26 Terrific Things to do in Los Altos, California

Welcome to Los Altos, the quaint little town where I accidentally moved to and have now fallen in love with! As a newcomer, I was skeptical of how much excitement could be packed into this sleepy little suburb, but boy was I wrong. From the food to the shopping, the outdoor activities to the nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Los Altos that will keep you entertained for days.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through, I’ve compiled a list of 26 things you absolutely must do while in Los Altos. Some are well-known gems, while others are hidden treasures I stumbled upon during my explorations.

So grab a pen, start taking notes, and get ready for an adventure in this charming Silicon Valley oasis. Just be warned: you might not want to leave!

26 Terrific Things to do in Los Altos, California

Los Altos, California is a charming little town nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. Despite its small size, there are plenty of things to do in Los Altos that will keep you entertained for days. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, here are 26 things you absolutely must do while in Los Altos:

1. Explore the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

Things to do in Los altos m- Rancho San Antonio Open Space PreserveThis beautiful park offers over 24 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, making it the perfect place to get some fresh air and exercise. There are a number of great hiking trails in the area, ranging from easy and scenic strolls to more challenging treks that offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

The preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and hawks, and offers stunning views of the Santa Clara Valley.

Another great hiking destination is the Foothills Park, which offers 15 miles of trails through oak and chaparral-covered hills. The park is only open to residents of Palo Alto and their guests, so it’s a great way to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful hike in nature.

No matter which trail you choose, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the California sun can be strong even in cooler months. And don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture the stunning views and natural beauty of the Los Altos Hills.
(https://www.openspace.org/preserves/rancho-san-antonio)

2. Visit the Los Altos Farmers’ Market

Open on Thursday evenings from May through September, this farmers’ market offers a variety of fresh, locally grown produce, as well as live music and food trucks.

The market features over 50 vendors selling everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to handmade pasta, artisanal cheeses, and fresh flowers. You’ll also find a variety of food trucks and stands selling ready-to-eat items like tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and crepes. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

In addition to food, you’ll also find vendors selling handmade jewelry, pottery, and other crafts. And there’s often live music or other entertainment to enjoy while you browse.

One of the things that makes the Los Altos Farmers’ Market unique is its focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness. Many of the vendors use sustainable farming practices and sell products that are organic, non-GMO, and locally sourced. You can feel good about supporting small businesses and reducing your environmental impact while you shop.

Overall, the Los Altos Farmers’ Market is a fun and vibrant community event that is not to be missed. It’s a great way to support local businesses and farmers while enjoying delicious food and good company.

3. Check out the Los Altos History Museum

Things to do in los altos- Los Altos History MuseumThis museum offers a fascinating look at the history of Los Altos, including exhibits on the town’s early settlers, orchard industry, and more. (https://www.losaltoshistory.org/)

4. Go shopping in Downtown Los Altos

This charming downtown area is filled with boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, making it the perfect place to spend a day shopping and exploring. (https://downtownlosaltos.org/)

5. Attend the Los Altos Art & Wine Festival

Held every July, this festival features live music, wine tasting, and over 300 artists displaying their work. (https://www.losaltoschamber.org/events/details/los-altos-art-wine-festival-2022-182)

6. Visit the Cantor Arts Center

Located on the nearby Stanford University campus, this museum features an impressive collection of art, including works by Rembrandt, Rodin, and Warhol. (https://museum.stanford.edu/)

7. Take a stroll through the Gamble Garden

Things to do in los altos- Gamble GardenLocated in the heart of downtown Los Altos, the Gamble Garden is a 2.5-acre property that was once the private estate of Elizabeth F. Gamble, a member of the Procter & Gamble family. Today, the garden is open to the public and features a variety of stunning gardens, including a rose garden, a perennial garden, and a native plant garden.

In addition to the gardens, the Gamble Garden also hosts a variety of events and classes throughout the year, including gardening workshops, art classes, and cooking demonstrations. They also offer guided tours of the garden on select days.

One of the unique features of the Gamble Garden is its emphasis on sustainability and conservation. The garden is committed to using sustainable gardening practices, and features a variety of drought-tolerant plants and other environmentally friendly features.
(https://www.gamblegarden.org/)

8. Go wine tasting at the Byington Vineyard & Winery

Just a short drive from Los Altos, this winery offers beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and a variety of award-winning wines. (https://www.byington.com/)

9. Attend a concert at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

This beautiful theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including theater, dance, and music. (https://www.mvcpa.com/)

10. Take a bike ride along the Stevens Creek Trail

This scenic trail runs through Los Altos and nearby cities, offering a beautiful way to explore the area on two wheels. (https://www.mountainview.gov/depts/cs/rec/parks/trails/stevenscreek.asp)

11. Visit the Computer History Museum

Located in nearby Mountain View, this museum offers a fascinating look at the history of computing, with exhibits on everything from the abacus to the internet. (https://computerhistory.org/)

12. Have a picnic at Shoup Park

Things to do in los altosThis beautiful park features a playground, tennis courts, and plenty of shady spots to enjoy a picnic or BBQ. (https://www.losaltosca.gov/recreation/page/shoup-park)

13. Attend a movie at the Los Altos Theatre

This historic theater has been showing movies since 1927, and still offers a classic movie-going experience with its Art Deco decor and balcony seating. (https://www.losaltostheatre.com/)

14. Take a cooking class at Sur La Table

This culinary store in downtown Los Altos offers a variety of cooking classes for all skill levels, from pasta-making to sushi rolling. (https://www.surlatable.com/cooking-classes/)

15. Visit the Los Altos Library

This newly renovated library offers a wide selection of books, as well as a variety of events and workshops throughout the year. (https://www.sccld.org/los-altos/)

16. Go ice skating at the Winter Lodge

Things to do in los altos, caThe Winter Lodge is an outdoor ice skating rink that has been a fixture of the Los Altos community for over 60 years. The rink is open from October through April, and offers public skating sessions, as well as private lessons and ice hockey games.

The rink is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and has a cozy and festive atmosphere, especially during the holiday season. Skating at Winter Lodge is a great way to get some exercise, spend time with family or friends, and enjoy the crisp California winter weather.

In addition to skating, Winter Lodge also offers a variety of other fun activities, such as curling lessons, ice dancing workshops, and birthday party packages. And if you need a break from the ice, there’s a warming hut where you can cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and a snack. (https://www.winterlodge.com/)

17. Take a yoga class at the Yoga Belly Studio

This studio offers a variety of yoga classes, as well as meditation and sound healing sessions. (https://yogabellystudio.com/)

18. Enjoy a meal at The Post

This popular restaurant in downtown Los Altos serves up delicious American cuisine with a modern twist, and offers a great selection of craft cocktails. (https://thepostlosaltos.com/)

19. Visit the Los Altos History House Museum

Located in the heart of downtown Los Altos, the History House Museum is a beautifully restored Victorian-era home that has been converted into a museum.

The museum features a variety of exhibits and artifacts that showcase the history of the area, including photographs, documents, and household items from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The museum also offers guided tours, which are led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about the history of Los Altos.

The tours provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the early settlers of the area, as well as the growth and development of the community over time.

One of the unique features of the History House Museum is its focus on preserving and sharing the history of Los Altos through community engagement.

The museum regularly hosts a variety of events and activities, including lectures, workshops, and special exhibits, that are designed to engage and educate the community.

(https://www.losaltoshistory.org/history-house-museum/)

20. Attend a performance at the Foothill College Theatre Arts Department

This college theater department puts on a variety of productions throughout the year, ranging from classic plays to modern musicals. (https://foothill.edu/theatre/)

21. Take a pottery class at the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild

This ceramics studio offers classes for all skill levels, as well as opportunities to work on your own projects in their open studio hours. (https://www.ovcag.org/)

22. Visit the Los Altos Hills Open Space Preserve

This beautiful park offers over 10 miles of hiking trails, as well as stunning views of the Bay Area. (https://www.openspace.org/preserves/los-altos-hills)

23. Have an Amazing Meal at Los Altos Grill

This restaurant is a popular spot in downtown Los Altos, serving up American cuisine with a California twist. They have a great selection of grilled meats and seafood, as well as salads, sandwiches, and other delicious dishes.

And of course, they also have a full bar with a great selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. You might find me at the bar on a fun Thursday night at Happy hour- this place is so much fun! You can check out their menu and make a reservation on their website: https://www.losaltosgrill.com/. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in town!

24. Take a dance class at the Los Altos Dance Center

This dance studio offers classes in a variety of styles, from ballet to hip hop, for both kids and adults. (https://www.losaltosdancecenter.com/)

25. Go birdwatching at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve

Located just a short drive from Los Altos, the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve is a sprawling wetlands area that’s home to a diverse array of wildlife and plant species.

The preserve encompasses over 1,940 acres of marsh, mudflats, and seasonal wetlands, making it one of the largest nature preserves in the area.

One of the highlights of the preserve is the extensive network of trails that wind their way through the wetlands, providing visitors with a variety of hiking and biking options. The trails offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the San Francisco Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and provide a unique opportunity to observe the local flora and fauna up close.

In addition to hiking and biking, the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve also offers a variety of other recreational activities, such as birdwatching, kayaking, and fishing.

The preserve is home to over 150 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers from around the world. (https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/csd/parks/preserves/baylands.asp)

26.Visit the Los Altos Golf and Country Club

This private country club offers a beautiful 18-hole golf course, as well as tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a variety of dining options. (https://www.lagcc.com/)

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of things to do in Los Altos that will keep you entertained and engaged. So come and explore this charming little town in the heart of Silicon Valley – you won’t be disappointed!

Fabulous Facts About Los Altos

  • Los Altos is a small, affluent city located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Despite its proximity to some of the world’s largest technology companies, the city has managed to maintain a small-town feel and a strong sense of community.
  • Los Altos was founded in 1906, and was originally a farming community. Over the years, the city has grown and evolved, but it still maintains a strong connection to its agricultural roots.
  • Los Altos is home to a number of parks and open spaces, including the Rancho San Antonio Preserve, which offers over 4,000 acres of hiking and biking trails, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The city is known for its excellent public schools, which consistently rank among the top in the state. Los Altos High School, in particular, has a strong reputation for academic excellence and extracurricular activities.
  • Los Altos is also home to a number of cultural institutions, including the Los Altos History Museum, which celebrates the city’s rich history, and the Community Plaza Theater, which hosts a variety of live performances and events throughout the year.
  • The city has a strong tradition of community involvement and volunteerism. Residents are actively engaged in local organizations and events, and work together to maintain the city’s high quality of life.
  • Los Altos has been named one of the best places to live in the United States by a number of publications, including Money Magazine and Forbes. The city’s strong economy, excellent schools, and high quality of life are all factors that contribute to its popularity as a desirable place to live.

Sample itinerary for a day trip to Los Altos:

9:00 AM – Start the day with breakfast at Bumble Los Altos, a charming café that offers a delicious menu of coffee, pastries, and breakfast dishes.

10:00 AM – Visit the Los Altos History Museum, where you can learn about the city’s rich history and explore the exhibits on display.

11:30 AM – Take a stroll through the Rancho San Antonio Preserve, which offers miles of hiking trails and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

1:00 PM – Grab lunch at the Los Altos Grill, a local favorite that serves up delicious burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

2:30 PM – Visit the Gamble Garden, a beautiful botanical garden that offers a serene setting for a relaxing afternoon stroll.

4:00 PM – Head to the Winter Lodge, an outdoor ice skating rink that offers public skating sessions and private lessons.

6:00 PM – Enjoy dinner at the Village Pub, an upscale restaurant that serves up delicious farm-to-table cuisine in a cozy and intimate setting.

8:00 PM – End the day with a show at the Community Plaza Theater, which hosts a variety of live performances and events throughout the year.

Of course, this is just one possible itinerary – there are plenty of other great things to see and do in Los Altos, depending on your interests and preferences.

Cities that Are Close By to Visit:

  1. Palo Alto – Just a few miles to the northwest of Los Altos, Palo Alto is home to Stanford University, a thriving downtown area, and a variety of tech companies.
  2. Mountain View – Located just to the north of Los Altos, Mountain View is home to Google’s headquarters, as well as a number of other tech companies and attractions like Shoreline Amphitheatre and the Computer History Museum.
  3. Sunnyvale – To the east of Los Altos, Sunnyvale is home to companies like Yahoo and Lockheed Martin, as well as a variety of parks and outdoor spaces.
  4. Cupertino – Located to the south of Los Altos, Cupertino is perhaps best known as the home of Apple, but also has a thriving downtown area and a number of parks and open spaces.
  5. San Jose – Just a short drive to the southeast of Los Altos, San Jose is the largest city in Silicon Valley and offers a wealth of attractions, including the Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the SAP Center, which is home to the San Jose Sharks hockey team.
Final thoughts about this amazing city

There are a wide variety of fun and interesting things to do in Los Altos, California, making it a great destination for visitors and locals alike. You won’t regret a visit here.

From exploring the city’s rich history and culture at the Los Altos History Museum to enjoying the great outdoors at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve or Rancho San Antonio Preserve, there’s something for everyone in this charming Silicon Valley town.

Visitors can also enjoy delicious cuisine at local favorites like Los Altos Grill and The Village Pub, or take in a show at the Community Plaza Theater. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, Los Altos has plenty to offer.

Happy Travels!

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