With its long history of providing some of San Francisco’s best natural defenses against nature, San Francisco is home to some great outdoor living areas. The city is full of streets and neighborhoods designated as greenways, bike paths, open parks, and other unique sites for outdoor recreation. Among these natural areas are ones in the Portola Valley. These natural neighborhoods offer scenic mountain biking, walking, and outdoor exercise. In fact, many of them are in close proximity to some of the best hiking and biking trails in San Francisco.
There are many unique natural features in the northern part of the Portola Valley that make it an outdoor living paradise. In addition to the gorgeous coastal mountains, there are sandy beaches, wooded areas, and lots of recreational opportunities. All of this within a central Portola Valley area just minutes from many restaurants, grocery stores, and scenic hiking trails. And you can’t get any more natural than at one of the many small, nature-themed restaurants dotting the village.
With the unique combination of natural mountain beauty and urban development, the Portola Valley neighborhood has grown into one of the best-kept secrets in San Francisco. This outdoor living area is a great place to bring the family, or even host an outdoor party for your friends. There are also several quaint little shops and outdoor cafes to explore. Best of all, these easy-going communities are well within walking distance of the best outdoor attractions in town. The average commute to work is only a short 20 minute drive.
But if you are looking for a more urban experience, you don’t have to look any further than the eastern portions of the Portola Valley. Here you’ll find quaint, one-story brick houses with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Many of these homes are unique architectural creations built in the late 1800s by immigrants from Europe. You’ll also find a concentration of outdoor dining, art galleries, and craft shops in this part of the city. The Pacific Ocean can be seen from nearly every window in the outdoor living area, making it a great place to soak up the natural beauty that envelopes the region.
If you are interested in historical architecture, you will most certainly want to visit the City Hall and Cathedral, which stand proudly on the hills above Oakley. Built in the early 1900s as an Italianate fortress, the City Hall houses one of the last authentic Italian buildings in San Francisco. The beautiful Cathedrals, designed by Archbishops such as Urbanicularius of Salinas and Flavio da Sunga, attract many visitors to the area.
If you are more interested in the rich outdoor culture of the Portola Valley, then Mission Square Park may be the perfect setting for you. With over 50 different types of shops, bars, gardens, and other amenities, Mission Square is the perfect spot for you to get away from the everyday grind. Located right on Market Street, there is rarely a bad view to be seen. While outdoor living may not exactly be the first thing to come to your mind when considering living in the Portola Valley, these are some things that definitely make the area worth every penny.