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Carolyn Alburger | Photo: Courtesy Pietra Santa | March 21, 2013
Never thought Hollister was worth the drive? Here’s why the town nestled between Gilroy and Monterey should be your next detour.
Wake up: Start your day with an exhilarating tandem hang-glide trip ($160/person) over the grassy, rolling Hollister hills, led by the experts at Mission Soaring. No experience is required, and you’ll get about 10 minutes of air time, rising to an altitude of about 1,000 feet. 533 Quien Sabe Road, Tres Pinos, 408-262-1388
Grub down: Just steps away from the flying ground, The 19th Hole (which has been around since 1883) is a recently revamped old saloon-cum-biker bar that makes a fine stop for a beer or a soda. For lunch, start with the mammoth michelada and some fresh-made guacamole at clean and friendly Tex-Mex spot, La Villa de Jerez (905 East Street). Then order the camarones a la diabla, which come with fresh-made corn tortillas.
19th Hole Bar and Restaurant, 7071 Airline Highway, Hollister, 831-628-0100
La Villa de Jerez, 905 East Street, Hollister, 831-637-2768
Hit the road: For a tasting of locally made wines and olive oils, pop into the picturesque tasting room at Pietra Santa, set in a hilltop villa. Then hit the trail home via San Juan Batista, a haunting time-warp of a town with a restored Spanish Mission, established in 1797. 10034 Cienega Road, 831-636-1991