Surrounded by lush woodlands, rolling hills and stunning mountain views, Portola Valley is a charming, nature-steeped town located on the eastern slopes of the Bay Area’s Santa Cruz Mountains, on the San Francisco Peninsula. Named after Gaspar de Portolá of Spain—who led the first party of European explorers to the area in 1769—today’s Portola Valley is a tranquil Silicon Valley enclave with about 4,500 residents. Considered one of the best places to live in California, Portola Valley offers its residents a high quality of life and access to excellent local schools.
Alpine Road and Portola Road are Portola Valley’s two main thoroughfares, which intersect to form a small shopping nexus. An additional popular shopping area can be found in the Ladera neighborhood, which is home to the beloved Bianchini’s Market, known for stocking high-quality produce and groceries. Nearby, is the historic Alpine Inn, the second-oldest continually operating tavern in California, which acts as the community’s local watering hole.
When it comes to embracing the great outdoors, Portola Valley’s Windy Hill Open Space Preserve provides ample opportunities for open-air recreation. Centrally located in town, the park-like space offers scenic views as well as hiking and biking trails.
5 Must-See Portola Valley Neighborhoods
5 Portola Valley Neighborhoods to Know
Portola Valley Ranch
Located on the western side of Portola Valley, this neighborhood offers a unique blend of rural and suburban living. It’s known for its stunning views, hiking trails and equestrian facilities.
Central Portola Valley
this area is located in the center of town and is home to many of Portola Valley’s shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to explore if you’re looking for a cute restaurant, cafe or want to browse the local boutiques.
This neighborhood is located on the western side of Portola Valley and is beloved for its luxurious homes and stunning views of the surrounding hills.
Set on the eastern side of Portola Valley, Ladera is known for its large, wooded lots and quiet streets. Conveniently located moments from Interstate 280, Ladera is a great place to explore if you’re looking for a well-connected yet peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.
Los Trancos Woods
This neighborhood is located on the northern side of Portola Valley and is known for its generous, tree-framed lots and bucolic views of the hills. Los Trancos Woods provides residents with peace and quiet as well as direct access to several nature trails.