At some point during your commute certain roadside stands and attractions will grab your curiosity. Take it from me, you may drive by these stops for possibly years, and then one day feel compelled to stop. The most common are the fruit and vegetable stands.
The 152 Gilroy to the Valley commute offers the most options. You’ll find the freshest fruits and vegetables sometimes to the point of excitement. Catch the right stand at the right time, and you are sure to hit the jackpot on price and quantity of your selections. I can’t even remember the number of “wins” we discovered on that route. However, do not be fooled by the 10 avocados between the price of $1 and $5. Almost every time they are the size of a small lemon.
If you are traveling north on 101 in the San Juan Bautista area, The Windmill Market is a great stop on Highway 156. Prepared foods, wines, deli, and all sorts of small market items are available in this quaint location. Even if you stop in for a beverage and snacks as an excuse, take a peek you will not be disappointed.
Los Banos has three fruit stands a few miles out of town on both sides. I have not visited the one in the western direction of 152 at the corner of Hillsdale Avenue in a number of years. Therefore, I’m not comfortable commenting. Mercy Springs Fruit stand has a new location eastbound 152 before Los Banos. I’ve visited this location a couple of times and my opinion is it needs traction time.
The main Mercy Springs Fruit stand 5 miles east of Los Banos is a gem! The prices are ridiculously fair for size and quality and quantity. The nuts and raw honey can get a little spendy, but this is the case at all fruit stands. There are a few highlighted seasonal items that have to be your radar. Pineapple Watermelon which is a super juicy, super sweet yellow watermelon. Also be on the lookout for the Pink Pineapple. This specialty pink pineapple is also juicy and sweet like candy. Look both ways for golden melons and all sorts of other treats. Again worth the stop.
A Casa de Frutta pit stop could actually take up an entire column with all of its offerings, so I’ll leave you with that thought.
OK, enough of the food talk. We cannot closeout with discussing the marvel that is the San Luis Reservoir. For most commuters, it graces our drive daily. With that thought, I urge every commuter who has not done so to visit the San Luis Reservoir Romero Visitor Center. There are historical visuals throughout. Explanations as to how the reservoir fills, and where the source water is derived is all easily explained. This center also provides lookouts of every vantage, which include metal binocular stands. Don’t forget to bring change for the stationary binoculars.
Hope this information was helpful. Safe travels my friends!