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One Fine Day: Los Gatos


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Photograph by MItch Tobias

Los Gatos, a town nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, feels as if it could be in Vermont, but it’s just an hour from the East Bay.

9am Start with a Parisian-style dark hot chocolate and brioche at Fleur de Cocoa. 39 N. Santa Cruz Ave., (408) 354-3574, www.fleurdecocoa.com.

10:30am Visit the Preston Wynne Spa at the Hotel Los Gatos for a pampering facial or aromatic body treatment (or better yet, both). Be sure to leave time to bake in the sauna. Treatments from $105, 210 E. Main St., (408) 335-1777, www.prestonwynne.com.

Photograph by Jack Hutcheson

1pm Walk upstairs from the spa to find yourself at Dio Deka, an upscale Greek restaurant where you can feast on freshly grilled pita and tzatziki—a refreshing dip of yogurt, cucumbers, and dill. Follow that with a salad of octopus and shaved fennel, and an entrée of juicy grilled grass-fed lamb chops. Entrées from $22, 210 E. Main St., (408) 354-7700, www.diodeka.com.

3:30pm Stroll over to Santa Cruz Avenue, just a 10-minute walk from the restaurant, to browse the charming gifts at Twig Gallery, artwork at the Linda Durnell Gallery, and kitchenware at Domus. Shops are located on North Santa Cruz Avenue, between Main Street and Saratoga Avenue.

5pm Lace up your sneakers for a short walk on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Leave from the parking lot next to the historic Forbes Mill and walk south one and a half miles to the Lexington Reservoir. For a walk through denser forest, take the Flume Trail, which follows the east side of the creek. The Forbes Mill parking lot is at the end of Church Street, off East Main Street. For information on the trail, visit www.parkhere.org and click on the “Find a Park” link, then “Los Gatos Creek Trail,” or call (408) 356-2729.

7pm Grab a sunset drink at the California Cafe, which overlooks the creek. Try the Berry Zito, a mojito made with fresh strawberries. 50 University Ave., Ste. 260, (408) 354-8118, www.californiacafe.com/losgatos.

8:30pm If you just can’t bear to end the day and drive home, you could always book a room at the Hotel Los Gatos, a casually elegant Mediterranean-style inn. Rooms from $259, 210 E. Main St., (408) 335-1700, www.jdvhotels.com/los_gatos.

Photograph by Genesis Photography

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