What’s it Like to Live in Almaden in San Jose, CA?
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What’s it like to live in Almaden?
What was once a small encampment vital to the prosperity of California’s gold rush era is, today, a hilly community of parks, trails, and stylish homes on gorgeously manicured lawns. Perched against the locally named Cinnabar Hills, Almaden features some vivid reminders of California’s rise to statehood with a scattering of historic, preserved homes built in the 1840s.
A self-contained community south of San Jose’s downtown, you don’t need to drive far for errands, shopping, and school, but you’re also within a stone’s throw of all the cool activities the region boasts. Like golf? There are three courses in or against Almaden’s borders. Sometimes living in Almaden feels like you’re living at a country club.
Almaden’s a very family-friendly neighborhood, but you don’t need kids to enjoy the atmosphere. When you move into your new home, you’ll love the way your neighbors welcome you to the community and become your friends. People move to Almaden and stay for decades because their house becomes a home and not just a place to store some furniture and sleep.
What types of homes are in Almaden?
The full name of Almaden is “Almaden Valley,” but locals drop the “valley” when referring to the neighborhood. A clash of midcentury homes and new Mediterranean style architecture creates a patchwork of houses that change after every block. Kitschy tract homes built in the 1960s exude vintage charm while other streets boast multi-million dollar homes built to accommodate the influx of homeowners bound for Silicon Valley. Personally, I love the classic American feel of the midcentury homes that sit far back on their expansive, grassy lots.
Almaden boasts a uniquely California landscape. Blankets of green shrubs hug the hills around Almaden while evergreens tower over many of its homes. Carefully trimmed rose bushes and green hedgerows embrace new houses with fancy balconies and wide sidewalks.
What’s unique about Almaden?
One of the defining factors of living around San Francisco Bay and near San Jose is the population density. The allure of living around tech centers like Silicon Valley and San Jose has brought a landslide of new families and created a bit of a crush in some towns.
You won’t feel like you’re living too close to your neighbors in Almaden. Courtesy of the luxury real estate and the generously apportioned lots, you’ll love the expansive skies and beautiful green spaces that curl around Almaden’s winding streets.
Almaden is home to several families that moved into the area decades ago when local tech giant IBM needed workers, and those families have retained the summer barbecues and homey American spirit cultivated in the last century. Despite the area’s tech boom (and resulting real estate boost), I think Almaden has retained much of its unpretentious spirit.
Where are the good schools in Almaden?
One of the defining features of Almaden is its schools, so if you’re looking for San Jose’s best elementary schools, you might find them in Almaden. For example, Leland High School ranked in the top 20 schools in the United States for standardized test scores in 2014.
- Williams Elementary School | Grades K-5 | 1150 Rajkovich Way
- Bret Harte Middle School | Grades 5-8 | 7050 Bret Harte Drive
- Leland High School | Grades 9-12 | 6677 Camden Drive
With tuition prices rising swiftly in recent years, finding an affordable way to send your child to college requires some hefty scholarships or creative thinking. Fortunately for Almaden students, San Jose State University is a quick 20 minute drive. Stanford is also just north in Palo Alto.
What are the best things to do in Almaden?
The magnificent northern California climate inspires world-class wineries as much as it inspires families to spend as much time as possible outside. Almaden, in particular, is an incredibly peaceful suburb for walking whether you’re on the winding paved streets or the hiking trails that snake their way through the neighborhood.
Like any suburb of a major metropolitan area, Almaden’s proximity to San Jose means it’s just a half hour drive to almost anything a city of almost a million would offer. Cultural activities like performances at the California Theatre offer a sumptuous way to spend a date night while an afternoon out with the kids might entail a visit to the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Is Almaden right for me?
Almaden’s defining feature is the friendliness of its inhabitants. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest you may find some lifelong friends along the streets of this warm and cozy community. Comfortable and lush, life in Almaden is a pleasure every day. Whether you’ve got a couple of little ones running underfoot or whether you’ve not yet settled down, Almaden is the perfect union of subtle affluence and gracious charm.