Welcome to Saratoga
Located in the southwest section of the Santa Clara Valley, Saratoga is a town known for its beautiful residential area and small town feel. Despite its relatively large size and location in the most cutting edge county in the country, Saratoga is a town that has held on to its humble roots and maintained a small town atmosphere. An historic downtown district combines with locally owned shops and a high quality school district to create a high quality of life.
Lay of the Land
Saratoga is bordered on most of its western and southern edges by lush redwood forests and protected wilderness. This includes the El Sereno Open Space preserve, Castle Rock State Park, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, and Stevens Creek County Park. On its northern and eastern borders it pushes up against the edges of San Jose, Monte Sereno, Campbell and Cupertino. It is a modestly sized city with approximately 30,000 residents spread out over 12.4 square miles. Like many areas of Silicon Valley it is an extremely affluent area, with median household incomes of $159,754 and median home value of well over 1 million dollars.
Being slightly out of the way, most of the Saratoga ground traffic is limited to the West Valley Freeway which runs through the center of town. However, its close proximity to San Jose means residents have easy access to a number of major highway and freeway options once they leave the immediate area. Additionally, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority provides light rail and commuter bus lines to all members of the Silicon Valley community. However, there are no transit service stations within the city limits. This is an intentional decision on the part of the City Council in order to maintain the rural appearance of the town.
Saratoga is above all else a city determined to maintain a relaxed, semi-rural atmosphere and small town ambiance. To accomplish this, the city has strictly controlled the aesthetics of the town and the nature of the retail locations and community attractions. Very few of the streets in Saratoga have sidewalks or streetlights. Businesses are predominantly locally owned and many of the attractions are based on historical locations or local cultural traditions.
Music and Arts
Saratoga is a city proud of the way in which it has cultivated the arts and music. The city is home to the Hakone Estate and Gardens, one of the oldest Asian Gardens in not only the country, but the entire Western Hemisphere. Located in the rolling hills above the city, the gardens host numerous events and performances. Montalvo Arts Center offers residents art courses, performances, gallery exhibitions, and an artistic residency program. Finally, The Mountain Winery provides residents and visitors with a 2500 seat outdoor summer concert series ranging from classical to classic rock and country.
Like the rest of the activities in the city, dining in Saratoga is defined by unique locations and warm, familiar feeling experiences. The six block main street, Saratoga Village, is the culinary heart of the city. It is packed with everything from gourmet restaurants to simple cafes and coffee houses. While the area features its fair share of top rated formal dining locations, it also provides visitors with numerous laidback outdoor eateries.
While often seen as a shopping destination, Saratoga will never compete with major surrounding outlets or the Great Mall of the Bay Area when it comes to volume or retail notoriety. However, what it does offer visitors is a host of shopping options tailored around a small town aesthetic and sensibility. Many of the retail locations are businesses operated by individuals passionate about the chocolate, antiques, or wine that they sell. Whether visitors are perusing a local jewelry store or thrift shop, the atmosphere is always inviting and pressure free.
A trip to Saratoga would not be complete without a taste of the outdoors. Many of the local wineries provide tours that include hikes through the surrounding hills in addition to wine tasting and seasonal dishes. Athletically minded individuals can take advantage of the local golf course, numerous tennis courts, or biking and hiking trails. Finally, a night under the redwood trees is an option at one of the local campgrounds or parks.
The city of Saratoga boasts some of the best schools in the nation spread across six districts with offerings from kindergarten to high school. High school students are served by the Los Gatos Saratoga Union School District.