The town of Portola Valley has roughly 4500 residents, and just celebrated their 50th anniversary as an incorporated town in 2014. The town name comes from Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, and the town continues to focus on its rich historical and environmental heritage. There are beautiful trails and plenty of open space to enjoy, and the architecture throughout the community tends to blend in with the natural surroundings. With one of the highest median incomes in the region, this town is considered one of the forty wealthiest towns in the United States. Forbes magazine wrote in 2013 that Portola Valley had the 9th most expensive housing prices within the country as well.
Among many open spaces to enjoy, Windy Hill is a popular one. This 1,335-acre preserve has over 12 miles of trails, some of which are open to horses, and a trip up the Anniversary Trail will provide spectacular views of the bay area. Another great spot to visit is Webb Ranch. This family farm returns visitors to a simpler time with organic farming, horse riding, horse boarding and seasonal Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Lots. Webb Ranch has been owned by the Webb Family since 1922 and the fifth generation is currently tending to the ranch. If you take an interest in horses, this is definitely a worthwhile location to check out, in addition to other horse riding facilities in the area.
Portola Valley is home to one of the top public elementary school districts in the State. Ormondale School (named after the race horse Ormondale) serves students from K-3, and Corte Madera school serves students from 4-8. Homes in the Ladera neighborhood are served by the well regarded Las Lomitas Elementary School District with schools located in nearby Menlo Park. The nearest public secondary school for Portola Valley residents is Woodside High School in neighboring Woodside and is part of the Sequoia Union High School District. Many children in the area attend local private schools such as Woodside Priory or Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Atherton as an alternative to the public school system.
Portola Valley is defined as zip code 94028, and the majority of the homes in the region are single family homes located on larger lots. The Ladera region was developed in 1944 by the Peninsula Housing Association as a housing cooperative, but after a few years the cooperative failed, and the land was sold to develop a small tract. The homes in Ladera are typically ranch homes of modest size located on smaller lots and can be a more affordable entry point into the town.