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Montara Point Lighthouse, Montara

#191 of 459 in Historic Sites in California
Lighthouse · Tourist Spot
The Point Montara Lighthouse may be small, but it's also mighty. Perched on a cliff overlooking the rocky Pacific coast, it was once one of the most important signals for navigators approaching San Francisco's harbor -- its strong, low beam (now automated) cuts beneath the thickest of fog.

Today, it's still a beacon for travelers -- among the top ten customer-rated HI hostels in the world, HI-Point Montara Lighthouse is an affordable seaside getaway for Bay Area and international guests alike.

Stay in a cozy dorm or private room overlooking the ocean, sip a latte on the point beside the lighthouse (the front desk doubles as Hostel Grounds, serving fair-trade espresso drinks), wander the native plant garden maintained by hostel staff, or walk down to the water to explore tide pools or chill on the secluded beach.

For even more adventure, surf (or watch) the famous Mavericks break a short ways down the coast -- or paddle tamer waves in a kayak. On land, bike scenic Highway 1, ride horseback along the shore, or explore the coastal towns of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica (both 7 miles away).

Hostel amenities include free WiFi, free linens and towels, Tempur-Pedic mattresses, an outdoor picnic area and grill, full kitchen facilities, bag and bike storage, and on-site laundry.

The hostel is also a Certified Bay Area Green Business. Our green practices include composting, recycling, reducing water and energy usage through efficient appliances, lighting, and faucets, and using environmentally friendly cleaning products.


"Perched dramatically on cliffs, offering a vista that you will be hard pressed to find in any five-star hostel." --San Francisco Chronicle

"When it comes to setting, we're giving Point Montara the top prize among all U.S. hostels." --Insider's Guide

"Inexpensive and incredibly pleasant for a coast overnight." --Moon Travel Guides
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Montara Point Lighthouse reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
56 reviews
  • Stopped by here when visiting a friend in SFO, interesting story about the lighthouse, and great picture taking spot. My buddy stays in the hostel here from time to time, Right on the beach with a...  more »
  • The historical lighthouse is still fully functional, the hostel continues to welcome travelers from all over the world, and the beauty of the surroundings...360 degree photo ops! No big signs on the....  more »
  • This is one of the most beautiful settings I have ever experienced in my life. The pictures were very appealing, but when you arrive and see it in real life, you will realize how breathtaking this place is. The staff was wonderful, the kitchen was fully equipped and amenities such as WIFI and other goodies were great. There was plenty of parking, and the location is only about 15 minutes from Half Moon Bay restaurants, bars, shops and Half Moon Bay State Beach and trails. The rooms were small but very clean, the beds were comfortable and the showers were always hot. The views. The views are what make this place a small piece of Heaven. I watched the most beautiful sunset over the ocean right off the cliffs listening to the waves crashing upon the rocks below. At night, we lit the bonfire and drank beers and told jokes and stories while listening to the sounds of the ocean. In the morning, I enjoyed watching the whales, dolphins, birds and sea lions while drinking coffee and be at total peace and serenity. I cannot say enough how beautiful this setting is. I will definitely be back regularly at least once a year to enjoy the peace and calm this hostel provides. Highly recommended.
  • This hostel is an absolute gem! I typically hostel in more urban places so the only adjustment for me was the lack of dining options. Still, the experience is well worth it. You will wake up to breathtaking views, maybe glimpse some dolphins or whales... spend the day lying on the private access beach... it's just amazing. The only establishments in walking distance are a pizza joint, a Mexican food joint (that I highly recommend) and a small market, so you may want to think ahead about your plans for food. But in general, if you're thinking about visiting this place I can say with confidence you won't regret it.
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