Saratoga, California Information
Saratoga is a “bedroom community” of San Francisco located in Santa Clara County, California. Known for its restaurants and wineries, the city is situated on the edge of Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara Valley. In addition to its wine making status, the area is popular with visitors who wish to tour attractions like Hakone Gardens and the Villa Montalvo.
Saratoga, California Details
Saratoga is listed as having a “total area of 12.4 square makes” as per the United States Census Bureau. Residential areas of the city include homes, townhouses, condominiums and rental apartment units. Commercial buildings within this suburban region house schools, churches, stores, restaurants and hotels.
This area of California is especially prized for its forests, cultivated vineyards and fruit orchards. Residents regularly enjoy the natural environment and activities such as walking, biking and hiking. Prized amongst local trails are the hiking routes located within the neighborhood of Blue Hills.
Originally settled by Native American tribes, Europeans began their own settlement in the region as early as 1847. Early maps refer to the area as “Campbell’s Gap” named after Mill owner William Campbell. Several years later, the town was called McCarthysville after Martin McCarthy who constructed a toll gate and roadway through the Santa Clara Valley.
As the area evolved, local factories started to make furniture, leather and paper. The name of the town was now changed to Bank Mills to commemorate the region’s success. However it was the discovery of the Pacific Congress Springs during the 1850’s that would lead this city to choose a new permanent moniker.
A hotel would be built to accommodate visitors who wished to reap the health benefits associated with natural spring water. The Congress Hall Hotel was named after the Congress Hall Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York. Hoping to replicate the Hot Springs fueled prosperity of their eastern counterpart, this western city would eventually share its name.
With the Springs at its core, the city shifted to an agricultural economy. Several of these original orchards and vineyards operate to this day. After the second World War, the city experienced a further shift into urbanization and was incorporated into a completely separate entity in 1956. Despite its factory and farm roots, the city has evolved into a residential community which has managed to retain its rural beauty.
The local population was measured at 29,926 as per the 2010 United States Census. An estimate in July of 2014 listed the total population at 31,001 residents. (City-Data.com) At this time, only one percent of residents were considered to be living in rural areas of the city. This left the remaining 99% of the population as living in urban or suburban neighborhoods.
Of total residents, 48.9% were male and 51.1% were female. The median age of local residents was listed at 48.9 years old. This is more than a decade older than the 36.2 year average for all residents in the State of California. However, this slightly older set of demographics has also positively affected the city and its Median Income per household.
The “Estimated Median Household Income” was listed as $65,400 for all Californians in 2015. Whereas the Median Income for all residents in this city was estimated to be at $179,782 during that same year. The “estimated per capita income” has also risen to $82,845 from $65,400 in the year 2000.
In 2015, the “median gross rent” was estimated at $3,018 per month. (City-Data.com) In terms of home ownership, the lowest estimates in the area were for mobile homes at $150,408. “Detached houses” were consistently listed for sale at over $1,000,000 versus the state average at $449,100. This leaves the cost of living as “high” as per the national index, where it ranks at 164.9 versus a national city average of 100.
The city appeals to both homeowners and renters for its small town feel, yet its easy proximity to work centers in the Silicon Valley. Popular neighborhoods include Brookview, Pride’s Crossing, Greenbrier and Blue Hills in the North. The original neighborhood of Congress Springs is still located near the southwestern border.
Other neighborhoods are the highly affluent Gold Triangle and Saratoga Woods. There is also Bellgrove Circle, Parker Ranch and the downtown area or “The Village” as it is known. It should be noted that Bellgrove Circle was previously land owned by the Paul Masson Winery.
Getting around by car is relatively easy, as the area is composed of several main roads that run through the city. These include Sunnyvale Road, Cox Avenue, Pierce Road, Quito Road, Fruitvale Avenue, Congress Springs Road and Los Gatos Road which is also known as Highway Nine. The West Valley Freeway (or Highway 85) passes through the city, along with a freight railroad line which runs parallel to it.
Until 1964, railroad lines delivered riders from the area directly to San Francisco. Since that time, the city has had no train or light rail service from within its borders. It should be noted that this city has only a few municipal bus lines.
Drivers new to the area will notice that the streets and road are practically rural in their appearance. This is intentional and the “semi-rural” look of the city is designated via strict zoning codes. These codes also forbid such familiar suburban sights as sidewalks and city street lights within most residential areas.
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