|Where to go while you are here: "Scenic vacation destinations"
This map highlights recreational destinations in the San Juan Bautista region.
Note the location of the San Andreas& Calaveras Faults relative to San Benito County. The faults are responsible for many of the scenic landscape features.
Pinnacles National Monument (East Side) is a scenic one-hour scenic (50 mile) drive south from San Juan. Take Highway 156 east of the main stoplight in San Juan about 4 miles to Union Road (the next light). Turn right and follow Union Road about 5 miles to Highway 25 (Airline Highway) and turn right (south). Pinnacles is about 45 miles south of the intersection. You will go through the small towns of Tres Pinos and Paicines.
Cienega Road Scenic Byway: Cienega Road also connects between Union Road and Highway 25, but follows a route along the San Andreas Fault. The fault cuts trough the Hollister Hills SRVA and many landscape features can seen along the route. Perhaps the most famous location along the fault in the region is the DeRose Winery where the registered National Natural Landmark is attached to the wall inside the "offset"winery.
Fremont Peak State Park is located at the end of anIt is an 11 mile scenic drive along San Juan Canyon Road ("The Alameda"on the south side of Highway 156 in San Juan).
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail trailhead parking area is located near the intersections of "The Alameda"(about 1/4 mile from the main light for San Juan on highway 156) and Mission Vineyard Road, San Juan Canyon Road, and the Salinas Road (San Juan Grade). In this section of the National Historic Trail the route is an unpaved "hiking, biking, and horseback riding"(no motorized vehicles) that runs for 8 miles through the scenic foothills of the northern Gabilan Range below Fremont Peak (highly recommended here!).
Other nearby destinations include Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in nearby Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties where bird and marine wildlife viewing is unrivaled in the region. Of course, Old Mission San Juan Bautista and a walking tour of the San Andreas Fault and the historic district of San Juan Bautista (including San Juan Bautista State Historic Park) are a primary reason to come to San Juan and enjoy some time at the GeoZeum and walking around Old San Juan! Come to the GeoZeum to learn about more hiking, biking, and driving routes to see the remarkable natural and historic landmarks in this remarkable town and region in California!
Other destinations popular for geology/ natural science and outdoor enthusiasts passing though San Juan are the Panoche Hills & Tumey Hills, and Clear Creek areas (BLM public Lands) in southern San Benito County.