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Top Things to Do in and Around Los Gatos

January 13th, 2020 Explore
Top Things to Do in and Around Los Gatos

Surrounded by outdoor splendor and a charming downtown feel, Los Gatos is packed with independent boutiques, historic architecture, eateries, and great local wine. Boasting state parks, trails, and situated a stone’s throw away from the Santa Cruz mountains, our picturesque town is the perfect gateway to the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Monterey Bay, and beyond. Find the inspiration you need as you plan your upcoming visit with our top things to do in and around Los Gatos.


Los Gatos is a place for food lovers, with a variety of options available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between. Dining in Los Gatos can be simple or extravagant, with coffee bars, sidewalk cafés, and award-winning establishments along Santa Cruz Avenue. Local favorites include New American eats at Los Gatos Café, Cin-Cin Wine Bar and Restaurant, Nick’s Next Door, and the Three-Star Michelin rated Manresa by David Kinch, Italian fare at Enoteca La Storia and Oak & Rye, and California-Asian fusion at Verge. Nestled within Toll House Hotel, Verge brings together a menu of culturally diverse dishes and cocktails under the direction of Executive Chef Albert Nguyen-Phuoc. Visit Verge Monday - Thursday from 4 - 6 p.m. for Happy Hour specials on wine, craft beer, cocktails, and lounge bites, and live music every Friday from 7 - 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.



Our quaint downtown is a pedestrian paradise offering a variety of retail shops. From couture clothing to jewelry, fresh flowers to locally made pottery, and home furnishings to candles, Santa Cruz Avenue is the top shopping destination in town. Beyond downtown, the Valley Fair Mall, Santana Row, and the San Jose Flea Market are all easily accessible from Los Gatos.

Wine Tasting

Socialize, share experiences, and relax at a local winery. Taste some of the finest wines produced in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, all within a short drive of downtown Los Gatos. Some of our favorites include Mountain Winery, Cinnabar Winery, and Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards in Saratoga, and Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos. Testarossa is the fourth oldest continuously operating winery in California and specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Only a half-mile walk from downtown, the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine’s 2019 Winery of the Year is an excellent place to relax in the cozy tasting room or outside on the patio while tasting the terroir of the region.

Historic Architecture

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, downtown Los Gatos is an ideal place to get lost while exploring unique architecture. Stroll down North Santa Cruz Avenue, University Avenue, and West Main Street to see the 19 contributing buildings that make up the Los Gatos Commercial Historic District. Notable buildings include the Bank of America Building (Art Deco), Fretwell Building (Richardsonian Romanesque), and the Berryman Building (Vernacula Colonial Revival). Visit the National Register for a complete list of historic buildings.

bridge vasona county park los gatos

Outdoor activities

Besides the vibrancy found on the streets, Los Gatos is brimming with outdoor attractions. Settled at the base of the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains, Los Gatos’ terrain ranges from the flat topography of the valley floor to forested hillsides. Walk, jog, bike, rock climb, or get out on the water at Castle Rock State Park, Vasona County Park (pictured above), Oak Meadow Park, Lexington Reservoir, and the Los Gatos Creek Trail. The bustling Santa Cruz Avenue is home to the Town Plaza, an open green space only steps from Toll House Hotel, which presents a year-round farmer’s market every Sunday and a live jazz concert series in the summer. Just beyond Los Gatos, Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve and Big Basin Redwoods State Park are beautiful spaces to enjoy pristine redwood forests.

Bounded by San Jose and Silicon Valley to the north and Monterey Bay to the south, Los Gatos is the perfect jumping-off point if you wish to explore beyond our enchanting town. From spa deals to breakfast for two at Verge, choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with Toll House Hotel, an iconic Los Gatos destination known for its charming accommodations, on-site spa and restaurant, and prime location in the heart of downtown.

Share a photo of what you get up to in Los Gatos and stay up-to-date with us by following the Toll House Hotel Instagram for getaway inspiration, special deals, and happenings at Toll House Hotel.

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