hotels rental cars event tickets tours contact us

Facts About Gilroy

GilroyFor a relatively small town, Gilroy, California has a pretty large reputation. One could even say their reputation is a bit spicy.

Called the “Garlic Capital of the World,” Gilroy both produces and manufactures a lot of garlic. It’s actually not tops in production world-wide, but it is considered the largest garlic processor. The local factory manufactures garlic products such as garlic powder and minced and pickled garlic.

It’s no surprise then that one of the town’s main events, and one that draws visitors from all over, is the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Held every year on the last weekend in July, the food festival celebrates garlic in all its glory. A garlic cook-off, cooking exhibitions, and the enjoyment of foods cooked with garlic are some of the festival highlights. The festival also includes musical entertainment and a Miss Gilroy Garlic pageant, where the winner is chosen not just for her talent or beauty but for how well she can make a speech about garlic. One of the festival delicacies is actually garlic flavored ice cream.

Gilroy has approximately 48,000 inhabitants but the garlic festival draws more than twice that many people. The town is located in Santa Clara County and is known not just for its garlic but for its wineries, a fine combination. A wine enthusiast, eager to share “Gilroy’s best kept secret,” recently created what he calls the “Gilroy Wine Trail,” which is essentially a map that shows the various wineries in Gilroy and the surrounding areas. Local businesses now circulate the map and the wine trail also has a website.

Santa Clara County has 28 county parks within its park system, including Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, just east of Gilroy. Gilroy is also home to a national historic landmark, the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs. Some of the people who settled around the mineral springs in the late 1800s were Japanese immigrants, which resulted in the Japanese style buildings and gardens there.

Visitors to Gilroy might also enjoy a day at the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, which recently celebrated is tenth year in operation. Roller coasters and swings are some of the park highlights, with an unusual garlic themed ride called the Garlic Twirl. There’s also a monorail ride through the park, a train ride and paddle boats. The park features 6 gardens, some including famous shaped trees.