From time to time, people confuse Los Altos with Los Gatos. When I first moved to Los Altos, many of my friends couldn’t quite get my location right. As the “Los” separation is only 16 miles, those not in the know could be confused.

To educate my former neighbors from the East Bay and East Coast, I figured I would set down on paper what sets us apart.

• Population

Los Altos: 30,504

Los Gatos: 33,329

• Elevation

Los Altos: 157 feet

Los Gatos: 344 feet

Alma, Colo., is the most elevated in the U.S. at 10,361.

• Most expensive homes (currently on the market)

Los Altos: $27 million

Los Gatos: $20 million

We also know there is a $100 million domicile up in the Hills.

• Average yearly income

Above average in both communities. The U.S. average is $56,000 per year. Just wondering how many residents of Lo$ Alto$ and Lo$ Gato$ clear $56,000 a week?

• High schools

Los Altos: Eagles

Los Gatos: Wildcats

When was the last time an Eagle or Wildcat was spotted on campus?

• Tallest buildings

It’s a tie at 61 feet between The Altan in Los Altos and the El Gato Penthouse in Los Gatos. The tallest building in San Francisco is Salesforce Tower at 1,070 feet.

• Car dealerships

Los Gatos: Three, including the Luxury Cars dealership, where you can drive away in a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Lotus or Lambo

Los Altos: Top-notch bike shop and a skateboard store where you can receive excellent instruction

• Markets

Los Altos: Draeger’s

Los Gatos: Lunardi’s

There is no safeway to pick a winner in this category.

• Michelin Star restaurants

Los Gatos: Manresa

Los Altos: Manresa Bread.  The good news is that you won’t be dropping $600 on dinner for four, and they have fantastic almond croissants.

• Sleepovers

Los Altos: Enchanté Boutique Hotel

Los Gatos: Hotel Los Gatos

• Local hangouts

Los Altos: Los Altos Grill

Los Gatos: Mountain Charley’s

Getting a seat at the bar is a full-contact sport, so make sure you are in shape, with sharpened elbows.

• Fast food restaurants

In today’s world, this category is too difficult to define. Is it only fast food if it has a drive-thru or if someone can deliver the food to your front door by car?

• Incorporate this!

Los Gatos: 1887, as La Rinconada de los Gatos. Los Gatos was originally named “Cat’s Corner” by early settlers due to the screams of mountain lions prowling in the night.

Los Altos: 1952. The town was created to serve the new Southern Pacific Railroad cutoff between Mayfield and Los Gatos. It was named Los Altos (Spanish for “The Heights”) because the land was the highest on that cutoff.

• Corporate headquarters

Los Altos: The Packard Foundation

Los Gatos: Netflix

• Fore

Los Altos: Los Altos Golf & Country Club

Los Gatos: La Rinconada Country Club

Membership fees are a bit pricey, but you can go to Top Golf in San Jose if absolutely necessary.

• Newspapers

Los Altos: The Town Crier

Los Gatos: The News

• Famosity

Los Altos: Alan Cranston, Steve Jobs, Juli Inkster, John Lee Hooker, Shirley Temple

Los Gatos: Olivia de Havilland, Peggy Fleming, Steve Wozniak, John Steinbeck

• Nobel Prize winners

Los Altos: W.E. Moerner

Los Gatos: John Steinbeck, Robert Holley

• Number of dogs

To protect the bowsers and their owners, this information will remain ferociously guarded by the Silicon Valley Kennel Club.

I don’t know if it’s possible, but why not create a “Gatos to Altos Fun Run” between the 16-mile-separated cities. Each year the start and finish lines would be reversed. Money goes to each Chamber of Commerce to tout the positives of their cities.

Andy Dolich is a Los Altos resident and owner of the sports consultancy Dolich & Associates.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Courteous. Be respectful, truthful, and use no threatening or hateful language.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts and the history behind a news event.
Read our full comments policy: