33 Things to Do In and Around Gilroy

Choose your own adventure and take some time to explore all the fun things to do in Gilroy, California! (Hint: You’ll probably need to book a hotel room—there’s way too much to do in just one day!)

1

Attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Held every year on the last full weekend in July, summer’s ultimate food festival features great garlicky food, cooking competitions, live entertainment, and family fun.

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2

See the Circus Trees at Gilroy Gardens

These fascinating living sculptures were originally grafted and shaped in the 1920s—and today form the centerpiece of California’s only horticultural theme park.

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3

Save big on your favorite designers

At Gilroy Premium Outlets, find everyday savings of 25-65% on over 145 top brands like Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, Nike, Ann Taylor, Levi’s, Polo Ralph Lauren, Timberland…and more!

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4

Shop for garlic gifts

You’ll find plenty of gourmet garlic goodies at Garlic World, The Garlic Shoppe, and Garlic City Mercantile—and at the Gilroy Welcome Center (at Gilroy Premium Outlets).

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5

Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the vineyards

Several of the wineries along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail offer scenic spots to enjoy lunch al fresco—including Solis Winery, Hecker Pass Winery, Sarah’s Vineyard, Fortino Winery, and Martin Ranch Winery.

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6

Greet the ghosts at The Milias Restaurant

Enjoy premium spirits at the antique horseshoe-shaped bar—and you may also encounter the friendly ghosts who are said to haunt this classic downtown dining destination.

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7

Find antique treasures

Browse through the treasures of yesteryear to find unique gifts and home furnishings in the charming, well-stocked antique shops in Downtown Gilroy.

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8

Make a pit stop at Casa de Fruta

This family-owned orchard resort started as a roadside cherry stand and has blossomed into one of California’s top tourist attractions.

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9

Try some garlic ice cream

You can get free samples at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July—and get this unique only-in-Gilroy treat at Garlic City Café, Fifth Street Coffee, and Garlic World all year long.

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10

Pedal a stately swan or darling duck across a lake

Gilroy Gardens features over 40 fun rides and attractions—including the pedal-powered Duck and Swan Paddle Boats on peaceful Coyote Lake.

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11

Bowl some bocce ball

Enjoy a friendly game of bocce ball while you sample the delicious wines at Satori Cellars and Sarah’s Vineyard.

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12

Go to the restroom in an old jail cell

Old City Hall Restaurant is a wonderfully restored landmark in downtown Gilroy—with restrooms built in what used to be the city’s old jail cells!

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13

Take a walking tour through downtown Gilroy

Pick up a self-guided tour map and stroll along Monterey Street. Be sure to look for the bronze sculptures that commemorate historical figures like the city’s namesake John Cameron Gilroy.

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14

Get some truly authentic Mexican food

If you love Mexican food, you’ve come to the right place! Local favorites include Carnitas Michoacan, Cielito Lindo, Los Pericos, and Victoria’s.

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15

Hike the Mummy Mountain Trail

Enjoy old oaks and scenic vistas along a 3+ mile loop in Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park.

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16

Snap a selfie with Gil and Roy

Iconic garlic bulb mascots Gil and his spunky sister Royelle greet visitors of all ages to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park.

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17

Taste your way around the world

Hecker Pass Plaza (near Gilroy Gardens) features cuisine from all over the globe, from Little India and Saigon-2-Siam Bistro to Ten Japan and The Claddagh Irish Pub.

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18

Enjoy live music under the stars

Come downtown in the summer for the Fifth Street Live music series, or enjoy concerts in the vineyards at wineries like Sarah’s Vineyard, Fortino Winery, and Clos La Chance.

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19

Catch a cricket match at Kirigin Cellars

This historic winery recently celebrated its 100th anniversary—and now features a remodeled tasting room, Tuscan-style clubhouse, and expansive grass fields used for soccer and cricket.

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20

Tee off like a champion

Find golf courses for players at any level—from the affordable Gilroy Golf Course to the premier Eagle Ridge Golf Club and the world-renowned Rosewood CordeValle Golf Club and Resort.

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21

Enjoy Festival favorites all year long

Can’t make it in July for the Gilroy Garlic Festival? Mama Mia’s Ristorante Italiano features Gourmet Alley favorites like calamari, scampi and pasta con pesto on the menu all year long.

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22

Wander through a redwood forest

Mt. Madonna County Park features towering redwoods, a herd of rare white fallow deer, and scenic vistas both east to the valley and west to the ocean.

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23

Take a hike through history

At Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park, discover bedrock mortars and petroglyphs left by the Ohlone Indians who once made their home here.

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24

Tour Old Mission San Juan Bautista

This historic mission—the 15th of the 21 missions in the state of California—was established in 1797 and was featured in Hitchcock’s classic film “Vertigo.”

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25

Find farm-fresh fruits and veggies

The LJB Farms roadside stand on Fitzgerald Avenue is a local treasure, offering a bounty of fresh produce grown on the family’s 600-acre ranch.

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26

Order the Kitchen Sink at O.D.’s

Locals know this no-frills downtown diner is THE place to go for breakfast and lunch. The classic Kitchen Sink includes fried potatoes, ham, peppers, onions, cheese, eggs and a side of toast.

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27

Stop by the Gilroy Welcome Center for travel tips and great gifts

Start your trip to Gilroy with a stop at the Gilroy Welcome Center (at Gilroy Premium Outlets) to get maps, coupons, and helpful tips—along with an assortment of fun Gilroy gifts and souvenirs.

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28

Get beanboozled at the Jelly Belly Factory Store

Visit the sweetest store at Gilroy Premium Outlets to find great gifts, save big on “belly flops,” and sample the latest Jelly Belly flavors!

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29

Splash down at Water Oasis

The Water Oasis play area at Gilroy Gardens has giant flowers that shower, frogs that squirt, and water, water everywhere.

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30

Stroll back in time

The Gilroy Historic Paseo is a pathway in downtown Gilroy with historic murals that cover the city’s past, from Early Settlers and Agriculture through the Cowboy Era and, of course, Garlic!

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31

Let your imagination take flight

At the Wings of History Air Museum, you can get up close to real airplanes, sailplanes, and helicopters, including a full-size replica of the Wright Flyer.

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32

Take a coffee break

Enjoy delicious coffee or tea at the cozy, family-owned First Street Coffee House and Fifth Street Coffee Roasting Co.

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33

Get a photo at the garlic mural

This colorful mural on Monterey Street celebrates “The Garlic Capital of the World” and the families who first farmed garlic in the area. Can you spot the vanquished vampire?

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