I love my hood. My husband and I have lived in a few cities in the East Valley throughout the years including Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert. When we moved to the Downtown Gilbert area two years ago we had officially fallen in love with the Northeast Gilbert area.
Read on for why this part of the East Valley is our favorite place to be raising our twin boys.
The best part about living in our area (I’ll say we’re NE Gilbert) is that we are able to walk to Downtown Gilbert in less than 30 minutes to so much great dining (more on the food in a minute!). But there’s another pocket of Gilbert that is incredibly walkable and has literarlly everything you need: Agritopia. Get your golf carts ready, espically once Epicenter opens, because this area just keeps getting better at drawing residents out of the suburban cliché of car –> garage door up –> exit car –> close garage (and never see your neighbors).
Over the last few years, the town has also invested a lot of infrastructure in walking and biking paths that are protected from roads and streets. The Western Powerline Trail just got a new pedestrian bridge that completely removes bikers and walkers from having to pause to wait for traffic. Right now there are more than 54 miles of marked bike trails where you can ride along the canals.
Ten years ago, if you wanted a nice date night at a local gem, you’d have to have driven all the way to Scottsdale; there was a major void in the East Valley. Not anymore! Downtown Gilbert has transformed into a hub for local restauranters to offer exciting dining to East Valley families without the commute.
For those of us who remember the void before downtown Gilbert exploded, it’s still one of our favorite assets of the town. A few of my personal favorites along the downtown strip are Joe’s Real BBQ (ridiculously family-friendly with the amazing outdoor, grassy eating area); Sotolmck for cocktails with girlfriends; sweet treats from Topo (look for the giant beaver on top of the roof!). In early 2022l, Gypsy Cup is opening for the loveliest coffee in the city (just ask site manager Cara).
As construction continues at Epicenter, the visionary behind the mixed-use concept is curating more local dining options for East Valley residents. Buck and Rider just announced they’ll be opening a restaurant location here.
The voters in Gilbert prioritize funding infrastructure that is family-centric, which makes all the difference if you’re in the thick of parenthood and utilizing parks, splash pads and other town-funded assets. Gilbert Regional Park is a taj mahal of outdoor recreation, but the town boasts more than 600 acres of open space, 37 park ramadas and 2 riparian areas for outdoor recreation enjoyment.
Still boasts a rural, small town feel
Guys, it’s still technically a ‘town’ not a city and celebrates its rural heritage at events throughout the year such as the Gilbert Days Rodeo.
The historic Gilbert water tower in downtown Gilbert still stands proud and is a hallmark photo opp for families. How many times have you driven past the old Morrison grain silos, too? Those are another reminder of the hard-working agricultural past that the town celebrates.