Morgan Hill CA
Best Things to Do
Here are some of the best things to do in Morgan Hill and nearby. See map for exact locations.
Morgan Hill is a San Jose suburb which was previously an agricultural community incorporated in 1906. The urbanization process really accelerated in 2003 when the 10 miles of Highway 101 between Highway 85 in San Jose and Cochrane in Morgan Hill was expanded to 8 lanes.
The best place to find restaurants is in the historic downtown area (between Monterey Road and Depot Street between 1st and 3d Street is easy to walk). Morgan Hill Caltrain Station, at Depot Street & 3d Street, is at the site of the original Southern Pacific Huntington Station established in 1898. The old granary at Depot Street & 2d Street has been restored.
- Odeum Restaurant, in the Granary at 17500 Depot St/1st St – The Owner/Chef earned a Michelin star at Dio Deka in Los Gatos so expect some tasty dishes. Sunday breakfast is reasonably priced but dinner can get expensive.
- Trail Dust BBQ, 17240 Monterey St/3d St – Good local BBQ.
- Main Street Bagels, 17300 Monterey Rd/3d St – A local’s hangout for coffee and bagels.
- Morgan Hill Farmer’s Market, Depot St/3d St adjacent Caltrain – Saturdays, 9 am-1 pm year round. Good local produce.
- Good reviews from Morgan Hill friends: Good Fork, Ladera Grill
- Bad reviews from Morgan Hill friends: Jesus Restaurant, 95 E. Third St across the street from Caltrain. Maurizio’s Italian Cuisine, 25 E. First St./Monterey Rd – Closed Sundays.
- Anderson Lake County Park – On the east side of town is a large water reservoir also used for power boating (35 mph max), bank fishing and hiking. Lake View trail is beautiful.
- Gilroy Wine Trail – There are several small wineries in the area and you can find links to their websites here.
- There are two little-known parks with plenty of hiking about 13 miles away to the east and west: Uvas Canyon County Park to the east and Henry Coe State Park to the west.
- Highway 152 – goes from Highway 101 at Gilroy goes to Coastal Highway 1 at Watsonville. From there it’s easy to get to the ocean at Santa Cruz or Monterey.
There are plenty of newer big box stores and fast food chain stores as would be expected in a growing suburb … but nothing exciting. E.g, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, MacDonalds, Starbucks, etc.
Gilroy Premium Outlets, 9 miles south of Morgan Hill at Highway 101/Leavesley Road – definitely worth checking out if you like saving money at brand name outlet stores. This is the best outlet mall in the SF Bay area.
Nearby Towns (south of Morgan Hill)
- San Martin: Located between Morgan Hill & Gilroy there is nothing much to do here. It does have a small volunteer-run Wings of History Museum we’ve never seen.
- Gilroy: 10 miles south: Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gavilan College, Gilroy Gardens (we’ve never been).
- San Juan Bautista: Mission San Juan Bautista, founded 1797, is worth a quick visit if you are going by anyway. You can see the 1906 earthquake San Andreas fault line running immediately behind the Mission.
- Hollister: We’ve always liked this little town which calls itself the Earthquake Capital of the World. Several fault lines run nearby, including the Calaveras Fault and San Andreas Fault, which cause dozens of small quakes you can’t feel each day. The weather is superb. About 150,000 people visit the July 4th Independence Motorcycle rally (made famous in the film The Wild One). Pinnacles National Monument is south of Hollister. Casa de Fruta fruit stand and restaurant on Pacheco Pass Road (Hwy 152) north of Hollister is a fun tourist trap that’s been there over 100 years.
Some of our good friends just moved to Morgan Hill so I’m sure we will be visiting it more this coming year. Check back in a few months for more suggestions.