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."
- is the primary route through Gilroy and the region, linking it with San Jose in the north and Salinas to the south. Driving from San Jose it is 32 mi (51 km) or 35 min and 79 mi (127 km) (1hr 20 min) from San Francisco through the Silicon Valley. Driving from Salinas it is 31 mi (50 km) or 28 min while it's 46 mi (74 km) or 41 min from Monterey through Castroville and Prunedale via CA Hwy-1 to US Hwy 101 without going through Salinas.
- & : Hollister is 15 mi (24 km) (22 min) southeast of Gilroy on US Hwy 101 and CA-Hwy 25.
- from : Hwy 152 connects Watsonville (18.5 mi (29.8 km), 35 min west) with Exit 403A of Interstate 5 west of Los Banos (41 mi (66 km), 46 min east) through Gilroy. Hwy 152 goes through town as Leavesley Rd and 1st St, west of US Hwy 101 and Pacheco Pass Hwy east of US Hwy 101. It runs concurrent on US Hwy 101 between Leavesley Rd & Pacheco Pass Hwy.
The 1 Gilroy Station at 7150 Monterey Rd in downtown Gilroy serves as a central station for CalTrain, Amtrak Thruway bus, Greyhound, San Benito County Express and the Gilroy Transit Center (south of the building) for VTA buses.
- CalTrain, ☏ . operates a regional rail service from Gilroy via San Jose to its San Francisco terminal at Fourth and King in SoMa. The service between San Jose and Gilroy operates only during rush hour while the service between San Jose and San Francisco include midday, evenings and weekends. Caltrain is very useful for travel between San Francisco and communities on the Peninsula, Silicon Valley or South Bay. On weekdays Caltrain provides two trains per hour for most of the day but run more during commute hours, including "Baby Bullet" limited services that cruise between San Francisco and San Jose in 57 minutes; on weekends and public holidays trains run hourly, except that after 10PM only one train runs, leaving at midnight. Connections to the Amtrak trains and the Altmont Corridor Express (ACE) can be made from the San Jose Diridon Station.
- Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach (operated by American Star Tours). Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach connects Oakland to Santa Barbara via San Jose, Gilroy, Salinas, King City, Paso Robles, San Luis Obisbpo, etc. It connects the southern terminus of the Capitol Corridor in San Jose to the northern terminus of the Pacific Surfliner in San Luis Obispo while complementing the once daily Coast Starlight between Oakland and Santa Barbara but with more stops. Nearest stops for the Coast Starlight are in San Jose and Salinas.
- 2 Greyhound, (bus station) Gilroy Station @ 7250 Monterey Rd, ☏ . Connects San Francisco to Los Angeles via Oakland, Hayward, San Jose, Gilroy, Coalinga Jct, San Fernando and North Hollywood. A variation of the route continues on US Hwy 101 from Gilroy through Salinas, King City, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Oxnard instead. Some buses going to Los Angeles (via Coalinga Jct) from San Jose do not stop in Gilroy either. Therefore, passengers may find it more convenient to board Greyhound in San Jose instead of Gilory to reach more destinations with greater frequencies.
- San Benito County Express - 'InterCounty'. Bus or shuttle to Hollister in San Benito County.
- 3 Valley Transit Authority (VTA) (VTA transit center/station in the southside of the building). operates public transportation in San Jose and the surrounding communities of Santa Clara County including local services in Gilroy (84, 85, 86) and connections from San Jose Dildron Station via Monterey Rd (68 & Rapid 568).
The following have a bus stop at another location:
- 4 Flixbus (operated by TourCoach), (bus stop) Erik's DeliCafe @ 3200 Arroyo Cir. #320. Connects Oakland to Los Angeles via San Francisco (5th/Townsend stop), Redwood City, San Jose, Gilroy, Coalinga Jct/Avenal, San Fernando and North Hollywood. Some buses going to Los Angeles (via Coalinga Jct/Avenal) from San Jose do not stop in Gilroy either. Therefore, passengers may find it more convenient to board Flixbus in San Jose instead of Gilory to reach more destinations with greater frequencies. Flixbus in San Jose stop at a different location instead of the Diridon Station. Check website for details.
- 5 Tufesa, bus stop at La Placita, 7822 Monterey St, ☏ . Connects San Jose to southern California and Tijuana. Prices vary depending on your destination.
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.
- 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+.
- 1 Gilroy Public Library (Santa Clara County Library District), 350 W 6th St (W 6th St & Hannah St), ☏ . M-W 1PM-9PM; Th-Sa 10AM-6PM.
|Routes through Gilroy|
|San Jose ← Morgan Hill ←||N S||→ San Juan Bautista → San Luis Obispo|
|Ends at ← Watsonville ←||W E||→ Jct W → Los Banos|