The city of Los Altos is a Silicon Valley suburb in the South Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. With a population of nearly 30,000 residents, the town is a bedroom community with origins that date back to its time as a weekend retreat for wealthy San Francisco residents.
Los Altos is well served by three international airports. San Jose International Airport is the closest at 14 miles by car, while San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport are 25 and 34 miles away respectively. The city of San Jose is also served by Amtrak, Greyhound, Boltbus, and Megabus.
The nearest train stops to Los Altos are the San Antonio and Mountain View stops of Caltrain with a bus connection via the Valley Transportation Authority 40 bus.
Los Altos's suburban layout best lends itself to a car, but cycling is also very popular, especially along the picturesque (but busy) Foothill Expressway. The Los Altos-Palo Alto bicycle path stretches westward from Los Altos Avenue (at Margarita Court) toward Stanford University and is completely separated from automobile traffic.
The quiet downtown district of Los Altos is walkable and bike-friendly. Parking is also free for cars.
Los Altos sits in the heart of Silicon Valley but began as an agricultural town. Its two pasts are reflected in its sights.
- Steve Jobs Garage, 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA, . While Apple, Inc. is currently headquartered in nearby Cupertino, it began in the garage and spare bedroom of this home once owned by the parents of Steve Jobs. Please take care not to disturb the current residents of this home.
- Los Altos History Museum, 51 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA, ☎ (650) 948-9427, . Thursday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.. The museum features a historic 1905 home and "explores the rich history of local people and how the use of the land over time has transformed the agricultural paradise once known as the 'Valley of Heart’s Delight' into the high technology hub of today’s Silicon Valley." free admission.
- Heritage Apricot Orchard at Los Altos Civic Center, 1 North San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA. This municipal apricot orchard celebrates Los Altos's past as a farming town. The apricots are cultivated to this day and sold at the local DeMartini Orchard fruit stand.
- Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, 482 University Avenue Los Altos, CA 94022, . This 5.9 acre facility began as an early 20th century attraction to encourage San Franciscans to visit Los Altos. The redwood trees are not original to the area but are meant to replicate other majestic forests in Northern California. The park features a boardwalk over Adobe Creek, as well as blackberry picking in summer months. free admission.
- Downtown Los Altos Friday Movie Nights, Main Street and Third Street, Los Altos, CA, . Pretend you're a local and bring your chairs, blankets, and picnics to this summer outdoor film series, sponsored by the Los Altos Village Association. free.
- Los Altos Art and Wine Festival, . Walk the streets of downtown Los Altos as artist hawk their wares. There are rides, food stalls, and musical groups. The festival takes place the second weekend of July.
- Fine Art in the Park, 199 University Avenue Los Altos, CA 94022, . Each year in May, Los Altos Rotary Club presents Fine Art in the Park, an open-air art show featuring original works by over 100 artists. The event takes place in '"Lincoln Park.'" free.
- Los Altos Stage Company, 97 Hillview Avenue Los Altos, CA, . Formerly known as the Bus Barn Stage Company (for its performances in a converted barn), the Los Altos Stage Company is a quintessential neighborhood playhouse — with 99 seats and a long history of over 100 productions. Tickets are in the range of $20.
Los Altos has four commercial districts, with the largest being its six-block triangular downtown. Downtown Los Altos. The downtown has a mixture of shops and restaurants and features some of the city's most historic buildings. There is also shopping along El Camino Real, at Rancho Shopping Center, and at Loyola Corners, which has a number of shops in a walkable district.
- DeMartini Orchard, 66 North San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022, . This store sells its produce just as it did decades ago when it was surrounded by its own farm. Enjoy free samples of well-selected fruit.
- Sweet Shop, 994 Los Altos Avenue Los Altos, CA 94022, . This coffeehouse/ice cream parlor/candy store sits hidden away in a residential neighborhood and dates back to 1940. All net proceeds from store sales benefit the local, well-regarded school system.
- Whole Foods Market, 4800 El Camino Real Los Altos, CA 94022, . This Whole Foods, with its numerous specialty stations and ample underground parking, is one of the chain's largest.
- Maria's France-Italy-England, 393 Main Street Los Altos, CA, . This antiques store sits in Los Altos's original train depot, around which the town sprouted up.
- Linden Tree Books, 265 State Street, . This local institution sells children's books and gifts for people of all ages.
The typical cuisine of Los Altos is California cuisine, with an emphasis on heart-healthy local products like avocado and salmon.
- Chef Chu's, 1067 North San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA, . Chef Chu's is a Los Altos institution, dating to 1970. Try the famous Chinese chicken salad and note the wall photos of celebrities who have visited, including several U.S. presidents (and foreign leaders, as well). Typical dinner entrees range from $10-$15.
- Tom's Depot, 991 Fremont Avenue, . This eggs-and-sandwiches spot pays a strong homage to Los Altos's train beginnings.
- Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus, 4540 El Camino Real Los Altos, CA 94022, . Watch out for long lines at lunchtime as office workers queue up for this deli's famous sandwiches, which have been served fresh since 1978.
- Akane Japanese Restaurant, 250 3rd St Los Altos, CA 94022. This sushi restaurant is popular with retired football player Steve Young.
- American Italian Delicatessen & Gelateria, 139 Main St Los Altos, CA 94022. This "Italian deli," as it is most popularly known, is famous for its "Godfather" sandwich, which as a variety of cold cuts.
- Rick’s Cafe, 205 State St Los Altos, CA 94022, . It doesn't get more Los Altos than Rick's Cafe, a downtown brunch place.
- Le Boulanger, 301 Main St Los Altos, CA 94022, . This was the first location of the now well-known Bay Area chainlet, with fresh-baked bread and a history that dates back nearly a century.
- Tour Eiffel Vietnamese Restaurant, 200 State St Los Altos, CA 94022. This Vietnamese restaurant has been around since before Vietnamese food was trendy. Enjoy great soups and sandwiches.
Both of Los Altos's hotels are relatively new and modern. They sit along the city's El Camino Real corridor.
- Courtyard Palo Alto Los Altos, 4320 El Camino Real, ☎ +1 650 941-9900 (toll free: +1 800 321-2211, fax: +1 650 941-2866), .
- Residence Inn Palo Alto Los Altos, 4460 El Camino Real, ☎ +1 650 559-7890 (fax: +1 650 559-7891), .
Aside from property and car thefts, Los Altos has a very low crime rate.
Los Altos is surrounded by the great outdoors. Head into the hillside to take a hike in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. Or visit Hidden Villa, a non-profit organic farm located in Los Altos Hills, California that features a variety of activities.