incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States

Los Gatos is a town of 30,000 people (2019) in Santa Clara County, near San Jose, California in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains. Downtown Los Gatos has retained and restored many of its Victorian-era homes and commercial buildings.


La Canada Building, N. Santa Cruz Ave

Los Gatos is part of Silicon Valley, with several high technology companies maintaining a presence there. Notably, Netflix, the streaming and content creator, is headquartered in Los Gatos and has developed a large presence in the area.



The town's founding dates to the mid-1850s with the building of a flour operation, Forbes Mill, by James Alexander Forbes along Los Gatos Creek. The mill's two-story stone storage annex has been preserved as a museum just off of Main Street.

The settlement that was established in the 1860s was named for the mill, but the name was changed to Los Gatos after the Spanish land grant. The town was incorporated in 1887 and remained an important town for the logging industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains through the end of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the town became a thriving agricultural town with apricots, grapes and prunes being grown in the area. Along with much of the Santa Clara Valley, Los Gatos became a suburban community for San Jose beginning in the 1950s, and the town was mostly built-out by the 1980s.

Los Gatos Theater

Notable buildings include the Forbes Mill annex, dating to 1880 and now housing a history museum; Los Gatos High School which dates from the 1920s; and the Old Town Shopping Center, formerly the University Avenue School (the school was established in 1882; the current buildings date to 1923).

A number of brick buildings in Downtown Los Gatos were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, though the district was quickly rebuilt and has made a full recovery.



Los Gatos experiences nearly the same temperatures as San Jose, just slightly warmer and with more rain. Los Gatos has a Mediterranean climate like much of California. Daytime high temperatures very rarely stay below 50 °F (10 °C). Los Gatos rarely gets a hard frost. Los Gatos gets the slight winter chill that is needed to grow grapes and have vineyards. Types of bananas that ripen within three months grow well during the summer.

Get in

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO IATA) 40 Miles north of Los Gatos
    • From airport, take US 101 S towards San Jose
    • Merge onto CA-85 S
    • Head south on CA-85 S to CA-17 S
    • Head south on CA-17 S to Los Gatos
  • San Jose International (SJC IATA) 11 Miles from Los Gatos
    • Take I-880 S towards Santa Cruz
    • Continue on CA-17 S to Los Gatos

Get around


Transit in Los Gatos is largely automobile-based, along with a significant amount of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. However, if you do not wish to drive, walk, or ride a bicycle, then there is really only one alternative, and that is VTA (Valley Transportation Authority). This organization runs all public transit for the Santa Clara valley area, hence the name. The VTA operates many bus lines along with three light rail train lines, but, if your intent is only to get around Los Gatos, then the buses are all you need to think about. There are two lines that serve Los Gatos, line 48 and line 49. Both serve the same general loop around the town, in opposite directions, and both convene at the Winchester Transit Center/Light Rail station in nearby Campbell. Fares vary based on age, and there are several pass options available. Details are available at the VTA website.

  • 1 NUMU - New Museum Los Gatos, 106 E Main St, +1 408-354-2646. W 1PM-5PM, Th 11AM-8PM, F-Su 11AM-5PM. The former Los Gatos Art Museum moved to a new home in 2014 and features over 2,000 objects relating to the art and history of Los Gatos and its residents. $9 adults, under 18 free.    
Redwood Grove Nature Preserve

Los Gatos offers a variety of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, road cycling, trail running, kayaking, hiking.

  • 1 Dio Deka, 210 E Main St (in Hotel Los Gatos), +1 408 354-7700. Upscale Greek restaurant. $50+.
  • 2 Icing On the Cake, 50 W Main St, +1 408 354-2464. Bakery with gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, and vegan options, for those times when your sweet tooth won't be satisfied any other way.
  • 3 Forbes Mill Steakhouse, 206 N Santa Cruz Ave, +1 408 395-6434. Upscale steakhouse. $100 ($25 for kids).
  • 4 Manresa Bread, 40 N Santa Cruz Ave, +1 408-402-5372. Daily 8AM-3PM. Mills its own flour for breads. The cashless bakery is open to the public, from 8AM until they sell out of bread (usually $10–12) and pastries ($5–9).    
  • 5 Aldo's Ristorante & Bar, 14109 S Winchester Blvd, +1 408 374-1808, . Upscale Italian restaurant. $50.
  • 6 Fleur de Cocoa, 39 N Santa Cruz Ave, +1 408 354-3574. French-style pastries, fancy chocolates, plus a light lunch menu. Just the place if you think you'll need a croquembouche on your trip (definitely order in advance!). A piece of cake and a cup of coffee will run about $12.
  • 7 T-Birds Pizza of Los Gatos, 444 N Santa Cruz Ave, +1 408 395-2525. Sourdough pizza crust.
  • 8 Wine Cellar Restaurant, 50 University Ave, +1 408 354-4808. Upscale restaurant with mostly Italian and American cuisine. Offers cheese fondue as an appetizer and chocolate fondue for dessert. $25 lunch, $50 dinner.
  • 9 Los Gatos Cafe, 340 N Santa Cruz Ave, +1 408 354-4647. 7AM–2:30PM daily. American-style breakfast and lunch. $20.






  • 1 Los Gatos Public Library, 100 Villa Ave, +1 408 354-6891. 10AM-6PM daily. Free Wi-Fi internet access. Computers available. Printing available for a small fee. Free public restrooms.  

Go next

Routes through Los Gatos
San JoseCampbell  N   S  Scotts ValleySanta Cruz
Mountain ViewSaratoga  N   S  San JoseEND
Santa CruzSaratoga  W   E  END

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