Summer Fun: Los Gatos Music In The Park


Taken From

LOS GATOS MUSIC IN THE PARK is our annual (free!) Summer Concert Series on the Civic Center lawn in Los Gatos.

Concerts are on Sundays, 5-7 PM, beginning Father’s Day (mid-June) and running through the end of August.

We finish season by coming together to dance away the summer the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, with the Los Gatos Park Dance at Oak Meadow Park!

Music in the Park was started by the community over 20 years ago, and is sponsored entirely by local businesses and individuals. Music in the Park is produced through a partnership between the Town and Los Gatos Music and Arts.

Each Music in the Park series is produced with an eye to providing a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational experience for its audience. Music in the Park is also produced with an eye to its environmental sustainability, as part of the Los Gatos: Growing Greener Together program.

Hope to see you at one of our fun events! 

Fun and Easy Day Trips from Los Gatos


Los Gatos is a cute family friendly town, conveniently located 52 miles from San Francisco, 126 miles from Sacramento and about 225 miles from Lake Tahoe. Because of it’s location, it provides easy access to tons of fun day trips, when you’re looking to get out of town for a few hours, or a whole day!

Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, spend a day at a spa, go biking, kayaking, whale watching or wine tasting, there is plenty to choose from near Los Gatos!

Yosemite National Park

First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. Yosemite National Park is a must-see for nature lovers! There are tons of beautiful places right in the park where you can spend the night and unwind surrounded by trees and the songs of birds.


The picturesque Napa Valley is home to world-famous wineries, hotels and restaurants. Napa Valley is the ultimate wine country, with over 500 wineries dotting the picturesque valley. Just 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, Napa Valley claims to have the perfect climate, soil, and topography to harvest legendary Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Lake Tahoe

A getaway in Lake Tahoe means fresh cool mountain air, great views and a selection of hotels that range from luxury to inexpensive. Head to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center on the south shore of Lake Tahoe for a map of the most scenic trails in the area.


Go on a day trip to Sausalito, just a ferry ride across the bay, where you will find spectacular views, unique boutiques and a selection of activities, such as kayaking, sailing and hiking. It is a town on the water, with good food and friendly people!


Monterey is home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, wineries, and scenic ocean view trails perfect for whale-watching. Whether you are traveling alone, with family, with a loved one, or with a group, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most amazing aquariums in the world that you must check out!

Santa Rosa

Surrounded by lush vineyards and majestic redwoods, Santa Rosa is a lovely small town with a charming historic downtown and plenty of activities for the whole family. Stroll through the quaint Railroad Square Historic District with its beautifully restored architectural gems and sit for a cup of coffee in one of the charming shops.
Wherever you decide to journey to, have fun, and please come back and let me know how it was!

Safe travels 🙂

How To Plan A Trip To Los Gatos, CA

Plan your next trip to Los Gatos, California, where visitors can shop and dine at some of the best and most scenic locations the Bay Area has to offer!

Stroll down the friendly streets of our historic and charming Downtown, enjoy the natural beauty of our many parks or famous Los Gatos Creek Trail, or take advantage of the fun and engaging events that take place year round.

“To see Los Gatos is to love the town,” Sunset Magazine gushed in 1915, and it’s much the same in the 21st century. With the Santa Cruz Mountains as a backdrop and a downtown that revels in its historic architecture, Los Gatos is big enough to give you plenty to do, whether you go for the day with a date, or an entire weekend with your family! We hope you come see what we have to offer!

Why Should You Go? Will You Like Los Gatos?

Los Gatos is popular for shopping, fine dining, and outdoor activities. It has one of the area’s prettiest, best-preserved downtowns, making it popular with locals and visitors alike and it also happens to be an excellent base for wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Where Is Los Gatos?

Los Gatos is located 52 miles from San Francisco, 126 miles from Sacramento and about 225 miles from Lake Tahoe. If you live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula, consider a scenic drive home along Hwy 9 and 35 instead of speeding back up the freeway. If you’re flying in, I would recommend flying into SFO and then renting a car to enjoy the scenic drive.

Best Time to Go to Los Gatos

Los Gatos weather is generally better than in the foggier areas around it. It’s just far enough from the ocean and bay to have clearer skies but stays cooler than flatter portions of the surrounding area.

6 Great Things to Do in Los Gatos

  • Wine Tasting:

    Grab a designated driver for a drive through redwood forests to visit some of the Santa Cruz Mountain wineries. Just above town on the mountainside, Testarossa Vineyards runs California’s fourth-oldest, continuously-operating winery.

  • Pamper Yourself:

    Get a massage, facial or a coddling body treatment at Cure or at Spa Los Gatos, one of the nicest day spas I’ve ever been to! Not far away on Los Gatos Blvd., Yoga Source voted “best area yoga studio,” offers a relaxing, restorative yin yoga class on Sundays, along with a wide array of other practices.

  • Active Outdoors: 

    The Los Gatos Creek Trail passes through town, affording plenty of opportunities for walking, running and bicycling on a paved path that follows the pretty little creek from Lexington Reservoir past Vasona Lake.

  • Shopping: 

    The town council keeps a tight rein on business development, selecting retailers who enhance the atmosphere and holding down the number of chain stores. Shops lining Santa Cruz Avenue, Main Street and University Avenue include The Indian Store (Native American art), In the Old Manner (new versions of elegant vintage clothing) and Domus (housewares).  And if you’re in for a little high-end window-shopping, you can fantasize outside the Rolls Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini dealerships, all in the middle of town. The charming Los Gatos Theatre is a great place to enjoy the latest film you’ve intended to see. It boasts a classic marquee and a newly-renovated interior decorated in classic art deco style.

  • Indulge Your Inner Foodie:

    Read more about dining options in my previous blog post. Sur La Table offers weekly cooking classes and every week the Farmers Market downtown is one of the area’s best. You can also indulge your gourmet sweet tooth at one of my personal favorites, Fleur de Cocoa.

Where to Stay?

Hotel Los Gatos takes top honors among reviewers at, along with more affordable Garden Inn Hotel. Both are downtown, so I recommend comparing prices to get the best deal.

Los Gatos, California is just as family-friendly as it is beautiful. If you want to take in the scenic beauty of nature while also keeping your children entertained, Los Gatos is the place to do so. With places for children to play and activities that are fun of the whole family, Los Gatos truly has it all!

4 Family-Friendly Activities In Los Gatos, California


Planning a trip with children means finding a destination that has a good deal of kid-friendly activities to keep them entertained. If you want a locale that is great for the whole family, Los Gatos, California is a fantastic place to visit. Here are a few activities to do with children in Los Gatos, California.


  1. Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad & Bill Mason Carousel

Vacations can seem like a bore for children, but if you mention that you’re going to take a train ride or on a carousel, young children are bound to get excited. The carousel and railroad both exist as a legacy of Billy Jones in the hopes of preserving history. In fact, the proceeds and donations go to maintaining the railroad and carousel so that people of all ages can have a fun and educational experience. The carousel is a beautiful antique creation. The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad goes through Oak Meadow Park as well as Vasona Park. The tickets are extremely affordable at only $2 for either the train ride or the carousel. This is bound to be an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike.


2. Vasona Lake County Park

This 150-acre park is one of the most popular park and recreation locales in the area. This park is perfect for children, offering a number of playgrounds. And if your family loves to bike ride, why not travel down the bike paths and explore the beauty of nature with your family? If you’re in the area on a summer vacation with children, you’ll want to bring the whole family to the park’s free outdoor concerts every Saturday in June and July. Another must-see is the Youth Science Institute at Vasone, which is bound to satisfy your child’s inquisitive mind.

Late afternoon sun on the Heinz OSP Summit Trail Hike No 18

3. Belgatos Park

The beautiful city of Los Gatos, California has no shortage of natural beauty. And therefore there is no shortage of parks. This park may seem small upon first entering it, but if you follow the trails through the woods, your whole family will be in awe of the beauty of nature. There are number of incredible views, including the Belgatos Dam and the Belgatos Creek, which comes out from the base of the dam. If you want to see awe inspiring views of the South Bay, take the Ridge Trail. And if your children don’t want to go on lengthy hikes, the park is also complete with a playground and picnic tables.


4. Bachman Park

Located in close proximity to downtown Los Gatos, this park is a great place for children. There is a playground and sandbox for younger children to play in. If your children are a little older, there is is a large lawn where people can play sports, as well as a basketball hoop. This park may be a bit smaller than the others, but it is a nice place to have a quaint picnic. Not to mention the park’s size comes in handy when you want to keep an eye on your kids while also allowing them to do things somewhat on their own.

Los Gatos, California is just as family-friendly as it is beautiful. If you want to take in the scenic beauty of nature while also keeping your children entertained, Los Gatos is the place to do so. With places for children to play and activities that are fun of the whole family, Los Gatos truly has it all!

Night Life In Los Gatos

Mountain Charley’s Saloon

This rockhouse saloon focuses on the timeless rather than the trendy, with live music throughout the week and bargain nightly drink specials. Whether watching pierced punk bands, watching the overhead TV or just chatting with the bartender, Charley’s patrons can rest assured that they have discovered one of the edgiest spots in Los Gatos. The self-proclaimed “premier nightclub of the South Bay” also features karaoke every Wednesday night.

#1 Broadway

You wouldn’t think from the bland exterior, situated in a strip mall, that #1 Broadway in Los Gatos would rock, but rock it does for the 30 and up crowd whose lives still have room for partying. This little local bar serves up live music, from local rock and disco bands complete with a great dance floor! You can also take your drinks out on the patio that overlooks the street below for a little fresh air.

Los Gatos Brewing Company

Anyone who still thinks of beer as a working-class beverage has never gone for a pint at this spiffy brewery. Here the beer is micro-brewed to perfection, the people are beautiful and the classy dress code doesn’t take kindly to tank tops, and will provide shoulder coverings if necessary. There’s no dance floor, pool table or live music, but with all of the friendly strangers and tasty food, the regulars are hardly complaining.

C.B. Hannegan’s

Home to the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the area, C.B. Hannnegan’s also gets pretty rocking the other 364 days of the year. Regulars describe this Los Gatos local bar as a home away from home and, if you’ve even been there once, you know exactly what they’re talking about. The outdoor patio comes with a fireplace for those chilly evenings when you haven’t had enough of the sauce to warm your bones.

Double D’s Sports Grille

A Los Gatos nightlife & dining institution, Double D’s Sports Grille has a knack for appealing to just about every type of crowd. Families can cozy up in the booths or grab a table and dive into hefty plates of creative American cuisine and pub-style favorites, while sports fans can grab a cold one at the bar and keep up on the stats broadcasted over 20 flat-screen TVs. Arcade games, pool tables and other distractions contribute to the overall cool factor of this Los Gatos sports bar.

Los Gatos Bar and Grill

Los Gatos Bar & Grill has returned with their casual yet hip ambiance that made this bar a local favorite for so many years. Full menus feed those seeking everything from dinner to late-night snacks enjoyed alongside potent cocktails, and the bar supplies nearly every kind of drink you could want. This is one of the best places in town to catch the game and a bite to eat, and the huge patio makes it especially popular during the warmer months.

The Black Watch

Los Gatos’ venerable dive bar, the Black Watch has that low key hipster vibe that belongs in a more urban setting, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not thankful it’s here. You can toss a few rounds of darts or just kick back with friends and you’re likely to hear the loud rock and roll music coming out of the Black Watch before you step inside to the dimly lit interior to take part in their signature drink special: a pint glass of kamikazes.

Wine Cellar

Once only known as a secretive little spot for forty-something romantics, the Wine cellar in Los Gatos has been exposed and the younger crowds are moving in to get their taste of the hipper sophisticated life. People are flocking to the Wine Cellar to sample their extensive wine selection, imbibe their funky cocktails and dine on their eclectic cuisine in Los Gatos’ newest hotspot.

Fun Things To Do In Los Gatos, California

Los Gatos is a beautiful town located in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The lovely downtown streets are lined with fancy boutique stores, fine restaurants and art galleries. It is a great town for walking with many parks, tree-lined streets and beautiful Victorian homes.

Here are some excellent things to do when visiting Los Gatos:

Testarossa Winery – This old winery site is only a half mile walk from downtown Los Gatos. The atmosphere is cozy, uncrowded and pleasant. They have wine tasting, a big stone cellar, and a good place to picnic on the outside patio. This is the fourth oldest continuously operating winery in California. It is on the site of the historic Noviate Winery built in 1888!

Summit Road Wineries – If you are looking for a wine tasting experience off the beaten path, you should consider any of the Summit Road Wineries. You can take a great do-it-yourself wine tasting tour by visiting several of the small wineries along Summit Road, just 15 minutes away from Los Gatos. These hidden wine tasting gems are usually more convenient, less crowded, and more affordable!

Los Gatos Creek Trail – This paved trail is over 9 miles long and runs through western Santa Clara County in California. Los Gatos Creek trail offers recreational opportunities for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, skaters, bladers, nature lovers and more. The trail is vibrant and green and often follows a shallow ravine along the parts of the trail closer to Los Gatos.

Oak Meadow Park – The gem of the Los Gatos parks, Oak Meadow Park is a centrally located 12 acre park that has access to Los Gatos Creek Trail, BBQ and picnic facilities, bocci ball courts, large grass fields, shakespeare in the park (during summer), enormous play structures as well as the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad and the W.E Bill Mason Carousel! If you have younger children then this is the perfect park for you! Both the railroad and W.E. Mason Carousel exist as a legacy of Billy Jones and as a means to preserve history and educate the public. All proceeds and donations go to perpetuating the railroad and carousel, as well as maintaining the parks ability to provide educational and entertaining recreation for persons of all ages.

Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad comes complete with a small engine house, station, clock tower, and turntable. Its main feature is a small, cute, but very real steam locomotive which pulls the open cars. This steam engine, known as “2 Spot”, was built in 1905 and originally served 21 years for the Venice California Municipal Railway.

Bill Mason Carousel is a historical merry-go-round built in England in 1915. It was shipped to the US for the San Francisco Pan-American Exposition and then used in a traveling circus before ending up in Oak Meadow Park.


For some great breakfast and coffee options, check out this blog post that I wrote featuring the most delicious breakfast spots that Los Gatos has to offer!

Treasure 4 Teens Fundraising in Los Gatos

Only three month away (I know it’s hard to believe), Christmas is the time of giving and the Treasure 4 Teens will hold its first ever fundraiser this September 25th. The foundation’s inspirational gift-giving program is already getting started for the season.

Steve Rice los gatos

Created by two teenagers in 2010, T4T is a nonprofit organization for teenagers of need in the area. Now in college, teenagers Michael and Giverny Daboll started the charity when they learned that a lot of seasonal toy drives worked great for children and had options for them but had no items appropriate for teenagers. They saw a market to make a difference and jumped on it.

The torch has been passed to high school junior Joselyn Penafiel who has become the new T4T president. She has already recruited 20 teen members from Los Gatos High School, Fisher Middle School, and the Hillbrook School to participate in the fundraising events.

The first, public event (a salsa-theme party) will be held at Monte Sereno City Councilman Roger Craig whose son joined T4T over the summer. There will be a DJ to dance to while learning salsa dancing. Also, there will be salsa performances to enjoy if you would prefer not to dance. A taco truck will cater the event while parents can let loose at the mojito bar.

Joselyn commented on the upcoming event, “I’m really excited because this is my first event since joining T4T and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. But more importantly, we hope to raise $25,000 to buy Chromebooks for 200 needy teens.”

Currently, Joselyn’s mother Susana is in talks with Google to get a discount on the Chromebooks. This would help the charity save money and provide more gifts. They could potentially reach 800 teenagers if this happened. Susana and her husband Burton have been leading the Treasure 4 Teens group and mentoring them along the way.

Visit to particpiate or donate to this great cause.


Rebuilding Schools Damaged in Fire

Steve Rice Los GatosThis past week a fire damaged a Los Gatos school complex, destroying computers, musical instruments, and many other valuable educational items. The fire took place between the Loma Prieta Elementary School and the CT English Middle School just off of Summit Road.

Recently, investigators claim that a group of high school boys went out to smoke marijuana at the school on Sunday night. But when nobody showed up with the drug, they decided to light a cardboard box on fire in efforts to keep warm in Santa Cruz Mountain area, which can get chilly at night. They threw out the remains of the box in a garbage can next to the building, still smoldering, which led to the fire.

Classes were cancelled on Monday for over 500 students attending both schools in the area, and now many efforts are being implemented to restore what was lost. A community restoration fund is one of the ways the school district is raising money for the multitude of educational materials lost in the fire.

In addition, the community center has been a great resource for residents of Los Gatos over the years. Not only is it utilized by various groups of people, including seniors, theatre programs, and children, the center has always been a strong backbone in the event of an emergency, such as this recent fire. Many of the school’s physical education classes and music, art, and dance classes are now being held at the community center.

Though insurance will help with a majority of costs related to the fire, the community center is going above and beyond to help raise money to rebuild the building. Local residents are endlessly grateful for the profound impact the community center has had on the lives of many throughout the years.

Coffee & Breakfast in Los Gatos

steve rice los gatos coffeeThere’s no question that the local cuisine in Los Gatos is some of the best in California. But for the most part, lunch and dinner restaurants get all of the attention – especially with the wide variety of food to choose from in the area. So next time you’re thinking about catching up with an old friend in the area, or even just grabbing a coffee with your significant other, you should try one of the following places in Los Gatos:

First on the list in the Purple Onion Coffee Shop located on 26 E Main St/College Avenue. The atmosphere of this breakfast hot spot is quiet and mellow, ran by two Chefs who also own their own catering company. The food menu items are delicious, with ham quiche, cucumber sandwiches, and plenty of pastries to satisfy your morning sweet tooth. Think of this spot as a coffee bar that goes above and beyond what you would expect.

Next on the list is Los Gatos Cafe, which is located off of 340 N Santa Cruz Ave. If you’ve from Los Gatos, you’ve probably heard of this restaurant before, as it is a favorite breakfast and brunch hubspot among locals. Los Gatos Cafe has all the classic breakfast items you would find at a diner, but with an unexpected, tasty twist. For example, Apricot French Toast and Crab Cakes Benedict are two of the most talked about dishes. steve rice los gatos coffee and breakfast

Pedros is another hot spot for brunch with a Mexican twist. Located on 316 N Santa Cruz Ave, Pedros $12 Sunday brunch could not be priced better. It’s a great place to bring friends and family – just make sure you’re really hungry before you go in, because the food is exceptional and quite filling.

Lastly, Southern Kitchen is a great, newer breakfast and brunch restaurant located at 27 E Main Street, just next to the Purple Onion Coffee Shop. With a more modern twist to southern cuisine, the atmosphere of the restaurant is very alluring, so your best bet is to book a reservation. Southern Kitchen closes at 3, so be sure you don’t sleep in too late!

For more information on where to eat in Los Gatos, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner – check out HiddenSF’s webpage here. Happy eating!