San Antonio Valley
California Central Coast - Getaways
Driving Directions
There are two ways to drive to San Antonio Valley from the San Francisco Bay Area.

1. Straight south from San Jose to Jolon road, near King City, then west 24 miles.

2. A little longer, and quite unusual, is through Bear Valley.

1. U.S. 101 through Salinas Valley is the principal route to San Antonio Valley.

From where Hwy 85 meets Hwy 101, drive 93 miles south to Jolon Road, a well marked exit just before King City.

Soledad artists tell the human history of geologically dramatic Salinas Valley in a mural.

Salinas Valley accounts for most of the Monterey County wine production. This is now the world's best wine producing region -- with many mini climates.

Many of Napa Valley and Sonoma wines are now produced from grapes grown in Salinas Valley. More than 40,000 acres are under cultivation for fine California wines.

The Soledad region is the most prolific area. Kendall Jackson has recently open a huge production facility just south of the Arroyo Seco Road in Soledad. Chalone, a prodigious little winery with luminary stockholders like Julia Child, grows on the western slopes of the Gabilans by the Pinnacles. Smith & Hook - Hahn grows on the highlands of the western valley in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

 

Soledad, renown for its prison -the setting for Eldridge Cleaver's "Soul On Ice," also was the setting for John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," the Sobreanes Adobe, where Capt. John C. Fremont camped twice, a fine little Spanish mission, and a vanquished experimental farm for San Francisco's homeless that was visited by Rudyard Kipling.

San Antonio Valley is 24.5 miles west Hwy 101 on G14. The turn is north of King City, before the road crosses the Salinas River.

G14 is an excellent road, as its main destination is Fort Hunter Liggett, a U.S. Army reservation.

Pinnacles National Monument in the Gabilan Mountains above Soledad

2. The Route Through Bear Valley
From US 101 at State Hwy 85 in Southern San Jose, go south 18 miles to Gilroy, and 12 miles farther to State Hwy 156.

Two miles west on 156 you find San Juan Bautista. 8 miles east on 156 is Hollister.

The eastern entrance to Pinnacles National Monument is accessed by Hwy 25. It is 20 miles south of Hollister, and 5 miles west of Hwy 25 on Hwy 146.

(Hwy 146 runs east from 101 in Soledad, and west of 25 - but does not connect. Each way ends at the Pinnacles.)

Take State Hwy 25 south from Hollister through a unique stretch of back country California through Bear Valley.

Five miles south is historic Tres Pinos, where you easily imagine Joaquin Murrieta hiding out. Twenty miles farther is the Pinnacles National Monument, rare geologic formations jutting up out of a beautiful patch of wilderness with a marvelous creek and plenty of hiking trails. (The park is 5 miles west of 25 on 146.)

Back on 25, continuing south, you drive through picturesque Bear Valley. Antique vehicles, old one room school house, hidden vineyards and storybook farms.

After 12 miles there is Bitterwater, a seasonal lake on the left, and a county road, G13 to the right. G13 winds through the lava ledges of the Gabilan mountains, past parsley fields and into the southern farming hub of Salinas Valley, King City.

Both routes join at this point for the last leg to San Antonio Valley.
 

G14 runs along the San Antonio River up a canyon out of Salinas Valley. Once into the San Antonio Valley, the Salinan Indian roundhouse, the Nation's headquarters and community center, and the remnants of the historic Jolon gold mining supply station and business center are arrived at. Into the vast oak filled valley, and into the military reservation. Then, after 24 miles from US 101, you arrive at the combination of 1) Mission San Antonio, 2) Hacienda, and 3) Fort Hunter Liggett.

Excellent and reasonable Accommodations can be found at Keeer's Inn in King City (831.385.1254) Say you are calling for the Pelican rate -it is a discount. King City is a great place to overnight for exploring the missions, wineries, Ventana Wilderness, Pinnacles and Salinas Valley. Good pool, hot tub and a very good restaurant, famous for its bean soup.
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