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Los Altos History Museum

Travel back to the days when Los Altos was a pioneer settlement and discover how it developed into the high-tech hub it is today.

The Los Altos History Museum traces the city’s journey from a sleepy orchard town into the high-tech Silicon Valley of today. Occupying a three-story complex in one of the Bay Area’s few remaining apricot orchards, the ground level is given over to rotating exhibits, while upstairs you’ll find the museum’s permanent collection.

The permanent collection details the lives of early Californians and the region’s economic, social and political development. Wander the gallery to see how Mexican landholders, early orchard owners, Ohlone Indians and other settlers interacted in an area once known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Kids will love the replica of downtown Los Altos in the 1930s complete with railroad and hands-on activities.

Before you plan your visit check the website for details about the current rotating exhibit. Changing up to four times a year, past exhibits have covered topics as diverse as grizzly bears in California to water use in the Santa Clara Valley. If you’re lucky you might even be in town for one of the museum’s special events. In the past these have featured fashion shows, Hawaiian luaus and entire days dedicated to trains.

Head downstairs and across the museum courtyard to the J. Gilbert Smith House. Here, all the sights, textures and smells of early American farm life are recreated amid the immaculately restored rooms of a 1905 shingled farmhouse. Outside you’ll find a working apricot orchard, towering oak trees and vintage farm equipment. Stroll the gardens and relax under the trees. Visitors are free to use the grounds even when the house and museum are closed.

The Los Altos History Museum is located in central Los Altos, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest from San Jose. It’s open Sunday to Thursday, and closed on public holidays. Parking and entry to the museum is free, but note that the J. Gilbert Smith House can only be entered with a guide.

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.


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Lodging Near Los Altos History Museum

See all 557 Properties near Los Altos History Museum
Enchanté Boutique Hotel $260
Enchanté Boutique Hotel

Enchanté Boutique Hotel

1 Main St, Los Altos
     
    4.8
    of 5, from 97 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Los Altos, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Los Altos History Museum, San Francisco Bay, and Stanford University. Tesla Motors and Googleplex are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    Los Altos Luxury Home in the Heart Silicon Valley - Walk to Down Town!
    Los Altos Luxury Home in the Heart Silicon Valley - Walk to Down Town!

    Los Altos Luxury Home in the Heart Silicon Valley - Walk to Down Town!

    , Los Altos
       
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Located in the heart of Los Altos, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Los Altos History Museum, San Francisco Bay, and Stanford University. Tesla Motors and Googleplex are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Mountain View Inn $107
      Mountain View Inn

      Mountain View Inn

      2300 W El Camino Real, Mountain View
         
        3.6
        of 5, from 623 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Appealing to families and business travelers, this hotel is two miles from Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, four miles from Stanford, and eight from Great America.

        Global Luxury Suites at Mountain View
        Global Luxury Suites at Mountain View

        Global Luxury Suites at Mountain View

        1720 El Camino Real, Mountain View
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 88 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Mountain View, this apartment building is within 6 mi (10 km) of Rengstorff Park, San Francisco Bay, and Stanford University. Computer History Museum and Googleplex are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Super 8 by Wyndham Mountain View $89
          Super 8 by Wyndham Mountain View

          Super 8 by Wyndham Mountain View

          1665 W El Camino Real, Mountain View
             
            3.5
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            2.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in the business district, this motel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and 2 mi (3.2 km) from El Camino Hospital. San Francisco Bay and Stanford University are also within 6 mi (10 km). Mountain View Station is 27 minutes by foot.

            Dinah's Garden Hotel $139
            Dinah's Garden Hotel

            Dinah's Garden Hotel

            4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
               
              4.5
              of 5, from 1,563 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Surrounded by tropical lagoons and landscaped gardens, this Bay Area hotel is 3 miles from downtown Palo Alto, Stanford University, and the Stanford Shopping Center.

              Residence Inn by Marriott Palo Alto Mountain View $129
              Residence Inn by Marriott Palo Alto Mountain View

              Residence Inn by Marriott Palo Alto Mountain View

              1854 W El Camino Real, Mountain View
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 386 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Rengstorff Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Computer History Museum and Googleplex. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and San Antonio Shopping Center are also within 2 mi (3 km). Mountain View San Antonio Station is 28 minutes by foot.

                Crowne Plaza Cabana, Palo Alto $102
                Crowne Plaza Cabana, Palo Alto

                Crowne Plaza Cabana, Palo Alto

                4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 770 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of San Antonio Shopping Center, Stanford University, and San Francisco Bay. Tesla Motors and Googleplex are also within 6 mi (10 km).