South Santa Clara County Road Trip

By Rachel Puryear

The hubby and I road tripped to Gilroy, CA the day before Thanksgiving, to pick up our Thanksgiving meal from Mimi’s Cafe (an old favorite for pre-made turkey day meals). On the way home, we stopped at a couple of nearby County parks, and a garlic-themed store – it is Gilroy, of course! Enjoy these pics from the day trip:

Gilroy, California:

The town of Gilroy, California, found in South Santa Clara County and the southernmost part of the Silicon Valley region; is world-famous for garlic. The town hosts the Gilroy Garlic Festival annually, but you can find lots of great garlicky treats here year-round!

We stopped at the Garlic Shoppe just off Highway 101. It’s a local garlic-themed store in Gilroy, with every kind of deliciously garlicky treat and food you can imagine – including garlic ice cream! You can take your pick of vanilla garlic or chocolate garlic frozen creaminess. It’s surprisingly delicious, too!

The Garlic Shoppe store front.

It’s run by a very friendly gentleman, who asked everyone coming in where they were from. After we bought our ice cream, he directed us to a huge bag of carrots, to take some and feed the barn animals out back! We brought some carrots out, and fed the horses and goats outside:

Me petting a horse.
Me feeding a carrot to a horse.

Can’t make it to Gilroy right now, but need a garlic press for the holidays? Check out this garlic press which is very easy to use and clean: https://amzn.to/3nUeHH3

Uvas and Chesbro Reserviors and County Parks:

We drove back home through Almaden Valley, to avoid the increasing holiday traffic on 101. Not only did we find a peaceful and scenic back-roads drive, but we came upon beautiful County parks – at Uvas and Chesbro Reservoirs. These parks feature several beautiful hiking and biking paths:

Sunset over the mountain.
View of green hills from the top.
Willow tree along the path.
Free range cows roaming around the park, and getting a drink.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous park that’s a little out of the way and less travelled in South Santa Clara County, Chesbro and Uvas Reservior County Parks are a great stop – and friendly for both hiking and biking. Hiking to the top of the hills provides some amazing panoramic views – and the climb is not super steep or difficult.

Year round, the parks are open from 8 am until sunset. Dogs are allowed, on leashes.


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to road trips, beautiful views, and wonderfully garlicky foods.

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