We recently got to get back to our favorite amusement park in the Central and Northern California regions. Bonfante Gardens, now known as Gilroy Gardens had been a favorite of my entire family since we discovered it in 2003. we had been season pass members for 2004 and 2005. we went continuously until we moved out of state in late 2005.
One of the main reasons that we love it so much is because it's still a little known place and the crowds aren't that bad. It's a shame for the survivial of the park, a plus for us. One of the main features for us is that the park is so lovely with all the gardens and so many shade trees. Our pictures of the park amaze people by how green and lush everything is.
The rides range from little kiddy rides to moderately scarey rides that appeal to about the 7-11 age range. There's two roller coasters for that age range, but the ride that my 7 year old liked was the "Banana Split". You can see part of it in the first picture of all the trees. He loved that ride so much he rode it 13 times in two days. It not only thrilled the young crowd, but it scared this roller coaster veteran, too. The rides may seem a bit sedate for thrill seekers. If you want thrill rides, go bake yourself in the sun at Marine World or Great America and brave those crowds as well.
If you want a park that has friendly employees, a small town feel and the way that Disney used to be at its park before the $$ money aspect ruined the show, then you want to visit Gilroy Gardens. Other people who've been here have said the same thing to me.
Anyone who's in the San Francisco bay area or in Central California should take 1-2 days and enjoy themselves down at Bonfante now Gilroy Gardens. We most certainly did.
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