Los Gatos is a charming town snuggled into the base of the coastal range between San Jose/Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz, which is on the other side of ˜the hill as locals call it. Its an upscale community with great schools, shopping, restaurants, and community involvement. Diversity abounds in things to do, from sailing, rollerblading and picnicking at Vasona Lake County Park to wine tasting at the Testarossa Vineyards to strolling down the main streets in search of dining or shopping. Every season offers something in this smallish community of 30,000 or so.
The hills help to define Los Gatos. Facing the coastal range and the pass that leads to Santa Cruz, you see El Sombroso rising on the left and El Sereno on the right. Other well known peaks are Loma Prieta (the epicenter of the 1989 earthquake) and Mt.Umunhum, which rises over Almaden Valley (Ununhum was the Ohlone word for Hummingbird). Closer in, Blossom Hill is a small hill in front of El Sombroso over which you drive on Blossom Hill Road. Behind it is the Kennedy-Shannon Road area, which is delightfully remote feeling while really being close in. Near downtown, St. Josephs Hill overlooks Main Street and is the home to the old Jesuit Novitiate, Sacred Heart, as well as Testarossa Vineyards tasting room (formerly the Novitiate Winery).
A sub-tropical climate makes it easy to enjoy events year-round. While palm trees are not native to northern California, they do thrive here! Our annual rainfall is only about 20 a year. If we get cold temperatures, its because the wind happens to be blowing south from Alaska. On those rare cold snaps, it might even snow – to everyone’s delight since it only happens about once in every decade, and at most will stick to the ground for an hour or two! Los Gatos does have its micro-climates. The pass through which highway 17 runs to Santa Cruz is a low spot that allows the cooler coastal weather to come through can make downtown a little colder, windier and wetter than parts of town to the south of Blossom Hill or toward the Saratoga limit. In summer this can make downtown more comfortable and in winter it can make the outlying areas more so.
The town got its name because the two gentlemen who originally got their land grant here from Mexico heard big cats fighting – so knew that water must be near. So they dubbed it ˜La Rinconada De Los Gatos, ˜The Corner of the Cats.
You will find two large cat statues gracing the entrance to Poets Canyon, just outside of town. The image of those cats can be found on all kinds of Los Gatos items, including the town seal.
My family and I live here, in Los Gatos. Our neighborhood is Belwood of Los Gatos, located about 3.5 miles from downtown Los Gatos on the eastern side, close to Cambrian Park on one side and Almaden Valley on the other. I invite you to learn more about Los Gatos and all its neighborhoods by visiting my blog, Live In Los Gatos. There you’ll find current events, snippets of history, information on specific neighborhoods, photo tours of the town, and much more!
Things To Do In Los Gatos
There’s tons to do here! Please see the blog:
Great Places to Dine – Mary’s Favorites
Hands down, its The Los Gatos Cafe at 340 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, tel 408 354-4647. No reservations. If you go on a weekend morning, prepare to wait unless you go early. But its worth it. Fabulous food.
The Toll House Hotel, Lounge & Restaurant 140 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos (408) 395-7070
Los Gatos Cafe, 340 N. Santa Cruz Avenue Tel (408) 354-4647
Great Bear Coffee & Los Osos Cafe, 19 N. Santa Cruz Avenue Tel (408) 395-8607
Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, 101 W. Main Street Tel (408) 354-3263
Links to town government, schools, chamber of commerce, and general interest
|Schools Info – Great Schools site with links to info on each elementary school in the town (all districts).
Great Schools: Los Gatos Schools
|Link to Los Gatos High School
Los Gatos High
|Los Gatos has the smallest home on the smallest lot in all of Silicon Valley.
|Los Gatos town government
Town of Los Gatos
|Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad
Great little train at Vasona/Oak Meadow Parks!
|Los Gatos Weekly Times Newspaper
Los Gatos Weekly Times
|Los Gatos Daily News – a daily paper
Los Gatos Daily News
|Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce
LG Chamber of Commerce
|Community Ed & Recreation – great classes and opportunities for all ages!
Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Education and Recreation Web Site