Founded in the 1850s, Los Gatos is a charming small city with a population of around 30,000. However, it has a rich history and plenty of attractions, such as hiking, biking, wine tasting, yoga and more, making it an excellent place to visit, whether it be just for the day or a lengthier stay.
Explore Vasona Lake County Park
At the 150-acre (61ha) Vasona Lake County Park, you can bike, hike, fish, picnic and walk your dog (on a leash). The park has public and reservable picnic tables and 45 acres (18ha) dedicated to outdoor activities, such as soccer. Spring through fall, paddleboats and rowboats are available to rent, and every Saturday in June and July, there is a free concert known as Vasona Vibrations. Oak Meadow Park lies within Vasona Lake County Park and is home to a carousel, more picnic areas and green space plus two playgrounds, one of which has a real airplane for children to clamber on. On Saturdays and Sundays, there is also the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, a miniature train ride. Vasona also offers an animated holiday light show in December called Fantasy of Lights.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Load up on produce at the Los Gatos Farmers’ Market
In the center of the city is the Los Gatos Farmers’ Market. The Sunday market has fresh produce, live music and a small park area next door for children to play in, making it an excellent spot at which to stop and have breakfast or an early lunch. The market supports local farmers and offers a variety of food, from crêpes and Mexican food to vegetable rolls. You can also purchase fresh fish and flowers.
Cycle the Los Gatos Creek Trail
The 10mi (16km) Los Gatos Creek Trail starts in Campbell and works its way through San Jose, Vasona Lake County Park and Los Gatos. Along the path, you’ll see people walking, jogging, cycling and skateboarding, and there’s also a dog park. It has both flat and hilly terrain, and while it’s busy, it’s not so crowded that you’ll constantly have to manoeuvre around people.
Shop your way down North Santa Cruz Avenue
If you have some spare time in Los Gatos, take a walk along North Santa Cruz Avenue. Along with amenities such as banks, there are also plenty of stores for shopping, tasty eateries, salons and a movie theater, plus it’s a great place for people-watching. Visiting Los Gatos wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down this avenue for some window-shopping.
Hike through Castle Rock State Park
In proximity to the city is Castle Rock State Park, an excellent place for long hikes. It features several different trails – also good for mountain biking and running – of varying difficulty. At the top of the Castle Rock Falls trail is a waterfall, and several hikes, such as those that lead to Goat Rock, offer fantastic views. Just watch out for poison oak.
Go wine tasting
In downtown Los Gatos, Testarossa Winery is housed in an old novitiate where Jesuits would make wine to be served during Mass, along with various dessert wines. Although the original building is still intact and in full use, expansions over the years now hide it. In 1997, Testarossa moved into the building, producing only 4,000 cases in its first year – it now creates approximately 30,000 annually. The original building, though, is a major highlight, and there is also a large outdoor area and another tasting room where you can eat and listen to music.
Dive into the history of the area at New Museum Los Gatos
Founded in 1965 as the Museums of Los Gatos, the New Museum Los Gatos (Numu) opened in 2015, merging the Art Museum of Los Gatos and the History Museum at Forbes Mill and moving into an old, but now renovated, library to create a modern museum. Within its 6,000sqft (557sqkm) space, Numu hosts permanent and rotating exhibitions, along with various workshops. It also has a gallery dedicated to local artists whose work is available for purchase.
Unwind and relax at YogaSource
YogaSource first opened in Palo Alto in 1994, making it one of the first certified yoga studios in Northern California, and in 2002, it expanded to Los Gatos. Its programs include gentle, hot, flow and specialty yoga. In 2014, the company partnered with the Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program to produce a free Cancer Care Movement & Meditation yoga program for cancer patients and their loved ones. YogaSource also provides a boutique Balinese-style spa that uses organic products and a lounge where you can purchase tea, yoga books, accessories and more.
Browse books at the Los Gatos Library
The Los Gatos Library has quiet study areas, computers, free wifi, self-checkout and plenty of outlets. There are plenty of different genres available, and if they don’t have the book you’re looking for, the librarians can order it. It hosts reading programs and story time for children, too.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.