7 Best Neighborhoods and Places to Live in Santa Clara, CA

September 06th, 2021

7 Best Neighborhoods and Places to Live in Santa Clara, CA

7 Best Places to Live in Santa Clara, CA

Searching for the best places to live in Santa Clara? Here are 7 of the best neighborhoods!

Considered one of the best places to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the high-tech city of Santa Clara is one of the fastest-growing areas in California located right in the center of Silicon Valley. Due to the many startups and Fortune 500 companies deciding to call Santa Clara home, young professionals and recent graduates are headed to the city in order to land high-profile jobs. Considered safe and very clean, Santa Clara is also a great place to raise a family or retire. With a mild climate and abundance of opportunities, it is no wonder that everyone wants to move here.

Best Neighborhoods in Santa Clara, CA - Here are the 7 best places to live in Santa Clara, California!

On the other hand, Santa Clara County is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. Notoriously a rich area, Santa Clara County was named as the fifth richest county in the nation. In fact, there are close to a total of 75,000 millionaire households in Santa Clara alone. If you have always wanted to move to California and can afford the high cost of living, then this might be where you want to settle down. While making the big move to Santa Clara may be exciting, it can also be stressful trying to figure out which neighborhood you should move to. Luckily, our team has put together this neighborhood guide to help you figure out just that. Read on to learn more about the 7 Best Neighborhoods in Santa Clara, California!

Central Santa Clara

Did you know that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the best places to live in California? Since Santa Clara is found in the South Bay, that makes the city and its neighborhoods one of the most desirable places to live in the state. While there may be many neighborhoods to choose from in Santa Clara, there are certain communities that stand out among the others. The neighborhood of Central Santa Clara in particular has made the top of our list for a reason. Found in the center of the city, Central Santa Clara is located next to many popular amenities and within walking distance to fantastic shops and restaurants. 

Bordered by the Lawrence Expressway and El Camino Real, this neighborhood is recognized as being family-friendly, well-maintained, and safe. With a population of almost 20,600 people, the community is constantly growing and attracting residents of all backgrounds and lifestyles. For those moving with school-aged children, some of the most popular schools in the area include Santa Clara High School, Monticello Academy, Stratford School, and Pomery Elementary School. Keep in mind that the current median home prices range from anywhere between $600,000 to $1.6 million. 

Local Favorites:

  • Santa Clara Central Park: Open from 6 am to just after sunset every day during the week, this 50-acre park features green spaces, a playground, amphitheater, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic areas, and a recreation center.

  • Santa Clara City Library: If you love reading then make sure to visit the local library! Now with an online library and seasonal events, never run out of reading material. 

  • Santa Clara University: Established in 1851, this private university is considered the oldest learning institution in California. With more than 50 majors and minors, there is a program for everyone. 

  • San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail: This paved walking, running, and biking trail spans for miles throughout the city. Easily accessible from multiple points, walk to work or run to Levi’s Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play.

Kentfield

Located southeast of Central Santa Clara, the neighborhood of Kentfield is a smaller community about three miles away from downtown. Close to the San Tomas Expressway, have easy access to nearby amenities, and enjoy short commute times to and from work. With a population of about 940 residents, this is a great neighborhood for those looking for a small-town feel in an urban setting. Great for older residents, retirees, and empty nesters, the average age of residents living in Kentwood is 50 years old. 

Known as a well-established place to live, this neighborhood has been around since 1971 and has experienced many changes throughout the years. One of the best things about living in Kentfield is its cheaper housing options. Most properties available are single-family homes with average size lots, apartments, and condominiums. The median home price ranges from anywhere between $220,000 to $960,000. For those moving with school-aged children, the top schools in the area include Cupertino High School, Warren E. Hyde Middle School, and Dwight E. Eisenhower Elementary School.

Local Favorites: 

  • California’s Great America: This 112-acre amusement park is a cool place to bring the family or a first date. If you love roller coasters and thrill rides then this is definitely a must-visit. There is even a water park called South Bay Shores Waterpark which is perfect for the hot summer months. 

  • Intel Corp and Museum: Found in Intel’s headquarters, visit this museum to learn all about the silicon chip and how technology plays an important role in everyday life.

  • Pacific Catch Santa Clara: This west coast fish house is located in the new Santa Clara Square and is serving up fresh fish and bold flavors. Order the fish tacos! 

  • Birks Santa Clara Steakhouse: Located in an office park in the Santa Clara Towers, this bistro specializes in seafood, grilled steaks, and chops. While the menu may be more on the expensive side this is a great dining experience for a special occasion. Reservations are encouraged.

Santa Clara, Ca flag waving proudly in the sky with the usa flag and california republic flag

Lawrence and El Camino

Located north of Central Santa Clara and directly in the Koreatown area of the city, the neighborhood of Lawrence and El Camino is home to about 4,300 residents. Close to the neighboring city of Sunnyvale, living in Lawrence and El Camino is a great option for those wanting to be a part of a tight-knit community. Since the neighborhood is relatively small, it is easy to make friends and to get involved in community activities and events. While the average age of residents may be 48 years old, there is still a growing number of younger residents. In fact, for those moving with children, the school district is highly rated and includes the popular schools of Santa Clara High School, Peterson Middle School, and Briarwood Elementary School. In Lawrence and El Camino, 53% of residents are homeowners while the rest of residents choose to rent. If you decide to buy a home, the housing market in this area is not cheap. The median home value is around $1.25 million.

Local Favorites:

  • Sunken Gardens Golf Course: While this 9-hole executive golf course may be located in Sunnyvale, it is a great course for all skill levels and is not too far from the neighborhood.

  • Grub Burger Bar: Order from a selection of homemade burgers, wings, and fries. There are even vegetarian and vegan options. Make sure to order a classic milkshake or an alcoholic milkshake! 

  • Giovanni’s New York Pizzeria: Serving up New York thin crust and deep-dish Sicilian pizzas in a warm atmosphere. Plus, enjoy other authentic Italian favorites such as chicken piccata, cannolis, and handmade garlic knots. 

  • St. John’s Bar and Grill: Get your fix of burgers, cheesesteaks, sandwiches, fries, and other American favorites at this old-school bar and grill. Make sure to load up on cajun fries!

Oakmead

A larger neighborhood, Oakmead is home to just about 10,400 residents. Located four miles west of downtown Santa Clara, Oakmead offers its residents a nice mixture of urban and suburban living. With a current average age of 46 years old, most residents are established, professionals or families. With direct access to Highway 101 and the Montague Expressway, traveling around Santa Clara and other nearby cities is convenient and easy to navigate. Plus, close to many top companies and businesses, living in Oakmead means short commute times to and from work. Some companies in particular such as NVIDIA Corporation, AMD, Qualcomm, and Hitachi are located here. Known as a family-friendly neighborhood, Oakmead has many walking and biking trails, new retail spaces, coffee shops, and fun eateries. Not to mention, many residents own a dog so there are plenty of green spaces and dog parks to visit.

Local Favorites:

  • Mission College: This public two-year community college is a fantastic option for students who want to explore higher education opportunities. 

  • Santa Clara Square Marketplace: A new addition to the neighborhood, this marketplace and apartment complex is bringing luxurious living to life. Dine at fantastic restaurants and shop at top retail stores. There is even a Whole Foods Marketplace and a Chipotle. 

  • Tender Greens: Order delicious bowls and salads at this hotspot. While the food may be a bit pricey, the high quality and portion sizes are worth it.

  • Gong Cha: Get your fix of boba tea at this tea franchise. Blending quality tea with fruits and toppings, if you have not tried boba tea yet then this is a must-do.

An aerial view of santa clara, ca with a mountain view in the background

Ponderosa Park

Bordering the Lawrence Expressway and El Camino Real, the neighborhood of Ponderosa Park is only three miles north of downtown Santa Clara. Though Ponderosa Park may technically be located in Sunnyvale, most residents spend a majority of their time in Santa Clara either for work or for fun. Known as a larger community, this neighborhood is home to over 13,000 residents and the area keeps growing. Recognized as a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, Ponderosa Park boasts a high safety rating and is prized for its walkability.

Local Favorites: 

  • Delicious Crepes Bistro: This vegan and vegetarian restaurant is making only the best crepes in town. Choose from sweet or savory crepes. 

  • Vito’s Famous Pizza: Enjoy thin crust pizza and high-quality toppings while playing classic arcade games. 

  • Ponderosa Park: Featuring a playground, picnic areas, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and bocce ball. This is a great place to relax outside. 

  • Rama V: Feast on Thai fare and other spicy favorites. Order the pineapple fried rice!

Santa Clara, California water fountain

Rivermark

This planned community was built on 152-acres and features single-family homes, apartments, condominiums, townhouses, shops, restaurants, parks, a school, and even a library. Considered an Agnew community, the neighborhood of Rivermark is one of the most desirable places to live in Santa Clara due to its convenient location and accessibility to amenities. Home to almost 13,000 residents, Rivermark is fantastic for families and young professionals.

Local Favorites:

Westwood

Home to just under 4,000 residents, the neighborhood of Westwood is located 3 miles east of downtown Santa Clara. Featuring a variety of single-family homes, apartment complexes, and quarter-acre lots, most households are cozy and are of high value. In fact, this well-established neighborhood is perfect for raising a family. Plus, known as a bikeable place to live, travel around the neighborhood easily without even taking your car. If you are moving with school-aged children, the most popular schools in the area include Westwood Elementary School, Monroe Middle School, and Del Mar High School.

Local Favorites: 

  • Pruneridge Golf Club: A popular Silicon Valley spot, this golf training facility features 9-holes and a driving range to practice your swing. 

  • Henry Schmidt Park: Featuring a playground, open green space, tennis courts, and multi-purpose fields. A great place to bring the family together. 

  • Athena Grill and Catering: Serving authentic Greek food with filling portions at reasonable prices.

  • World Wrapps: Counter service wraps, salads, and smoothies.

The Best Neighborhoods in Santa Clara, CA - The Bottom Line 

If you are wondering where you should live in Santa Clara then hopefully this guide leads you in the right direction. While Santa Clara may be an expensive and rich place to live, the city has many safe neighborhoods to choose from no matter your budget. Before buying a home in one of the many good neighborhoods that Santa Clara has to offer, make sure to get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Realty Specialists to aid you through the home buying process. With the help of our team, find your dream neighborhood in no time. Contact us today to find your forever home in Santa Clara, California!

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.