6.4 out of 10

Mountain View

Ranked 69th best city in California
37.4028477904527 -122.083838393014
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
  • Safe & Sound
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Students


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 3/5


Mountain View, which sits at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, is part of the greater Santa Clara County. It is bounded by portions of Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and the beautifully rich San Francisco Bay. The area spans about 12 square miles of suburban terrain and provides 17 different neighborhoods for perspective residents. Most residences sit among the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and are situated in the ever-growing reaches of Silicon Valley. Its total population continues to grow as well, reaching over 75,000, according to the 2010 US Census. The city’s is also rather diverse, attracting a large asian, white and hispanic population.

With over 17 different neighborhoods, the city’s residential quarters are complete with a vast array of middle-class dwellings. As a whole, the city is brimming with nice homes, clean front yards and charming, tree-lined streets. For numbers sake, residents rake in a typical $92,000/year in estimated median household income, while house values tend to circle around $800,000 (respectable for a busy Silicon Valley community). But for the elite, there are a plethora of homes edging over the multi million dollar line. If you’re expecting to rent within the city, typical monthly prices are tabbed anywhere from $1,200 to $1,750.

Considering its proximity to Silicon Valley, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In fact, some of the most recognized technology companies in the world are headquartered within the city’s limits, most of which include Google, LinkedIn, Intuit (tax software company) and Symantec (computer security software company). Its top employer, Google, has created more than 10,000 jobs amongst the local community. For your shopping options, Mountain View’s downtown area is crammed full of eccentric eateries, cafes, boutique shops and large department stores within an approximate four block radius. If you head towards Castro Street, the shopping hub is formatted in a way to be very pedestrian-friendly. Outside its downtown quarters are a handful of neighborhood shopping centers complete with everything you’d expect in a plain, middle-class commercial hub.

One of the biggest and probably most notable attractions is the Shoreline Amphitheater. The outdoor amphitheater, located just off US Route 101, is one of the largest of its kind and hosts several festivals and concerts throughout the year. Concert attendees come from far and wide to enjoy the theme-park-like events and plethora of talented musical acts the industry has to offer. Within a couple miles of the amphitheater is the Cinemark Century Theatre. The popular movie theater complex is newly built and provides about 6 different theaters.

For young families, the public high schools within the community are looked over by the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. Notable schools include Alta Vista High School, Mountain View High School and Los Altos High School. These three schools serve the demanding needs of the growing population. As for working Mountain View residents, the city’s Caltrain stop connects commuters along the San Francisco peninsula.
  • Good Restaurants
  • Great Schools
  • The Googleplex
  • A Little Bland
  • Lots of Traffic
  • On the Expensive Side
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Google Plus"

Home of Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla and Symantec—Mountain View is one of the Santa Clara County cities at the heart of the Silicon Valley tech boom. With .com billionaires, angel investors and techies of all stripes setting down roots in and around Mountain View, this is the kind of dynamic environment where companies thrive, building off each other and stealing each other’s employees.

The Googleplex—the glassy campus which is Sergei and Larry’s HQ—sprawls on the north shore by the Shoreline Amphitheater and golf course and offers its employees gyms, free laundry, swimming pools, sand volleyball courts and 19 cafeteries, among other amenities. Employing 10,000, Google is Mountain View’s largest employer, the sprawling office park feeling more like a college campus than an a corporate headquarters.

Given the Silicon Valley heavy weights that make their headquarters here, you might expect that Mountain View—still mostly a residential neighborhood—might have skyrocketing home prices in the way that Palo Alto and Los Altos do. This is still pretty much a middle class neighborhood however, where the average home goes for about $500K (about average for the Bay Area and maybe even low for the Peninsula, which is one of the most expensive areas in the country). There are some million dollar homes, but only about 10% or so.

The main reason for the lower prices, as far as I can tell, is the look of the area, which is really pretty flat. More than half the homes in Mountain View date from before 1970 and although you can find homes from any decade (construction has continued steadily though not explosively), the homes are fairly middle class for the most part.

Schools in the area, however, are excellent, with Mountain View High having the kind of ranking you would expect from the tech capital of the universe.

You also will not be disappointed when it comes to restaurants in the area. From Le Petit Bistro and Chez TJ to Scratch, there are a number of excellent restaurants in the area in addition to the ubiquitous taqaurias and sushi joints.

You can also find a number of sports bars as well, if you want to grab a late night drink, including a couple of dance places like the Zen Lounge and even a gay bar, King of Clubs.

Appropriately, the Museum of Computer History is also in Mountain View, within walking distance of the Googleplex. At the museum you can see the evolution of computers on display, along with special exhibits. Right now, for example, in addition to their history of the Silicon Valley, they have a special exhibition for Steve Jobs, featuring some lesser known photos of the inventor along with a bit about what he contributed to the technology.

And in terms of malls, supermarkets and movie theaters—this is pretty much the burbs. You got more than enough for everybody, as you would expect.

Crime is about half the national average.
  • The Googleplex
  • Great Schools
  • Good Restaurants
  • A Little Bland
  • Lots of Traffic
  • On the Expensive Side
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids

Travelling to Mountain View?

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Best Neighborhoods in Mountain View

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Cuesta Park

"The Best Mountain View Has to Offer"
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Unranked Neighborhoods in Mountain View

"The Millionaires Next Door"
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"Tiny Cookie Cutter City"
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"Really Nice Mediterrean Style Homes"
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"The High Cost of Average"
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Jackson Park

"Influx of Immigrants Have Made This Neighborhood Very Diverse"
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"Diverse Housing Inventory"
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"Mountain Views Eichlers"
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"Good For Singles"
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