Villa Montalvo in Saratoga: What You Need to Know

Garden Theatre Seating at Villa Montalvo

Villa Montalvo

Villa Montalvo is an arts center and the former home of California Senator James Phelan. It centers on Phelan's villa-style home.

Villa Montalvo has discontinued their summer concert series. They still host musical performances and a variety of summer events which may include art shows, dance parties, outdoor movies, and classes. If you're looking for places to go for summer concerts in particular, try some of these other summer concerts in California.

Villa Montalvo still offers an occasional summer concert in the beautiful outdoor Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre, which is described below. In the cooler months, performances are in the Carriage House Theatre.

You can find their event schedule (and buy tickets) at the Villa Montalvo website.

What to Expect

Villa Montalvo is a pleasant spot to enjoy a concert, in pretty surroundings. It's a good way to break up a busy week and could be a fun addition to a trip to Silicon Valley, but it's probably not worth planning a trip around.

If your favorite performer is on the Villa Montalvo schedule, but the date isn't convenient, many of the performers who appear at Villa Montalvo may also show up at other area venues, especially the Mountain Winery, which is only a few miles away.

Outdoor concerts are held in the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre, located behind the main Villa on a sloping hill surrounded by trees. The 1,200-seat amphitheater is often filled to capacity.

Villa Montalvo is also a pleasant place to go for one of their summer luncheons.

Tips

  • You can get a wide variety of opinions about Villa Montalvo if you read their reviews at Yelp where reviewers give it an average rating of four out of five and talk about everything from hiking to picnics on the lawn and weddings.
  • For concerts, the gates open one hour prior to showtime.
  • Allow plenty of time for getting to Villa Montalvo on the shuttle buses from the parking areas, which are located at West Valley College.
  • Food is available for sale, or you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the grounds before the show. No outside alcohol is allowed, and coolers aren't allowed inside the Garden Theatre.
  • If you're taking the shuttle from West Valley College, the parking lot number varies by event. If you forget to check for the lot number when reserving your tickets, you'll find plenty of signs to show you the way once you get close.
  • Insects can be an issue on summer nights, so persistent that they could distract the performer for a few minutes. A light wrap or a spray of insect repellent might keep you more comfortable.

Tickets and Reservations

In the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre, Orchestra (rows A - H) and Mezzanine (rows J - HH) are stadium-style seating.

General admission seating is on wide concrete steps with grass seating space. There is no back support, and blankets are encouraged. No lawn chairs are allowed, but something soft to sit on may make you more comfortable.

More Events

The rest of the year, you can enjoy indoor concerts in the Carriage House or attend their Chamber Music Series. Those details are at the Villa Montalvo website.

The Basics

Villa Montalvo is at 15400 Montalvo Road in Saratoga, CA. It's just off Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (CA Highway 9) between the towns of Los Gatos and Saratoga on the southwest edge of Silicon Valley.

For concerts, most people use the free shuttle which leaves from West Valley College at 14000 Fruitvale Ave. Shuttles start running 1 hour 45 minutes before the show

On site parking is available but expensive. It opens 90 minutes before the show.

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