06/22/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT
A 38-hostel chain now being built along 1,100 miles of coastline from Oregon to Mexico won't be complete for at least five years, but five hostels in the San Francisco Bay Area give an enticing glimpse of what the future will hold. The hostels—20 to 40 miles apart—follow the Pacific Coast Bicentennial Bike Route from the Point Reyes National Seashore, 50 miles north of San Francisco, to Pigeon Point Lighthouse at Pescadero, 63 miles south of the city. As if the view along this route weren't magnificent enough in itself, whales, seals and sea lions traverse this stretch of the Pacific. Stops include the Golden Gate Hostel at Sausalito's Marin Headlands and the San Francisco International Hostel, overlooking the bay a short walk from Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. A sixth coastal hostel, in the Muir Woods north of the city, opens later this year.