#ShareSLO Photo of the Week: Barrels of Fun!

The 4-day Roll Out the Barrels event kicked off at the San Luis Obispo mission last Thursday with wine, food and the music of long-time local favorite the Damon Castillo Band.

Thanks to @Calicoastwine for sharing this photo from the event. If you attend a fun event like this, please remember to post photos with the ShareSLO hashtag.



Tee Time! U.S. Women’s Open Coming to CordeValle

CordeValle, nestled in the rolling foothills just north of Gilroy, is set to host the 71st U.S. Women’s Open Championship. The property will host tens of thousands of golf devotees during the championship, which will be conducted July 4-10, 2016.

This will be the third time the U.S. Women’s Open has been conducted in California and the first ever in the Bay Area. CordeValle has hosted other top-tier championships, including the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open from 2010-2013, as well as the 2011 and 2015 PGA Cups, and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in 2013.

“The USGA is looking forward to our return to CordeValle for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open,” said Diana Murphy, USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. “This course, which beautifully incorporates the iconic Northern California landscape, will surely provide a true test of the competitors’ skill and mental fortitude, as well as a truly extraordinary experience for spectators.”

If you’re coming to the U.S. Women’s Open, be sure to stay at one of Gilroy’s budget-friendly hotels so you can discover everything else the area has to offer—including award-winning wineries along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail, over 145 brand-name stores at Gilroy Premium Outlets, family fun at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, and outstanding restaurants in Gilroy’s historic downtown district. To plan your Gilroy golf getaway, go to VisitGilroy.com.

U.S. Women’s Open tickets range in price from $75 for a 2-Entry Flex Package, which includes two individual admissions to use on two separate days or on a single day, to a $125 7-Entry Flex Package, which includes seven individual admissions in any combination on any day or all on a single day. For those looking for an exclusive weeklong experience, the $225 CordeValle Reserve Package will provide an upgraded, elevated experience, including access to the lofty vistas at the on-site winery with an artisanal menu and choice beverages. Corporate discounts are available. Volunteer opportunities are also available for members of the local community.

Get U.S. Women’s Open tickets and find out more about volunteer opportunities at www.2016uswomensopen.com.

>> Explore more: Gilroy has several excellent golf courses for golfers at all levels—reserve your tee time today!

Spice up Your Mother’s Day with a Great Gilroy Getaway

Looking for some fun ideas to make Mother’s Day extra-special? Gilroy’s got something for every mom!

Families with young kids have been counting down the days to Sunday, May 8. It’s Mother’s Day, of course—and it’s also Opening Day at Water Oasis at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park! While the kids splash and play, moms (and dads!) can sit back in under the palm trees and relax with tropical drinks. That afternoon, the park also hosts a special Mother’s Day Champagne and Dessert Reception in the Events Plaza (separate tickets are required).

If your mother loves music, take her to the South Valley Symphony concert on May 8 at Mission San Juan Bautista. It’s a truly beautiful venue, and the program includes amazing music by Canadian, Argentinian, Mexican, and American composers.  Tickets for this popular event do sell out, so order yours today!

Mom might also love to go wine tasting along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail, where she can enjoy delicious wines, gorgeous springtime views, and a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to download the Wine Trail Map to help you plan your tasting tour.

If Mom’s a shop-a-holic, then there’s no better place to go than Gilroy Premium Outlets. She’ll have over 145 leading designers to choose from, and several stores are offering special Mother’s Day deals on top of the everyday 25-65% savings.

Or head to Historic Downtown Gilroy to stroll through the charming antique shops and boutiques and then enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at The Milias, Old City Hall, or Garlic City Café.

There’s too much to see and do in just one day! Check our list of budget-friendly hotels so you can treat your extra-special mother to a great Gilroy weekend getaway.

Here’s wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Plan your Gilroy getaway on Mother’s Day – or any day! – at VisitGilroy.com.

Step Back in Time at Chitactac-Adams Park in Gilroy

For a fun and free family outing, head out to Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park. This little hidden jewel, tucked away in the oak-studded foothills west of Gilroy, packs a lot of history into just 4.3 acres!

For over 3,000 years, native Ohlone Indians made their homes here alongside the peaceful Uvas Creek, and they left behind fascinating petroglyphs and bedrock mortars. Today, interactive exhibits along a self-guided walking trail include a full-size reproduction of an Ohlone village with a tule house, acorn granary, and lean-to shelter.

You can also learn about the Adams Schoolhouse, which was located on the site from the 1850s until 1956. The park is a lovely place for families to explore while learning more about Native American and California history.

Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park is located at 10001 Watsonville Road in Gilroy, along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail. You can also find more hiking trails and campsites at nearby Mt. Madonna County Park. 

Rock Stars, Royalty, Artists and Chefs Wanted for the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival

We’ve still got several months to go until the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 29, 30 and 31, 2016. But there’s already a lot going on behind the scenes to get ready for this year’s event!

To start with, we’ll need to crown a new Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen. Young ladies ages 18-24 who live in Gilroy, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, San Martin, Morgan Hill, or Aromas are eligible to compete for scholarship prizes and the opportunity to represent their community at all three days of the Festival as well as other events. Contestants are judged by a panel of five judges on personal interview, talent, garlic speech, and on-stage question. Applications are due on March 4; the Queen Pageant will be held on May 1, 2016. 

The quest for this year’s winning art poster is on as well. Talented artists across the country are invited to submit original masterpieces that capture the spirit and flavor of the Festival to the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival Art Poster Contest. The winning entry will be reproduced as a high-quality, limited-edition poster to be sold at the Festival – and the winning artist takes home a $500 cash prize. Additional prizes are awarded for second and third place and the “People’s Choice” award (to be selected by Festival visitors in July). Entries are due March 18, 2016.

Vendors and performers who want to be part of the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival must also submit their applications by March 18. Each year, the Festival hosts 100+ Arts and Crafts booths featuring original fine arts and crafts, as well as food, beverage, and merchandise booths selling everything from Cajun crawdads to tie-dye t-shirts. A special Children’s Area features family-friendly entertainment, activities, food, drinks, and merchandise booths.  Festival guests also enjoy live entertainment on three stages in a wide variety of musical styles, including rock, country, blues, swing, and more. 

And long before the pyro chefs in Gourmet Alley start flaming up calamari and scampi for Festival guests, home chefs around the country will be fine-tuning on their own original garlicky recipes to enter in the 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off Recipe Contest. The Cook-Off has become one of the country’s most prestigious amateur cooking competitions and will be held this year on Saturday, July 30. Eight finalists will be selected to prepare their dishes on stage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival for the chance to win a grand prize of $5,000. In the 2015 competition, Jodi Taffel from Phoenix, Arizona won the coveted garlic crown with her winning dish of “Shakshuka with Deep Fried Garlic.” Recipes for this year’s competition must be submitted by May 1.

In addition to all of these contests and other special events, volunteers are already hard at work getting everything in shape for the 38th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival itself, to be held on July 29, 30 and 31, 2016 at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. If you’ve never been – or haven’t visited in a while – make this the year you come and get your garlic on!

Hotels do fill up fast for this world-famous event, so check the “Where to Stay” page at VisitGilroy.com and book your room today. And be sure to stay for a few days, so you can also enjoy Gilroy Gardens and the nighttime Lumination festival, shop at Gilroy Premium Outlets, go wine tasting along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail…and discover lots more fun things to do right here in Gilroy!