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“Great outdoor venue; logistics could be (slightly) better”

Montalvo Arts Center
Ranked #3 of 22 things to do in Saratoga
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Attraction details
Owner description: A Mediterranean-style villa with intricate gardens and grounds, which also includes an artists residency, a small gallery, hiking trails, and both indoor and outdoor theatres for concerts and performances.
Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great outdoor venue; logistics could be (slightly) better”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

I've been there twice -- once for a play, and another time for a concert. Both times, it was a pleasant experience. The outdoor venue is great for bringing some picnic food items, and the acoustics were good. If you get there early, or want to stay late, touring the grounds and gardens is recommended. There are even hiking trails if you're so inclined. The Montalvo staff is helpful.

The only complaint is around logistics, which I believe are outsourced.
Ticketmaster doesn't appear to list when the gates open (useful if you want to picnic beforehand) or the duration of the event. Another small logistical issue is parking. They do run shuttle buses to West Valley college (about 2 miles away), but nothing to the local (Saratoga) downtown. It would be useful if they had at least a couple of buses that also stopped downtown, for the patrons that want a pre-show or post-show meal / dessert. But these are small gripes in the grand scheme, and shouldn't prevent anyone from seeing an event there if the opportunity arises.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ken A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saratoga, California, United States
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Pretty”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Our family normally goes to Montalvo for walks and concerts. The venue is located within walking distance of my home so it is easy for us. If you have to drive, you should be patient as you make your way to the parking lots via a narrow driveway. The mansion is pretty by California architecture and the grounds have lovely flowers, trees, etc. If you attend a concert, which our family has done on numerous occasions, Montalvo is a pretty place to be. There are many great acts that come to perform on this estate, and the nearby Mountain Winery.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ann K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Charming, Historical Center for the Arts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is an elegant country house once belonging to the Governor of California. It is surrounded by gardens and forest with walking trails and outdoor sculptures. There is something to be enjoyed by everyone year round. My family enjoys many concerts and gourmet restaurant tastings. We celebrate Mothers' Day with their brunch each year.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rosemary A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Montalvo - Saratoga's Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

Montalvo Arts Center is so much more than an Arts Center. Montalvo is a fabulous place to take a hike on hillside trails ending in a fabulous view. There are 175 acres of forest and gardens. You can picnic on the huge front lawn any day of the week or just have your small kids play. Yes, there are wonderful concerts in the Garden Theater in the summer, and intimate performances in the smaller Carriage House theater all year. In keeping with the Arts Center title there are many artists in residence here working on wonderful unique pieces representing a wide range of interests - visual, performing, literary and even culinary arts! You can't go in the residences but know they are in there creating something special. You can visit the tiny gallery which often exhibits their pieces. The Yuletide event is something special too! It's in a neighborhood so don't think you are lost - just follow the signs. It's a hidden gem in Saratoga, CA!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chafffamilytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redwood City, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good place to see a show”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

Went to see Taj Mahal, it was a nice venue, nice staff. Acoustics could have been a little better, but it was very intimate.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Eric H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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