Hollister is a city in San Benito County, California, United States. Hollister is the county seat, and is part of the Monterey Bay Area and a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. With a 2010 census population of 34,928, Hollister is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Central California subregion.
The area of modern-day Hollister was historically inhabited by the Mutsun band of the Ohlone Native Americans. With the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista in 1797, the Ohlone were forced into the California mission system.
The town of Hollister was founded on November 19, 1868, by William Welles Hollister on the grounds of the former Mexican land-grant Rancho San Justo. At the time, Hollister was located within Monterey County, until San Benito County was formed by the California Legislature in 1874 from portions of Monterey, Merced, and Fresno counties.
The Hollister Hills Vehicular Recreation Area, southwest of the main town, draws over 100,000 vehicles per year.
The city is intermittently the site of an annual motorcycle rally around July Fourth. The riot at the original 1947 event was the basis for the 1953 film The Wild One. The rally was revived in 1997 as the Hollister Independence Rally.