If you are contemplating buying a home in Arizona, you will be hard pressed to find a more comfortable, family friendly city than Gilbert. Gilbert real estate continues to be affordable, and it has great neighborhoods and highly performing schools. Although technically it is a town, rather than a city, it has experienced phenomenal growth in the past couple of decades, yet it continues to have an easy-going, small town atmosphere that is the envy of other cities in the Phoenix Metro area. It has an ever-expanding variety of shopping and dining choices, and excellent freeway access to the north and south. There are also myriad ways of entertaining yourself; following are some of my favorites.
- The Gilbert Historical Museum, housed in the former Gilbert Elementary School is the place to learn about the Gilbert of old. Exhibits cover the history of the town, its ranchers and cowboys, farming, irrigation and mining. There are dioramas, classic fire equipment and a military room as well.
- The Gilbert Farmers Market takes place Saturday mornings, rain or shine, year-round. You can buy fresh produce, gourmet coffee, steaks, seafood; shop for eclectic gifts and housewares, or have a snack and listen to live music. You can even take the kids on a hay ride!
- Freestone Park and Recreation Center , with its wide open space is a great place to spend the day. Besides a fishing lake, trails, volleyball, basketball, and baseball facilities, there is a train and other rides for the little ones. The Recreation Center has workout facilities, youth programs and a climbing wall.
- The Riparian Reserve at Water Ranch provides a great service to the environment. Located on 110 acres, this facility passes treated water from the town through several lakes and dry beds. This serves to replenish the water table and provides refuge for many species of migratory birds. Several ecosystems have been replicated around the lakes, with an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Trails connect the different lakes, and there are opportunities for fishing, biking, horseback riding, even nighttime stargazing at the observatory.
- The Hale Center Theater in Old Town is reputed to be the longest running privately owned and operated theater company in America. Hosted by the Gilbert Fine Arts Association, you can take in a wide variety of plays and shows for both adults and children.
- Fat Cats is a ton of fun rolled into one for kids of all ages. You can visit the arcade, play Glow Golf, bowl a few frames, or catch a movie. The theater serves appetizers, sandwiches and bar food delivered right to your seat! It is a great place for your next birthday party or youth group. Spend a day and beat the heat!
- Cosmo Dog Park , named after Gilbert's first K-9 officer, is one of the most highly rated dog parks in the country. It has lots of fields and hills for running, a swimming lake for the dogs, a bathing area and a timid dog area. Fido and Spot will love you for bringing them here!
- Gilbert Days Rodeo and Parade occurs over three days in November. This fun for the whole family event has its roots in the days of cowboys and ranchers. You can get your fix of ropin 'and ridin', have a funnel cake, and enjoy the festivities. The Parade includes classic vehicles, floats, and all manner of horsemen and women doing their thing.
- San Tan Village is one of Gilbert's newest developments. A huge assortment of shops from Apple to Zumies are represented in an outdoor, shaded area reminiscent of an old downtown. From casual to exotic, you have a lot of choices in dining as well, for lunch, dinner or a relaxing libation on the patio.
- The downtown area, or Old Town as the locals refer to it, is a great place for a stroll. Bounded to the south by the railroad tracks and the north by a multi-use trail, this area has an ever growing selection of great restaurants, a funky coffeehouse, and window shopping galore. You can stretch your legs and visit historic buildings, enjoy park space, and see the historic Water Tower. Turn the kids loose in a fountain!
- If you're a golfer, there are several courses in town and close by. Western Skies, Greenfield Lakes, Seville and Trilogy at Power Ranch are courses that cater to "duffers" and scratch golfers alike.
- Speaking of golf, you can tune up your drive and so much more at Top Golf . Their 21st Century take on the "ol 'driving range" is a great place to take a lesson, have a drink or dinner with friends, or plan your next corporate outing or a bachelor party.
There are so many things to see and do in Gilbert, Arizona; we have just scratched the surface. Whether you want to buy a home in Gilbert or are moving to Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler or Tempe, be sure to visit Gilbert for some great times!