Most visitors arrive in Scotts Valley by car. Two exits off of the winding California State Route 17 take visitors into the city.
There is no train service in Scotts Valley, but a collaboration between Amtrak, Santa Clara County's Valley Transit Authority, and Santa Cruz County's Metro Transit District has resulted in frequent, daily, hour-long bus trips between downtown San Jose and Scotts Valley. The "Highway 17 Express" costs $4 each way; an $8 day pass entitles the bearer to free use of both the VTA and Metro mass transit systems for the day (2008 rates). In San Jose, this bus stops at the Diridon train station (with connections to CalTrain), VTA light rail stops in downtown San Jose, and at San Jose State University. In Santa Cruz County, it stops at the Cavallero Transit Center in Scotts Valley (on King's Village Road, just off Mount Hermon Road). Some routes continue into downtown Santa Cruz. This bus route is popular with students, non-drivers, and regular commuters to the downtown San Jose area.
The Greyhound bus service also provides service to the area from San Francisco.
The nearest airports with scheduled passenger service are in San Jose and Monterey. The nearest municipal airport for private planes is in Watsonville.
Most visitors to Scotts Valley drive to nearby attractions. The main part of the small city is adjacent to California State Route 17. The city itself has two main roads: Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Hermon Road. Scotts Valley Drive parallels Highway 17; Mount Hermon Road proceeds northwest to Felton.
The primary local bus route in the City, which runs approximately every half hour during the day, goes south to downtown Santa Cruz and north on Mount Hermon Road to the communities in the San Lorenzo Valley. Rates are $1.50 per adult per trip; there are no transfers. The main Santa Cruz bus station is in the downtown shopping district and about a fifteen-minute-long walk away from Main Beach in Santa Cruz. The bus system is usually considered more useful for getting in and out of Scotts Valley than for getting from one place to another in the city itself.
Visitors can also take the Highway 17 Express and Greyhound buses to San Jose and the San Francisco Bay area.
The main city roads are in relatively good condition for bicycling.
There is relatively little to see in Scotts Valley. Tourist attractions, such as Santa's Village and Lost World, all closed many years ago.
Most visitors use Scotts Valley as a convenient base for exploring the nearby areas: the amusement park in Santa Cruz, the redwood forests in Felton, the kayak-friendly sloughs in Watsonville, and the beaches all along the coast.
Within the City of Scotts Valley, there are four wineries. Roudon-Smith Winery and Glenwood Oaks Winery (same location) are open for tastings on Saturday afternoons and occasionally for events sponsored by the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Association.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsors a large Art and Wine Festival each August. On Independence Day, a regional fireworks display is hosted at Skypark.
Several city parks, including the large Skypark complex, are available for day use at no cost and may be popular with families. Skypark offers an enclosed dog run, a 20,000 square foot (1850 square meters) concrete skateboard park, two playgrounds, soccer fields, bocce ball courts, and picnic areas. An easy trail beyond the tennis courts loops around an adjacent housing area and provides beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. Siltanen Park, at the north end of Scotts Valley, offers playground space and a shallow swimming pool with a lifeguard.
Between Skypark and the bus station is a roller skating rink that is open to the public on weekends.
There are very few stores in Scotts Valley which cater specifically to tourists.
Los Gallos Taqueria--A valley favorite with amazing burritos. The breakfast burrito is highly recommended.