Thomas J. Story
The culinarily curious don't think twice about braving the traffic along State 17 to get to Los Gatos, thanks in large part to Manresa, a restaurant that foodies are flocking to.
But there are plenty of reasons besides David Kinch's celebrated tasting menu to visit the 19th-century town. Begin your day with brunch at a local breakfast spot, play in the park and in town, then head to Manresa to find out what the hype is all about.
Los Gatos Café
WHAT: Scrumptious eggs Benedict, French toast, and scrambles to fuel you for the day. WHEN: Breakfast and lunch daily. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 340 N. Santa Cruz Ave.; 408/354-4647.
WHAT: The tasting menu is the way to go (but prepare for a two-hour stay). WHEN: Dinner Wed-Sun; reservations required. HOW MUCH: $$$$. WHERE: 320 Village Lane; 408/354-4330.
Vasona Lake County Park
WHAT: Rent a boat, or walk along the easy, almost 15-mile paved Los Gatos Creek Trail. WHEN: 8 a.m.-sunset daily. How much: $5 parking. WHERE: 333 Blossom Hill Rd.; 408/356-2729.
Campo di Bocce
WHAT: Play a game of bocce ball (instruction available) indoors or out at the bocce club-Italian restaurant combo. WHEN: Lunch and dinner daily; call for club hours. HOW MUCH: $$; bocce $10 per session. WHERE: 565 University Ave.; www.campodibocce.com or 408/395-7650.
WHAT: Rev up your palate at the picturesque winery in the hills above downtown. WHEN: 11-5 daily. HOW MUCH: Tastings $10 (applied to any wine purchase). WHERE: 300-A College Ave.; www.testarossa.com or 408/354-6150.
Trent Pottery and Tile
WHAT:Unique ceramic pieces by local potter Trent Thompson. WHEN: 11-3 Tue, 11-5 Wed-Fri, 11-4 Sat. WHERE: 300 N. Santa Cruz Ave.; 408/354-1430.
WHAT: Find whatever home or kitchen item you've ever imagined at the exhaustive specialty emporium. WHEN: 10-9 daily. WHERE: 40 N. Santa Cruz Ave.; 408/354-6630.
Info: From State 85 or I-880, take State 17 toward Santa Cruz. Take the Los Gatos exit (State 9); turn left on N. Santa Cruz Ave. for downtown.