Set at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Altos was originally a destination for wealthy San Franciscans who built their weekend homes in this area of the ”Valley of the Hearty Delights”. These summertime residents would arrive via railway and embark at what is now First and Main Streets, the main streets into the downtown area.
Known for its excellent schools and neighborhoods replete with mature trees, Los Altos supports seven commercial areas serving its close to 30,000 residents. It is among the most expensive cities to live in, but to most who live there the tranquil, charming neighborhoods are well worth it. Los Altos is an extraordinary blending of charming and historic buildings with a welcoming, small town atmosphere. The Downtown Community Plaza hosts goings-on throughout the year and lovely flowers can be found all over the village. A six-block triangle forms the core of the business district.
More than 140 stores and specialty shops offer an remarkable variety of merchandise. Recognized for its antiques, art galleries, home accouterments, gifts and items for kids, Los Altos is the perfect place for walking along streets adorned with Chinese Pastiche trees.
You can sense the aroma of fresh baked pastries and freshly ground coffees in the coffee shops and coffee houses. Delicatessens present sandwiches, wholesome salads and takeout food. Well liked restaurants offering a variety of cuisines that are scattered among the downtown area. Downtown Los Altos has many exceptional service businesses such as beauty and health centers, hair salons, barbershops, manicurists, travel agents and veterinary health services. Two grocery stores downtown provide an assortment of products. The small town feel of Los Altos is never more apparent than at downtown parades such as the very cute Los Altos pet parade, where everyone’s pets are dressed up in silly costumes.
The Los Altos Farmers Market is occurs every Thursday afternoon between 4:00 – 8:00 PM between the months of May and September. The recently expanded market boasts locally grown, organic vegetables and fruits, specialty foods, chef demonstrations, activities for the young ones and live entertainment. All returns from this event are applied to the betterment of downtown maintenance and beautification.