During the summer, the Mountain Winery hosts a variety of great musicians in a fabulous outdoor amphitheater. Add to that a fabulous evening of food and wine under the warm starry sky and its a very memorable event. Check it out and buy tickets early - they definitely sell out as the venue is an intimate size - perfect for getting close to your...more
There are a lot of upscale clothiers, antique stores, art galleries, and miscellaneous boutique specialty stores along this strip worth browsing. Each block is well marked with crosswalks and stop signs for traffic, and although the sidewalks could be wider, there are a number of interesting mini malls off the street as well. The street is well...more
The Chamber of Commerce for Saratoga provides the web link below for appreciation of the historic buildings and monuments in town. There's not a lot, but it's certainly worth the hour or so it takes, during transit between, San Francisco and Monterey, or perhaps during a cycle tour through town. Here, I have images of the WWI Veteran's Arch. The...more
There's a cute and rustic cafe on the historic Big Basin Way strip where one can order just about any sort of deli sandwich, small pizza, coffee drink, or tea, and hang out front. This place is incredibly unique for the rustic pine approach to the wood furniture, parquet flooring, and stair bannisters, window moulding and other architectural...more
This was the first Ethiopian restaurant I ever ate at. So I must pay homage and respect. :-) In comparison to all the other Ethiopian, and Eritrean, restaurants, I think this is the best one yet. Clean food, consistent, and a great atmosphere. If you want to try Ethiopian for the first time, I would suggest this place. Or if you just want a new...more
The Basin is the first place I'd ever been to that served up comfort foor. Meat loaf, mac and cheese, corn dogs and pork chops. And all amazing. The food here is excellent as is the service. A true display of American food ala 1950's era style with a modern flair for quality. Fun place to dine with friends. The double cut pork chops are great, but...more
Saratoga's Historic District has ample parking, both in parallel (2 hrs, no meter), and in free small public parking lots. There's even a valet service during the weekdays!
Poison Oak is endemic throughout the Santa Cruz mountains and the rural forested highlands of the entire San Francisco Bay area, so avoid it or expect an uncomfortable rash. Sensitivity varies with individuals and exposure, but the immune response can actually get worse with repeated exposure to the active chemical ingredient. Some individuals severe response may require hospitalization. The plant is dormant in winter, so while it's possible to get a rash from dead twigs, it's less likely. During the active growing season, the leaves are green and tender, much like an oak leaf, and tend to be less potent. In my experience, the worse time of year to get a good rash is during the fall when the leaves turn fall colors. You can also get a good case of the rash by sleeping with a dog who has walked through the forest brush, while the animal itself will not be affected. Seek medical advice if the rash turns into serious swelling or persists for awhile, but often simply reducing the itchy feeling with vinegar will help. The best solution is to avoid walking through the brush. Trails are often cleared of the plant, and with practice, you will learn to identify and avoid it. See the photo and links...
Cycling, both road and mountain, is very popular among the sports fitness minded tech workers in the Silicon Valley, and one of the best endurance road climbs begins in Saratoga's Historic downtown. Heading west along Big Basin Way, there's a 9 mile climb along Big Basin Way that winds it's way to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. At the...more
Up Big Basin Way, at the crossroads with Summit Road, is access to several trails, the most interesting of which is the Bay Area Ridge Trail. The map show in the image here should be taken with a grain of salt in my opinion because I don't really see how this ridge trail can actually be kept contiguous, without urban interruption, around the...more
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