One for the Road: Great Hostels USA

I’ve only stayed at one hostel in the USA. But I plan to visit more in the years to come. Which is why I was happy to come across Colleen Norwine’s Great Hostels USA. Although it’s a bit dated now (published in 2005), it is still a good resource to consider if you plan to do hostel travel in the USA in the coming year.

When Colleen decided to quit her job and spend a year traveling around the country, she was unable to find a dedicated hostel guidebook that met her travel needs. So she wrote one herself! Although she did use hostel web resources to plan her travels, she wanted to have a lightweight reference guide that could travel with her as well. But since she could not find one that suited her, she created this one as she went, personally reviewing over 250 hostels from Seattle to Bar Harbor.

Only 100 hostels made it into the book — her selection includes a mix of Hostelling International locations and other lodging options. There are reviews for at least one hostel in each of 25 states, as well as nine Canadian accommodations. Multiple entries exist for states like California, Florida, Colorado, New York and Massachusetts, so the book may be especially useful for folks planning to visit those places. There are a few thematic lists too — including the best hostels for hiking, mountain biking, partying, meetings and romance. Colleen’s hard work paid off, and earned her book the 2006 Independent Publisher Award for best travel guide.