North America > United States of America > California > Bay Area > South Bay > Gilroy (California)
Almost halfway between San Jose and Monterey, Gilroy can make a less-expensive central home base for travelers who need to go up to Silicon Valley and also want to explore the Pacific Ocean or visit Pinnacles National Park.
It is also known as the "Garlic Capital of the World."
Driving a car is the primary form of transportation, but Gilroy is the southernmost stop on Caltrain, which reaches north to San Francisco. Five local or regional VTA bus lines connect at the train station, plus the Greyhound bus to other cities.
- 1 Gilroy Gardens, 3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, ☏ . Open from mid-spring to mid-fall. A theme park whose theme is plants, agriculture, and local history. Best for people interested in gardens, and for families with younger children. Like Legoland, the rides here do not cater to teenagers or older. Parking is $20 in advance ($25 at the gate). Get an annual membership if you will go more than once, and consider a premium pass for yourself if you'll be buying food for multiple guests. $45 in advance, $65 at the gate.
- 2 Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park, 10001 Watsonville Rd (near Burchell Rd). 8AM–sunset daily. An interesting little park where the Ohlone people lived for several thousand years. Follow the trail to learn more about the history. It's not a destination by itself, but it's worth a stop when you're in the area. Restrooms, drinking water, a few picnic tables. Free.
- 3 Gilroy Historical Museum, 195 Fifth St, ☏ .
- 1 Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, 10840 Coyote Reservoir Rd. RV and tent camping. Flat, paved two-mile loop trail at Bear Ranch Trailhead in San Martin is good for people with mobility issues, families with little kids, and anyone looking for a pleasant walk. More strenuous hiking opportunities are also available. Fishing and summertime boating, at least in non-drought years. Good for bird watchers. Drinking water, restrooms, hot showers. $6 per car; $35–50 for campsite.
- 2 Christmas Hill Park, 7050 Miller Av. 6AM–11PM. Large, long city park connecting to the Debell Uvas Creek Preserve in the north, which is a good place to see wildflowers on spring mornings. The creek runs along the east side of the park. Miller Avenue cuts through the park. Playground (on the southeast side of Miller Avenue), picnic tables, jogging trail, soccer field, baseball and softball diamonds. Lots of trees, but there is room for flying a kite when there's a breeze. Bicycles on trails. Dogs welcome, but if you want a dog park, then the Glen Loma Ranch Dog Park is less than a mile south on Miller Avenue. Restrooms. Free.
- 1 Gilroy Premium Outlets, 681 Leavesly Rd. mostly M–Th 11AM–8PM; F–Sat 10AM–9PM; Sun 12–6PM. The 145 outlet stores draw people from near and far. If you're in the mood for shopping, the outlets are easy to see just off Highway 101. Fast food and chain restaurants in the shopping center.
- Black Bear Diner, 393 Leavesley Rd (West of 101 Exit, next to Forest Park Inn), ☏ . American comfort food, bear-shaped paraphernalia
- Mama Mia's, 1360 1st St # B, ☏ . Tuscan style.
- Claddagh, 1300 S. 1st St (West end of 1st, just before it heads into the hills), ☏ . Irish pub & restaurant. Soccer on the telly when available.
- The Longhouse, 8195 Monterey Highway, ☏ . American food. Friendly waitstaff.
- Pho Ho An II, 890 Renz Lane #152 (Next to the Best Buy). Vietnamese. Note, there's an ATM on site but they don't take debit or credit cards.
- Scotty's Restaurant at Gilroy Bowl, 7554 Monterey St., ☏ . Yes they're attached to a bowling alley, but the service is great and they have good Hawaiian and Japanese food (loco moco, spam musubi, donburi, etc.) along with standard diner fare.
- Victoria's Mexican Restaurant, 757 1st St, ☏ . What it says on the tin.
- O.D.'s Kitchen, 28 Martin St, ☏ . Breakfasts. Plentiful food, low prices, popular hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint. Their "Kitchen Sink" entree is huge, you may want to share it. cheap.
The Gilroy area is home to several wineries.
- 1 Motel 6, 6110 Monterey Highway, ☏ , fax: . Check-out: 11AM. Budget chain hotel near the highway. $100+.
- 2 Hilton Garden Inn, 6070 Monterey Rd, ☏ , fax: . Mid-range chain hotel near the highway. $50–75 cleaning fee for dogs and cats. $150+.
- 3 Best Western Forest Park Inn, 375 Leavesley Rd (West of Leavesley Rd, exit on 101, behind Black Bear Diner), ☏ . Check-out: 11AM. Mid-range chain hotel. Breakfast included. Staff speak English, Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati – but call to verify who's going to be on duty, if that's important to you. Cleaning fee of $20/night for pets. $125+.
|Routes through Gilroy|
|San Jose ← Morgan Hill ←||N S||→ San Juan Bautista → San Luis Obispo|
|Ends at ← Watsonville ←||W E||→ Jct W → Los Banos|