Showing posts with label recreation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recreation. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2016

I Spy . . . A Lot of Fun to be Had.

I spy with my little eye so many possibilities of things to do in San Benito County.

Just today, the Husband and I headed over to San Benito Bene in Hollister to purchase our tickets for the Gourmet Roasted Chicken Dinner Take-Out Fundraiser on August 23, 2016, for the San Benito Olive Festival.  Yummmm. We also bought our tickets for the Downtown Beer & Bacon Crawl on September 17, 2016.  I saw on the tickets that the LTD Sedan & Limo Service is offering free rides that day. TrĂ©s cool!

What else?  Well, how about. . .

And, lots, lots more. I could write a book. Maybe I ought to. What do you think?

Friday, May 27, 2016

I Spy . . . Bongo Drums

I spy with my little eye bongo drums in the park on top of Park Hill.  Yes, you can play them. They make a pretty cool sound.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Walking in Downtown Hollister

Downtown Hollister is a great town to walk. So many possibilities. Walk up and down the main street, side streets, and alleys. Venture into the residential area beyond South Street or to the west of San Benito Street. Climb up Park Hill and enjoy the view.

If you'd like something a bit more organized, check out these round-trip walks designed by the Downtown Hollister Association. You can download a copy of its brochure describing the walks hereI've summarized the walks below, providing links to past posts on Take 25 to Hollister that give you some background on the subject matter of many of the walks.
  • Sacred Heart Walk, a one-mile stroll, begins at Dunne Park where Sacred Heart Church originally was located.
  •  Downtown Shop Walk, 1.2 miles, allows you to see and visit all the shops and businesses in downtown Hollister.
  • Historic District Walk is 1.3 miles long, covering the Downtown Hollister Historic District
  • Fault to Fault Walk is a 1.3 mile walk along the Calaveras Fault.
  • Vista Park Hill Walk, 1.5 miles, takes you up to Park Hill, the highest point in Downtown Hollister. 
  • East of Eden Walk is 2.2 miles of some John Steinbeck history and movie settings for the East of Eden movie.
  • Hazel Hawkins Walk, 2.3 miles, starts at the original Hazel Hawkins Hospital and goes to the IOOF Cemetery on Buena Vista Road.
Have fun walking through downtown Hollister!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday in the Park

Got kids or grandkids? Fun is waiting for them and you on top of Park Hill.

A few weeks ago, the Husband and I wandered around the playground equipment that was recently installed. It was very tempting to test everything out. Okay, we did bang out a few beats on the plastic drums. They sounded like real drums! Giggle.

Want to know some cool history about Park Hill, besides old fogeys telling you that when they were kids they rolled down the hill on cardboard? Check out Vista Park Hill. What's in a Name? by Robin Pollard at Benitolink.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Loving the Back Roads

Riding a motorcycle or scooter is a great way to enjoy the back roads of San Benito County. Pedaling a bicycle is truly fun, too. Okay, so is driving a car.

Giggle. And, a big smile. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs

Some of you may recall picnicking, hiking trails, dipping your toes in the mineral springs, or swimming in the freshwater pool at the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs in the eastern foothills outside of Gilroy. The resort closed its gates to the public in the 1980s. Today, it is part of Henry Coe State Park.  

A couple of weeks ago the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs celebrated its 20th year as a historic landmark. It's a California Historical Landmark as well as on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. 

The resort has an amazing history that dates back to 1865 when Francisco Cantua stumbled upon the mineral springs while seeking lost sheep from his flock. He claimed the area and turned it into a campground, but shortly afterwards sold the property to George Roop. He, in turn, with the help of partners, developed the hot springs into a big-time resort. By, 1874, a large hotel and 18 cottages were built, which could house up to 300 visitors. 

And, people did come. Locally as well as from far away. Many, including the rich and famous, such as Adolph Sutro, James Phelan, and Claus Spreckels, from San Francisco took the three-hour train ride to Gilroy, stayed overnight at a hotel, then, the next morning, jostled for three hours in a horse and buggy on 12 miles of dirt paths to the hot springs. Visitors often stayed for one or two weeks. The springs was considered the best in California, and until the mid-1930s, it was a popular destination place. 

In 1938, Harry K. Sakata, a well-known lettuce grower in Watsonville, bought the property and changed the name to Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs. Yamato is the word for Japanese. Sakata's goal was to develop a retreat for Japanese Americans.

Then came the U.S. entry into World War II and the internment of the Japanese American population in very remote locations. Sakata's Caucasian business partners took over the management of the hot springs, returning the property to Sakata after the war. In the postwar years, Sakata invited interned families to live on the property as a place to transition back into American society. 

The famous hotel and clubhouse are no more, nor the soaking pools or the freshwater swimming pool. Many of the cabins are still on the grounds in various stages of disrepair, which are being renovated by volunteers known as the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (GYHS), formerly known as the Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs. GYHS is a subgroup of the Pine Ridge Association, the nonprofit group that provides interpretive programs for Henry Coe State Park. GYHS' goals are to protect, preserve, and restore the site and its historic buildings, as well as to re-establish the landmark for public use.

The public can visit Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs when GYHS hold guided tours, which are usually the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month. To ensure one is available, call GYHS at 408-314-7185 or send an email to info<at>gilroyyamatohotsprings<dot>org. 

By the way,  GYHS is seeking a campground host, with his or her own trailer or motor home, to live on the site. For more information, contact GYHS. 

Check out these websites to learn more about the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs
• Gilroy Hot Springs History (The Valley of Hearts Delight)
• Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (Wikipedia) 

For more of my photos and a bit more story about the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, please click here

The once-upon-a-time swimming pool

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Floating Downward in Tres Pinos

"What's that noise?"

Last Sunday afternoon, the Husband and I looked upward for the source of the fluttering sound. We saw a bunch of solo and tandem skydivers floating towards their drop spot in the field across from the Immaculate Conception Church in Tres Pinos. 

I remember my own downward journey through the sky several years ago quite well, thank you very much. It was amazing way up there in the sky. Definitely, though, skydiving is not for everyone. But, if you're interested, Skydive Hollister is located at the Hollister Airport.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The "Whale Park" in Hollister

Valley View Park, also known as the Whale Park, has a lot going on for it these days. The once-upon-a-time grand park in Hollister is now grander with the help of $150,000 that the Hollister City Council approved back in February. Yowza!

Wally Whale, Junior has been vastly updated. I believe it now has eyes and a companion that looks like Nemo in the movie Finding Nemo. Most of all, Wally Jr. is surrounded by blue concrete and has a water spray feature in which kids can play on hot days from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The park also has new playground equipment and more places to sit. Maybe it's an illusion, but the park looks like it offers more shade. So, everyone enjoy the park.

It is located at the southeast end of Valley View Road. If you're visiting or don't live in that part of Hollister, the quickest way to get there is via Highway 25 (Airline Highway). Turn left at Enterprise Road and drive two or three blocks. As you round the corner, there she blows: The $150,000 Whale Park!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for . . .

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

Though in my case, it was more like being pushed out of the plane. I got to the edge of the door. No problem. But, then I looked down and hesitated. The instructor to whom I was firmly attached gave me a friendly nudge.

Voila! We began falling from 18,000 feet high. 

What a rush! What an experience!

That was back in 2006. Some friends and I wanted to celebrate being in our 50s, and skydiving was the party we chose. So, we did our tandem jumping with Skydive Hollister, located at the Hollister Airport.  We took off in Hollister and jumped out above Tres Pinos, landing in the field across from the Immaculate Conception Church, alongside Highway 25.

Yeah, I'd do it again.

Click here to find other A to Z challenge participants.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wildflowers on the Anza Trail

Yesterday, the Husband and I walked a bit of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (pshew, that's a mouthful) in San Juan Bautista.  Butterflies and grasshoppers escorted us throughout the walk, bees serenaded us, and wildflowers greeted us as well. The flowers showed up in all sorts of places along the trail.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Beautiful Day for Something

In this case, the something for someone was jumping out of an airplane last Sunday morning.

Nearly every weekend, you can see professional and novice skydivers float down under colorful parachutes above Tres Pinos.  It's cool to see. It's also awesome to be one of them. If you're interested, check out Skydive Hollister, which operates out of the Hollister Airport.

Today's link-up is with Skywatch Friday. Come along and view the skies in other parts of the world by clicking here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Heading Up to the Clouds

Yesterday was a gorgeous day to hike the Anza Trail, a mile or so south of the City of San Juan Bautista. The trail, formally known as the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, is 1,200 miles long, stretching from Nogales, Arizona to the Carquinez Straits in Contra Costa, California.

The local segment of the trail used to be the Old Stage Road, on which once upon a time stage coaches ran between San Juan Bautista and Salinas. The first mile of the 4.5 trail is a rather steep climb that I wonder how often passengers had to get off the coach and walk.

Today, I'm hanging out at The Weekend in Black and White. Click here to see other black and white photos by bloggers around the world.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Every weekend hundreds of off-road enthusiasts drive their trucks, carrying or hauling dirt bikes and ATVs up Cienega Road to the Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area. Individuals, families, and groups come from all over the state for fun-filled rrrrrroarrrrrring up and down the Gabilan slopes.

The park was originally the Harris Ranch, owned by Howard Harris. He built many of the trails for ranching, mining, recreation, and other purposes. For many years Harris operated a private motorcycle park. In 1975 he sold his property to the state and, in October of that year, the first state vehicle recreation area park was opened.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Like to Ride My Bicycle

Queen sang, "I want to ride my bicycle." And, that's how I feel most days. Hollister is a great place for pedaling around, whether it's up and down the back roads or through the neighborhoods.   Even going up the hills is fun, because eventually you get to coast down. Wheeeee!

If you're interested in finding some long bike trails in the county, check out this page at

Friday, October 11, 2013

Saturday, October 12th Happenings in San Benito County

How often have you heard -- or said it yourself -- there's nothing to do around here?

Ha! Can't say that tomorrow, Saturday, October 12. You can pick and choose of things to do, even at this late date.

24th Annual Red Ribbon Run
Feel like taking part in a run?  Since 1989, San Benito County Behavioral Health has hosted a 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run to bring awareness to the problem, as well as prevention, of alcohol and drug abuse. The races start and ends in San Juan Bautista. You can still register to enter on Saturday. The event hours are 7 AM to 12 PM. For more information, including the maps of the runs, click here.

Open House  at Luck Park
From 9 AM to 2 PM, the San Juan Bautista Historical Society Luck Museum and the Carl M. Luck Memorial Library Auxiliary will be hosting an open house at Luck Park in San Juan Bautista. The event will showcase projects of San Juan Bautista organizations and nonprofits. A BBQ lunch will be available. Funds raised from the BBQ will be used for renovations of Luck Park. For more information, click here.

Women's Center Open House
Hazel Hawkins Hospital invites the community to visit the newly built Women's Center on Saturday, from 10 AM to 1 PM, at 911 Sunset Drive in Hollister. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the facility and meet obstetrical staff, as well as take advantage of free health screenings and participate in giveaways and other activities. For more info, read this article at  

Northern California Renaissance Faire
This will be the last weekend of the Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta. Hours of the festival on both Saturday and Sunday are 10 AM to 6 PM. Head over to the Renaissance Faire's website for all the details you may want to know.  


Relay for Life Pumpkin Patch
The Casillas Garner Family and Friends Team are holding their annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life on both Saturday and Sunday (10/13), from 10 AM to 7 PM,  at the old Ferry Morse Ranch on Highway 156. People can purchase pumpkins, fresh produce, baked goods, and a barbecue lunch. For more details, click here.

Swank Farms Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, and Haunted House Event
Every year Swank Farms creates a new elaborate and crazed corn maze for folks to make their way through. They also have a pumpkin patch, a kiddie corral, pedal go carts, and other fun activities for young and old. They're open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM through October. And, this Saturday night, from 6 PM to midnight, their haunted event called Terror in the Corn, Alien Invasion will be open for the brave of heart. To get all the details, click here.

Downtown Wine & Beer Stroll 
Taking place in historical downtown Hollister from 1 to 5 PM tomorrow afternoon will be a wine and beer stroll hosted by the Hollister Downtown Association. The event will provide an opportunity to learn about both downtown merchants and local wineries and breweries. Stroll participants will visit businesses and restaurants to taste samples of wines and beer. For more details, check out this Hollister Downtown Association web page. Launch Party is a free online resource for local news and information. Tomorrow evening, the nonprofit group will hold a launch party to formally introduce its website to the community. The party will be from 5 to 7 PM at  the Blak Sage Gallery, 727 San Benito Street. There will be live music and complimentary food and drinks. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creative Escapes

Local artist  Shannon Grissom opens her studio in downtown Hollister every Thursday afternoon for Creative Escapes. For a flat admission fee and a fee per project, children and grownups are welcome to use her art supplies . . .

to draw. . .

to paint . . .

 to paint. . .

to paint . . .

or to make collages, masks, or greeting cards

Last Thursday, a bunch of friends and I spent a few fun hours in Shannon's studio. None of us really had an idea what we wanted to do other than to play with art. Although game about the adventure, a few of us were wary about the whole idea. I, for instance, have been chipping away at my fear of art ever since my first grade teacher told me, "Susie, draw your cows on the ground."  An afternoon with Shannon put a lot of my apprehension in the trash bag.  If you'd like to see what I ended up creating, you can view it here at Don't Be a Hippie.

For more about Shannon and her Creative Escapes, check out these sites:

Hollister to Santa Cruz

Lighthouse Point

Santa Cruz is home to the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, as well as the University of Santa Cruz. The beach town is also known for being one of best surfing places along the Pacific coast.

According to, Hollister is about 44 miles from Santa Cruz. And, when I was a kid, my family drove over every Fourth of July to hang out at the Boardwalk. The fog always lifted by 11 a.m.

Surfers at Lighthouse Point

 For more about Santa Cruz, check out these links:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Great Place for a Picnic

The San Benito County Historical and Recreation Park is a wonderful place to have a picnic. It's also a nice setting for a reunion, a wedding reception, or any other kind of large party. You can reserve one or two sites, or even all of the sites for your special parties. For information, check out this page at the San Benito County Parks and Recreation Web site.

Today is the last day of San Benito County Historical Park week at Take 25 to Hollister. I barely touched the surface. You'll just have to go visit the park yourself. It's just a few miles south of Tres Pinos. The entrance is right off Highway 25, on the west side. If you reach Bolado Park, you know you've gone too far.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A View from Above the Historic Park

You can do a short walk above the San Benito County Historical and Recreational Park, from which you can see some pretty good sights. It's worth the slight climb.

The San Benito County Historical and Recreational Park is one mile south of Tres Pinos, just off Highway 25. It's open from dawn to dusk. In addition to the walking path, the park offers picnic sites and a historic village of various buildings, machines, and tools that once belonged to local residents.

The village is run by the San Benito County Historical Society, while the recreational areas are maintained by the San Benito County Parks and Recreation.

Check out these links, for more information about the park.
~ San Benito County Historical Park
~ Historical Park picnic site reservations

Dear Take 25 Readers,
I'm trying something new for awhile—a weekly theme with daily posts. The first week's theme, obviously, is the San Benito County Historical and Recreational Park. 

Until later, dear readers.
Su-sieee! Mac

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Twelve Days into 2013

Dear Take 25 to Hollister readers, hello!

Here's my first photo of  2013. I wanted a photo of the big brown bird on top of the clock tower  in the  Clocktower Plaza's parking lot on McCray Street. It seemed out of place. It didn't look like a hawk so I wondered if it could've been a falcon or a young golden eagle. Anyone else saw it last Wednesday evening?

So, here we are twelve days into the New Year and look! Five new, exciting things have happened.
  • The Pinnacles National Monument has been upgraded to drum roll, please. . . Pinnacles National Park. It joins the same status as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone National Parks. Numero 59, the Pinnacles National Park is. For a complete story, check out this Mercury News link.
  • The Hollister Motorcycle Rally is baaaack. Yep. The City Council approved the event earlier this week. So, mark your calendars for July 5 and July 6, 2013. To learn more, check out this Cycle World link.
  • The Hollister Downtown Association received notice from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that it has the exclusive right to use the logo Hollister {the original}. So, there you go Abercrombie & Fitch with your imaginary beach town called Hollister.
  • Local artist Shannon Grissom is offering Creative Escapes every Thursday in her art studio. What fun! Customers will have the opportunity to draw, paint, decorate masks, and make collages. For information about her Creative Escapes, click this link to go to Shannon's Web site.
  • is up and running. It's an online web portal for San Benito County residents to learn about local news and events, as well as a venue for residents to offer their opinions and discuss issues that concern them. Go ahead, go check out.



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