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California Travel Tips

South Santa Clara County, California

Published on: February 07, 2019

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Many of you have heard of the Gilroy Garlic Festival which SeeCalifornia.com promotes each year. Located in South Santa Clara County, the event draws thousands of people, has more than 4,000 volunteers and raises millions of dollars for charities. Attending the festival is a great start to familiarizing yourself with the region, while a wonderful Arcadia book, “South Santa Clara County,” by Historian Sam Shueh, takes readers on a fascinating photo and text trip back in time to see this Northern California area’s early life.

South Santa Clara County was once known for cattle ranching, apricots, prunes, peaches and grapes. Even Almaden Vineyards in South San Jose (claimed to be California’s first winery established in 1852,) showcases the area’s importance as it grew into high-tech Silicon Valley.

According to a review by Craig MacDonald, the book brought back many fond memories of his sister’s summers spent working in the valley’s Del Monte Cannery. His mother used to play golf with a woman, whose family built Gilroy-based Christopher Ranch into the state’s largest grower, packer and shipper of California garlic. He loved talking to Irv Perch at the very fun, Flying Lady Restaurant.

If none of these things sound familiar, they just scratch the surface of what you can read about and visualize through old photos appearing in the book, “South Santa Clara County.”

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