Horsing around in Saratoga and Los Gatos – same time next year

by Scott Anderson on February 6, 2012

Saratoga, CA., Holiday Open House and Wine Stroll, day after Thanksgiving

Jingle bells, red bows, an open white carriage, two stout, shiny horses, and tails and top hats set the stage for an elegant ride up Big Basin Way

Here’s something that lots of people enjoy – a horse-drawn carriage ride along the streets of two iconic Silicon Valley towns. Of course these would be Los Gatos and Saratoga, the Gem of Silicon Valley and the Gateway to Wine Country. It’s worth noting these events in your calendar because on one day in November and many days in December you can board a bell-bedecked carriage for a leisurely ride into the past.

This year Saratoga will kick off the holiday equine season with its open-air Holiday Open House and Wine Stroll. It’s a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition for Saratoga Village to fill with holiday spirit and the sounds of jingle bells as horses clomp their way up and down Big Basin Way hauling loads of cheery families and snuggling couples.

Villa del Monte Winery pours at the Saratoga Holiday Open House and Wine Stroll, each year presented on the day after Thanksgiving  each year.

Before and/or after a carriage ride, a libation at the Wine Stroll! Here, wine makers John Overstreet (left background) and Neil Perrelli (seated) pour several of their Villa del Monte varietals. Twenty wineries served strollers in businesses up and down Big Basin Way.

Santa on the Big Basin way in saratoga, ca. during the Saratoga Holiday Open House and Wine Stroll.

Santa delighted little and big kids alike!

Street-side trees festooned with lights illuminate carolers, musicians and merry bands of wine strollers seeking the next vintage to sample. I’ve told many folks that on this night, in this Valley, Saratoga Village is the festive holiday “place to be”.

Los Gatos horses around on an even larger scale. On more than a dozen days in December, multiple carriages take riders on a twenty-minute tour of the Almond District in the historic downtown. Passengers parade by historic homes brightly decorated in their finest holiday livery. It always transports me to another, slower, simpler time, if only for a moment.

Of course, another significant benefit of a Los Gatos carriage ride is that before and after the ride, you’re parked in Los Gatos, the best place in the valley for dining, tasting, shopping and strolling. Happy Holidays!

Los Gatos, ca. holiday carriage ride

In Los Gatos, take your pick of carriages and roll back in time. Immensely popular with families and couples seeking a romantic interlude. Great way to impress your sweetie.

So if you feel like horsing and sipping around this coming holiday season, make a note to self: day after Thanksgiving, Saratoga Village; every weekend in December, carriage rides in Los Gatos!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rei April 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hi, Scott,

You take great photos! It’s great to be able to put faces to the great wines and hear stories behind those faces. Thank you!

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