13 Best Things to Do in Gilbert, Arizona
Located in Maricopa County southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, Gilbert is a charming town with a large incorporated population and a relaxed, laid-back way of life. Once known as the ‘Hay Shipping Capital of the World,’ the town is the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area and offers a variety of attractions and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Catch a Broadway favorite at the Hale Center Theater, learn more about the local fauna and flora at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, taste local cuisine and fresh fruit and vegetables at the weekly Gilbert Farmers Market, or explore the starry night sky with a show at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory. Here are some of Gilbert’s top attractions. Photo: jon manjeot/Fotolia
»Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
Spanning two hectares south of Guadalupe Drive in Gilbert, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a well-maintained lake that was created by the Town of Gilbert in 1999 to preserve and protect valuable water sources and wildlife habitats. Made up of 110 acres, 70 acres of which form seven water recharge basins, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is home to nearly 300 species of animals, birds, and insects, and features over 4.5 miles of hiking trails, a paleontology dig site, various vegetative zones, and an observatory. The Preserve also offers a variety of educational programs and recreational opportunities for all ages.
Contact: 2757 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234
Photo: Jason Yoder/Fotolia
»Gilbert Farmers Market
Located in Downtown Gilbert just west of the iconic Water Tower, Gilbert Farmers Market (GFM is an open-air Saturday market featuring local, organic produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, and artisanal food products. Open year-round, every Saturday with the exception of a few dates, the market hosts over 60 vendors during the summer season and close to 100 vendors in the fall and spring, all of whom offer a wide variety of locally grown produce from nearby farms, as well as many local food producers from the Arizona area. The mission of the market is to promote local sustainability, healthy eating and green living practices among the community and the surrounding area, as well as educating the public about the benefits of eating local food.
Contact: 222 N Ash St, Gilbert, AZ 85234, Phone: 480-892-5750
Photo: Karen Hermann/Fotolia
»Gilbert Historical Museum
The Gilbert Historical Museum is a community museum dedicated to showcasing the history of the town of Gilbert and the surrounding area. Located at the southwest corner of Gilbert and Elliot Roads within HD SOUTH at the southern end of the vibrant Gilbert Heritage District in a landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is based in the original Gilbert Elementary School which was built in 1913 and houses a repository of artifacts and items, photographs and documents, as well as a gift shop. Explore the past, present, and future of the town through an array of outstanding exhibits, presentations, and displays that chronicle the town’s rich history, as well as a courtyard, packed with authentic farm equipment, some of which date back to Gilbert’s earliest days.
Contact: 10 S Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296, Phone: 480-926-1577
Photo: Gilbert Historical Museum
»Freestone District Park
Freestone District Park is an expansive family-friendly community park set on 88 acres of well-maintained landscapes that features a variety of outdoor recreational activities and sports. The park is home to athletic fields, a recreational center, a mini amusement park with trains and carnival rides, a playground for children, a skate park and amphitheater, and several picnic areas with tables. Freestone District Park also offers fishing and is open year-round, weather permitting.
Contact: 1045 E Juniper Ave, Gilbert, AZ 85234, Phone: 480-503-6200
»Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory
Located east of the Southeast Regional Library at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory (GRCO) is a community observatory that is owned by the Town of Gilbert and operated by the Riparian Institute. Open every Friday and Saturday evening at nightfall year-round and weather permitting; the GRCO houses a 16-inch diameter Meade and a state-of-the-art modified Richey-Cretien scope. The Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory hosts a Public Star Party every second Friday of each month which includes an astronomy-related talk and viewing of the stars with additional telescopes supplied by members of the East Valley Astronomy Club.
Contact: N. Greenfield Road and E. Guadalupe Road in Gilbert, AZ 85234
»XII West Brewing Company
Located in the Barnone building in Agritopia and housed in a flea market-style communal space, the XII West Brewing of Gilbert is a new brewery that offers mouthwatering craft brews and drafts. Founded by Brian McCormick and brewmaster Noel Garcia, the no-frills space has no brewing tanks as the owners brew their beer offsite in Garcia’s oversize garage. The walls of the brewery are black and adorned with beer-related posters and long communal block tables that encourage interaction are available for beer tasting. Although the brewery does not have a kitchen, a pizza company is situated right behind them for quick and easy bites, and there are a dozen beers to choose from, ranging from Nelly Fonzarelly Pale Ale and Midnight Run Coffee Stout to It's Okay Berliner Weiss and Sunday Morning Saison. XII West is open seven days a week.
Contact: 3000 East Ray Road Barnone, building six suite 110, Gilbert, AZ 85296, Phone: 480-404-9699
Photo: XII West Brewing Company
»Hale Centre Theatre
The Hale Center Theater is a family-orientated theater that presents a host of performances and shows from both Broadway and Off-Broadway, along with other favorites and interactive theater-based educational programs. Students and lovers of drama can learn more with a variety of classes, day camps, and workshops, or join a Student Matinee Program and take part in live theater tours. The Hale Center Theater is open from Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 09:00 pm and hosts an array of different performances each week.
Contact: 9900 S Monroe St, Sandy, UT 84070, Phone: 801-984-9000
»Gilbert Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints
The Gilbert Arizona Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the 142nd temple of the denomination. Located near the intersection of Pecos and Greenfield roads, the temple was built due to growing demand of the high concentration of church members in the area. The Gilbert Arizona Temple was built and dedicated as a "refuge from the storms of life and the noise of the world" for church members, with a similar vision to all the other LDS Churches. Measuring 85,000 square feet, the Gilbert Temple is the largest temple the Church has constructed in 17 years and features five levels, reaching a height of 82.5 feet tall with a 195-foot spire, making it the tallest building in Gilbert and one of the tallest in the entire Phoenix East Valley. The temple rests on a 15-acre site and is one of three in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Contact: 3301 S Greenfield Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85297, Phone: 480-822-5000
Photo: jon manjeot/Fotolia
»High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill
High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill is a family-friendly restaurant set within a spacious, contemporary shopping center on Val Vista Drive that specializes in ocean-fresh seafood, oysters, and authentic steam kettle cooking. The restaurant is committed to sourcing local ingredients and supporting local suppliers and uses only the freshest ingredients in all of their dishes, which include fresh fish and seafood, hearty prime beef and grain-fed chicken burgers, shucked oysters, and smoked short ribs. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list with wines from around the world which are perfectly paired with the cuisine, as well as a menu of handcrafted cocktails and imported spirits. High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill caters for private parties and functions and is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Contact: 2540 S Val Vista Dr, Gilbert, AZ 85295, Phone: 480-821-9950
Photo: High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill
»Joe's Real BBQ
Joe's Real BBQ is a cafeteria-style spot on Gilbert Road that serves traditional barbecued ribs, chopped brisket and pulled pork, all of which are deliciously smoked over pecan wood and served in a casual, relaxed setting. Located in a traditional brick building dating back to 1929 and exuding the ambiance of agricultural Arizona’s ‘golden age,’ the family-friendly farm-based restaurant serves a menu of mouthwatering barbecue and meat dishes, along with fresh salads and steamed vegetables, plenty of sides, and decadent desserts. Signature dishes include pecan-smoked beef brisket and pulled pork, turkey jalapeno sausage, pork ribs, and stuffed baker, as well as seasonal, house-made cobbler for dessert.
Contact: 301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234, Phone: 480-503-3805
Photo: Joe's Real BBQ
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»Joe's Farm Grill
Joe's Farm Grill is a farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on serving fresh, farm-style fare in a relaxed, laid-back setting. Supporting local farmers and producers and sourcing crisp fruit, vegetables, and herbs from The Farm at Agritopia, Joe's Farm Grill is set in a comfortable building on a working farm with a 60's era atmosphere and indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant has a cozy fireplace for winter dining and guests can dine in the garden in a peaceful setting surrounded by large trees. Signature dishes include Jumbo Fried Shrimp, a grilled salmon platter, an Ahi Tuna Sandwich, and Pork Tenderloin.
Contact: 3000 E Ray Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296, Phone: 480-563-4745
Photo: Joe's Farm Grill
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Located in a historic corner building in the heart of the Old Town, Liberty Market is an award-winning, sleek café on North Gilbert Road that serves American light fare, sandwiches, and salads, breakfast plates, hand tossed pizza, and a selection of specialty coffees, fine wines, and handcrafted cocktails. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, seven days a week, the café’s menu features locally focused cuisine, such as handmade pastries, omelets, and pancakes for breakfast, light fare such as salads, chicken dishes and soups for lunch and a variety of meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian options for dinner. Liberty Market also features individual Chef plates and bowls on a weekly, weekend and seasonal basis.
Contact: 230 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234, Phone: 480-892-1900
Photo: Liberty Market
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»Postino's Wine Cafe
Postino's Wine Café is a bright and airy restaurant serving delicious Italian fare and decadent desserts, along with a large selection of Italian and international wines by the glass and bottle. The restaurant offers cozy indoor seating and a charming outdoor patio for alfresco dining in the warmer months and boasts a menu packed with delights such as fresh seafood and fish, handspun pizza and handmade pasta with various toppings and sauces, hearty meat dishes and fresh salads. Mouthwatering desserts include chocolate Bouchon, vanilla crème brulée, and salted caramel sundaes. Postino's Wine Café has several locations around the town and is open seven days a week.
Contact: 302 N Gilbert Rd #102, Gilbert, AZ 85234, Phone: 480-632-6363
Photo: Postino's Wine Cafe
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13 Best Things to Do in Gilbert, Arizona
- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, Photo: Courtesy of Jason Yoder - Fotolia.com
- Gilbert Farmers Market, Photo: Courtesy of Karen Hermann - Fotolia.com
- Gilbert Historical Museum, Photo: Gilbert Historical Museum
- Freestone District Park, Photo: Courtesy of leomalsam - Fotolia.com
- Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, Photo: Courtesy of solobird - Fotolia.com
- XII West Brewing Company, Photo: XII West Brewing Company
- Hale Centre Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of lapandr - Fotolia.com
- Gilbert Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, Photo: Courtesy of jon manjeot - Fotolia.com
- High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill, Photo: High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill
- Joe's Real BBQ, Photo: Joe's Real BBQ
- Joe's Farm Grill, Photo: Joe's Farm Grill
- Liberty Market, Photo: Liberty Market
- Postino's Wine Cafe, Photo: Postino's Wine Cafe
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jon manjeot - Fotolia.com
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