Los Gatos is an incorporated town located in Santa Clara County, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This town is 52 miles from San Francisco, 126 miles from Sacramento, and 225 miles from Lake Tahoe. It is home to a population of 41,544, with a population density of 2,735 people per square mile. The name of the city is derived from the Alta California land grant in 1839, called La Rinconada de Los Gatos, or “Cat’s Corner”. At that time, there was a population of cougars and bobcats living in the town’s foothills.
Los Gatos is a part of Silicon Valley, with major tech companies like Netflix headquartered there. Its economy is heavily influenced by the tech industry, and Netflix is the top employer in the city. Healthcare is a significant employer as well, such as El Camino Hospital Los Gatos and Vasona Creek Health Care Center, and Good Samaritan Regional Cancer Center.
One of the oldest communities in Santa Clara, Los Gatos started out as a Mexican land grant for a 6,600 acre ranch to Sebastian Peralta and Jose Hernandez. It was incorporated in 1887 as a significant location for the logging industry, before becoming an agricultural hub growing prunes, grapes, and apricots. In the 1920’s, Los Gatos was a thriving arts scene that drew in writers, artists, and musicians. John Steinbeck, Neal Cassady, Yehudi Menuhin, Joan Fontaine, and Olivia de Havilland all spent time living in this city. In the 1950’s, the area became more suburban for many moving out of San Jose.
Today, Los Gatos is known for its historic architecture, fine dining, shopping options, and beautiful views. The downtown area has restored Victorian-era homes, as well as the Forbes Mill annex, which dates back to 1880. Although it’s a relatively small town, Los Gatos has some incredible food options, including the Michelin-star-winning Manresa. Los Gatos Creek Trail is great for hiking or cycling from Lexington Reservoir past Vasona Lake. Oak Meadow Park is near Vasona Lake, where visitors can rent row boats or paddle boats. Several shops are located on Santa Cruz Avenue, Main Street, and University Avenue.