Every so often a day comes along that’s a perfect convergence of time and place, the air imbued with that special tinge of golden light unique to California, a little slice of heaven that seems frozen in time. When a beautiful day such as this falls in January or February, I prefer to be on the coast, near the ocean, with a little extra sparkle to the water from the low-arcing sun.
If I’m in the city, I might zip to Ocean Beach for a stroll, or lunch at Beach Chalet. But if I plan ahead or feel ambitious, I’ll drive the hour down the coast along Hwy 1 to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse just south of Pescadero. It’s pristine setting is scenic at any time, but on a beautiful weekend, it can’t be beat.
Pigeon Point is also a hostel, and I had the good fortune to stay here recently on short notice, since the place is often booked up weeks out. The hostel can accommodate up to 50 in four cottages. Our cottage had four bedrooms with typical hostel bunk beds, and while our room was private, everything else shared—bathroom, kitchen and living room. Of course the whole point to staying here is the setting, and the amazing view from the back patio overlooking the ocean and spectacular sunset.
There’s a hot tub on a cliff overlooking the ocean you can sign up for, but it fills up quickly. And because the closest town is miles away, there’s no light pollution, so we were treated to a spectacular starry sky and half-moon bright enough to cast shadows and reflect off crashing waves. There’s nothing luxury about the hostel, no phones or TVs, but there’s not many, (any?), fancy hotels in Northern California where you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves.