We recently took a trip to the gorgeous Gilroy Gardens Family Theme park. This unique park is home to beautiful scenery, gardens, landscaping, the world famous circus trees, and of course some awesome rides. Below we’ll outline what Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park has to offer.
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Primarily, Gilroy Gardens has a variety of, well, gardens. This may sound obvious but the heart and soul of the park is these beautiful gardens in each and every corner.
One of the most impressive and beautiful gardens in our opinion is Claudia’s Garden located near the park’s main gate. The entrance is adorned by one of the world famous circus trees, and the garden itself is gorgeously landscaped with extensive greenery and quaint bodies of water. Claudia’s Garden is not to be missed.
The Monarch Garden is another very cool attraction. Despite it’s name, it is not primarily a butterfly aviary. There is a small butterfly exhibit in the corner. Rather the Monarch Garden is a humongous greenhouse featuring all sorts of interesting and unique plant life. Not quite what we were expecting, but definitely a cool expansive area to spend some time in. As a bonus, both the train and monorail run through this building.
The Holly Garden is a large pathway that runs along the back end of the lake, and features multiple water falls and large open landscaped areas. This garden is certainly one of the largest feeling in scale. A walk along the Holly Garden is quite breath taking, and definitely worth your time.
The other two major Gardens are attraction based and will be discussed below, and the Camellia Garden was obstructed by the Illuminations event taking place. Regardless, a walk through each and every one of these gardens is what makes Gilroy gardens such a special and unique place. The extensive and beautiful plant life and incredible natural features are on full display in each in every one, and a walk through a garden is something everyone can enjoy.
Gilroy Gardens is home to a plethora of neat and unique family attractions that you won’t find at your standard park. One of our favorites was without a doubt the Sky Trail Monorail. This monorail takes you high above the park with views of Quicksilver Express, a Circus Tree, and a pretty lengthy section inside the Monarch Garden. Overall this is a fun little attraction for all ages, and is unlike most attractions you’ll run into.
The park also features the South County Backroads attraction, which is an authentic car-ride which features two tracks. This fan-favorite ride includes very nice landscaping, theming, and a personal-favorite: tunnels.
When Talking about unique attractions at Gilroy Gardens, one can hardly ignore the star of the show on Lake Coyote, the ever popular Paddles Boats! Having such an unregulated fun experience at your finger tips for no up-charge is such a wonderful feeling, and so unique to Gilroy Gardens, we just can’t help but love the idea. (Image courtesy of Gilroy Gardens)
Gilroy Gardens is a family them park, and fun for the family is a plenty at this park. Of course around the park you have a large selection of kiddie rides for those who aren’t quite there with the “family attraction”. A vast majority of these attractions ca be found down by Timber Twister.
Garlic Twirl is a your classic spinning cups ride, but with a twist! That twist being that is its themed to Garlic and one of the funniest looking ride you will ever see. All jokes aside, this can be a great family attraction if you don’t spin your ride vehicle, but if you do spin it it can really get going.
Water Oasis is a small family water park area located towards the backside of the park. Although it’s nothing too spectacular, Water Oasis is a good way to cool off on a warm day, especially for the kids.
The last family attraction we’ll discuss is the The Bonfante Railroad Train Ride. This ride circles the entire park and provides some excellent views of Bonfante Falls. It’s a Gilroy Gardens icon and very much worth a go around.
The family-oriented theme park is also home to two roller coasters. Both family-friendly, of course. The first coaster being Timber Twister, a snake-themed smaller Zierer Tivoli coaster that runs through a section of the park’s forest landscape.
The layout is rather simple, and is pretty much a big Figure-8. Nonetheless, the trees and landscaping surrounding the ride make it a lot more adventurous. The ride vehicles allow for children to ride with adults comfortably, or for adults to ride by themselves, so of course made sure to get a few spins on this coaster.
The coaster navigates its tracks twice each ride, increasing the ride-time of the attraction. There’s also an on-ride camera that takes pictures of your ride-experience. Overall, it’s a wonderful little family coaster that suits the park’s line-up. It’s definitely not the highlight coaster, which we’ll discuss below, but the landscaping and kid-friendly layout make for a fun ride nonetheless.
This roller coaster features two lift-hills and some funny pops of airtime. The first section of the ride is primarily a few quick turns leading into the bigger second lift-hill. The second half of the ride has a very nice combination of drops, lateral movements, theming, and surprise sections that offer quick pops of airtime. There’s a lot to this coaster, as it is undoubtedly one of the better mine-train coasters out there! So stay tuned for our full Quicksilver Express Ride Review that we’ll soon launch (later today)!
Thanks for checking out Gilroy Gardens with us. A very fun family-oriented theme park with amazing landscaping. The crowds are generally very manageable, so step by and take a couple of spins on the Garlic Twirl and experience one of the world’s most unique mine-train coasters: Quicksilver Express!
If you look for more recent Bay Area coverage, we’ve got more coming up! Here’s what we published already from the same weekend: a HUGE Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update, and a VORTEX: The Last Stand article!