Certain surroundings invite you to slow down and appreciate their beauty. Not as a piece of art hanging on a wall, but as a thoughtfully designed space meant to be savored as you spend time in it. Gilbert, Arizona, is one of those intentional experiences travelers can carry with them when they return home, rested and ready to seize the day.
This story was created in partnership with Gilbert, Arizona.
When you need a vacation that you can end without needing another vacation. A place that invites you in to experience it without overwhelming you, with shorter wait times and smaller price points, we say head to Gilbert in the spring.
Start with a Stroll
Located in the heart of Arizona, just southeast of Phoenix, Gilbert enjoys comfortable weather through the winter and spring. Even as the busyness of winter traffic slows down, the summer doesn’t move in too quickly, meaning you can enjoy the cooling of the rush while temps are still just starting to warm up in April and May.
Enjoy the mellow pace and artful environment on a stroll through town. As the artistic and cultural influences infuse your walk, slow down and appreciate the beauty that’s been curated around you.
One special place to “walk and gawk” is the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, an urban setting with a lot to offer–all on flat, accessible routes. The birding in the preserve is renowned internationally—nearly 300 species of birds have been identified here at close proximity—and the experience in this Sonoran oasis doesn’t end with the feathered occupants. Interpretive displays educate walkers about aquifers, fish, reptiles, mammals, vegetation, and more. You can even stop by a dinosaur dig site or stay after dark to stargaze from a campsite or the observatory.
Arts & Heritage
Gilbert continues to develop some of its most intriguing neighborhoods, so you know that when you visit—and then come back— there will always be something new in addition to your favorite memories.
The Heritage District of Gilbert in downtown is vibrant and creative, both in terms of the way heritage is integrated into the art installations and in the flavors. From retro candy to boutiques and antiques, from foodie prestige to artisan creations and glowing benches, you’ll keep finding more reasons to stop and take it all in. And to top it all off, the theaters downtown put on performance arts, including classic Broadway shows, in intimate, carefully constructed settings.
Agritopia is another remarkable, thoughtfully developed space for gathering and enjoying foods together. But in so many ways, it’s different from the Heritage District, making it another necessary stop during your vacation in Gilbert. Agritopia is a village centered around an urban farm and is described as, “A slower pace. A shared life. A connected existence.” Visitors are invited to stroll around the farm’s pathways before dining on hyper-local meals in places like Joe’s Farm Grill. Walk off your meal amongst the shops of local craftspeople and find a souvenir to remind you of the connections and pace you found in Gilbert.
Ramp it Up
Gilbert knows that life is all about balance, so if you need to express your need for speed during your “slow down in Arizona” vacation, make a short trip outside of town. A favorite spot for locals is the Superstition Mountains. This haunting wall of cliffs is mired in lore (lost gold and missing thieves of the Old West, anyone?) and thick with adventure. These mountains should not be underestimated, so start your hike, bike, or horseback ride with all the gear, knowledge, and support appropriate for rugged desert mountain epics. Explore the desert landscape in the cooler spring climate for a more comfortable adventure.
Then, head back into town for an unmatched meal and some more sweet, slow moments in Gilbert.