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!

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