Parks

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival this weekend!On Saturday, September 16th, the 37th Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival begins! On Saturday from 10AM – 6PM and on Sunday from 10AM – 5PM, make the most of the end of summer with arts, festival food, wine and beer, live entertainment on three stages, open house at City Hall, a passport stamp game, and two childrens’ venues: Kids Kingdom and Toddler Town!

For more information on the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival, please visit the event page on Santa Clara City government’s website. Use links below to quickly navigate to different areas within the event page.

Don’t forget to plan for sun and expect higher than average traffic. Bring extra sunscreen, water, and clothing to keep the sun off you in the late summer heat! It should be tons of fun! See you there!

Panning on strolling the booths? Shopping opportunities abound! Check out the list of artists and the map of booths on the festival’s Artist page.

Going for the performers? See the lineup of musical talent at the festival page. Enjoy live music and more at the annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival!

Going for a glass of the good stuff? Find the list of vintners and breweries with available beverages, open hours, and where to find water (stay hydrated!) through this link.

Interested in a pancake breakfast by the boyscouts? Or want some fried up food to pair with your beverage? Check out the food page here.

Need directions? Use the Google map to find directions from your house to Santa Clara Central Park.

 

Related reading: 

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos (art & wine festival)

Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.

KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.

The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
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Oaktree Park Neighborhood in Almaden Valley area of San JoseThe Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose is a scenic residential community with wide appeal to home buyers due to good Almaden schools, close proximity to large parks and is one of only a few areas in Almaden Valley which includes a cabaña and swim team. Additionally, this area is very convenient as it’s close to schools, shops and commute routes to downtown San Jose and much of Silicon Valley. It is a fairly intimate neighborhood with 156 homes.

Where is the Oaktree Park neighborhood?

The Oaktree Park subdivision is within the boundaries of Meridian Avenue, Redmond Avenue and Mcabbe Road on three sides and the Jeffrey Fontana Park on the north side.

The census bureau (and perhaps also the city of San Jose) has attributed names to some parts of Almaden and this neighborhood falls into the Crossgates section. I do not believe that most residents refer to this area that way, though. Perhaps more likely they’d call it part of the greater Fontana Park neighborhood. Just the other side of Meridian is the vastly larger Almaden Meadows neighborhood.

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ)

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ) – click on image above to go to live Google Map

What schools serve the Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose?

The public schools for Oaktree Park are within the San Jose Unified School District:

Los Alamitos Elementary School (API 935 in 2013)
Castillero Middle School (API 846 in 2013)
Pioneer High School (API 822 in 2013)

Los Alamitos Elementary and Holy Spirit Elementary (Catholic) are both just a couple of blocks from Oaktree Park. Additonally there are 2 preschools really close too: Precious Preschool and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool.

For more information and links for schools, school districts, API scores and maps of boundaries lines for schools in the Almaden area of San Jose, please also read:

Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

What are homes like in Oaktree Park?

Homes in Oaktree Park are single family dwellings – all detached houses (no townhouses or condominiums). These are primarily ranch style or two story ranch style houses, built in the early 1970s  on lots of about 8000 to 9000 square feet, though a few are more than that. Interior size runs between about 1600 square feet to about 3000 square feet (if added on). Prices may be in the mid 600s for a smaller home, needing work and a less desirable location (such as on a busy road or immediately adjacent to the high voltage power lines that run through the park) to perhaps a little over a million dollars for a beautifully updated or rebuilt larger home in an ideal location within the neighborhood. In the current market (June 2017), smaller homes are going between the mid $900s to the mid $1.1 million mark and larger homes are selling between $1.2-$1.3 million.

More information on the Oaktree Park neighborhood below!

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Cambrian Park Plaza signCambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the more affordable, high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad. For people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities! Most Silicon Valley home buyers would say that Cambrian Park real estate offers a very good value.

What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen.

But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has tons of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool.  (My family and I lived in Cambrian in the “Cambrian Gardens” neighborhood for 10 years and loved it – our kids made great use of the community center too.)

Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout the three zip codes of 95124, 95118 and a little tiny bit of 95008.

If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village.  People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.:

Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:


View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map

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Houge Park on Cambrian area of San JoseHouge Park is a fantasticly appointed, well maintained twelve and a half acre park in the Cambrian area of San Jose (at Twilight Drive & White Oaks Avenue, SJ 95124).   There’s something for everyone, whether it’s benches to sit and enjoy the area, tables for playing chess and checkers, or opportunities to play tennis or chess. With a large, grassy spaces and a walking & jogging trail, folks who want to just get out and walk will have plenty of room for that.    When my (now grown) kids were small, my husband would sometimes take them there to meet up with a local astronomy club to view the stars. I’d take them to the playground to let off steam during the day.  It was really helpful that there is so much space – and restrooms!

 

Some of the most appreciated aspects of Houge Park are these:

  • Restrooms
  • 3 Playground areas in all, including one for ages 2-5 & another ages 5-12
  • Picnic sites (no reservation)
  • BBQ
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Exercise course
  • Basketball court
  • ½ basketball court
  • Two tennis courts (unlighted)
  • Parking lot & plenty of street parking

If you’ve never been to Houge Park, it’s a worthwhile destination and a pleasant surprise in the midst of a residential neighborhood.  Cambrian is a popular area in which to live, and even nicer if you’re in close proximity to a beautiful park such as this  one.

With the Houge Park sign, shown above, you can see that there are play structures in the distance – with lots of lawn in between.

Houge Park swings and more

 

Below, please note the nicely paved path and par course.

Houge Park in San Jose

See Cambrian Park market activity by browsing through the map below:

 

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 810 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,078 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,286 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,181 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,896 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,667 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,912 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,166 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,374 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,258 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,401 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,496 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,599 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,212 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,981 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,989 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,639 sqft

See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Dogs can be found throughout Silicon Valley and Santa Clara County, particularly in my own town of Los Gatos (ironically, “The Cats”).  Our mild climate probably makes dog ownership easier than many other places around the U.S.

Doggie Playtime!

Bella and Mary - Belgatos ParkMost parks and trails around the county are open to dogs on leash.

There are plenty of popular neighborhoods where you can walk your canine companion if you want a more relaxed social experience.

School yards are not dog facilities, and while many San Jose area neighborhood dog owners find the empty after-school yard to be the perfect place to run their favorite pooch, it can cause a variety of problems. Kids may play in the yard and step in dog poo, or they might hurt themselves tripping on a hole dug by a dog. Dog claws can also tear up lawns that are maintained for school sports. And even for the best behaved dogs and owners: schools cannot be liable for having a dog on the loose in their grounds.

Dogs are generally not allowed in county waterways, as much of the water is either connected to the valley water supply or are protected areas home to native birds, plants, and even endangered wildlife. Contact the County for availability to non-sensitive sites by special permit. (And with creeks, beware: come of them have bacteria or other organisms which if ingested by your pet can get him or her very sick – we know, we have a lab who cannot resist running water and we have all paid the price.  No more creeks for her!)

Special use permits may also be available for organizations with special events such as dog shows, search and rescue exercises, and water retrieval training. Fees and availability vary, and insurance is required. For more information, contact the Special Use Coordinator at (408) 355-2220.

Instead, be content running a dog on-leash, in your yard, or at an off-leash facility!

Where are the off-leash facilities?

Listed below are several parks within the county with off-leash facilities for you and your pooch. Beneath that is a general list of rules for those who wish to use these facilities. Be sure to check with the individual park online for specifics before you visit. Continue reading

Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CaliforniaThe beautiful estate of Villa Montalvo in Saratoga is home to one of the oldest artist residencies in the United States, and this year the program is celebrating two big anniversaries. With 75 years of residency and the ten year jubilee of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Program, this calls for a celebration. This past February began the year-long celebration that Montalvo has simply titled 75/10.

With program alumni from across the globe, festivities are being held internationally and locally.

Local celebrations, such as A Toast to the Residency in March, opened the resident building for tours and special exhibit. Annual events are also getting special treatment this year. The Artsplash Celebration in April also hosted a special open studio with the artists-in-residence in addition to its regular schedule of events. More recently, Rock the Garden joined the festivities  this past Friday, July 24th, by going big with more multidisciplinary alumni performances, food and drink, than before.

An ongoing feature of the 75/10 celebration is the rejuvenation of a monthly events series, now titled Open Access: Inside the Lucas Artist Program. The work of artists-in-residence will be showcased with presentations and activities that will exhibit the multidisciplinary approach of the program. This event series is designed to give audiences the unique opportunity to engage in the creative process with current Fellows.

It is a great time for locals to come and enjoy all of the features of Villa Montalvo.

There is always a great array of artistic styles to be enjoyed at the Villa, and most are open to the public. As a part of their ongoing program of arts there will be, and have been, a number of new temporary and semi-permanent exhibits and installations opening throughout the year for public reception. Theatrical performances include many opportunities for families with small children to engage in the creative environment – from puppet theatre to unique fairytales and summer theatre camp. The outdoor amphitheater is known for hosting the concerts of many famous artists, and is popular with music lovers throughout the bay. If you want some natural beauty, the grounds have gardens and hiking trails with wooded paths and spectacular views of the valley up into the Los Gatos foothills, and are open daily.

 

Read more about the celebrations on the Montalvo website:

http://montalvoarts.org/residencyanniversary/

or check out the anniversary blog with the latest information on all anniversary celebrations:

http://blog.montalvoarts.org/7510-anniversary.html

  1. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 7,546 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.10 ac
  2. 8 beds, 11 baths
    Home size: 10,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 8.30 ac
  3. 7 beds, 8 baths
    Home size: 7,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.34 ac
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,831 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.01 ac
  5. 6 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 10,088 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.19 ac
  6. 8 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 8,244 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.04 ac
  7. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 8,151 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.41 ac
  8. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,002 sq ft
    Lot size: 35,022 sqft
  9. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,169 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.48 ac
  10. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,524 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  11. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,255 sq ft
    Lot size: 5.07 ac
  12. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,143 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.18 ac
  13. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,060 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.60 ac
  14. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,427 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  15. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,179 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.00 ac
  16. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,700 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.02 ac
  17. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,679 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.48 ac
  18. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 4,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.36 ac
  19. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,332 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,342 sqft
  20. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,534 sq ft
    Lot size: 38,912 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Back in December, when we actually enjoyed a bit of rain, my family and I trekked over to Hakoke Gardens in Saratoga to introduce a visiting relative to the beauty of this park-like setting.    I’ve been meaning to share the images ever since but am motivated especially now because of upcoming events there

Hakone Matsuri Japanese Festival
Sunday May 17th. 11am – 4pm
There are more events to consider, which I will post below the slideshow.  Hakone is lovely year round, but even more stunning now in spring – so if you have never seen it, please go take in the sights!

Hakone Gardens slideshow – images from December 2014

  • Hakone Fall Pathway
    Lovely pathways lead visitors through the garden
  • Hakone Bamboo
    Bamboo types on display at Hakone garden
  • Hakone Garden
    Views across Hakone
  • Hakone Keep Out
    Some areas have sensitive habitat
  • Hakone Fish
    Inviting Koi poind
  • Hakone low water useage
    Interesting and unusual plants stir the imagination
  • Hakone plants
    Views beyond Hakone and into the rest of Saratoga
  • Hakone
    Lovely tea house with enchanting garden views
Continue reading

Saratoga HighlandsRio Rinconada in west Los GatosThere’s a lovely neighborhood in west Los Gatos which is set between the La Rinconada Golf Course and the Rinconada Hills gated community (near the corner of Pollard and Quito Roads). There are 3 distinct subdivisons: Rio Rinconada (where all the roads are named “Calle” something), Saratoga Highlands (More Avenue, Roxbury Ln, Prince St., Mattson Ave., and part of Wedgewood Av), and a third area which seems to have no specific name but which is said to have been built by Thrust 4 and includes bigger, younger, more expensive homes on larger lots – many with 3 car garages and views.

The La Rinconada Park is one of the major draws to the neighborhood. Another is the very close proximity of a shopping center which includes a good sized Safeway, and an elementary and middle school close by too.

This week I wrote about these west Los Gatos subdivisions and the neighborhood generally on my Live in Los Gatos blog, and I also included a video “drive through” for those who’d like a really good feel for the area. Want more info? Please continue reading here:

http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/saratoga-highlands-rio-rinconada-and-granada-way-la-rinconada-park-neighborhood/

  1. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 8,085 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.79 ac
  2. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,308 sq ft
    Lot size: 40,001 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,372 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,969 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,414 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,220 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,639 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,099 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 6,644 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.13 ac
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,116 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,767 sqft
  8. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,960 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,804 sqft
  9. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,104 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,911 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,088 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,668 sqft

See all Real estate in the 95032 zip code.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Alviso enjoyed an important position in local Silicon Valley history.  It was once a bustling port from which important products were shipped – things like mercury (quicksilver) from New Almaden, tallow, hides and grain. It was incorporated in 1852 but in 1968 became a part of San Jose.  As a bayfront community, Alviso’s residents have suffered some severe flooding in the past.  Today, though, the water front and marina are a shadow of their former selves, due to the fact that the slough is no longer dredged and vegetation has overtaken much of the marina.  Today I’ll share some photos of the Alviso Marina area which I took a few months back and hope it will encourage this site’s readers to make a trip out there and enjoy the local sites in person.

Alviso Marina - where San Jose meets the San Francisco Bay

In the photo above, you can see that boats are now surrounded by rushes and reeds rather than open water.  The next one, below, provides a view of the San Francisco Bay in the distance.

Alviso Marina and San Francisco Bay

The public shore sign seemed out of place today.

Alviso's Public Shore sign - but no visible shore today

Closer to the slough, a clear channel does remain but it’s not very deep. Continue reading

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


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