Things to Do in Los Gatos

KDG Realty April 6, 2024

With the Santa Cruz Mountains as a backdrop, the charming town of Los Gatos, California, offers a unique blend of small-town tranquility and Silicon Valley sophistication. With its scenic beauty, vibrant downtown, and endless adventures, Los Gatos is a treasure trove of activities.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking leisure and relaxation, this picturesque town has something for everyone. This guide will dive into the many things to do in Los Gatos, showcasing why this town is a beloved destination in the Bay Area.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Los Gatos is a gateway to some of Northern California's most beautiful landscapes, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to its proximity to the Santa Cruz Mountains, there are numerous parks and trails in the area for your next adventure.

  • Vasona Lake County Park: This expansive 152-acre park is a favorite among locals for picnicking, fishing, and boating. The picturesque Vasona Lake offers pedal boat rentals, providing a fun and leisurely way to enjoy an afternoon on the water. The park also features the Los Gatos Creek Trail, perfect for jogging, biking, and walking while enjoying scenic views along the water's edge.
  • Castle Rock State Park: For the more adventurous at heart, Castle Rock State Park is a short drive away, offering stunning vistas, hiking trails, and rock climbing opportunities. The park’s unique geological formations and lush forested areas make it a prime spot for nature photography and exploration.
  • Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve: Adjacent to Los Gatos in nearby San Jose, the vast Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve beckons with its sprawling wildlands that stretch across the southern ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This expansive preserve of 19,000 acres offers a network of trails catering to all outdoor enthusiasts, from leisurely walkers to avid hikers, equestrian riders, and mountain bikers. The highlight of Sierra Azul is undoubtedly the trek to Mount Umunhum, one of the highest peaks in the range, which offers panoramic views of Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean on clear days. The preserve’s diverse habitats, including chaparral, oak woodlands, and riparian zones, provide a serene escape and an opportunity to connect with the natural world.

Artistic and Historical Exploration

Los Gatos takes pride in its storied past and creative endeavors, with several landmarks and museums capturing the essence of the town.

  • The New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU): NUMU offers important insight into the art and history of the region through its various exhibits and collections. The museum hosts a variety of workshops, lectures, and community events, making art and history accessible to all ages.
  • Los Gatos Historic Walking Tour: Embark on a self-guided walking tour to discover the town’s historic homes and landmarks. The tour highlights Los Gatos’ architectural wonders and the stories behind some of its most iconic buildings, offering a glimpse into the town's development over the years.

Shop and Stroll in Downtown Los Gatos

The historic downtown Los Gatos is the heart of the town, offering a charming blend of boutique shops, gourmet eateries, and cozy cafés.

  • Unique Boutiques: Stroll along Santa Cruz Avenue and discover a variety of boutique stores offering everything from high-end fashion to artisanal goods. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts or treat yourself to something special.
  • Farmers' Market: Every Sunday, the Los Gatos Certified Farmers' Market brings fresh, local produce to the town at the Town Park Plaza. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the vibrant community atmosphere.

Explore the Wineries

No visit to Los Gatos would be complete without delving into the rich tapestry of local wineries that dot the landscape. Nestled within and around this picturesque town are vineyards and wineries that produce some of the finest wines in the region and offer a glimpse into the art and science of winemaking. These wineries, set against the stunning backdrop of rolling hills and lush greenery, provide the perfect setting for an afternoon of relaxation.

  • Testarossa Winery: Located in the historic Novitiate Winery building, Testarossa offers a unique blend of rich history and modern winemaking. The winery hosts wine tastings and tours, showcasing some of the finest local wines since 1993. The winery’s serene setting and beautiful architecture make it a perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon.
  • Byington Vineyard & Winery: Another gem in the Los Gatos area, Byington offers a wide range of wines, with a focus on Pinot Noir and Bordeaux-style varietals. Their tasting room, located atop a hill, provides panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay. Visitors can tour the vineyards or simply enjoy a picnic with a bottle of Byington’s finest.
  • Regale Winery and Vineyards: Offering a stunning outdoor setting that feels like stepping into a Tuscan villa, Regale Winery and Vineyards specializes in limited-release wines. With beautifully landscaped gardens and outdoor tasting areas, visitors can enjoy a sip of luxury while taking in the fantastic views.

Arts and Entertainment

Los Gatos thrives with arts and entertainment options, hosting numerous events, festivals, and live performances throughout the year.

  • Los Gatos Music in the Park: This summer concert series brings the community together for free live music performances in the Civic Center Lawn. It’s a wonderful way to spend a summer evening enjoying musical genres under the stars.
  • Jazz on the Plazz: Jazz enthusiasts will love Jazz on the Plazz, an annual summer series of outdoor concerts featuring acclaimed jazz musicians. Hosted by the Los Gatos Music & Arts, it’s an ideal event for experiencing the vibrant local music scene.
Los Gatos is a town that truly has something for everyone, from its natural wonders and outdoor adventures to its downtown atmosphere and wineries. This picturesque town invites you to discover its many treasures, making every visit a new adventure. If you’re looking for the perfect home in Los Gatos, connect today with trusted real estate advisor Kelly Dippel.

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