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Located southeast of Phoenix, between Mesa and Queen Creek, is the formerly agricultural town of Gilbert. Once known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World,” Gilbert is now the most populous incorporated town in the entire United States. Despite the increase in residential property over farmland, Gilbert still draws heavily on its agricultural roots in forming its identity as a community, and is a popular destination for families and foodies alike.
Gilbert’s bustling downtown district features a charming mix of small-town, Main Street–style architecture (with a Western flavor, of course) and a dash of cosmopolitan flair. On Saturday mornings, a growing farmers’ market joins the lineup of places to shop. If sticking close to home is more your speed, you’ll want to check out Agritopia, a truly unique community built on a former family farm that focuses on building community right where it matters most: at home. Narrow streets lined with shade trees lead to homes with welcoming porches and low fences. Homeowners enjoy large common areas, community garden plots, and restaurants and other small businesses right in the neighborhood.
GreatSchools.org has named Gilbert a “top place to live and learn”—and law enforcement agrees! According to the FBI, Gilbert is one of the top 25 safest hometowns in the country, as compared to other cities its size, and it has the highest median household income in the Phoenix Metro area, as calculated among municipalities with a population over fifty thousand. Schools in Gilbert are operated by Gilbert Public Schools, the Chandler Unified School District, Mesa Public Schools, and the Higley Unified School District, but charter and private school options are also plentiful.
Nature lovers can soak up the desert’s beautiful flora and fauna at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, while savvy shoppers can hunt for bargains at SanTan Village. Gilbert has a pastime for just about everyone, and would make a great place to invest in property and grow your family. You’ll love having the convenience of a city combined with the warmth of a small town.