5.7 out of 10

Highlands-Baywood Park

37.5213219503052 -122.340823311077
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Million Dollar Eichlers Galore"

Located southwest of San Mateo, Highlands-Baywood Park is yet another millionaire haven, where rarely does a home dip into six digit territory. Now the homes here are not stunners—these aren’t the spacious mansions of Hillsborough. These are mostly squat Eichler style homes—very well kept, and attractive—but still just Eichler homes. The majority of the neighborhood dates to the 50’s when this kind of architecture was coming into dominance.

Why are these homes so expensive? As always it is about location. First, you are up in the hills, so you get some pretty good views from the backyards, where you will often find hardwood decks. Second, you are perfectly situated for commuting to Silicon Valley or up into San Francisco. This, in combination with the beautiful interiors of these homes, make them really quite popular among the wealthy.

In addition, the schools in Highlands Baywood Park are outstanding—both Aragon High and Hillsdale are have the highest ratings in terms of test scores.

Now this is not the place where you go for exciting restaurants or a vibrant nightlife. You will find some food joints in the nearby strip malls like Laurelwood Shopping Center—but these are nothing that people would come to if they didn’t live here already. When you drive down out of the hills you can find the usual set of stores and shopping options you might expect from suburbia.

Even though you are close to both San Francisco and the heart of Silicon Valley, you also get a fair amount of traffic. Highway 92 to the San Mateo Bridge is right here, so you get a lot of commuters in the area and will get rush hour traffic well past 9 am and often at 7 pm.

That said, it is a very good spot if you can afford it, though not many can.
  • Nice Views
  • Great Schools
  • Well-Maintained Homes
  • Commuter Traffic
  • No Nightlife
  • Over-Priced

"A neat, middle-class community mixed in with elite cities"

Besides its middle-class status, Highlands Baywood Park really doesn’t have that much going for it. It is part of the promising San Mateo County, but reeks of plain, old suburbia and an older population (median age is 43 years). It’s also a small, reclusive neighborhood, spanning 1.8 square miles and housing just over 4,000. Demographically speaking, the city is predominately white (about 70%), while a smaller asian population makes up the next largest ethnicity (20%).

Highlands Baywood Park is predominately residential. In fact, its only shopping area consists of a Safeway and a few neighborhood restaurants (in Chrystal Springs Shopping Center). Homes are typically one story in size and boast small, but neat and attractive front yards. They are also old looking and sit on a bit of an incline. The estimated median house price within the area is around $780,000, while homeowners typically rake in about $140,000/year. If you’re driving around the area, you’ll see how bushy and green the sidewalks are and there’s a sense of calmness about its streets (mostly because nothing ever really happens here). There’s also acres of grassy hillside that separates some smaller neighborhoods from others.

The town sits along the serene Crystal Springs Reservoir. It boasts other outdoor recreational spots which include Highlands Baywood Park. Moreover, Highlands Recreation Center and Swimming Pool lies within the city’s limits. In fact, it’s probably the city’s most popular exercise spot and is always busy during after work hours. Just outside the city’s northern border lies College of San Mateo. It runs the county’s only community college in the area, but only provides an acceptable reputation at best.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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