Five Things To Do In Gilroy California
- Gilroy Garlic Festival
If you consider yourself a foodie, or you just enjoy a festival with beer, wine, good food and good music, then time your visit to California to coincide with the Gilroy Garlic Festival. It’s a celebration of all things garlicky, with music and alcohol to pair with the food.
But make sure you book well in advance. We learnt this the hard way. Accommodation gets well and truly booked up for this food festival that sees crowds of 80,000 to 100,000 people walk through its gates annually.
- Garlic Products
You can’t visit Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, without buying garlic products. When we first arrived in town, we wondered why somewhere in Italy wasn’t considered the garlic capital of the world. But garlic is Gilroy’s main industry, with Christopher Ranch producing a whopping 70 million pounds of garlic per year.
North Nomad’s sense of smell isn’t as keen as mine (it’s still waiting to return after he quit smoking!) and when we’d drive through Gilroy every day I’d give him a blow-by-blow description of the various garlic smells from the processing plant – it smells like we’re chopping garlic in the kitchen! Now it smells like I’m cooking garlic! Now frying! Can you tell I cook with a lot of garlic?
You can get your garlic products from the Festival, like we did, or in town at Garlic World on Monterey Highway.
- Gilroy Premium Outlets
These retail outlets are some of the best I’ve been to. It’s a combination of their convenience in getting between the different shops, the wide variety of shops available, and the deals available.
Our personal favourites were the Vans store (t-shirts, dresses, and sunglasses – surprisingly no shoes!), the Quicksilver store (more of the same), and the Kate Spade store (you don’t want to know how much I spent there on presents for everyone back in Australia).
Other stores of mention: Bose, Lululemon, Guess, The North Face, Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s, Saks 5th Avenue Off 5th.
Location: & Contact Details: 681 Leavesley Road, Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 842-3729
- Dining Out
Don’t let this deter you, but one of the best pan-Asian restaurants we’ve been to is in a strip mall opposite of the premium outlets. Ginger Cafe does amazing dumplings and tofu dishes.
Ginger Café also does the most important thing for us nomads: it feeds hungry meat-eaters and vegans. It can be tricky getting a meal together, let alone one that actually tastes delicious.
Location & Contact Details: 8657 San Ysidro Ave, Gilroy CA 95020 United States of America Ph: 408 847 2625
- Gilroy’s Beautiful Outdoors and Day Trips
Gilroy has some gorgeous scenery for people who love hiking, wildlife, boating, and the outdoors generally. We visited Coyote Lake – filled with rolling mountains, and plenty of deer and wild boar. Not to mention the fastest and most numerous squirrel colony we’ve ever seen.
And aside from the local scenery, Gilroy is equally placed between both San Francisco and Monterey, making it the perfect destination for when you don’t want to limit yourself to just one tourist area in California. We had trips to Santa Cruz, Holister, Monterey, San Francisco, and Carmel By the Sea.
Is there anything we’ve missed out on that we should have seen while we were in Gilroy?
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.