Hiking among saguaro cacti in the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
Patio dining in the city’s Heritage District
Exploring the farm, food and craftsmanship of the Agritopia community by bike
Appreciating Arizona-made art in a local museum
Pouring locally made wine for a tasting
A birding oasis in the middle of the city
Shopping fun for the whole family at SanTan Village
Creating custom, uniquely Arizona gifts at Prickly Pear Paper
Shopping for fresh produce at the Gilbert Farmers Market
Stargazing at Riparian Preserve during the East Valley Astronomy Club’s monthly Public Star Party
The Western town with big ideas
Golf, Goats and Other Outdoor Pursuits
There’s no way around it; if you golf, you must do Gilbert. For a view of the San Tan’s, take a swing at Trilogy Golf Club, where you can also take in the vista from the patio of Slate Bistro & Bar. Locals rave about Greenfield Lakes Golf Club for its diversified design. Stop in to Topgolf to swing microchipped balls at a massive target (like darts but with drivers). After these greens, hit another: Riparian Preserve and Observatory at Water Ranch is the spot for birds (250 species), fishing and hiking (there’s a dino dig site and an astronomy observatory here, too). Or, try the latest quirky outdoor craze, Goat Yoga at Welcome Home Ranch, which (just as it sounds) is a yoga class held on a goat farm, complete with time for petting the friendly goats.
Agriculture and Artisans
Gilbert’s Agritopia, an area dedicated to community sharing, has 6 hectares of three different types of farms. Tour this notable neighborhood, whose practices and restaurants have gotten a lot of attention (Joe’s Farm Grill has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”, while the owner of The Coffee Shop won the network’s “Cupcake Wars”). Another favorite is craftsmen community Barnone, a converted 1950s hay barn made from re-purposed World War II aircraft aluminum. It house 12 makers including a brewery and winery. Top off your foray into local foodie culture at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., where they serve up artisanal ales that strive to distill Valley life in a glass (check out the Farmhouse Saisons and Monastic Series).
Stroll the Historic District
Gilbert’s Heritage District is heating up as well. Just three blocks long, its dozens of restaurants and shops make it feel like more. Stop into Liberty Market and Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles, both local favorites. Don’t forget Joe’s Real Barbecue for slow-smoked deliciousness. Beloved musicals and plays are always on stage at historic Hale Centre Theatre Arizona, while history buffs will be well-served by Gilbert Historical Museum’s multi-media archives commemorating Western U.S. culture. For a glimpse into what area artists are working on, explore Art Intersection, a gallery that doubles as a studio, as well as a hub for workshops and lectures.