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.
Situated in Los Altos, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Los Altos History Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of San Antonio Shopping Center and Foothill College. Rengstorff Park and Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km).
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.
The Hotel Aria is near the HQs of Google and Facebook in Silicon Valley. Guests can reach Shoreline Park in 15 minutes on foot, and walk 7 minutes to San Antonio Shopping Center. Downtown Palo Alto is 2 miles (3.2 km) away, and the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is within easy reach.
Located in the heart of Los Altos, this vacation home is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Los Altos History Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of San Antonio Shopping Center and Foothill College. Rengstorff Park and Tesla Motors are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in the business district, this motel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Computer History Museum. Rengstorff Park and Los Altos History Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).
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.
This Mediterranean Villa-style hotel is in the Silicon Valley, 4 miles from Stanford University and Paramount's Great America.
Situated in Mountain View, this motel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Computer History Museum. El Camino Hospital and Rengstorff Park are also within 2 mi (3 km).