Reputed to be one of the best hostels in the state, the USA Hostels - Hollywood (1624 Schrader Blvd., 800/524-6783, www.usahostels.com, $26 dorm bed, $70 private room) still offers the same great prices you’ll find at seedier, more bare-bones hostels. Okay, so the exterior doesn’t look like much. But in this case, it’s what’s inside that counts.
You can choose between dorm rooms and private rooms, but even the larger dorm rooms have baths attached—a nice convenience that’s unusual in the hostel world. (You’ll also find several common bathrooms in the hallways, helping to diminish the morning shower rush.)
Another great boon is the daily all-you-can-make pancake breakfast, which comes free with your room along with all the coffee or tea you can drink. Add that to the $5 barbecue nights on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and you’ve got a great start on seriously diminished food costs for this trip!
This smaller hostel also goes a long way to fostering a sense of community among its visitors, offering a standard array of area walking tours and beach shuttle, plus two free comedy nights per week (Wed. and Sun.). If you need to make contact with friends back home, hook up to the free Wi-Fi with your own laptop or use one of the complimentary Internet kiosks.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition