listed?
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more. And we share all of these unique budget accommodations with you.
Make sure you check out our guides “best hostels in“. Here we cover many more destinations.
Update: We now cover as well curated ‘3 best hostels’ guides to cities with no 5 Star Hostels such as Paris, Tokyo and Sydney.
More Guides to USA Hostels
Alongside the best hostels in California, we’ve been busy putting together epic guides for other major destinations in North America.
Make sure you read these guides if you’re keen on finding the best, most affordable hostels out there.
By now you should have the answer to your question where to stay in California. Which of the best hostels in the
California have you fallen in love with? Let us know!
This guide is your shortcut to your hostel-picks, saving you lots of time in your accommodation research.
And for sure, it gives you the security of a top-hostel choice without any bad surprises.
Then please please leave a comment below. We would be thrilled to hear from you and to help a fellow backpacker.
Have fun & Safe travels!
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Discounts for Hostels in California, USA
Would you like a promo code for any of the California, USA hostels mentioned? Of course you do. Since you are a Hostelgeeks reader and part of the community, you can get access to discounts and special promo codes.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.