General Contractor Reviews the Highlights
As a general contractor in Saratoga, CA, J Nord Wolfe has learned a thing or two about the area. If you have just moved to Saratoga – Welcome!
Saratoga – Everything You Need to Know
It all began with a sawmill on the creek on the banks of Saratoga Creek in 1948. 180 years later, Saratoga is thriving in lock-step with the other small “village” type towns in the Silicon Valley area like neighbors Monte Sereno and Los Gatos.
Saratoga is brimming with art studios, wine cellars, spas and fine dining. The City of Saratoga is also very committed to keeping that “small town feeling” to maintain its charm and prestige. It’s tucked away in the Santa Cruz mountain foothills and on the western side of Santa Clara County.
Nearby – Adjacent to Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Campbell.
Fun Facts – Birthplace of Steven Spielberg (1965) and Kyle Shanahan (1979). Shanahan became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers beginning in 2017. Oscar Award Winner, Joan Fontaine, also grew up in Saratoga. There is a street named for her family and another street named for her sister, Olivia de Havilland.
Academic Excellence in Saratoga
Academic Awards – In 2015, Saratoga High School won the National History Bowl academic quiz competition.
Academic Achievements – 4th Best Public School in the State of California. Saratoga High has an academic rating significantly above the average for California high schools based on its high test performance and high AP course participation. In 2009, Saratoga was named one of the Top 20 Most Educated towns in the United States by Niche.com.
School Testing Performance – Saratoga High School’s test performance is in the top 1.3% of California high schools. Saratoga scored an average 93% of students proficient for math and reading as tested by the California Department of Education. Saratoga scored significantly above the state high school median of 42% proficiency.
Arts – You can explore the bustling art gallery, art community and take in lots of fabulous lectures and concerts at Villa Montalvo Arts Center. Villa Montalvo is a non-profit on a mission, according to their website, “to engage the public in the creative process, acting as a catalyst for exploring the arts, unleashing creativity, and advancing different cultural and cross-cultural perspectives.”
Montalvo Arts Center – 1912 Mediterranean-style Villa, its formal gardens, and two-acre Great Lawn; the historic Claire Loftus Carriage House Theatre and the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre; and 175 acres of trails through redwood trees make up Villa Montalvo. Below the Villa and across the creek are hidden ten free-standing live/work studios and the Commons of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), which hosts over 100 artists each year from diverse backgrounds across the nation and the world. The LAP is the third-oldest artist residency program in the United States. Source: montalvoarts.org/mission/
Doing Business in Saratoga – If you are looking for zoning maps, conditional use permits or village design guidelines, the City of Saratoga has a portal for all things related to doing any kind of business or construction on their website. The links are here for all of your permits and zoning questions/needs. That said, if you think J Nord Wolfe might be a good fit for your remodeling or construction project, just give a call – 408-688-7669. If you are new to J Nord Wolfe, feel free to browse a variety of our projects and client stories first. We look forward to hearing from you.
Historical Significance – Saratoga is home to the oldest Asian garden in the Western Hemisphere. Nestled in the hills above Saratoga Village, Hakone Estate & Gardens plays host to cultural events including torchlight Noh Play performances, Opera in the Gardens, and classes in tea ceremony and fine art. Noh drama is the oldest surviving form of Japanese theater. It combines music, dance, and acting to communicate Buddhist themes. Source: Afe Asia
Wine – In 1890, Paul Masson planted French champagne grapes in the rich Saratoga soil and opened his winery on the land where the Saratoga ranchers use to grow cherries, apricots, figs and French prunes.
Wine Tasting Rooms – Over 20 wine tasting rooms in Saratoga. Lots more nearby in the Santa Cruz mountains and Los Gatos, as well. Testarossa, The Mountain Winery (formerly Paul Masson), Savannah-Chanelle, Conrado Cellars and Cinnabar, to name a few.
Festival and Events Calendar – Saratoga is well known for their Blossom and Apricot festivals. They have a fantastic wine stroll each year and holiday tree lighting. The community calendar can be found on the Saratoga.ca.us website.
Activities – Docent led walking tour and historical bike tours. The bike tour is 11 miles of easy riding which is perfect for a family outing. Find the details on the Saratoga History website.
Weather – In the winter months, the average is around 60 degrees and during the summer months, the high is 83 degrees. Late winter months, Saratoga averages about a 23% precipitation. Perfect weather and soil for growing wine grapes! Much less rain during the spring and summer months.
Wilderness – Saratoga boasts a Land to Ocean Hike with Waterfall called Skyline to the Sea. Saratoga also has a variety of trails, a dog-friendly trail and riding stables. The Fremont Older Open Space Preserve has a variety of trails, too. More info here about the Open Space Preserve. Garrod Farms and Riding Farms is family-owned and operated. For more information about their horse riding, check out GarrodFarms.com.
Farmers Market – 50 + farmers and vendors every Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at West Valley College, Parking Lot 2 – Allendale Ave & Science Wy, Saratoga, CA 95070 – Details a their website.