Known by locals as the "gateway to the Santa Cruz Mountains," Scotts Valley served as a stagecoach stop between San Jose and Santa Cruz in the 1850s. This same route provides an easy commute in modern times. The small-town feel remains now and has through the years, even as Alfred Hitchcock lived in the hills, and The Barn coffeehouse hosted the likes of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Tom Wolfe immortalized the antics of the Merry Pranksters and Ken Kesey within this sleepy village in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
However, Scotts Valley is more than a hippie hideaway. The soaring redwoods, biking, running, and hiking trails, indigenous Ohlone history, and vivid murals create that special brand of Santa Cruz bliss.