Boasting distinctive European flair, Saratoga is an affluent suburb located south of San Jose, tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In addition to high-ranking schools, a picturesque downtown, and a rich heritage, the city also enjoys diversity in topography and natural beauty, truly setting it apart from the Bay Area’s many exciting communities.
Rich With History
In the mid-1800s, the area of modern-day Saratoga was dominated by a tiny frontier town that served as the site of a successful sawmill. The discovery of a mineral spring in the vicinity led to the town’s adoption of the name Saratoga (derived from Saratoga Springs in New York), and within just a few years it had converted from a fledgling settlement into a distinguished resort. Simultaneously, agriculture became a driving force in the area’s economy, so orchards, gardens, and wineries began to spring up throughout the community. Though the city has since become much more urbanized, Saratoga’s agrarian character still persists today.
Beauty & Distinction
Inarguably, the natural beauty of the area is one of its hallmarks. Saratoga’s topography spans undulating foothills, stately redwood forests, and flat expanses of rich soil and lush vegetation. Many well-heeled residents escape from the bustle of the Bay Area to Saratoga’s bucolic surroundings, and elegant homes and sprawling estates now punctuate the diverse landscape. This attention has contributed to Saratoga’s ranking by Money magazine as a top-earning town in America, and it is often recognized as one of the most expensive residential areas in the country.
Leisure & Recreation
The city is renowned for its small-town charm, emphasized by commercial zoning limitations and well-preserved natural surroundings. Nestled at its heart is a delightful cluster of high-end restaurants and boutiques in the form of a European-inspired downtown area. Retreats like the Hakone Gardens join concert and event venues like the Montalvo Arts Center and Mountain Winery to present an array of leisure and entertainment options for both residents and visitors alike. Vast expanses of surrounding parklands afford miles and miles of recreational trails, providing endless opportunities for outdoor exploration. Saratoga’s abundance of popular wineries and access to nature preserves with gorgeous scenery recall its past as a resort destination, and these prized features still draw throngs of visitors today.
Range Of Education
Not only is the city of Saratoga a major attraction for city-dwellers and nature-lovers, but it is also a magnet for families due to its prized educational options. The community is served by several public school districts, and many of the schools are considered to be among the best in the country. The presence of multiple private academies and West Valley Community College elevates the range of academic options that can be enjoyed by residents.
Saratoga is an excellent home for those who value beauty, peace, and culture while still wanting to be near major Silicon Valley establishments. The quality of life offered by this city is like none other in the Bay Area, and its individuality promises residents a lifetime of leisure and excitement.
Notable Residents—Past and Present
Alex Brightman, Broadway actor
Stephanie Elam, news anchor
Joan Fontaine, actress
Steve Harwell, lead singer of Smash Mouth
Olivia de Havilland, actress
Patrick Marelau, NHL player
Vienna Teng, pianist and singer-songwriter
Joe Thornton, NHL player
James Rumbaugh, computer scientist
Steven Spielberg, filmmaker
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The public schools are among the best in the nation. Graduates from the local high schools attend the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country, with a much larger than average number admitted to neighboring Stanford. Abundant bike paths make it easy for most students to bike to their local schools, giving them a sense of independence that is valued by parents and children alike.
Explore our neighborhoods – Saratoga
Browse our comprehensive neighborhood guides to learn about the most desirable or most up-and-coming places to live across the country.