Scotts Valley is located in the towering redwoods a few miles east of the coast. There's a nice Hilton Hotel in the city providing quiet, quality accommodations just a few miles from the beach so that you can access the Santa Cruz beaches and Boardwalk, plus enjoy access to the Roaring Camp Train in Felton.
Scotts Valley combines the best of small town living with an upscale look & feel, and makes for an interesting home base for beach vacations. Who needs the beach when you can relax by a swimming fool surrounded by redwood trees?
Scotts Valley has a unique history you can examine in a small historic home and City Hall with a display case of arrowheads and other artifacts found locally.
A movie theater and numerous restaurants provide entertainment for a night on the town. All in all, we'd stay in Scotts Valley again because it has amazing charms and the Hilton is a comfortable home away from home.
Along the slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains six miles east of the beach Scotts Valley enjoys a location accessible to San Jose (30 miles northeast) and San Francisco (68 miles to the north). Public bus service to San Jose makes commuting to Silicon Valley possible. The drive on Highway 17 can be done but does twist & turn.
What is there to do in Scotts Valley? The summer Beach Train five miles east heads for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It is located in nearby Felton, home to Roaring Camp Railroads. It is one of the oldest and most historic lines in California providing an authentic experience that takes you back in time. The route which opened in 1875 was designed to carry tourists to the Big Trees and Santa Cruz.
Located in the treasured Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park the train heads down the scenic San Lorenzo River Gorge, across a 1909 steel truss bridge, and through an 1875 tunnel before arriving at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. There is also a Steam Train narrow-gauge excursions to Bear Mountain. Roaring Camp's steam engines from 1890 are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park features 20 miles of hiking and riding trails through a forest that looks much the same as it did 200 years ago. The tallest tree in the park is about 290 feet tall, and about 16 feet wide. The oldest trees in the park are about 1400 to 1800 years old. There's a nature center, bookstore and park containing 1,750 acres of old-growth redwoods.
History: Hiram Scott settled in Santa Cruz and purchased Rancho San Augustin in 1850. His home, Scott House (1853) is a Greek Revival structure on the lawn behind City Hall. Scotts Valley was named after him and his home is a Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmark as well as National Register of Historic Places designated property.
Much, much older than Scott's home are significant archaeological finds -- hammerstones, finished stone knives, projectile points, spear-heads, microliths and tools -- uncovered when Scotts Valley Civic Center was built in 1983. Scotts Valley site CA-SCR-177 was unearthed through the volunteer help of 220 people under the auspices of Santa Cruz Archaeological Society and the Scotts Valley Historical Society. Overseen by Field Director Dr. Robert Cartier of Archaeological Resource Management, and site areas directed by Alan Leventhal, Dr. David Fredrickson and Dr. William Hildebrandt, this incredible location contains one of the longest records of human occupation known in Western North America!
The deposit of cultural material tracks cultural and technological changes over a period of 12,000 years through well-defined layers in the soil (stratigraphy).
City Hall on 1 Civic Center Drive contains actual artifacts and historical information
as interesting as any museum collection.