Los Gatos California
Things to Do on a Sunday Morning
Downtown Los Gatos is a upscale little town you will enjoy. Check our Los Gatos map for locations of things to do. We recommend visiting the Town Plaza area on Sunday mornings when when it is cool and active. From 8-12 am Sundays many locals are out with their dogs enjoying the very nice Farmer’s Market and the many coffee bars, cafes & retail shops nearby.
A good place to start your Los Gatos visit is at Town Plaza, W Main St/N Santa Cruz Ave. For a good short walking tour from Town Plaza go:
- north on N Santa Cruz Ave from Town Plaza to Elm St
- east on Elm St to Old Town Shopping Center on University Ave
- south on University Ave back down to W Main St
- east on W Main St over Hwy 17 to E Main St and continue on east to Los Gatos Luxury Cars (or Town Hall) at Pageant Way
- turn around and retrace your steps west on E Main St to the starting point at Town Plaza.
This short walk can easily be extended a block or two in several interesting directions. And, along the way note several of the things to do mentioned below.
Here are some best things in Los Gatos to check out:
Breakfast or Coffee
- Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, 101 W. Main St. — A favorite spot to see and be seen, with your dog, on Sunday mornings. It is a couple of stores west of the Farmers Market at Town Square.
- Purple Onion Coffee Shop, 26 E Main St/College Ave — We usually prefer this nice quiet coffee shop run by two Chefs who also run a catering company. The food … e.g., ham quiche, smoked salmon & cucumber sandwich, pastries … is much superior to what you would normally expect at a coffee bar.
- Southern Kitchen, 27 E Main St/College Ave — Nice newer place for breakfast & brunch; they close at 3 pm. Reservations are recommended.
- Los Gatos Cafe, 340 N Santa Cruz Ave/Almendra Ave — This is a long-time locals’ favorite breakfast & brunch place. Very tasty food, nice service, reasonable prices. We particularly like a couple of their specialities … the Apricot French Toast and the Crab Cakes Benedict. It’s small, older, and quaint. Has dining outside in front (you can bring your well-behaved dog). Usually a short line. Cash only.
- Pedros, 316 N Santa Cruz Ave/Almendra Ave — Has an good $12 Sunday brunch with fresh American breakfast fare and good Mexican lunch & dessert dishes.
There are many other breakfast and snack spots in town worth investigating. For example, Gilleys Coffee Shoppe, 47 N Santa Cruz Ave, which is a classic American coffee shop.
- Old Town Center, 50 University Ave/Elm St — A renovated shopping center with stores like The Gap, Banana Republic, Sur La Table Kitchen & Bath, and Borders. Smaller and niftier than regional malls. There is usually plenty of parking in front or across the street.
- Domus Kitchen & Gift Shop, 40 N Santa Cruz Ave — 41 years in downtown Los Gatos, this is the place to go for “hard to find” useful kitchen gadgets and for supplies cheaper than at Sur La Table or Williams & Sonoma. It’s a good place to browse and the employees are knowledgeable.
- Thrift Stores— For something less expensive than a Rolls Royce try the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop, 39 East Main St, almost across the street. It is small but one of the nicest thrift stores on the Peninsula. On the other side of Hwy 17 is the Happy Dragon Thrift Shop, 245 West Main St. They are closed on Sundays.
Here are some excellent things to do nearby which outsiders likely don’t know exist.
Testarossa Winery, 300A College Ave — This nice old winery site is only a half mile walk from downtown Los Gatos (i.e., a short walk up College Ave behind the Purple Onion Coffee Shop). The atmosphere is old, uncrowded and pleasant. They have wine tasting, a big stone cellar, and a good place to picnic on the outside patio.
This is the fourth oldest continuously operating winery in California. It is on the site of the historic Noviate Winery built in 1888. The Jesuits used it for church wines and to fund the seminary still located behind it. Novice students (noviates) used to pick grapes for the winery each fall.
- Summit Road Wineries— You can take a great do-it-yourself wine tasting tour by visiting several small wineries along Summit Road, just 15 minutes away from Los Gatos.
- St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve – Has beautiful trails going to the top of 1,253-ft St. Joseph’s Hill. These are much prettier than the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Leashed dogs and mountain bikes are allowed.
- Los Gatos Creek Trail, one of several trailheads is located at E Main St just east of Hwy 17 — This paved trail is over 9 miles long but two shorter sections we like best are (1) north from E Main St, Los Gatos, to Vasona Lake County Park and (2) south from E Main St, Los Gatos, to the Dam at Lexington Reservoir. The trail is not particularly beautiful but still a good place to ride your bike.
- Los Gatos Farmers Market, W Main St/Santa Cruz Ave — Sundays, 8-12 am. This market is small but, combined with the unique upscale town around it, is one of the most pleasing and enjoyable farmers markets on the Peninsula. Locals love it.
- NUMU New Museum Los Gatos, 106 E. Main St — Combines an older local art museum and local history museum into a bigger and better 6000 sf “New Museum.” We haven’t been yet but it sounds like an interesting item to check out, especially on a hot weekend afternoon. See details.
- Oak Meadow Park, 200 Blossom Hill Rd — If you have younger children then don’t miss this great kids park! The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, 110 Blossom Hill Rd, comes complete with a small engine house, station, clock tower, and turntable. Its main feature is a small, cute, but very real steam locomotive which pulls the open cars. This steam engine, known as “2 Spot”, was built in 1905 and originally served 21 years for the Venice California Municipal Railway. There are also two diesel engine backups when “2 Spot” is down for repairs. Tickets are only $2/ride with children under 2 for free.The Bill Mason Carousel is a historical round-a-bout aka merry-go-round built in England in 1915. It was shipped around Cape Horn for the San Francisco Pan-American Exposition and then used in a travelling circus before ending up in Oak Meadow Park. Tickets are also $2/ride.
Besides the larger attractions there is also a full size mock up of a fighter jet trainer and smaller mock ups of a fire truck and a train to crawl around on. There are also snackbars and plenty of swings & slides. Vasona Lake Park is immediately adjacent so it is only a quick walk to more fun at the lake or meadows.Parking costs $6 and the lots can be tight on weekends. You can also park on University Ave south of Blossom Hill Rd for free and walk in.
If you are local then you know that summer afternoons can get very hot in Los Gatos. We definitely prefer mornings and so will small children.
- Vasona Lake Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd — This is a good sized, well maintained and busy park with plenty to do. E.g.,
- normal park things such as plenty of picnic benches, BBQ pits, large grassy meadows, ducks, squirrels, and geese
- a big lake with a boat harbor, fishing pier, paddle boats & canoeing in the summer
- a creek running through the park with benches to enjoy it from
- trails, including the Los Gatos Creek trail, running through the park and around the lake
- Oak Meadow Park (see details above) with its steam railroad, carousel, and childrens play areas.
Parking lots within Vasona Lake Park or Oak Meadow Park costs $6/space.
- Los Gatos means “the cats” in Spanish.
- On a warm summer day Los Gatos can get very hot though the locals are used to it. For this reason we often pick overcast days or a cooler time of year to visit.
- Parking is usually good in downtown Los Gatos because of the variety of parking lots between Santa Cruz Ave & University Ave. Many spaces are free for 3 hours.
There is a lot to enjoy in downtown Los Gatos. Give it a try some cool Sunday morning!
- Map of best things to do in Los Gatos
- Los Gatos wineries and Wine Map – There are several very nice little wineries within 15 minutes of Los Gatos. No need to drive all the way to Napa!
- San Jose and map – Los Gatos is a suburb of San Jose. Here are some more things to do nearby in San Jose.
- Back from Los Gatos Things To Do to Best Towns Near SF
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