Welcome to LOS GATOS
Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and within an hour’s drive from the Pacific Ocean and the bustling metropolis of San Francisco, Los Gatos offers residents the best of all worlds. Its high-quality schools, strong sense of community and character, and beautiful landscapes are just a few of the things that make Los Gatos one of the most desirable places to live in Northern California.
Los Gatos derives its small-town image and charm from its rich history, dating back to the mid-19th century. Named after the screams of mountain lions early settlers could hear prowling in the hillsides at night, Los Gatos was founded with the building of a flour-milling operation in the 1860s and incorporated in 1887. Early in the 20th century, Los Gatos was known as a thriving agricultural community, producing healthy quantities of apricots, grapes, and prunes, and in the 1920s, it became a haven for the artistic-minded, attracting painters, musicians, writers, and actors over the years. By 1960, the town had grown to an area of approximately 4,000 acres, with a population of over 11,000.
Los Gatos maintains proof of its lively upbringing today, mostly through its commercial and residential architecture. Its mix of Victorian, Craftsman, ranch, and contemporary homes are the envy of neighboring towns, and its vibrant downtown area and desirable real estate attract buyers from all over California and beyond looking for a slice of small-town charm.
What to Love
Lively mix of real estate
Family-friendly community with distinguished schools
People & Lifestyle
Over time, Los Gatos has become known as one of Silicon Valley’s premier suburbs. Through its success as an agricultural community in the early 20th century, followed by its prominence among artists and bohemians like John Steinbeck, and its success in the post-World War II aeronautics industry, Los Gatos formed into a family-oriented community home to farmers, creatives, scientists, executives, and their families that established themselves here with each chapter of the town’s history.
Today, as you walk through downtown Los Gatos, you’ll find families with young children, teenagers out with their friends, empty nesters celebrating newfound freedom, and residents who have called this town home for decades soaking in the town’s character. Through all walks of life, Los Gatos welcomes those looking for a strong sense of community with open arms.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Los Gatos’ charming shopping district draws visitors from throughout the Bay Area looking to dine, shop, and stroll along its pleasant streets. With much of its original Victorian-era architecture intact, downtown Los Gatos offers a unique look at its past while fostering a hip, up-and-coming vibe when it comes to art, food, and fashion.
Forbes Mill Steakhouse is an upscale restaurant that lives up to its name, serving Kobe beef and other prime cuts in an elegant setting complete with a fireplace and excellent service. For modern American cuisine, locals love Nick’s Next Door, a stylish, Zagat-rated bistro with a reputation for creatively-crafted food, local ingredients, and unbeatable wine selection—all while making feel like you’re right at home.
Located downtown, Manresa is one of the Bay Area’s most well-regarded restaurants, earning three Michelin stars and capturing the hearts—and stomachs—of locals and visitors. Its extravagant cuisine is presented through farm-to-table tasting menus showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients available. Each visit is never the same, with chef David Kinch taking the opportunity to turn every meal into a work of art. Dio Deka, which specializes in Greek food and is a previous recipient of a Michelin star, is also a can’t-miss, enchanting its patrons with fantastically-prepared food.
Along Santa Cruz Avenue in historic downtown, you’ll find a number of boutiques and shops selling everything from everyday necessities to eccentric clothing, accessories, books, housewares, and gifts. Los Gatos also has a Whole Foods, a Trader Joe’s, numerous coffee shops, fitness studios, bakeries, and more.
Things to Do
Much of what makes Los Gatos unique is the town’s strong sense of belonging, fostered by the dozens of community events that take place throughout the year. In the summer, Los Gatos comes out to appreciate live music with the Jazz on the Plazz concert series, a free event featuring world-class local and international musicians, workshops, educational opportunities, and artist exhibitions for people of all ages to enjoy. Rooted in its history, Los Gatos continues to celebrate its art heritage through its numerous galleries, including Whitney Modern, Azuca, Starr Art Gallery, and the New Museum Los Gatos + Art Studio, which showcases works from local California artists as well as nationally- and globally-recognized exhibitions year-round.
Every December, Los Gatos lights up, creating a fantastical drive-through display at Vasona Lake County Park. Cars line up—for hours on the busiest nights—to get a chance to see the extravagant light arches and animated larger-than-life displays during the holidays.
In the spring and fall, Los Gatos celebrates the wine culture of Northern California with the Los Gatos Wine Walk, a one-day experience where participants will have the chance to stroll through Los Gatos while enjoying wine tastings from local wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Santa Clara Valley at local shops and restaurants.
Thanks to its amazing weather, Los Gatos also provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as taking a walk or run through Vasona Park, a 152-acre space with a stunning lake and 45 acres of lawn that can be used for frisbee, softball, or soccer, or hiking up the peaks that overlook the town, El Sereno and El Sombroso, which are among some of the highest in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Los Gatos residents are served by the Los Gatos Union School District, which is home to some of the most distinguished schools in the area:
Blossom Hill Elementary, K-5
Rolling Hills Middle School, 6-8
Los Gatos High School, 9-12