Find Your Flavor With A Fantastic Fall Getaway To Gilroy
With Veterans Day falling on a Friday this year, it’s the perfect time for a three-day weekend Gilroy getaway! Treat yourself to a fun fall mini-vacation that won’t bust your budget.
DAY 1: DOWNTOWN AND DRAGONS
On Friday, check into one of Gilroy’s budget-friendly hotels and then take a leisurely stroll through historic downtown Gilroy. You can find fun Gilroy gifts at Garlic City Mercantile, fashionable accessories and home furnishings at Amoretto Boutique, and all kinds of eclectic treasures from yesteryear at well-stocked antique shops like Ashford’s Heirlooms, Collective Past, Garbo’s Antiques, and Gilroy Antiques.
For lunch, grab some authentic Mexican food at Carnitas Michoacan, Cielito Lindo, or Los Pericos Taqueria. And be sure to stop by Garlic City Café to try the only-in-Gilroy garlic ice cream!
As the sun sets on Friday night, head out to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park for Lumination. This incredible night-time festival features colossal light displays built from silk and steel by master lantern builders from Zigong, China. Catch the “Lumination Live” show in the amphitheater and enjoy delicious Chinese food from The Wok. At the Artisan Marketplace, you can watch talented craftspeople creating unique works of art. Then follow the “Silk Road” that winds through the park’s 26 acres at night to witness the incredible light displays in all their splendor. Don’t miss the 170-foot-long Porcelain Dragon, the sparkling Bejeweled Qilin, the towering Nine-Heaven Pagoda, and the dramatic water display of Carp Jumping Over Dragon Gate. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget!
DAY 2: SHOP AND SIP
Sleep in on Saturday morning and then fuel up at O.D.’s Kitchen for breakfast. This local favorite has a little bit of everything on the menu, including the Kitchen Sink! Then it’s time for some serious shopping. Gilroy Premium Outlets features over 145 designer brand stores, including Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and more, all at 25-65% everyday savings.
Be sure to stop by the Gilroy Welcome Center while you’re at the Outlets. We’re in Building A, near Forever 21 and across from Nike. We can give you helpful maps, discount coupons, and restaurant recommendations—and you can also shop for unique Gilroy gifts and souvenirs!
In the afternoon, unwind with some wine tasting. Get a Wineries Map and follow the signs along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail, which winds through the foothills surrounding Gilroy, to discover over 25 family-owned vineyards and tasting rooms. Some of our favorites include Fortino Winery, Solis Winery, Sarah’s Vineyard, and Kirigin Cellars. At each stop, you’ll find friendly folks pouring outstanding wines in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
On Saturday night, enjoy dinner at The Milias Restaurant, a historic fixture in downtown Gilroy that was once a favorite stopping-place for Hollywood stars like Clark Gable and John Wayne. Or better yet, call ahead for tickets to “Exit Laughing,” the hilarious show by Limelight Actors Theater in the Gilroy Center for the Arts in downtown Gilroy. You can bring your own dinner and wine, or order from The Milias and have your meal delivered to your table while you enjoy the show!
DAY 3: RELAX AND RECHARGE
Indulge in a delicious Sunday morning brunch at Old City Hall, the landmark building in downtown Gilroy. Be sure to check out the restrooms—they’re built in the city’s old jail cells! Then head out for a rejuvenating hike or bike ride along one of the area’s many scenic trails. Popular choices include Mummy Mountain Trail at Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch, the Sprig Lake Loop at Mount Madonna, or the Uvas Creek Levee Trail that winds through the city’s Uvas Park Preserve. Or book a tee time at Eagle Ridge Golf Club or Gilroy Golf Course (known as the “best 11-hole course in the United States”). If you’ve got young kids in tow, you should head back to Gilroy Gardens to enjoy the fun rides and gorgeous gardens by day. On your way out of town, be sure to stock up on fresh produce and other snacks at LJB Farms, Garlic World, or Casa de Fruta.