Portola Valley

Idyllic, tranquil, rural atmosphere with lush hillsides covered with oaks alongside grasslands and forests.

Welcome to Portola Valley

 

A quiet and idyllic rural oasis in the San Francisco Bay

Portola Valley is an idyllic town in the San Francisco Bay area of San Mateo County that is most notable for being home to, yet a sanctuary from, Silicon Valley. In the 1800s, the land was used for fruit orchards, cattle, and horse ranching. When Portola Valley was incorporated in 1964, it was a popular location for intellectuals, academics, and artists who desired its proximity to Stanford University and Palo Alto. The Portola Valley community is home to many high-profile professionals and business leaders, including executives from Silicon Valley firms.

The area has an idyllic, tranquil, rural atmosphere with lush hillsides covered with oaks alongside grasslands and forests. The unique terrain provides various lot sizes and shapes with incredible scenic views. Portola Valley's real estate options allow you to find everything from spacious and sprawling hidden estates to cozy cabins of a bygone era once used as summer vacation homes. The community is mainly residential, with a close-knit culture and sense of identity. 

What to Love

 
  • A well-supported outdoor trail system  
  • Caltrain access to larger Bay Area 
  • Friendly, small-town charm 
  • Excellent schools

Local Lifestyle

 

Portola Valley has a modest population and a small-town but modern and progressive atmosphere. The outdoors plays a central role in the local lifestyle, and residents fiercely protect their natural resources and value sustainability. Residents are often enthusiastic bicyclists, hikers, and equestrians who frequent and support the area’s open spaces, parks, and trails. They often enjoy a healthy, locally sourced, and well-curated meal in the area’s fantastic restaurants. In this community, neighbors are valued, and everyone knows everyone else. Schools are small, safe, and provide a nurturing, supportive environment.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

 

Portola Valley has a longstanding reputation for its quaint shops housed in historic buildings where local merchants display a varied selection of artisan and hand-selected gifts. Most of the restaurants in this woodsy haven are also locally owned and family-run, with some being upscale French and Italian.

A favorite town gathering spot is the local watering hole, the Alpine Inn. It has been a fixture in the Portola Valley community since 1959. Its daily specials, great wines, full bar, and beer garden along the banks of Los Trancos Creek are just a few reasons locals like to hang out here.

Steeped in a long tradition of superior service, Parkside Grill is a landmark restaurant with the perfect mix of elegance and casual charm. The menu features a delicious lobster bisque and a complete selection of steaks and seafood cooked to perfection.

Portola Kitchen is renowned for its delicious, innovative, and distinctive California cuisine and welcoming atmosphere. Amigos is another popular spot for late-night popular Mexican fare and homemade tequila.

Things to Do

 

With miles of open space and natural beauty, there is always something to do for the nature enthusiast in Portola Valley. This small town is home to four parks with playgrounds and play areas, 4,000 acres of recreation trails, and picturesque walks. The diverse and rich natural habitats of Windy Hill Preserve provide excellent terrain and miles upon miles of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking.

The historic town center hosts many community social events. One is the weekly Portola Valley Farmers Market, an authentic market that provides the community with fresh, high-quality produce and food items sourced directly from local farms.

The Portola Valley Summer Concert Series is held near the town’s central library. Neighbors gather on blankets and lawn chairs for fun and to enjoy the music. They either pack a picnic or choose from the variety of food and beverages served by food trucks nearby. Be sure to attend the Town Picnic held in September, where folks of all ages gather and enjoy food trucks, petting zoos, and a fun musical lineup that keeps everyone entertained.

Portola Valley residents who enjoy theater frequent the main stage at the Portola Valley Theater Conservancy. Their bold productions promise to awaken the spirit with an emphasis on transformation, hope, and community. The Conservancy also provides the local community with acting and theater classes for all ages. 

Schools

 

The local school system consists of the small and nurturing public schools of the Portola Valley School District and the Sequoia Union High School District.

 

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