Stops on the Way

Local Flavor in Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World

Not far from the giants of Silicon Valley sits a quaint town named Gilroy where you can drive to friendly boutique wineries, explore a gorgeous children’s theme park and dine in the what is known as the “Garlic Capital of the World.” 

Milias Restaurant in Gilroy, California
Get your garlic on at Milias Restaurant in Gilroy Grant Ordelheide

Gilroy sits 150 miles from Yosemite, and you can stay a night or two at budget-friendly hotels and explore the area. Get a taste of Gilroy’s garlic scene year-round by following its Road to Garlic map. It covers where to eat, drink and shop all things garlic. Opt for garlic soup and ice cream at the casual Garlic City Cafe. At Old City Hall, you’ll find fine dining, great garlic dishes and restrooms that have jail bars from the days when the building housed the city jail. The Milias Restaurant, which opened in 1922, also offers great dining with dishes containing garlic. For authentic Mexican food, stop by Cielito Lindo, Carnitas Michoacan and Los Pericos Taqueria.

Satori Winery on the Santa Clara Wine Trail in Gilroy, California
Satori Winery on the Santa Clara Wine TrailCourtesy Visit Gilroy

Then admire the gorgeous landscape as you tour the beautiful Santa Clara Wine Trail with tasting opportunities at 35-plus wineries. Or head to the seasonal Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, which includes more than 40 rides and attractions, the super splashy Water Oasis play area, majestic gardens and wildly shaped trees known as “circus trees.” The rides here are shaped into fantastic artichokes, apples and bananas.

The tropical Monarch Garden at Gilroy Gardens, housed inside a 60-foot-tall greenhouse.
Explore Gilroy Gardens’ tropical Monarch Garden housed inside a 60-foot-tall greenhouse.Courtesy Visit Gilroy

If you still need some gear for your Yosemite stay, shop and save on top designer brands at Gilroy Premium Outlets. Save 25-65 percent on outdoor recreation gear from Columbia, North Face, Eddie Bauer and Timberland. And stock up on healthy snacks and sweet treats for the road at Casa de Fruta, the iconic roadside attraction with fresh produce, wine tasting, an antique carousel and 24-hour restaurant.

Healthy snacks and sweet treats at Casa de Fruta in Gilroy, California
Healthy snacks and sweet treats at Case de FrutaCourtesy Visit Gilroy

Is Garlic Good for You?

Rich in antioxidants, garlic may protect you against the common cold, heart disease and cancer, according to University of Maryland Medical Center researchers.

While study results related to heart disease and garlic are mixed, one four-year study concluded that people who took 900 mg of standardized garlic powder each day slowed the hardening of their arteries.

Another study showed that participants who consumed garlic supplements were less likely to get common colds and more able to rapidly fight them than those who took the placebo. Furthermore, in long-term studies, those who ate more raw or cooked garlic were less likely to get cancers of the esophagus, colon and stomach.

Source: University of Maryland Medical Center

For more information:

Stop by the Gilroy Welcome Center, in the Gilroy Premium Outlets Building A near Forever 21. You can pick up maps, tips and event information 363 days per year.

8155-6 Arroyo Circle, Gilroy, CA
(408) 842-6436

Central Coast Tourism