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Nature trails, parks and more

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Gilbert, Arizona offers a unique blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. With its picturesque parks, thriving arts scene, and abundance of local dining options, Gilbert is a haven for those seeking both relaxation and adventure. The city’s rich history is reflected in its well-preserved heritage sites, while its modern attractions ensure there is something for everyone. Whether you explore the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch or enjoy a night out at the Hale Center Theater, Gilbert promises an unforgettable experience.

So if you’re looking for Gilbert apartments, homes for sale, or are already local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here’s Redfin’s list of the 15 best things to do in Gilbert, for newcomers and longtime residents alike.

rendition of Gilbert Arizona

1. Explore the Riparian Reserve at Water Ranch

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a nature lover’s paradise. With more than 200 species of birds, it is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The reserve features several trails that wind through different habitats, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can also enjoy fishing in the seven-acre lake or explore the observatory for a night of stargazing. The lush greenery and serene surroundings make it a perfect place for a relaxing stroll or a picnic.

Main attraction: Don’t miss the chance to visit the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory for a closer look at the stars.

2. Stroll through downtown Gilbert

Downtown Gilbert, also known as the Heritage District, is a vibrant area full of unique shops, restaurants and entertainment options. The neighborhood’s historic charm is complemented by modern amenities, making it a wonderful place to explore. Enjoy a meal at one of the many farm-to-table restaurants or have a cup of coffee at a local cafe. The area often hosts events and farmers’ markets, adding to the lively atmosphere.

Has to do: Be sure to visit the Gilbert Farmers Market on Saturday mornings for fresh produce and local goods.

3. Experience Agritopia

Agritopia is a unique community that combines urban living with a working farm. Visitors can tour the farm, dine at Joe’s Farm Grill, or explore the community garden. The farm-to-table concept is alive and well here, with fresh produce available for purchase. The community also features charming homes and a sense of camaraderie among residents, making it an enjoyable place to visit and experience sustainable living.

Recommendation: Visit the Farm Stand to pick up fresh, locally grown produce.

4. Enjoy a show at the Hale Center Theater

The Hale Center Theater in Gilbert offers a variety of live performances, from musicals to dramas. The intimate setting ensures that every seat in the house has a great view of the stage. The theater is known for its high-quality productions and talented artists. Whether you are a fan of classic plays or contemporary works, there is always something exciting planned.

Before you go: Check the theater program in advance and reserve tickets for a show that piques your interest.

view of downtown Gilbert Arizona

5. Visit the Gilbert Historical Museum

Located in the historic Gilbert Elementary School building, the Gilbert Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the city’s past. The museum features exhibits on Gilbert’s history, from its agricultural roots to its growth into a thriving community. Interactive displays and artifacts bring history to life, making it an educational and enjoyable experience for visitors.

Insider tip: Take part in one of the museum’s hands-on workshops, where you can try out traditional crafts and skills from Gilbert’s early days.

6. Explore Freestone Park

Freestone Park is Gilbert’s largest park and offers a wide range of recreational activities. The park features a lake, playgrounds, sports fields and even a miniature train ride. It’s a great place to spend a day outdoors, whether you’re playing a game of baseball, fishing in the lake, or simply enjoying a picnic. The park’s well-maintained facilities and beautiful scenery make it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

Main attraction: Don’t miss the Freestone Railroad for a fun and scenic train ride through the park.

7. Sample local flavors at the Gilbert Food Truck Festival

The Gilbert Food Truck Festival is a culinary delight, with a variety of food trucks offering diverse and delicious options. From gourmet burgers to exotic dishes, there is something for everyone. The festival is a great way to sample local flavors and enjoy a casual dining experience. Live music and a lively atmosphere add to the fun, making it an event not to be missed by food lovers.

Highlight: Join a cooking demonstration from local chefs and learn how to prepare some of the festival’s most popular dishes at home.

8. Wander through the village of SanTan

SanTan Village is an open-air shopping center with a mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment options. The beautifully landscaped center makes for a pleasant shopping experience, with a variety of shops to explore. After a day of shopping, visitors can relax at one of the many dining options or catch a movie at the nearby theater. The village’s inviting atmosphere makes it a popular destination for both shopping and recreation.

Insider tip: Visit during the holidays to enjoy festive decorations and special events.

Tucson Mountain near Gilbert Arizona

9. Attend a performance at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts

The Higley Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, plays and dance recitals. The state-of-the-art facility provides an excellent venue for both local and touring acts. The center’s varied programming ensures that there is always something interesting to see, making it a cultural center in Gilbert. Whether you’re a fan of classical music or contemporary dance, you’re sure to find a performance that captivates you.

Before you go: Check the center’s calendar for upcoming performances and reserve your tickets in advance.

10. Relax at Gilbert Regional Park

Gilbert Regional Park is an extensive park that offers a variety of recreational activities. The park features a large playground, splash pad and sports courts, making it a great place to spend a day outdoors. The scenic lake and hiking trails provide a tranquil setting for a relaxing stroll or picnic. The well-maintained facilities and beautiful surroundings of the park make it a popular place for relaxation and recreation.

Has to do: Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal by the lake for a relaxing afternoon.

11. Explore the arts hub

Art Intersection is a creative space that offers exhibitions, workshops and classes in various art forms. The gallery showcases works by local and national artists and provides a platform for artistic expression. Visitors can explore the exhibitions, participate in workshops or simply enjoy the creative atmosphere. The center’s commitment to fostering creativity makes it a vibrant part of Gilbert’s cultural scene.

Before you go: Check the schedule for upcoming workshops and exhibitions to make the most of your visit.

12. Visit the Southeast Regional Library

The Southeast Regional Library is more than just a place to borrow books. The library offers a variety of programs and events, from author readings to craft workshops. The beautiful building, with its modern architecture and scenic views, provides a welcoming environment for reading and learning. The library’s extensive collection and friendly staff make it a great resource for residents and visitors alike.

Can not be missed: Explore the library’s innovative maker space, where you can experiment with 3D printing, robotics and other cutting-edge technologies.

13. Enjoy a day at Topgolf Gilbert

Topgolf Gilbert offers a unique golf experience with a high-tech twist. The facility features climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant and a lively atmosphere. Whether you are an experienced golfer or a beginner, Topgolf offers a fun and engaging way to enjoy the sport. The interactive games and social setting make it a great place to spend the day.

Mark activity: Take part in one of the theme game nights or tournaments for a chance to win prizes and enjoy an even more exciting and competitive atmosphere.

Gilbert Arizona Temple

14. Explore Gilbert Temple

The Gilbert Temple is a beautiful architectural landmark that offers a peaceful and serene environment. The beautifully landscaped grounds and intricate design of the temple make it a place of reflection and tranquility. While the interior is reserved for members of the church, the exterior and gardens are open to the public. The temple’s striking presence and serene atmosphere make it a must-see attraction in Gilbert.

Has to do: Take a walk around the temple grounds and admire the beautiful landscape and architecture.

15. Attend a game at Cactus Yards

Cactus Yards is a premier sports complex hosting a variety of sporting events and activities. The facility features several fields, batting cages and a restaurant, making it a great place for sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re playing in a league or watching a game, Cactus Yards offers a fun and engaging environment. Its well-maintained fields and modern amenities make it a top sports destination in Gilbert.

Recommendation: Visit during one of the special community events or tournaments to experience the lively atmosphere and cheer on local teams.

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