There’s too much to do in Gilroy in just one day-so you’d better plan to stay a while! Whether you’re traveling on business or for pleasure, check into one of Gilroy’s hotels for a clean, comfortable room at a price to fit any budget.
Since Gilroy is centrally located close to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and the Central Coast, we make a great “home base” to explore other Northern California attractions.
Casa de Fruta started out as a roadside fruit stand and today has become a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Come to the “Casa” to pick up some fresh-from-the-orchard produce, dine at the 24-hour restaurant, sample award-winning wines from Zanger Vineyards, shop for unique gifts, or even stay a few nights at the RV park.
As you stroll through the grounds, you’ll find waterwheels, antique farm machinery, and fruit orchards that evoke a slower, gentler time. Young visitors love to ride the miniature locomotive (the “Casa de Choo Choo”) and stop for homemade candy and fresh-baked treats at the Casa de Sweets.
>> INSIDER’S TIP: Be sure to try the Casa de Fruta 1940 Pilsner beer, specially brewed by Gordon Biersch in tribute to this California landmark!
The Gilroy Museum offers a glimpse into Gilroy’s history and includes research facilities, photographs, and artifacts covering everything from the Ohlone Indians, through the Spanish-Mexican period, all the way up to the “Garlic Renaissance” and recent city history.
The museum is housed in the historic 1910 Carnegie Library Building, which was built with a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. The museum is staffed by community volunteers and members of the Gilroy Historical Society. Admission is free. Current hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 am – 5 pm.
>> INSIDER’S TIP: Check the event calendar and join one of the Gilroy Historical Society’s free monthly walking tours, led by docents from the Gilroy History Museum.
More Northern California Attractions
With a central location and budget-friendly hotels, Gilroy makes a great “home base” for your Northern California vacation. Within a one-hour drive of Gilroy, you can:
- Leave Your Heart in San Francisco
Union Square – Ghirardelli Square – Golden Gate Bridge – Pier 39 – Alcatraz
- Hit the Beach!
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Monterey Bay Aquarium – Cannery Row – Carmel-by-the-Sea
- Geek Out in Silicon Valley
Children’s Discovery Museum – Tech Museum of Innovation – Winchester Mystery House – Great America Theme Park – Levi’s Stadium
>>INSIDER’S TIP: While you’re staying at a Gilroy hotel, be sure to check out the weekly calendar (provided by Visit Gilroy) to find out about special events in town!
Northern California Renaissance Faire
10031 Pacheco Pass Hwy
Hollister, CA 95023
(off Highway 152 east of Gilroy)
Hear ye, hear ye! Don’t miss the Northern California Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta, heralded as one of the nation’s best renaissance festivals.
On select weekends in September and October, the Faire features live jousting tournaments, swashbuckling swordfighters, magic, storytelling, and non-stop music and dancing. You’ll also find hand-crafted creations by master artisans, lots of great food and drink, and live Celtic Rock concerts on Saturday nights.
>>INSIDER’S TIP: If thou dost not have thine own costume, thou canst rent one at the Faire!
Casa de Fruta Orchard Resort
Children 12 and under get in free!
This unique museum is located right next to the San Martin Airport. Aviation buffs and children of all ages will enjoy getting up close to real airplanes, sailplanes, and helicopters, including a full-size replica of the Wright Flyer. There are even a few airplanes that you can actually climb into!
An active propeller repair and fabrication shop is also located at the Museum, where wood propellers are repaired and custom wood propellers are fabricated for airplanes.
The Wings of History is a non-profit all-volunteer organization dedicated to aviation history through education, preservation, restoration and flight.
>> INSIDER’S TIP: At the annual Open House in May, admission to the museum is FREE—and there are free plane rides for kids plus hot air balloons, antique cars, food, fun activities, and more!