Whether you visit for the antiques, golf or garlic, Gilroy is part of the historic Santa Clara Valley, which is one of California’s oldest wine-growing regions – and one of California’s best-kept secrets for wine tasting.
With numerous national parks offering hiking, biking, fishing, trekking, horse riding and rock climbing, there is plenty to get you active. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive mountain lion and if you’re a traveling family, spend a day on the exciting rides at Gilroy Gardens Theme Park. Looking for a place to stay in Gilroy? Take a look at our favorite hotels here – bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’re in town for the annual Garlic Festival, the family-friendly environment of the Hilton Garden Inn Gilroy is the perfect base. It offers all the classic amenities including an in-room coffee machine, lobby bar and breakfast buffet – serving food to grab and go – as well as a bonus outdoor pool to cool down in. The area is famous for its shrimps at Ginger Cafe or Applebee’s, which come highly recommended. With Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, Rapazzini Winery and Las Animas Park a short drive away, there is fun for all the family.
Tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the Bay Area’s most under-the-radar resorts, which prides itself on its relaxing amenities. Since its opening in 1999, CordeValle has served as a golf lover’s haven but it is also a five-star boutique hotel for all to enjoy. With 45 spacious bungalows, villa suites and luxury bedrooms – all with breathtaking views of the 1,700ac (687ha) property – the luxury facilities include the owner’s collection of modern art. You won’t have to leave either, as you can rejuvenate your senses with an in-room massage or take a dip in the year-round heated pool. A stroll through the scented rose garden will leave you speechless as you end your day with a large glass of local wine in front of a roaring fire pit.
This modern-style motel is located off the freeway and was renovated in 2014, so the decor is fresh. As well as offering convenience for a stop-off for long trips, here you can relax on the deck or take a refreshing dip and it’s a great place to base yourself for exploring. Local restaurants include the Black Bear Diner, Applebee’s and Barbeque 152 serving outstanding ribs and Christmas Hill Park, Coyote Lake, Harvey Bear Ranch County Park – popular hiking spots that put the best of Gilroy at your fingertips.
This pet-friendly hotel is located just off Highway 101, minutes from scenic lakes and golf courses and within easy driving distance of downtown San Jose attractions – including the McEnery Convention Center and the SAP Central. La Quinta Inn is the ideal base for exploring and an even better spot if you have an electric vehicle as the hotel offers free charging points for EVs. The rooms are modern and spacious – featuring blue walls and modern art prints – and you can take a dip in the hot tub or indoor pool and enjoy a free buffet breakfast.
Perfectly positioned in picturesque San Benito County – in the northern foothills of the Central Coast region – Hacienda de Léal is a stunning boutique hotel located on the hills behind the winery. With 42 guest rooms and suites designed with a Mexican touch, they are spacious yet intimate – and all provide stunning views over the hills. Make new friends around the cozy firepit, or borrow one of the complimentary bicycles to explore the region. You will be treated like family at the Hacienda and of course, you must sample some wine at the well-stocked bar.
You’re going to need somewhere to lay your head if you’re in town for all the local vineyards and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites will welcome you with open arms. It’s in the ideal position – close to Silicon Valley, award-winning golf courses and the aforementioned wineries – so you’ll have plenty of inspiration to explore the region. And if you need to work off your hangover, there’s an indoor heated pool and gym to enjoy at your leisure.
Still unsure? Santa Clara has plenty more options, with both up-market hotels and budget places to stay available, now bookable on Culture Trip. If you’re an adrenaline junky, you’ll want to know about the other activities you can do – or if you’re after something a little different, see what unique things to do there are in this region.
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