This post is sponsored by Visit Gilroy, but the thoughts and opinions are all my own.
California has so many hidden gems and there is nothing more exciting than discovering special places to visit. Gilroy, California is one of those places, and it is right in my backyard. This beautiful city is just close enough to the coast and the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, but feels like a lifetime away with its quaint downtown and beautiful scenic views. Gilroy has something for everyone! I recently spent a weekend in Gilroy in order to put together some of my favorite places to eat, drink and play in Gilroy.
Famously known as “The Garlic Capital of the World”, Gilroy is centrally located at the southern gateway to Silicon Valley. Gilroy has grown from its early agricultural roots into a vibrant, family-friendly city of nearly 60,000 residents. Along the way, Gilroy has managed to hold on to its genuine small-town charm, natural open spaces, and strong community spirit. Gilroy is also a great place to enjoy outdoor adventures, with several golf courses, well-maintained city parks, and many hiking and biking trails at nearby Mt. Madonna, Coyote Lake, and Henry W. Coe parks.
Day 1: Mom’s Day Out
Spending a Fall Saturday in Gilroy was easy and so much fun! I brought along with me my dear friend and neighbor to enjoy a Saturday Mom’s Day Out. We started with lunch and ended with a beautiful day at one of many Gilroy wineries.
Eat at Relish
This restaurant really impressed us! Before this day, neither of us had ever been here but after this, we will definitely be back! Relish is located in the Gilroy Town Plaza shopping center and features creative California cuisine. Since it was a Saturday, they had out the most delicious weekend brunch menu! But I am looking forward to going back for dinner soon.
Along with the delicious food and beautifully crafted cocktails, we received excellent service from the staff. All in all, it was a wonderful brunch experience and the perfect way to start our Mom’s Day Out adventures.
Drink at Solis Winery
I have had Solis wine at local restaurants before and I have driven by this winery many times. I was shocked that this was my very first time going inside the Solis Winery in Gilroy. I really enjoyed learning the history about this over 100-year-old winery!
All Solis Winery wines are grown and produced at this vineyard in Gilroy in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley, California’s oldest continuous wine growing region. From planting the vines and harvesting the grapes to producing and bottling the wines, everything is done on-site.
Upon arrival at Solis Winery, we were overwhelmed with the beautiful vineyard and mountain views! The tasting room was very inviting and the staff was extremely welcoming! After doing a tasting, we settled on a bottle of the Vino Roseo di Sangiovese 2020, which is a rosé produced primarily with Sangiovese grapes. It was the perfect choice for the warm Fall day. We walked around the vineyard for a bit until we settled on the back porch near the beautiful fountain. It was so relaxing and a wonderful way to end our Mom’s Day Out!
Day 2: Family Day Out
On Sunday, we got together with one of our favorite families, who also happen to be our neighbors, to get together for a fun family day in Gilroy! With Halloween right around the corner, some of us chose to dress up before heading out to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park to enjoy their spooky Halloween festivities!
Eat at Brew City Burgers
We knew that we were not going to Gilroy Gardens on an empty stomach. With 6 kids in tow, there was no way they would want to eat at the park with so much to do over there. We decided to grab a quick bite at Burgers and Brews in Gilroy.
Brew City Burgers is based on the original 1950’s Jack’s Drive-Up and honors the legacy of Jack and Anne Holder. Their family traditions of friendly and attentive service combined with great food and reasonable prices proudly continue. The menu features a variety of delicious burgers, farm to table salads and craft beers. I highly recommend the Christopher Ranch Burger with a strawberry milkshake!
This was the perfect place to take our two families because of the casual atmosphere and fast service! I was surprised that they even have a drive through window! We were all very impressed with this gem, and will definitely be back to try more!
Play at Gilroy Gardens
Gilroy Gardens has been a favorite destination of ours for many years! We love it so much that we purchase season passes every year! Not only do the kids get to learn about nature, but they also have age-appropriate rides, carnival-like games, shows and even a Water Oasis!
Since we came so close to Halloween, we were able to enjoy the spooky festivities! In addition to all of the usual rides, they had Halloween themed shows, a spooky train ride, a hay maze and even spots for trick-or-treating! I loved that instead of portraying Halloween as terrifying and gory, Gilroy Gardens made it fun and spooky. The way they have the park lit at night with smoke machines and festive music gives it just enough for the younger kids and older kids to have a good time without the fright.
We rode rides, played games, trick-or-treated, and us parents even got to enjoy a glass of wine while the kids played in the hay maze.
Gilroy Gardens is definitely worth making the trip for.
Our weekend in Gilroy was one for the books! We explored new places and enjoyed the familiarity of places we have already been. Along with the favorite spots mentioned above, Gilroy has so much more to offer. In fact, next week I am planning a shopping trip and the Gilroy Premium Outlets. Just another perk to Gilroy. Come visit and bring the whole fam!
Have you been to Gilroy, California? If so, tell me your favorite spot in the comments below.