Peninsula (San Mateo County)
The San Francisco Peninsula reaches from its famous neighbor to the north to the high-tech region of Silicon Valley to the south, and spans from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Within this geographical expanse, the Peninsula, which encompasses all of San Mateo County, offers a little bit of everything – from coastal towns and rural mountain communities, to vibrant downtowns and some of the country’s most affluent neighborhoods.
The Santa Cruz mountains run up the Peninsula and provide a large wilderness area that’s great for hiking and mountain biking. You can enjoy extensive trails for horseback riding, as well as equestrian events in Woodside, take in the beautiful views while hiking the Portola Valley Loop, bike Skyline Boulevard to the city, or even go horseback riding on the beach in Half Moon Bay
Outdoor recreation isn’t all the Peninsula has to offer, with the downtowns of the communities that run up the bay all offering unique shopping, dining and entertainment options. Burlingame’s two downtown areas are lined with shops, gourmet wine stores, boutiques, and jewelers, while wonderful destination restaurants abound in downtown San Mateo.
High tech is not only for the Silicon Valley, with big names populating the view driving up 101, from veterans like Oracle, to relative newcomers like Evernote. And just in from 101, you will find some of the most affluent towns in the country, including Atherton, Menlo Park, and Hillsborough.
Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County)
Birthplace of the iPhone and iPad, the Silicon Valley of today is the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development, but the area was originally known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight due to its high concentration of orchards, flowering trees, and plants. Until the 1960’s it was the largest fruit production and packing region in the world. While residents can still enjoy a local farmers market or heritage orchard, agriculture has largely been replaced by the high-tech industry, and today the Silicon Valley is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations as well as thousands of small startups.
The term Silicon Valley was coined in 1971, and since then the technology trend in the area has accelerated with tech companies popping up everywhere through the 1980’s and 1990’s. The valley is currently home to approximately 6,500 high tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Cisco Systems, Intel, and many others. The region now has the highest concentration of high-tech workers of any metropolitan area, and is one of the top research and development centers in the world.
The area has a work hard/play hard ethos that translates into innumerable leisure time activities. From taking in a high-energy San Jose Sharks game, shopping on Santana Row, or strolling the streets of any of the thriving downtowns of the communities that makes up the Silicon Valley, residents and visitors can find countless ways to unwind. And close proximity to San Francisco living to the north or beach lounging to the south make it an ideally central location. Silicon Valley is a unique combination of intellect, opportunity, and ideal living, and this true synergy of creativity and commerce keep the region constantly pushing forward.