Welcome to Los Altos
During the early years of the city’s history, Los Altos was known as a small agricultural town with a collection of summer cottages and vast apricot orchards. As it has grown and changed the spirit of the city still reflects its early agricultural roots and beautiful natural appeal. Located near the San Francisco Peninsula on the northern end of the Santa Clara Valley, Los Altos is now a fully modernized city now known for its affluence. Unlike many of its neighbors, Los Altos moved past its agricultural roots without racing to embrace technology or industrial centers. The result is a quiet community dedicated to preserving the surrounding natural beauty and a relaxed way of life.
Lay of the Land
Located near the San Francisco Bay side of the Santa Clara Valley, Los Altos is crisscrossed by several creeks that eventually lead to San Francisco Bay itself. This helps alleviate some of the dryness associated with many of the other areas of the valley and leads to near perfect year round weather. The most recent federal estimates place the total city population at a comfortable 30,288, spread out over an area of approximately 6,487 square miles. Los Altos is a very affluent area, with an average median household income of $158,444; well above the state and national average. This has led to a median home or condominium value of over $1,000,000 for the area.
While the majority of the Santa Clara Valley is connected via a vast network of highways and freeways, congestion and environmental concerns have led to an increased emphasis on alternative forms of transportation. This has led the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to invest significant resources into creating a vast network of light rail systems and bus lines designed to provide ease of movement in not only the valley itself, but to the region as well. Additionally, Los Altos is connected to the rest of the Santa Clara Valley via an extensive system of bike trails and designated lanes. Finally, Caltrain operates commuter trains that traverse the entire peninsula from Gilroy to San Francisco.
Devoid of extensive agriculture and modern industry, the residents of Los Altos have chosen to place a premium on community engagement and public services beyond that invested by most cities in the region. This is reflected not only in the feel of the town but in the aesthetic as well. For example, the city of Los Altos currently has a total of 29 sculptures on display around the city. These are all either original pieces commissioned for display within Los Altos or on loan from the original artists.
Additionally, there are dozens of parks and recreational facilities scattered around the city. These range all of the way from the San Antonio Club, which is the city run year round preschool program, to full service athletic facilities and exercise areas. All of these facilities are available for use by members of the community in both an open use and rental agreement capacity.
The city also has seven shopping districts (Downtown Los Altos, Loyola Corners, Rancho Shopping Center, Village Court, Woodland Plaza, Foothill Crossing, and El Camino Real) each with its own sense of style, flair, and retail emphasis. Within these shopping locations residents will find access to both national and local retail locations, professional services, specialty services, and a wide range of eateries. While none of the locations would be considered “large” in a traditional sense, they all work together to provide residents with a comprehensive list of services while maintaining a small town feel and ambiance.
The city of Los Altos operates the Los Altos School District with seven elementary schools and two junior highs. High School aged students can attend Los Altos High School, founded in 1954, or numerous excellent private schools in the area as well.