A Fun Way to Get from the 5 to the 101

When traveling between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, three main routes are available: 99 to the east, 5 in the middle and 101 to the west.

There also are numerous east-west routes that will get you from one north-south route to another.

But one of our favorites is 152, between Interstate-5 and Interstate-101. Once one of the more dangerous highways in California, known for head-on crashes late at night, the road is now ultra-modern and safe.

Which makes a planning a visit to Casa de Fruta all the more worthwhile.

Originally nothing more than a cherry stand founded by Italian immigrants in 1908, Casa de Fruta today is a major attraction of the Pacheco Pass.

There’s hearty food — including Kobe burgers served around the clock, and prime rib offered daily beginning at 2 — at Casa de Restaurant and Bakery. Don’t forget to have a slice of marionberry pie for dessert.

At Casa de Sweets and Café, you can select from fresh-baked pastries, ice cream, fudge and candy apples. That’s also the place to go for espresso drinks.

Just opened over the summer was Casa de Burrito — whose name pretty much speaks for itself.

Casa de Carousel is a double-decker merry-go-round crafted in a classic Venetian style, while Casa de Choo-choo is a scale model train that takes guests on a 15-minute tour of the grounds.

Casa de Fruta is now also home to a special events park, music hall and conference center, so both the 300-space R.V. Orchard Resort and the Casa de Inn come in handy for those wishing to stay overnight. There’s also a 24-hour Chevron station on the grounds.

CasaDeFrutaRoaming the aisles of the Casa de Fruit Stand and the Casa de Wine and Deli should be a part of every visitor’s itinerary. Wine sampling is available, and for something completely different, try the Casa de Fruta Pomegranate wine. Also be on the look-out for two-for-one wine sales.

Casa de Fruta has come a long way since its cherry stand days. Today, you could spend an hour or the better part of a day. Either way, you’re in for a fun break away from the congestion of the 5 and 101 freeways.

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