Welcome to Portola Valley
Rural community with open space and locally run shops
Portola Valley is surrounded by open space and has a refreshing rural feel. The community gives the impression of being many miles away from cities and Silicon Valley tech hubs despite its convenient location on the Peninsula. Junipero Serra Freeway to the northeast connects Portola Valley with other Peninsula communities, while unspoiled expanses of natural space extended in all other directions. Residents love Portola Valley for its relaxing pace of life and its numerous charming locally-run shops and restaurants.
Portola Valley’s secluded wooded hillsides contain exquisite properties with exceptional designs and magnificent elevated views. The architectural mix includes lavish Tuscan villas, idyllic ranches, exquisite custom-builds, and attractive mid-century modern single-family homes.
What to Love
People & Lifestyle
Portola Valley has a down-to-earth and back-to-nature atmosphere. Miles of hiking and horse trails extend through the surrounding open space preserves, while local businesses have an inviting old-world vibe. Many residents commute into Silicon Valley’s tech hubs or work at the Stanford University, which is located less than a 10-minute drive away.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
While Portola Valley’s peaceful sense of rural isolation is one of its biggest attractions, there are a variety of shops and restaurants within the community. Along Alpine Road, Alpine Inn Beer Garden
has been a cornerstone of the community since 1852. Extensive renovation in 2019 means this welcoming Portola Valley institution will long remain a favorite local hangout.
t is a similarly long-lived part of Portola Valley life. In business since 1889, this gourmet grocery store carries a high-quality selection of fresh produce, wines and spirits, and deli goods. Across the street, family-run Portola Valley Café
is a laidback spot for coffee and casual meals. Guests at the award-winning Portola Vineyards
micro-winery can sample exceptional pinot noirs and chardonnays with live jazz performances during the summer.
The largest shopping area is in the Ladera neighborhood at Portola Valley’s northeast corner. Dining options here include upscale farm-to-table Italian dining at Portola Kitchen
and delicious East Coast-style seafood at Old Port Lobster Shack. Bianchi’s Market
sells fresh produce, tempting baked goods, quality meats and cheeses, and ready-to-eat sandwiches straight from the kitchen.
Further north along Alpine Road, visitors to Webb Ranch
can pick their own seasonal berries. Produce from Webb Ranch can also be purchased at a weekly farmers’ market held each Thursday on Portola Road.
Things to Do
Portola Valley is surrounded by open space and the 1,335-acre Windy Hills Preserve
falls entirely within its boundaries. This dramatic natural expanse features extensive open grassland ridges and areas of fir, oak, and redwood forest. 12 miles of trails run through the preserve and its elevated topography provides captivating views over Silicon Valley and the Bay. To Portola Valley’s northwest, 167-acre Thornewood Preserve
has hiking and horse trails, along with bird watching opportunities around Schilling Lake. The hillside redwood forests and open meadows of Wunderlich County Park
are a short distance outside Portola Valley. More trails and green spaces are dotted throughout Portola Valley. Frog Pond Park’s trails are popular with hikers, cyclists, and runners.
Other recreation facilities in the area include fitness classes, swimming lessons and workouts, and tennis courts and competitions at Alpine Hills
. Ladera Oaks Swim & Tennis Club
and Ladera Rec
also offer swimming pools and tennis courts, along with summer camp programs for kids. Webb Ranch has a riding school
with equestrian instruction for riders of all ability levels. Portola Valley Theater Conservancy
hosts events and workshops including family-friendly open mic nights, summer camps, and acting classes.
Public schools in Portola Valley are operated by the Portola Valley Elementary School District.