We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

Which San Francisco hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
93 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

My wife, 1 year old and I are planning to head from San Francisco to Gilroy on a Saturday in a rented car in mid August and I was curious if it's worth it to take Highway 1 for the scenery. My thought was to drive down highway 1 until Half Moon Bay and then take San Mateo Road inland to 280 or 101. Google says it adds about 30 minutes to the trip overall, but I realize this will be on a weekend in the middle of summer, so I'm guessing traffic may be an issue. I will be leaving SF around 10am.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,289 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

You'd actually be missing the good part of Highway 1 south of Half Moon Bay (not that there's anything wrong with the part north of HMB). If the weather is nice (not a great possibility in mid August), the traffic will be horrible. If the weather is typical, there won't be as much traffic but you may not see as much of the coast as you'd like.

280 is a pretty road by itself, so you might be better off just enjoying the fog coming over the hills while you're driving down 280.

Edited: 24 July 2013, 16:49
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
93 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

It might be better just to head down 101 and get to Gilroy. We are staying one night and then heading down to Cambria for the next few days and will be hitting Big Sur and all that, so perhaps it doesn't make sense to risk getting stuck in heavy traffic. Does 280 have an advantage/disadvantage over 101?

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

Yes, I280 is a much nicer road. Wider lanes, more lanes, less traffic and it is a scenic drive (at least from I380 to San Jose).

For easiest way from SF to Gilroy: Highway 101S -> I380W->I280S->Highway 85S->101S

It sounds confusing but it's not ... check the map.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
93 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

Great advice! I've added that route to my GPS!

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
48,097 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

Err you are spending the night in Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world ? Perhaps just driving about 30 mins more to Monterey would be a night and day difference and a great way to start your big sur experience

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
14,675 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

I agree with belo - drive over to Monterey for dinner and your overnight. The Monterey area is terrific. Gilroy is a nice town, but it is just an old agricultural town that also serves as a bedroom community to Silicon Valley. If it didn't have the outlet mall and the Garlic Festival, it would hardly even be on the map.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
93 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

That is a great suggestions, but the thought was to spend the night in Gilroy after the outlets because we didn't want to have to drive anywhere after because of the kid. We figured we would grab a bite to eat and hit the hay so we can get started early the next day. We are visiting Monterey and have 3 nights in Corralitos later in the trip. We've found amazing places to stay - Gilroy is the only stop that was purely out of convenience. An added bonus is I love garlic, so maybe Gilroy isn't such a bad idea after all?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
48,097 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

It is your vacation so please do as you see fit. You asked about traffic et al. The issue is that Gilroy outlets will be a zoo as the day progresses so the earlier one gets there the easier it is to get in, park and shop Also it could be about 20 or more degrees Hotter than SF as the day progresses during the daylight hours

There is garlic wine and garlic ice cream and other stuff around Enjoy Gilroy

I think you are not planning to stay in Monterey which is a pity so not only will you have to drive the extra 30-40 mins the next day but drive Hwy 1 to your next stop.

Edited: 24 July 2013, 18:50
San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
14,675 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

I am curious about your 3 nights in Corallitos. Visiting family there?

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
93 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Scenic route from SF to Gilroy Outlets

Belomiser: Monterey isn't the next stop. We are headed to Cambria first, then will double back to Corralitos. I'm aware that it may not make the most sense when you look at a map, but it was done because we are flying out of Monterey.

November: We found a great rental property and decided to stay slightly away from some of the more popular places for a few days.