7.6 out of 10

Los Altos

37.3682026570842 -122.096795619483
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Public Transport
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Schools 5/5
2yrs+

"Strictly residential and predominately wealthy"

Los Altos, which means “the heights” in spanish, is a strictly residential, but enormously wealthy city. The skinny strip of land that spans about 8.8 square miles of space lies on the Monte Vista fault line. It is part of the greater Santa Clara County and is located near the vastly popular job hub of Silicon Valley. Demographically speaking, the city is predominately white in racial makeup, while the asian population is its second biggest ethnic group (28%). It is also a predominately democratic community, with over 2/3rds of the population voting for Obama in the 2008 election.

Los Altos Hills residential quarters remains one of the wealthiest places to live in America. It is so rich that the minimum property size can’t be under one acre. That’s ONE ACRE. In addition, interior home space can span up to 18,000 sq ft. That’s bigger than most properties in any city. Geographically speaking, the area sits on a group of rolling hills, with quiet residential streets, clean cut one-story homes and small, manicured front lawns. More specifically, if you venture up the western Los Altos hills, you’ll be met with steep, narrow streets that lay ground to larger homes with enormous properties. In the neighborhood of South Los Altos, there are a variety of upper middle-class homes with stylish house fronts and nice cars sitting in the driveways. For numbers sake, the estimated median household income is well over 200,000/year, with average house values trending upwards of a couple millions.

Like I said before, the city is strictly residential, with no uttering of commercial real-estate or industrial zones in the near future (unless you count the college bookstore on the campus of Foothill College). For your commercial needs, shopping quarters and office parks are strictly limited to the downtown area lining El Camino Real and Foothill Expressway (both just outside the city’s limits). Its made up of approximately 8,000 residents, all of whom probably have plenty of money to spoil themselves. For commuters, the city is nestled in between Highway 280 and Highway 85, which crosses to US Route 101.

Los Altos’ affluent quarters also translates into its community schools. In fact, Los Altos School District has the highest average API scores in California and remains the city’s top employer. And like many of the surrounding communities, Los Altos prides itself on a variety of youth sports programs, organizations and after-school activities. The city also pledges one of the safest communities in the world. There’s only been one homicide in the past four years and crime stays continuously low.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Safe As It Gets
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not Much Night Life
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Great Spot for Rich Families"

The best way to think of Los Altos is as the Palo Alto South. Basically, you get all of the affluence of Palo Alto without the annoying college kids (like me).

This is million-dollar home territory (million and a half is probably the median). The homes here are not all gigantic mansions, but even in the more moderately sized homes you still have a clear sense of the wealth of the area from the meticulously maintained front yards where you’re as likely to find sculpted topiary as compellingly displayed picket fencing or brickwork.

Put simply this is just one of the most attractive neighborhoods you will come across.

In addition, Los Altos is even safer than Palo Alto and some of the surrounding cities. There has not, for example, been a murder in Los Altos this millennium. And the city also has a strong sense of community holding fundraisers and having frequent community management meetings to make sure Los Altos is prepared for everything from heavy rains to next academic year.

“Downtown” Los Altos is your typical suburban shopping village. This is Los Altos so it definitely has that quaint, phony-bologna Old West feel.

There is not much of a night life here—certainly nothing that anyone will come out of their way to find. You have a sport bar in the Downtown area, but for any real kind of nightlife you have to head over towards San Jose, or at least over to Mountain View.

You do, however, have some nice restaurants in this area, including the Los Altos Grill, Le Petit Bistro and Sumika (a Japanese place).

And as you would expect in this kind of affluent neighborhood, their schools are really outstanding as well.

Basically, if you have the money and have a family, this is a great little nook of the Bay Area.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Safe As It Gets
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not Much Night Life
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish

Unranked Neighborhoods in Los Altos

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