15 Best Things to Do in Morgan Hill (CA)

This lovely California town in Santa Clara County is popular with wine connoisseurs and nature lovers. Surrounded by rolling hillsides and piled-up vineyards, perhaps the best thing to do here is rent a car and explore the countryside.

What was once an agricultural area has recently been transformed by wealthy Silicon Valley workers who turned the area into a prime location for luxury and high-end cuisine.

Dotted with Michelin-starred restaurants and highly rated wineries, you’ll want to visit the area’s natural landmarks just to walk it all.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in and around Morgan Hill, California.

1. Explore Miramar Vineyards

Vineyards and Wineries

Morgan Hill’s prime location close to the Pacific Ocean makes it immune to some of California’s worst sweltering heat. As a result, Santa Clara County has a mild Mediterranean climate that is ideal for growing vines.

There are many local vineyards to choose from, but one of the best is in the heart of Morgan Hill. Visit Miramar Winery and stroll along winding vines and lush hillsides.

When you’re done, sip on some tangy reds and sparkling whites before playing bocce, a classic ball game for estate visitors.

2. Go to Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

This local reserve is a great place for hiking, biking and horse riding. The valley is currently being redeveloped as a wildlife space, and it has attracted many rare birds and small mammals.

The vast grassy plains in this valley are a beautiful place to have a picnic or admire the endless blue sky.

Once an important agricultural area, there are some really cool abandoned buildings on the edge of the reserve, just waiting to be explored.

3. Visit the Morgan Hill Museum

Morgan Hill Museum

This beautiful estate is located on the grounds of Villa Mira Monte, built in the 1880s by the town’s founders. Check out a city walking tour from this small museum, or head over to learn more about the town.

This museum explores the lives of Morgan Hill’s former residents and the area’s connection to the Murphy Party, the first to cross the Sierra Nevada.

The gardens here are gorgeous, so when you’re done, be sure to spend some time in the grounds’ lovely picnic area.

4. Shop at the Morgan Hill Farmers Market

Agricultural Market

A local favorite, this Saturday’s market offers fresh oranges and other fruit from surrounding farms, along with piles of vegetables and artisan meats.

The list of vendors is pretty extensive for a small town, and you can get everything from fresh fish to wildflowers. Food choices here are seasonal, sustainable and GMO-free.

The coffee is especially good, as you’d expect in trendy Silicon Valley. Grab a fresh mug and a pastry if you’re here on the weekend.

5. Try clay shooting at Coyote Valley Sporting Clays

Coyote Valley Sports Clay

Head north into Coyote for this scenic and popular shooting park.

Beginners will get expert guidance from knowledgeable instructors, and veterans can compete with other amateurs. All equipment here is provided by the center, and there are multiple ranges available for different skill levels.

Bachelor parties and team cohesion exercises are popular, competition is fierce here, and you’ll soon find yourself jostling for supremacy among other shooters.

6. Wine tasting at Castillo Winery

wine tasting

Surrounded by vineyards on Morgan Hill, Castillo Estate’s winery is the most famous, best known for its magnificent mansions set in stunning grounds.

The house and garden are like something out of a fairy tale, with the look of a medieval manor. In warm weather, visitors sit on the patio to sample a selection of award-winning bottles.

The family that owns the winery is a character, known for entertaining guests with song, music and some great stories.

7. Uvas Canyon County Park Day Trip

Uvas Canyon County Park

Just west of Morgan Hill, Uvas Canyon County Park sits in the foothills of the majestic Santa Cruz Mountains. This shady woodland is thriving and provides a home for a variety of animals, from coyotes to wild turkeys.

The trails here are known for their beautiful waterfalls; loop along the waterfalls to find all six. As you walk, keep an eye out for the jewel-like hummingbirds that fly around the pool in search of wildflowers.

8. Follow the Coyote Creek Trail

Coyote Creek Trail

This incredible trail along Coyote Creek will take you from Coyote, just north of Morgan Hill, to downtown San Jose.

This hard trail is great for adventure, and if you choose to go all the way, you’ll pass through peaceful woodland, open farmland and urban sprawl. The entire route stretches over 22 miles, so you may want to skip sections if you’re not quite fit.

Bring a bike or some serious hiking shoes if you’re up to the challenge.

9. Eat at Odeum Restaurant

Oldham Restaurants

One of the best restaurants in the area, Odeum’s chef has been awarded one Michelin star for his culinary efforts.

Chef Calisi Salvatore was a New York culinary star before fleeing to sunny Northern California. His food is heavily influenced by different Mediterranean countries and his restaurants aim to be a feast for all the senses.

The Odeum doubles as an art gallery, showcasing the work of local painters, and if you’re here at the right time, you can also enjoy tasteful live music.

The plating here is as beautiful as the artwork on the walls, and you’ll love the ambience of this chic, modern restaurant.

10. Visit the Wings of History Aircraft Museum

Wings of the Historical Aircraft Museum

Just south of Morgan Hill in St. Martin, this small museum is dedicated to old aircraft and aviation history. Peek inside disassembled engines, study model planes and read displays to see how the craft has evolved since the Wright Brothers made their first major flight.

Aircraft here range from classics like the Aeronca Champ popular in the 1940s, to more outlandish models like the Christen Eagle, a super loud biplane used for stunts.

Don’t miss the helicopter car, one of the weirdest (and coolest) exhibits on the venue.

11. Henry W. Coe State Park Day Trip

Henry W. Coe State Park

Just a 30-minute drive east of Morgan Hill, this great state park was once a ranch and is now a major wilderness area. The largest state park in Northern California, with more than 87,000 acres of woodland.

Come to the ranch camping area to light a campfire and experience the splendid starry sky in this seemingly endless wilderness. Alternatively, there are over 200 miles of dirt trails for mountain bikers, so if you like trail riding, this is a great place to turn your wheels.

Keep an eye out for America’s Great Vulture, which makes its home in the towering pines of this magnificent expanse of forest.

12. Play games at Morgan Hill Bowl

bowling

This family-friendly bowling alley in Morgan Hill is a great way to spend a Saturday night. Hosting popular leagues and local events, the atmosphere here is always lively.

In addition to the trails, the arcade section has plenty of games for you to play, and the attached restaurant and bar will keep you fed and hydrated while you bowl.

After you take off your bowling shoes, make sure you leave a happy hour.

13. Taste the fruit at Andy’s Orchard

Andy's Orchard

In the heart of Morgan Hill, this local grocery store stocks the best fresh fruit from this great agricultural region. The store has an old world feel, with the store’s wood paneling and old wine barrels adding to its charming aesthetic.

In addition to fruit that can be found all over California, the store also stocks rare items that are hard to find anywhere else. Try the unusual plums, apricots and cherries grown exclusively for Andy’s Orchards.

14. Drink beer at the Running Shop and Hops

Running a store and hops

If you’re feeling bucking the trend, stop by this local pub for a great beer in the heart of wine country.

With a seemingly limitless supply of beers from small craft breweries nationally and internationally, you’ll find the beer hipster at this great local pub.

Set in a converted industrial space, this cozy drinking place is packed with games to play and a cozy space to kill time.

Come here to discover that California’s beer rivals its wine.

15. Across Lake Anderson County Park

Anderson Lake County Park

This artificial lake just east of Morgan Hill is popular with water sports enthusiasts.

Explore the picturesque water views along the hilly trails around the lake, or relax on the shore where many picnickers gather.

If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a wakeboard or jet ski for an adrenaline-pumping glide across the lake. Or, if you’re feeling romantic, rent a small rowboat and sail peacefully past wading waterfowl and napping sunbathers.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Morgan Hill, CA (CA)
Lowest Price Guarantee