Nestled at the foot of the Western Hills, Portola Valley is a beautiful town located just west of Stanford University and on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is home to 4500 residents in 1700 households. Portola Valley borders Woodside to the North & Palo Alto lies to the South. Nineteen hundred acres of permanent open space exists within the town. With 36 miles of trail, Portola Valley providing ample opportunities for walking and riding to all its residences, since the time it was founded in 1964.
With a population of approximately 4,500, Portola Valley prides itself in its environmental and historic preservation, efforts that maintain the pristine nature of the community. The geography is defined by groves of towering oaks, rolling fields of wildflowers, and open spaces blanketed by native grasses. With views extending from across the Bay to San Francisco, Portola Valley is a relatively undiscovered enclave tucked amid some of Silicon Valley's most gorgeous natural landscapes.
Two main roads, Alpine Road and Portola Road run through Portola Valley. Their intersection forms a small shopping center that includes Robert's Market, an auto repair shop, a deli, and a hardware store. Across from the town center lies another small commercial center, the Village Restaurants, and Shops. Further down Alpine Road, Ladera Shopping Center features Bianchini's, a well-stocked gourmet market, as well as several quaint shops and restaurants.
Portola Valley is rich in historic allure. Both Portola Valley School and Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church are California Landmarks on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places. The Alpine Inn opened in 1852, is one of the oldest drinking establishments in California. This casual beer garden remains a favorite gathering spot for long-time residents, young professionals, and Stanford alumni alike.
Portola Valley's beautiful Town Center is the nucleus of the community, with a community hall for classes and social events, a cozy library, and a variety of the most scenic recreational spaces imaginable, including a playground, soccer field, baseball field, and tennis courts. Beyond the Town Center, nearby Alpine Hills and Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Clubs and Ladera Recreation District provide even more recreational and social opportunities for Portola Valley families.
Portola's excellent public schools include Ormondale (K-3) and Corte Madera (4-8). Most of the town's high schoolers feed into Woodside High, with a small portion of students matriculating into Sequoia High, both of which are part of the Sequoia Union High School District. Woodland School (Preschool-8) and Woodside Priory (6-12) present private school options. Carillon and Ladera Preschools serve the little ones.
Portola Valley is known for its extensive trail system, picturesque roads, and plenty of open space that combine to develop the town's rustic ambiance. Much of the town's 9.1 square miles is devoted to the spectacular Windy Hill Open Space Preserve and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The town truly treasures its idyllic surroundings. With that in mind, all architectural guidelines have been developed to respect the organic backdrop, thus enabling Portola Valley to maintain a rural character all its own.