Hollister and San Benito County
Best Things to Do
The Hollister area in San Benito County, CA, has some interesting things to do worth checking out. It’s a good day trip for locals to take from the Bay Area. See the links below and our Hollister Area Map for locations and more details.
This is one of the oldest missions in California. They have a nice church and especially interesting is the earthquake fault line easily visible behind the Mission.
Located north of Hollister on Highway 252 at the bottom of Pacheco Pass, this is the most impressive fruit stand you will ever see and a great pit stop for the kids. It’s has been built up for over four generations who keep on adding buildings such as Casa de Restaurant (24 hr restaurant), Casa de Wine (wine tasting), Casa de Sweets, Casa de Carousel and Casa de Choo Choo (2-mile long narrow gauge railroad). Watch for peacocks roaming the campus and other interesting sights.
The Hollister Renaissance Faire is also held here every Saturday and Sunday for a month in the fall (starts 9/19/15). This is an interesting excuse to visit but can get quite crowded.
Johnny’s Bar & Grill, Hollister, CA
The #1 dive bar in town for many years running. Nice bartender and good food & $2 coffee for a dive bar too. We recommend dropping by any time of day including breakfast after 10:30. See more details about Johnny’s.
Johnny’s Bar is famous for inspiring Marlon Brando’s Movie “The Wild One” and is the unofficial headquarters of the biggest event in town, the annual Hollister 4th of July Motorcycle Rally which attracts 150,000 attendees.
The 19th Hole, Tres Pinos, CA
In Tres Pinos, 5 miles south of Hollister on Hiway 25 going to the Pinnacles, are a couple of eating places of note. The 19th Hole is a “cowboy bar” which has been there since 1883. This is a good place to pick up a brewski and dinner after a trip to Pinnacles.
The Inn at Tres Pinos, Tres Pinos, CA
This is the other eating place in Tres Pinos. We haven’t been to this steakhouse yet since they don’t open until 5 pm for dinner. However it is reputed to be the finest dining spot in San Benito County.
Pinnacles is a beautiful national park that few really know about … not yet. Hikes through rare volcanic rock spires, canyons, crags and boulder-covered caves make for a most interesting day trip. It’s approximately a 1.5 hour drive from San Jose and 2.5 hours from San Francisco.
Hollister is known as the “birthplace of the American biker.” This reputation came from a big biker event there on July 4th, 1947, that was later made famous by Marlon Brando’s Movie “The Wild One.” Last year “the pipes, the bikes and the babes” attracted 150,000 attendees.
History comes to life at this Hollister version of the Renaissance Fair. Held at Casa de Fruta every Saturday and Sunday for a month in the fall (Saturdays & Sundays, 9/19/15-10/18/15, 10 am-6 pm). See website.