7.2 out of 10


37.4002327912493 -122.195413544962
Great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers


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

"Good Suburban Spot"

The Ladera neighborhood is yet another leafy Portola Valley neighborhood. This is basically just a hillside so the farther west you go, the higher the elevation and the better the views.

Of course, as you get farther up into the hills prices go up along with the elevation. Near the top where the views are the best, home prices average $2 million. These are largely remodeled 1960’s era homes which though not terribly attractive from the outside tend to have magnificent interiors.

On the far eastern end of the neighborhood is Alpine Road (and then Highway 280). Alpine Road is where you will find the Ladera Shopping Center, which is basically just a sort of strip mall anchored by Bianchini’s Market, the local supermarket.
There are a couple of rather mediocre restaurants here—Mike’s Café and the The Ladera Lobster Shack—but this is mostly just the same old same old in terms of supermarket strip malls. You can get the basics, and maybe grab a bite if you don’t feel like heading into Stanford, but that is about it.

(The best place to get a bite is the Amigos Grill, imo.)

The schools here are pretty great and the proximity to Palo Alto makes it a prime location for Silicon Valley types. If you can afford it, it is a great location. For most people though it is simply beyond their means.
  • Nice Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Close to Silicon Valley
  • Very Expensive
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5

"Spot for the wealthy and secluded"

Ladera is a rather leafy, upper middle-class Portola Valley community nestled on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz foothills. It is truly for the secluded, so much so that these woodsy homes come secondary to the natural environment. Moreover, the district is surrounded by acres of rolling savannah grasslands and empty valleys, making it seem like you are on the edge of civilization. And there is hardly anything commercial, except for the small Ladera Shopping Center skirting the neighborhood’s limits and offering the household essentials.

Although a part of southern San Mateo County, Ladera is a rarely visited, almost exclusively residential community. Homes are mostly old and mixed between one and two-stories. In some areas, homes scale the hillside and offer some jaw-dropping views of the countryside and the distant San Francisco Bay. Other residences tend to be situated on moderately-sized properties with ill-groomed hedges and lessor maintained aesthetics. As a whole, Ladera evokes a sparse community space with homes largely separated, sometimes by acres, and hidden beneath the bushy landscape. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the long, country roads curving up the steep foothills, but don’t miss the couple scenic views along the way.

For commuters, San Francisco is located just 35 miles south of the neighborhood. Highway 280, which is just a short distance away, will get you there. However, everything else is a good distance away. And you’ll have to get there by car because public transportation is virtually none existent. Elsewhere, Woodland School and Felt Lake are situated close to the neighborhood’s limits. The latter of which is a very secluded spot for fishing and camping.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers

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