Atherton located in southern San Mateo County; just a short drive from Palo Alto and Stanford University. Named after Faxon Atherton, a rich hide and tallow trader from Chile who bought over 600 acres and built the first mansion in the area, Atherton is rich in history and unique in its character. Beginning on the flatlands and moving westward to the hills, Atherton features beautiful heritage trees and elegant gardens. It is still a "plain of oaks" and residents like it that way. There are 49 miles of roads in Atherton and about 2500 households with no industry or business in the town.
Atherton's population is just over 7,000, with 2,500 households and a minimum parcel size of one acre. The characteristic privacy that results is one of the town's most appealing attributes, and the diverse architecture of its grand dwellings is awe-inspiring. A stunning combination of lush landscapes and gracious mansions set back from curbless streets, each estate is maintained with great pride and meticulous care.
Once a summer retreat destination for well-to-do San Franciscans, Atherton has always remained an exclusive residential community. The town's current land use goal is to preserve its character as a scenic, thickly wooded area with abundant open space. While Atherton hosts no commercial endeavors, the town offers plenty of resources for its residents. Holbrook-Palmer Park is a 22-acre open space featuring a playground, a newly renovated baseball field, walking paths, recreational programs, a private preschool, and facilities for social functions. Atherton has a town hall, library, and Caltrain station. The Menlo Circus Club features tennis, swimming, stables, and polo fields. There are many active community organizations in town, including the Atherton Heritage Association, the Atherton Arts Committee, the Atherton Tree Committee, the Friends of the Atherton Community Library, and a variety of homeowner's associations created by individual neighborhoods.
Atherton does not have its own public school system. Students attend Encinal and Laurel Elementary Schools and Hillview Middle School of the Menlo Park City School District, Las Lomitas Elementary and La Entrada Middle School of the Las Lomitas School District, or Selby Lane School of the Redwood City School District. High School students attend Menlo-Atherton High School, part of the Sequoia Union High School District. Sacred Heart Preparatory School (JK-12) and Menlo School (6-12) are prestigious private schools in town. Menlo College is a private four-year college also within Atherton's limits.
One of the most coveted communities on the Peninsula, the Town of Atherton represents the pinnacle of Silicon Valley luxury.