Nature Trails, Parks & More

Nature Trails, Parks & 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 a plethora of local eateries, Gilbert is a haven for those seeking both relaxation and adventure. The town’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved heritage sites, while its contemporary attractions ensure there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch or enjoying a night out at the Hale Centre Theatre, Gilbert promises a memorable experience.

So if you’re searching for apartments in Gilbert, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here is Redfin’s list of the top 15 things to do in Gilbert, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

view of gilbert arizona

1. Discover the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With over 200 species of birds, it’s a bird-watcher’s paradise. The preserve 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 exploring the observatory for a night of stargazing. The lush greenery and serene environment make it a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

Key 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 filled with unique shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The historic charm of the district is complemented by modern amenities, making it a delightful place to explore. Enjoy a meal at one of the many farm-to-table restaurants or grab a coffee at a local café. The area often hosts events and farmers’ markets, adding to its lively atmosphere.

Must do: Be sure to check out 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 a pleasant place to visit and experience sustainable living.

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

4. Enjoy a show at Hale Centre Theatre

The Hale Centre Theatre 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 theatre is known for its high-quality productions and talented performers. Whether you’re a fan of classic plays or contemporary works, there’s always something exciting on the schedule.

Before you go: Check the theatre’s schedule in advance and book tickets for a show that piques your interest.

view of downtown gilbert arizona

5. Visit the Gilbert Historical Museum

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

Insider tip: Participate in one of the museum’s hands-on workshops where you can try your hand at traditional crafts and skills from Gilbert’s early days.

6. Explore Freestone Park

Freestone Park is Gilbert’s largest park, offering 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 both locals and visitors.

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

7. Savor local flavors at the Gilbert Food Truck Festival

The Gilbert Food Truck Festival is a culinary delight, featuring a variety of food trucks offering diverse and delicious options. From gourmet burgers to exotic dishes, there’s something to satisfy every palate. 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 a must-visit event for food lovers.

Highlight: Join a cooking demo by local chefs to learn how to recreate some of the festival’s most popular dishes at home.

8. Wander through the SanTan Village

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

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

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9. Attend a performance at 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 diverse programming ensures that there’s always something interesting to see, making it a cultural hub 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 book your tickets in advance.

10. Relax at the Gilbert Regional Park

Gilbert Regional Park is a sprawling 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 walking trails provide a peaceful setting for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The park’s well-maintained facilities and beautiful surroundings make it a popular spot for relaxation and recreation.

Must do: Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal by the lake for a relaxing afternoon.

11. Explore the Art Intersection

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, providing 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 out 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 talks 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 both residents and visitors.

Not to miss: 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 golfing experience with a high-tech twist. The facility features climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant, and a lively atmosphere. Whether you’re an experienced golfer or a beginner, Topgolf provides a fun and engaging way to enjoy the sport. The interactive games and social setting make it a great place to spend time the day.

Highlight activity: Participate in one of the themed game nights or tournaments for a chance to win prizes and enjoy an even more exciting and competitive atmosphere.

gilbert arizona temple

14. Explore the Gilbert Temple

The Gilbert Temple is a stunning 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.

Must do: Take a walk around the temple grounds to appreciate the beautiful landscaping and architecture.

15. Attend a game at Cactus Yards

Cactus Yards is a premier sports complex that hosts 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. The well-maintained fields and modern amenities make it a top destination for sports 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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