What’s it Like to Live in East Palo Alto, CA?
Meet Perisson Real Estate. The opportunity to work and play or raise a family in the San Francisco Bay Area opens the door to so many varied housing opportunities, and figuring out where to put down roots can feel a little overwhelming. To help you find your perfect new home, we’ve crafted several guides about the Bay Area’s communities and neighborhoods. We’re certain one of these picturesque bayside towns will offer everything you need to settle and be happy in your new home.
What’s it like to live in East Palo Alto?
East Palo Alto has an urban feel because it’s densely populated, but with miles of streets dedicated to residential housing, I think the city has more of a suburban feel that you might expect. Imagine walking out of your home in the morning and heading over to University Square Park. As you look forward to playing fetch with the dog, you see a swiftly moving group of cyclists enjoying the morning, headed out for a ride along the Bay Trail.
During the week, you might work in Mountain View or Redwood City, and it’ll take just 15 or 20 minutes to get from your front door to your job at Symantec, Facebook, or Google. On your day off, you might head south to the Palo Alto Golf Course or see if you can spot some wildlife at Baylands.
What types of homes are in East Palo Alto?
The close of World War II saw much construction in East Palo Alto, and the city’s neighborhoods have grown up over the span of several decades. You’ll find neighborhoods of humbly sized houses that would have been common in the 1950s with about 800 to 1,200 square feet of room alongside newly constructed houses that boast more room and amenities like multi-car garages and two-story floor plans.
You’ll notice new construction around areas like University Square Park near the south end of town and established neighborhoods closer to the bay and along the water. Like many cozy towns around the Bay Area, land is precious, so you’ll find the yards for many homes are just a stone’s throw away from neighboring properties. A few innovative, newer communities also feature the row house-style homes that will remind you of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco.
What’s unique about East Palo Alto?
East Palo Alto’s name might make you think the community sits to the east of Palo Alto, but as the crow flies you’ll need to travel due south to get to Palo Alto. Visitors to the area also often assume that East Palo Alto is just the eastern part of the city, but East Palo Alto is its own entity even though the only significant features separating the towns are San Francisquito Creek and the 101 freeway.
The city also boasts a centuries-long history that predates the arrival of Europeans in California by millennia. Native Americans of the Ohlone tribe resided in the area at least 3,000 years ago. When one of the subdivisions in East Palo Alto was under construction in the 1950s, the building crew found evidence of ancient settlement in the area.
Where are the good schools in East Palo Alto?
With around 30,000 people living inside East Palo Alto, the community has a handful of public schools within its borders, as well as a scattering of private and charter schools for local students. Once kids reach high school, they’ll head over to nearby Belmont or Atherton for classes.
- Costano Elementary School | Grades K-8 | 2695 Fordham Street
- Cesar Chavez Elementary School | Grades 6-8 | 2450 Ralmar Street
- Carlmont High School | Grades 9-12 | 1400 Alameda De Las Pulgas
After receiving a high school diploma, teens benefit from the wealth of world-class universities that sit just a few miles away from East Palo Alto. With tuition prices skyrocketing, you’ll appreciate your child’s opportunity to skip the room & board charges and drive to a nearby university like Stanford.
What are the best things to do in East Palo Alto?
I’m used to seeing the phrase, “close to everything” in real estate listings, but sometimes that common expression seems like an exaggeration. East Palo Alto, on the other hand, seems to have invented the phrase. If you’re living in East Palo Alto, you’re probably enjoying a swift commute to work, and you’re also close to leisure pursuits and weekend activities.
San Francisco Bay certainly offers a variety of ways to get on the water, but if you’re up for an adventure, the Pacific Ocean also awaits after a scenic drive to the coast. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the poets and songwriters who’ve immortalized the beauty of Highway 1, and the Pacific Ocean weren’t exaggerating:
The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
From “Once by the Pacific” by Robert Frost.
Is East Palo Alto right for me?
If you’re looking to dip your toes in the coveted real estate of the Bay Area, East Palo Alto might offer you the best chance if you’re looking to become a first-time homeowner.
Although the region surrounding the Bay Area boast some of the biggest and most valuable tech companies in the world, East Palo Alto remains a spot of sunny suburbia and close-knit families. From new housing to established neighborhoods, East Palo Alto is home to a bright mixture of long-time residents and new, young families.