Most visitors arrive in Scotts Valley by car. Two exits off of the winding California State Route 17 (Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Hermon Road) take visitors into the city.
There is no train service in Scotts Valley, but a collaboration between Amtrak, Santa Clara County's Valley Transit Authority, and Santa Cruz County's Metro Transit District has resulted in frequent, daily, hour-long bus trips between downtown San Jose and Scotts Valley. The "Highway 17 Express" costs $7 each way; a $14 day pass entitles the bearer to free use of both the VTA and Metro mass transit systems for the day (2016 rates). In San Jose, this bus stops at the Diridon train station (with connections to CalTrain), VTA light rail stops in downtown San Jose, and at San Jose State University. In Santa Cruz County, it stops at the Cavallero Transit Center in Scotts Valley (on King's Village Road, just off Mount Hermon Road). Some routes continue into downtown Santa Cruz. This bus route is popular with students, non-drivers, and regular commuters to the downtown San Jose area.
Greyhound also provides bus service to the area from San Francisco.
The nearest airports with scheduled passenger service are in San Jose and Monterey. The nearest municipal airport for private planes is in Watsonville.
Most visitors to Scotts Valley drive to nearby attractions. The main part of the small city is adjacent to California State Route 17. The city itself has two main roads: Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Hermon Road. Scotts Valley Drive parallels Highway 17; Mount Hermon Road proceeds northwest to Felton.
The primary local bus route in the city, which runs approximately every half hour during the day, goes south to downtown Santa Cruz and north on Mount Hermon Road to the communities in the San Lorenzo Valley. Rates are $1.50 per adult per trip; there are no transfers. The main Santa Cruz bus station is in the downtown shopping district and about a fifteen-minute-long walk away from Main Beach in Santa Cruz. The bus system is more useful for getting in and out of Scotts Valley than for getting from one place to another in the city itself.
Visitors can also take the Highway 17 Express and Greyhound buses to San Jose and the San Francisco Bay area.
The main city roads are in relatively good condition for bicycling. Some back roads (such as Bean Creek Road) offer scenic but challenging cycling for the experienced cyclist.
- Several city parks, including the large Skypark complex, are available for day use at no cost and may be popular with families. Skypark offers an enclosed dog run, a 20,000 square foot (1850 square meters) concrete skateboard park, two playgrounds, soccer fields, bocce ball courts, and picnic areas. An easy trail beyond the tennis courts loops around an adjacent housing area and provides beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. Siltanen Park, at the north end of Scotts Valley, offers playground space and a shallow swimming pool with a lifeguard.
- Tim Brauch Memorial Skate Park. The 22,000 sq. foot concrete playground was designed by Wormhoudt, Inc., a local landscape architectural firm that first became involved in skatepark design and planning in 1973 with one of the nations oldest public skate parks, Santa Cruz's own "Derby Park".From HWY 17 - Exit Mt. Herman Road - Make a right on Kings Village Road - Left on Blue Bonnet Lane and the park is on your left.
Most visitors use Scotts Valley as a convenient base for exploring the nearby areas and attractions: the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the redwood forests and steam train in Felton, the kayak-friendly sloughs in Watsonville, and the beaches all along the coast.
- Within the City of Scotts Valley, there are four wineries. Roudon-Smith Winery and Glenwood Oaks Winery (same location) are open for tastings on Saturday afternoons and occasionally for events sponsored by the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Association.
- The Chamber of Commerce sponsors a large Art and Wine Festival at the Sky Park field each August. On Independence Day, a regional fireworks display is hosted at Skypark.
- Camp Evers Fishing Park, ☏ . The Park is open from dawn to just past dusk. The park is located 1/2 mile from Mt. Hermon Road on Glen Canyon Road. Camp Evers Fishing Park is an ideal fishing hole for younger people. The Park is stocked with native steelhead and offers free seasonal fishing. The fishing hole is open May through September for those of the age 15 years and younger. The Park offers picnic areas and barbecue facilities.
- Valley Gardens Golf Course. 9-hole golf course.
- Pasatiempo. Golf Course, rated one of the top 100 golf courses in America.
Shoppers will appreciate the many stores, restaurants, and even day spas in the neighborhoods of Mt. Hermon and Kings Village Road. For the bargain hunter, Scotts Valley is also home to a couple of delightful thrift stores.
- The senior center on Kings Village Road, across from Skypark, houses a small, boutique-style thrift store in the back as an ongoing fundraiser. It does not handle clothing, but it usually has an interesting selection of small items to choose from. Go in through the main door and tell the volunteer at the desk you are there for the thrift shop.
- The Goodwill store on the southwest corner of Mount Hermon and Scotts Valley Drive has a larger selection of good quality, used items at modest prices. Allow a bit of time, if you can, to browse around this larger store.
- In neighboring Felton, try The Abbot's thrift store (6164 Hwy 9) for a still different experience. The larger building brims with a jumble of antiques, junk, curiosities, and everything in between.
- Los Gallos Taqueria, 243 Mt Hermon Rd, ☏ . and 18 Victor Square, +1 831 439-9803 A valley favorite with amazing burritos. The breakfast burrito is highly recommended.
- Heavenly Cafe, 1210 Mount Hermon Rd (Out of the center of town a short distance on Mount Herman Road toward Felton), ☏ . This modestly priced diner has delicious, homestyle burgers, omelettes, and other treats. Leave room, if you can, for a slice of their avocado pie. Ask for outdoor seating on their patio if weather permits.
- Molly's Country Cafe, 219 Mt Hermon Rd. (Exit Hwy 17 at Mount Hermon, near Starbucks on the left), ☏ . Molly's offers soups, sandwiches and burgers, among other things. Try the sweet potato fries.
- Malone's Grande Grille, 4402 Scotts Valley Dr, ☏ .
- Santa Cruz - Located seven miles south of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz is best known as a countercultural hub, with a fun bohemian feel and youthful vibe, and weekend tourist attractions like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a historic mission, and the dubious Mystery Spot. The beaches north and south of Santa Cruz are considered some of the more pristine areas of natural beauty in central California, and while conditions generally make them impractical for swimming, several are considered an expert surfer's cold cold paradise.
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