Welcome to Portola Valley
Amenities of modern life wrapped up in old-world charm
Compared to other neighboring communities, Portola Valley was a late bloomer to incorporation, doing so in 1964 in San Mateo County. But the area’s history goes back to 1834 when it was part of the 13,000-acre Rancho el Corte de Madera. Later on, the region was booming with logging activity and agriculture, with farms and estates sharing space throughout the valley.
Today, the residents of Portola Valley have found the balance between modernization and maintaining old-world charm. By protecting nearly 2,000 acres of open space, the city has helped preserve the town’s predominantly rural identity.
Homes in Portola Valley also split the difference between rustic and new, with contemporary estates mixed in with more traditional ranch-style homes. Plus, many homes come with stunning views.
What to Love
- Rural small town committed to maintaining its historical heritage and natural surroundings
- Beautiful open spaces
- Amazing Portola Valley trails
Delightful Mix of Old and New
The residential areas of Portola Valley are composed of seven neighborhoods. They mirror the town’s hybrid approach to the past and present.
From rural, secluded neighborhoods to the more accessible communities of Westridge, Ladera, Los Trancos Woods and Vista Verde, there’s a nice mix of styles throughout the town’s outlying communities. Central Portola Valley offers not only a variety of housing, its location places residents nearer to Stanford, Menlo Park, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Although predominantly a residential community, Portola Valley does have a few local favorites that are worth the visit.
The top of that list features the 167-year-old
(and its beer garden formerly known as Zott’s), the second oldest continually operating tavern in the state. A popular spot for nearby Stanford students, the Inn is a must for anyone visiting Portola Valley for the first time.
Further west at the intersection of Alpine and Portola Roads is the
Portola Cafe Deli
, a wonderful little eatery serving pizza and burgers. Head up Portola Road and you’ll find the
, advertised as serving gourmet California comfort food.
Ladera Shopping Center offers a great local market with amazing produce, meat and deli, restaurants, shops & the beautiful Ladera Garden & Gift shop. The town’s environmentally friendly town center also hosts a weekly farmers’ market.
Things to Do
Fortunately for residents, Portola Valley is defined by its gorgeous natural setting. The town is home to two extensive trail systems. The first is an in-town network that crisscrosses the residential and commercial areas.
To the west is the extraordinary 1,335-acre
Windy Hill Preserve
. Rising to a summit of over 1,900 feet, the preserve offers close to 15 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
For other sports enthusiasts, there is the 12-court
Alpine Hills Swimming & Tennis Club
located on Alpine Road.
Ladera Oaks Swim, Tennis, and Fitness Club
Ladera Recreation District
, which includes a community pool and rec center, are also available.
Portola Valley is also proud to have several historical sites on the National Register of Historic Places: Our Lady of the Wayside Church and the Portola Valley School.
Portola Valley students attend the
Portola Valley School District
Sequoia Union High School District