"Upscale Silicon Valley Suburb Worth Visiting" Saratoga by atufft
Saratoga Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 37 photos
Wikipedia notes among other things that "in 2007, the median home price in Saratoga was USD$1.42 million. Saratoga's zip code (95070) is listed on the Forbes list as the 32nd most expensive zip code in 2007, the 25th most pricey town in Money magazine for 2007, and the 17th highest median household income by Money in 2007." Yet, the town has roots as a get-away for San Franciscan's seeking the country benefits of fresh fruit and wine. Boutique wine pioneer Ridge is still located in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Saratoga, and the original Paul Mason winery factory, that produced the carafe shaped bottles, also has a vista point above Saratoga. Even today, within the remaining empty spaces between housing developments, one can see the aging reminants of fruit orchards. However, as the science and technology boom of the Silicon Valley progressed this all changed. Located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just north of San Jose, and less than an hour south of San Francisco, it was inevitable that this rural town, along with similar others in the region, including Cupertino, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto, would eventually bedcome an upscale bedroom community.
Saratoga had several names before the current one, which honors the resort city of New York State, and the history is really pretty bland relative to other Bay Area towns, but it is still worth visiting because of the upscale shops and restaurants. Today, the small historic several block section along Big Basin Way, between 1st and Fourth Streets vaguely resembles other such upscale and walkable small California downtowns, such as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or Ocean Avenue in Carmel-By-The-Sea, Palm Desert, or perhaps Main Street in Saint Helena. Unlike these other overpriced shopping districts and resort towns, where the wealthy have little more to do than window shop, Saratoga is actually a working class town, of sorts, where the workers are among the highest paid, most productive tech workers in the world. It's the only one of these small towns, that I know of, which offers valet parking during the week just for shopping in the historic downtown. Unfortunately, despite the money, Saratoga's historic district is a bit disappointing as asphalt and concrete sidewalks, rather than cobblestones and brick walks reveal a less than serious effort to bring the town to a world-class small town strip.
One thing Saratoga has over all these other fancy upscale towns is the wonderful backdrop of the redwood studded and stunning Santa Cruz Mountains. Saratoga is at one end of the winding summit highway 9, while beach action oriented Santa Cruz is at the other end, and in between are the curious mountain villages of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Felton, and Mount Hermon
Poison Oak is endemic throughout the Santa Cruz mountains and the rural forested highlands of the entire San Francisco... more travel advice
Cycling, both road and mountain, is very popular among the sports fitness minded tech workers in the Silicon Valley, and... more travel advice
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