The Best Thing About Atherton?
If you love the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry then you’re going to love Atherton. Steph moved to Atherton in 2019 because: “safety and privacy for us and our kids continues to be our top priority”. Safety and privacy also drive other pro athletes and tech billionaires to pick Atherton among the many wealthy enclaves in the area. We kid about needing to love Steph in order to appreciate what’s great about Atherton but hey, if the wealthiest and most popular pro athlete in the bay thinks they can raise their children safely, privately and successfully in Atherton maybe it can work for you?
The Worst Thing About Atherton?
"Money don't get everything, it's true but what it don't get, I can't use" - The Flying Lizards
Atherton is frequently rated the #1 most wealthy town in the country. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It can and does however at times limit the social aspects of the town as people who move here are in part doing so to escape random social interactions. There are no commercial or communal spaces in Atherton, except a single park, an equestrian center called Menlo Circus Club, and schools. Locals appreciate the limited/non-existent commercial or development activities happening as they’re paying absolutely top dollar to be protected in a peaceful, secluded community. Many will like this seclusion, many will find it off-putting.
Lifestyle of Atherton
Atherton is very small, only 7k residents, but also very roomy as the few residents live on lots zoned for a minimum 1 acre. It’s purely residential and also very intentionally rural, at least for a town in the middle of the action of silicon valley. The streets are all heavily tree-lined, with massive oaks, redwoods and cedars, and no sidewalks. The estates here are built for residents to enjoy their time on their own property not out in communal spaces. If and when people go out on weekends or at night they head to neighboring cities like Menlo Park or Palo Alto for a drink or a meal.
Within the city it comes down to just a few things:
1) Menlo Circus Club is the most exclusive club in Silicon Valley. An invitation is required but it includes access to a stunning Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, a gym to rival Equinox, and an equestrian center with riding programs and camps for children, along with fine dining and a wedding and event venue.
2) Holbrook Palmer Park is Atherton’s only public recreation site. It’s 22-acres of beautiful gardens and walking paths. Indoor and outdoor facilities including a ball field, tennis courts, and a children’s playground, along with three structures available for event rental. It’s also doggo friendly as long as you keep Rover on a leash.
Setting aside these two community options the city is dominated by social interactions via the local public and private schools, all of which are top notch. Expect the best of everything in school sports, extracurriculars and overall educational experiences. If you want to understand the social side of life in Atherton it starts and ends with the experiences they have through the schools.
Schools in Atherton
Atherton is zoned within the Sequoia Union and Menlo Park City School Districts. Both are A+ rated on niche.com. School options include: Encinal Elementary School (Public, K-5), Las Lomitas Elementary School (Public, K-3), Laurel Elementary, (Public, K-5), Sacred Heart School (Private, PK-12) and Menlo-Atherton High School (Public, 9-12). While in some cities you pay close attention to which neighborhood you move into in case you get zoned for an underperforming school, that’s just not an issue in Atherton, they’re all excellent choices.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
A Fifth Ring
The present Warriors "Dream Team" is shooting for their 5th title and moving to Atherton is a statement that you’re winning multiple wealth-accumulation titles as well. There are plenty of other amazing and wealthy communities to put on your shortlist if you can pay the freight: Hillsborough, Woodside, Palo Alto etc., but living in Atherton is just a slight notch above when it comes to it’s community of Dream-Teamers.