Los Gatos is a town in California of approximately 30,000 residents situated about 22 miles east of Santa Cruz, 11 miles west of San Jose, and 50 miles south of San Francisco.  

1. Quaint Downtown

At the heart of this town is its main thoroughfare, Santa Cruz Avenue.  This street is lined by trees wrapped in twinkle lights, along with boutiques and restaurants.  On a warm summer day, the sidewalks are bustling with a mix of locals and visitors.

The Los Gatos Town Plaza Park hosts a weekly farmer’s market on Sundays, Music in the Park during the summer, and an annual Holiday Tree lighting in celebration in December.

2. Vasona Park

Nestled within Los Gatos’ borders is a 152 acre park that includes a lake, a creek, lots of picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, a carousel, and even a locomotive train that takes its passengers on a tour through the park.

During the month of December, a large portion of the park is transformed for the “Fantasy of Lights.” The event is kicked off with an evening where people can peruse the decorations on foot.  During each subsequent evening for the remainder of the month, drivers make their way through the light displays while listening to music on a dedicated radio station.

Vasona lake county park

3. Tight Knit Community

Los Gatos prides itself on being considered a “town” versus a “city.”  Whether you’re walking downtown, meandering through the park, or running in a neighborhood, you’ll likely run into someone you know.

Residents and business owners alike care deeply about the success of our town.  We shop local, eat local, learn local, and play local. Youth sports bring us together on weekends.  Many of our businesses sponsor various leagues and contribute generously to our schools. Restaurant owners are our friends, not just individuals running establishments.

4. Great Schools

The Los Gatos High School building itself – is iconic.  It looks as though it were lifted from a movie set. Its outer beauty is only the beginning of its accolades.  Ninety-seven percent of students graduate with 96% of those attending college. Sixty-five percent of students participate in at least one athletic team, many of which has clenched California Interscholastic Federation championships.

Equally impressive is RJ Fisher Middle School and the four feeder elementary schools; Daves Avenue, Vanmeter, Blossom Hill, and Lexington.  All prioritize social emotional learning alongside rigorous academic foundations. Also key to each school program is a dedication to the arts through music instruction and drama productions.

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School

5. Proximity to the Pacific

Aside from being able to seek out a nature reprieve in the local mountains, just “over the hill,” is Santa Cruz.  Highway 17 gets you there in about 30 minutes (when there’s no traffic). Whether you decide to get on a rollercoaster at The Boardwalk, or catch a wave at Paradise Point, a whole collection of beach towns await your visit.

Once at the shore, if you head south you’ll find yourself in Monterey where you can spend some time at the aquarium, Cannery Row, or drive just a bit further to visit Carmel-By-The-Sea.  Each community has its own flavor, which adds to the adventure of checking each one out.

6. Annual Holiday Parade

A tradition the Los Gatos community holds near and dear to its heart is the Holiday Parade which takes place the first Saturday of every December.  Residents start stacking chairs and blankets alongside the parade route at 12:01am that day to make certain they get prime seating.

Local bands and dance troupes perform.  The Tiny Pugs Paw Rescue group invites dog owners to dress up their pugs for all to enjoy.  Jiffy Market sponsors a BMX trick float that draws lots of attention from spectators. And ending that parade is Santa Claus himself.

7. A [Grocery] Shopper’s Paradise

While this might seem trivial, it’s actually something we all appreciate here in Los Gatos.  The community is divided into two main parts; east and west. On the west side there’s Safeway.  It has underground parking and is a large supermarket.  

On the east side there are four choices; Lunardi’s, Knob Hill, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.  Lunardi’s is an upscale market with a butcher counter. You can’t get your ground beef prepackaged there.  If you want that, go to Knob Hill, which also probably has the best price deals. For specialty shopping, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are the places to go.  Regardless, there are plenty of options in the 11.25 square miles of Los Gatos proper.

If you’re interested in finding the perfect place for your next rental, but you’re not sure Los Gatos is the town for you. Check out our other local guides here. The right home for you is out there, and we’ll help you find it.