“For those who revel in natural beauty and solitude, Palo Alto Hills offers that in spades as well as gorgeous, sprawling homes tucked away on expansive lots.”
Despite having fewer than 100 dwellings spread over a sprawling ribbon of land, the residents of Palo Alto Hills are connected. They enjoy the peaceful seclusion of their borough but their Neighborhood Association is the backbone of the community, keeping residents informed in addition to holding neighborhood events, such as the annual Holiday Party at the Palo Alto Hills Country Club.
Neighbors are closer than they seem, despite lots that can be multiple acres. The community is open and friendly, residents are always willing to lend a hand, sharing that cup of sugar or a bottle of homemade wine.
Residents count the open space of Pearson-Arastradero Preserve as an extension of their backyards. 533 acres of stunning grasslands and broadleaf woods offer views of the bay, 10.25 miles of trails and abundant wildlife.
The exclusive estates in Palo Alto Hills have always been grand. The first surge of development began in the 1970s with the popular architectural style of the day: low-rise 3 to 5 bedroom homes with plentiful windows to take advantage of the area’s amazing views. More recent construction comes in the form of a myriad of unique custom homes. It is not uncommon to see a Spanish-style fortress on one spacious lot while a 6,000 square foot French chateau graces another.
Perched upon 128 acres of rolling emerald hills and adjacent to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is the esteemed Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. This unique private club offers a challenging 18-hole golf course and year round recreation and social events for its members.
Palo Alto Hills offers a respite from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the fast-paced Silicon Valley atmosphere. Residents describe the borough as “so close to everything yet so removed”. It is a restful, bucolic enclave similar to that of Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley.
History of Palo Alto Hills, Palo Alto
Prior to 1958 and the development of the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club, the area of Palo Alto Hills was untamed. It was originally part of two area ranchos, the Rincon de San Francisquito and Rancho La Purisima Concepcion owned by Juana Briones.
Briones, a natural-born entrepreneur and once referred to as the “most famous woman in California”, purchased the 4,400-acre rancho in 1844. Although the Rancho Concepcion made up only a small portion of Palo Alto Hills, she did build an adobe home at 4155 Old Adobe Road. It was a registered landmark until it was demolished in 2011 with artifacts preserved for museum use.
Palo Alto Hills served as a weekend get-away for the wealthy of San Francisco, as did Woodside and Portola Valley. Some of these 1920s estates still stand today.
The prestigious Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club began as the vision of a collection of prominent local sports figures and businessmen. They purchased 145 acres of land in 1958 and completed their 9-hole golf course in 1960, expanding the course to 18 holes in 1961. A clubhouse was also constructed in 1961 with full-blown expansion beginning a few years later.