Gilroy’s story begins in a familiar place, born of Spanish Missions and a subsequent California gold rush. John Gilroy’s initial ranch, Rancho San Ysidro, soon blossomed and expanded into the town of Gilroy, located in the appropriately named Pleasant Valley. The regions fertile land and terrific year round weather proved so attractive that settlers stuck around, forming the charming California town beloved by its locals today.
Gilroy’s bountiful harvest and beautiful weather have combined to produce two of the city’s biggest draws: their robust, flavorful wine and world famous garlic. These agricultural resources are so celebrated that Gilroy has been crowned the world’s garlic capital, and boasts a wonderful festival celebrating this aromatic bulb, the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Visitors travel from far and wide to sample the very best in garlicky goodness, from the celebrated roasted garlic soups and pastas to a few surprises - garlic ice cream anyone? Meanwhile, Gilroy enjoys its geographic position in the heart of wine country, on the doorstep of dozens of the best wineries, tasting rooms and vineyards that California has to offer. One could spend days roaming the beautiful wine country, sampling from nationally renowned vineyards and boutique wineries alike.
Though Gilroy is undoubtedly a culinary gem, there’s plenty to do to work up your appetite. Gilroy Gardens is one part amusement park, one part gorgeous botanical garden and all family friendly fun. This unique park features rides, a splash park as well as beautifully manicured “circus trees” (some of the only in the world!) and frequent events throughout the year. Gilroy also finds itself in the envious position of being surrounded by some of California’s best natural gifts. Outside the city you’ll find the Henry W. Coe State Park, the largest state park in California with year-round opportunities to hike, fish, camp and enjoy the great outdoors. Though garlic might be Gilroy’s middle name, with this much to offer, you’ll find something for any taste.