Los Altos is in Santa Clara County, in the South Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The city means "The Heights" or "Foothills" in Spanish. It is mostly residential, but it does have several areas which could be considered 'business districts'.
If driving on El Camino Real, drive south on San Antonio Road, south on Los Altos Avenue, or south on Grant Road. If taking public transportation, VTA bus lines 40 and 52 go near downtown Los Altos. Interstate 280 provides easy access to Los Altos. If coming in from the north (San Francisco), then use 280 South. There is no method of entry from the west with the exception of Page Mill Road and Moody Road. If coming in from the south, use 87 North with connections to 280 North. If coming from the east, then 280 North is a simple method of entry.
Los Altos is a small enough town that there is no real "mass transit" option such as train, or light rail. Due to the residential nature of Los Altos, almost every single person uses cars. There is the occasional VTA bus, but it has never been the true method of transit. Los Altos hotspots such as Whole Foods are the greater majority of all bus transit.
Los Altos is mostly residential but there are some hotspots such as Loyola Corners, Downtown Los Altos, and the various borders between Los Altos and other close-by cities. Although not necessarily in the city, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve (Rancho OSP) is a major distinction to see the mountains. The park is open daily from sunrise to sundown.
- 1 Los Altos History Museum, 51 S San Antonio Rd, ☏ . Th-Su, noon-4PM. Features exhibits related to the city's history and occasional special events. Free.
Bicycling is popular, especially on the NE/SW route of Foothill Expressway. Peet's Coffee on State Street is a popular stop for bicyclists. A bicycle route from Los Altos Avenue to Arastradero road is a popular route to Stanford University that avoids much automobile traffic. During evenings in the summer, the Downtown Triangle shows a movie every evening, free of charge.
- Downtown Los Altos Friday Movie Nights, First Street. 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.
- Fine Art in the Park, 199 University Avenue. 11AM-5PM. An open-air art show featuring original works by over 100 artists. The event takes place in Lincoln Park in late May. free.
- Los Altos Art and Wine Festival, Downtown Los Altos. 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. free.
- Arisa Thai Massage, 4546 El Camino Real Suite 202 (Inside Village Court Plaza), ☏ . Known for their signature massage combining Thai, Swedish, and Deep Tissue modalities. Located in the rustic Village Court Shopping Plaza near Chef Chu’s. The studio is quaint and private - perfect for couples. massage sessions start at $100/hr.
- 1 Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, 482 University Avenue, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 6AM-9PM. A small area that features short hiking trails and picnic areas. Class and special events are often held here. There is also a nature center, although it is closed due to renovations as of April 2021. Free.
Los Altos has four main shopping areas, listed in order of size:
- the south side of El Camino Real
- the Downtown Triangle bordered on the Southwest by Foothill Expressway, on the North by Edith Drive, and on the East by San Antonio Road near its Southern terminus. This area is very suitable for walking and is much more peaceful and than similar downtowns in nearby Palo Alto and Mountain View, but still has plenty of foot traffic.
- Rancho Shopping Center at the intersection of Springer Road and Foothill, primarily Andronico's grocery store
- Loyola Corners at the Southern end of Miramonte Road has a variety of shops including a very popular high-end bicycle shop.
In the El Camino Corridor:
- Whole Foods Market. has some indoor seating
- Armadillo Willy's. Lunch and Dinner, American food
- Chef Chu's. Chinese take-out and dinner
- Esther's German Bakery. European bread and pastries
- A Good Morning. American Breakfast
- The Pasta Market. Italian American
- Dittmer's Meats. German meats
In the Downtown Triangle:
- Los Altos Grill. American; formerly Bandera's
- Sumo Sushi, 355 State St, ☏ . Japanese
- La Scala. Italian cuisine. Replaces the now-closed Bella Vita.
- Los Altos Village Pantry.
- Original Pancake House. Pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast items
In the Rancho Shopping Center:
- Andronico's Market. has limited seating
- Rancho Pizza. Take and bake pizza
- Main Street Bagel. For bagels and lunch sandwiches
In Loyola Corners:
- Tom's Depot. for breakfast and lunch
- Cafe Vitale. For upper-scale lunch/dinner
- 1 Courtyard Palo Alto Los Altos, 4320 El Camino Real, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Located very close to downtown Palo Alto. Features an on-site restaurant called Courtyard Long Bar and Bistro that opens until 10 p.m.
- 2 Enchanté Boutique Hotel, 1 Main St, ☏ , concierge@EnchanteHotel.com. French chateau-inspired boutique hotel in downtown Los Altos. Also features a restaurant called Campagne One Main Bistro that is open daily from 12 to 8 p.m.
- 3 Residence Inn Palo Alto Los Altos, 4460 El Camino Real, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Located close to Palo Alto's city center.
Dial 911 for all emergencies.
Violent crime in Los Altos is relatively rare. For hikers, there are some obvious guidelines that should be followed. Bring water, food and a first aid kit if you decide to go hiking in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. The city's police department is located near the city hall.
- 1 Los Altos Police Department, 1 N San Antonio Rd, ☏ (non-emergency line), email@example.com. 8AM-5PM M-F. Only open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, but can be reached at all times via the non-emergency number. The emergency number +1 650 947 2779 can be used as an alternative to 911.
For fire and medical services, Los Altos contracts with the Santa Clara County Fire District and has two fire stations:
- 2 Almond Fire Station (Los Altos Fire Station), 10 Almond Ave, ☏ . Has at least three on-duty personnel at all times. Features a sculpture by Steve Bartlett called Smoke that resembles a column of smoke.
- 3 Loyola Fire Station, 765 Fremont Ave, ☏ . Has at least three on-duty personnel at all times.
The Los Altos Town Crier is the city's official newspaper.
There are several neighboring cities that are very similar, such as:
|Routes through Los Altos|
|San Francisco ← Woodside ←||N S||→ Cupertino → San Jose|