Hostelling International USA (HI USA), also known as American Youth Hostels, Inc. (AYH), is a nonprofit organization that operates youth hostels and runs programs around those hostels. It is the official United States affiliate of Hostelling International (HI), also known as the International Youth Hostel Federation. It is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, with its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The first American youth hostel was opened in Northfield, Massachusetts in 1934 by Monroe and Isabel Smith, and American Youth Hostels was born. Within a year, a network of more than 30 hostels was operating throughout New England. Josephine and Frank Duveneck opened Hidden Villa, California's first youth hostel in 1937 in a rural setting with hiking trails 35 miles (56 km) south of San Francisco. In 1947 a preaching Quaker minister, Leslie "Barry" Barret and his wife, Winnifred, turned a rundown New England farm into a rustic retreat center and youth hostel and called it Friendly Crossways. Like Hidden Villa, Friendly Crossways attracted groups promoting peace and social justice. When Hidden Villa dropped out of the HI-USA system in 2010, Friendly Crossways became the longest continually operating hostel in the US. More information...

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