Custom homes in beautiful surroundings have been a part of Los Gatos for generations. Thibault Builders continues that tradition; serving clients throughout this gorgeous part of the South Bay. In the process, we’ve found out a bit about why folks love it here. Los Gatos is a vibrant town and active community. While it’s full of quaint charm, it’s also hopping with things to do and places to “see and be seen.” We thought you might like to know some what we’ve learned.
Los Gatos Then and Now
From out of Sebastian Peralta and José Hernandez’s original land patent for La Rinconada de Los Gatos (aka. Cat’s Corner) the site for a new town was chosen.
As the town matured, Los Gatos (pronounced locally as “las gattis”) became the perfect weekend and holiday destination for urban dwellers seeking a break, and today boasts both a strong community and local economy.
Founded originally in the 1800’s, and a town that quickly grew into a summer getaway location for San Franciscans, Los Gatos (named after the cougars and bobcats native to the region) has retained an elegant, yet relaxed and even festive air to this day. This community, long known as the “Gem of the Foothills” is, in the same breath, both sophisticated and down to earth. It is this unique combination which shines through and makes this community an ideal place in which to live, work, or enjoy an afternoon visit to Lake Vasona – pictured here.
The downtown shopping district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is quaint and widely varied, from the little boutiques and Mom & Pop shops to established national chains. Whether you are hunting for gifts, clothing, that certain something to pull a room together, or the latest in technology. Los Gatos provides variety and quality all within a few, strollable blocks!
City of Los Gatos – Nuts & Bolts
- Boundaries of the Survey Area – Zoning Map of Los Gatos. The town of Los Gatos had a population of 31,420 as of July 1, 2018. The formal boundaries for the Town of Los Gatos encompass a land area of 11.17 sq. miles and a water area of 0.08 sq. miles. Santa Clara County is in the Pacific time zone (GMT -8). The elevation is 344 feet.
- Coordinates – The primary coordinate point for Los Gatos is located at latitude 37.2266 and longitude -121.9747 in Santa Clara County.
- Remodeling in Los Gatos – Plan reviews and inspections are completed by the Building Division in Los Gatos. The Building Division also offers online access to view the building permit history for parcels in the town’s jurisdiction. Remember, Thibault Builders is here when you need us and we are happy to handle all the details for you.
- Opening or Buying a Business in Los Gatos – Los Gatos has an Economic Vitality Department and you can find everything you need for buying a business or opening a new business in Los Gatos. They have an online document with the 9 Steps to Starting a Business in LG.
- Beekeepers in Los Gatos – Contact a local beekeeper if you need to move a swarm of bees from your property. Not sure if you have bees or wasps? Use this document from the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers before you call. Do not spray the hive. Call the beekeeper for your area and this service is often free of charge. BeeGuild.com
- Recycling & E-Waste – West Valley Collection and Recycling is the local Los Gatos recycling, green waste and garbage hauler. Tel: 408-283-9250
- Metal Recycling – Scrap metal, CRV warehouse Open 7 Days a Week. They also buy glass, aluminum CRV and plastic CRV. MetalRecycling
- Disposal of Hazardous Waste – California hazardous waste rules ban residents from throwing most consumer electronics, batteries, and mercury-containing products in their trash cans. Called “universal waste;” these items contain harmful chemicals which, if disposed of improperly, may be harmful to people and the environment. For household hazardous waste make an appointment online.
- Disposal of eWaste – West Valley Collection & Recycling (WVC&R) accepts e-waste and universal waste drop-offs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – 575 WVC&R Free Drop-Off Site is located at 575 Charles St., San Jose, CA
- Ignitables, Corrosives & Reactives – Recycle your old paints, dry or wet, petroleum products, polishes, gasoline, pool cleaning chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, propane, smoke detectors and other dangerous items can be recycled at the County of Santa Clara drop off points. Check their online calendar for the dates. Do not bring your pets but do bring your proof of residency.
- Emergency Preparedness (CERT) – During disasters, police and fire department personnel may be unavailable to respond to all emergency events. CERT members may be called upon to serve in their neighborhoods, as well as areas outside of their immediate neighborhoods. (Search your neighborhood CERT map here.) CERT, under the direction of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, has identified CERT neighborhoods and is establishing Neighborhood Incident Command Posts to assist CERT members with emergency response efforts during a disaster.
- Habitat for Humanity – Looking for home improvement products like new cabinets or gently used appliances and furniture? Or want to find a home for your cabinets, building materials or appliances you are replacing? Habitat For Humanity has stores in the Bay Area where they sell gently used items and can also take donation. Check their website and enter your zip code for the closest store to you. Their stores are called Habitat For Humanity ReStore. Your donations can also be considered a tax deduction.
Various & Sundry in Los Gatos
- Famed Food – Los Gatos features some of the best restaurants in the South Bay, including Dio Deka, two-time, fine dinning winner of a Michelin Star. On the more rustic end of the spectrum is The Cats restaurant. It opened in 1967 and is one of the last remaining official Roadhouses in the U.S. This is where you can also see the famed “Leo” and “Leona” statues that were created by sculptor Robert Paine and have guarded the entrance to an area known as Poet’s Canyon since 1922.
- Arts & Culture – Los Gatos has a Arts & Culture Commission who are responsible for public art, call to artists and music in the parks. Their commission is always looking for volunteers and creative ideas for art, drama, music and other creative activities. Apply here to volunteer and learn about their public meetings.
- Claims to Fame – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, renowned figure skater, Peggy Fleming, author John Steinbeck, ad man, Gary Dahl (who invented the Pet Rock), and painter of light, Thomas Kinkade. Famous sisters of Hollywood’s Golden Age Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were graduates of Los Gatos High School, as were United Airlines Flight 93 passengers Mark Bingham and Todd Beamer, who bravely stormed the plane’s cockpit on 9/11. These days Los Gatos’ most famous corporate resident is, of course, Netflix, which is headquartered in town.
Things To Do in Los Gatos
- Drive-by Curiosities and Places to Explore – Leo and Leona, the unofficial ambassadors of the town are two large, white, stone cats who have stood as silent sentinels marking the entrance to the private Poet’s Corner estate since 1922, the Submarine House – a subterranean home created out of a grain silo, and the Umunhum Cube – the odd and abandoned Cold War era radio tower that once scanned the skies to warn of a potential West Coast air strike. Catch annual events like the Los Gatos Irish Writers Festival, and Fiesta des Artes. Finally, be sure to come out and experience: the Steinbeck House (where the author penned both The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice & Men), NUMU, the New Museum of Los Gatos, the Art Museums of Los Gatos, the Forbes Mill Museum, and the Los Gatos Theater.
- Fremont Older Preserve – Dogs on a leash are welcome on all of the Fremont Older Preserve trails. Hunter’s Point is a 900’ hilltop that is the highlight of this trail and it does give you sweeping views of Los Gatos, Saratoga and much of Silicon Valley.
- Equestrian Families – Garrod Farms and Riding Stables is a family-owned and operated establishment that welcomes riders of all skill levels. They also board horses and teach riding lessons for all levels. Family owned and operated. For their hours and rates and rules about pets and minors, check their website or give them a call at Tel: 408-867-9527
- Wine – Six key wineries lie within the town limits, many in walking distance. Enjoy: Villa de Monte Winery, Regale Winery, Burrell School Vineyards, MJA Vineyards, Loma Prieta Winery, and Novitiate Testarossa Winery.
- Wine Tasting Rooms – And additional 20 wine tasting rooms nearby in Saratoga and the nearby Santa Cruz mountains. Lots more nearby in the Santa Cruz mountains and Los Gatos, as well. Testarossa, The Mountain Winery (formerly Paul Masson), Savannah-Chanelle, Conrado Cellars and Cinnabar, to name a few.
- Festival and Events Calendar – Spring Into Green, 4th of July Symphony in the Park, Screen on the Green, Holiday Tree Lighting and others can all be found on the Town and Event and Activities Websites for Los Gatos. If you want to hold your own special event in Los Gatos, you can also apply for a permit here. Annual and seasonal physical events have included: The Resolution Run (New Year’s), The Spring Wine Walk, The Cats Hill Classic Bike Race, Yoga on the Green, and The Great Race. The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce website keeps a calendar of events all over Los Gatos.
- Musical and Film Series – Vasona Vibrations, Jazz on the Plazz, Music in the Park, and Screen on the Green family movie nights are all popular and well-attended.
- Civic Events – Rotary Club’s Claws for a Cause annual charity fundraiser, the Chamber of Commerce’s Eat Drink Los Gatos, Independence Day Celebrations in Oak Meadows Park, and a multitude of winter holiday events including the Tree Lighting, Carriage Rides, Children Christmas, and Fantasy of Lights.