Introduction to Gilroy, California
Gilroy, California, in Santa Clara county, is 23 miles N of Salinas, California (center to center) and 29 miles SE of San Jose, California. The city is a major producer of garlic and is known as the "Garlic Capital of the World." It hosts the well known Gilroy Garlic Festival. Mushrooms and strawberries are also major crops. The area includes prominent cattle ranches.
Gilroy has a mild, Mediterranean climate. It has a very large Hispanic population. The municipality has been given numerous awards for the designs of its parks by the California Parks and Recreation Society.
During the 1770's pioneers led by Father Junipero Serra arrived in the region. In 1797 Mission San Juan Bautista was established. A seaman named John Gilroy who was a Scotsman and formerly known as John Cameron stayed in the area after his ship departed. He converted to Roman Catholicism and is recognized as the first non-Spanish settler in the region officially recognized by Spain. For years, Europeans and Americans established settlements while the region was controlled by Spain.
An increase in settlers occurred after California became part of the United States in 1848 and the major gold discovery happened in the Sierra Nevada region. In 1870 it was incorporated as the town of Gilroy. Agriculture was the primary factor for the economy. During the 1970's Gilroy was being developed as a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.
- Gilroy Garlic Festival is regarded as one of the largest food festivals in the nation and one of the best garlic festivals in the world.
- The Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs also includes a Buddhist shrine and a notable Japanese garden teahouse. It's listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Gilroy Premium Outlets is a popular shopping location.
- Blacksmith George Eustice's House.
Gilroy Gardens is a horticultural family theme park and features the notable Circuc Trees and numerous rides and attractions. Visitors enjoy the nearby Mount Madonna County Park. Uvas Canyon Park and Coe State Park are popular for a variety of outdoor activities. The region includes numerous noteworthy wineries.
Gilroy Higher Education
The city is home to Gavilan College.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority offers bus services and express buses to nearby San Jose and Sunnyvale. Air travel services are offered at the San Jose International Airport.