Silicon Valley, California, USA
Travel the world and you’ll find places dubbed Silicon Alley (New York), Silicon Prairie (Dallas-Fort Worth), Silicon Wadi (Tel Aviv) and Silicon Allee (Berlin). They are, of course, all inspired by the high tech industry hub of Silicon Valley, a region that is as much a global brand as it is a spot on a map.
Silicon Valley is synonymous with high achieving, forward thinking and entrepreneurial derring-do. Residents enjoy a live hard, play hard lifestyle in an area of greenbelts and blue skies.
The region’s borders are loosely defined. Silicon Valley is primarily centered in Santa Clara County but spills over into the adjoining counties of San Mateo and Santa Cruz. Most communities are about an hour south of San Francisco.
As an incubator of innovation, the area attracts an educated workforce from around the world. Well-paid jobs, prestigious universities and homey neighborhoods make it a solid choice for families.
Venture capital firms, start-ups and tech giants like Google, Apple, Cisco, eBay and Yahoo share acreage with some of the most expensive residential real estate in California--and the country. Communities here routinely make their way onto impressive real estate lists. In 2013, Hillsborough, for instance, ranked second among towns with the highest number of million-dollar homes sales in the state, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, a real estate information firm. Properties are stately. Because of half-acre lot minimums, century-old mansions sit on generous parcels. Residents of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills have some of the highest median incomes in the country. Rolling hills lend a semi-rural feel to an area that’s in one of the most densely populated counties in the state.
Vibrant downtowns and low crime rates are characteristics of many Silicon Valley towns. Some like Saratoga, located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, feature million-dollar views. True urbanites head to the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose. Although the country’s tenth largest city, San Jose is a compact and diverse metropolis of parks, theaters and more than a dozen golf courses.