Hillsborough, California

Yabba Dabba Do

Flintstones House
Flintstones House

Hillsborough is "The Perfumed City" - San Francisco Writer / 1910

The Best Thing About Hillsborough?

The Flintstone House

We kid, we kid (kind of). The Flintstone House is perhaps the greatest outlier relative to local housing styles of any home in the country. It is perched on a hill just off the 280 freeway in full view of northbound commutes along this illustrious city’s western edge. The reason it is such an outlier is probably the reason people love Hillsborough the most -- massive, stunning, private homes on large lots with the only commercial spots in town being the schools, government buildings and a golf course. If you want to live an extremely secluded life in as fancy a home as possible then look at Hillsborough. We think the Flintstone House gives the city a sense of humor it could use a dose of but most locals do not agree.

The Worst Thing About Hillsborough?

My Kingdom for a Pizza

Hillsborough has no commercial district - no downtown to feed or entertain the locals. The city does not allow any commercial building of this sort and so you have a city largely devoid of communal energy. The amazing schools of course bring people together but if the family wants to go out for a burger or a pizza after school or a game then you’ve got to head east to Burlingame or south to San Mateo. Plenty of locals appreciate that isolation but it can feel a bit lonely.

Lifestyle of Hillsborough

This is as pure a bedroom community as you can find. It’s really only massive homes amidst the tree-lined streets. Which means that the lifestyle for families is largely school-centric or spending time in neighboring cities when you want to do something other than hunker-down in your home. The city does host some community events, most famously the Concours D’Elegance, a vintage car celebration. There is also the Family Fun Run and the Annual Tennis Classic, both put on by the Hillsborough Schools Foundation.

There is an outdoor culture that permeates the city. In part that is due to the healthy/fitness passionate populace and partly due to outdoor spaces within city limits and the fact the western side of the city borders some of the most beautiful land and hills in the country. Within Hillsborough are three parks: Centennial, Vista and Crossroads. All three are beautiful open spaces for play and Vista the most family-friendly due to a 2006 makeover that installed climbing rocks, a huge playfield and playground and picnic spots for families and larger group events. To the west are Crystal Springs Park, Golf Course and Reservoir. These are amazing areas for hiking, play and just taking in the beautiful landscapes.

The lifestyle of locals is primarily driven by their families and the schools. While the homes and privacy are a big draw, many locals cite the quality of the public and private schools as the magnet for driving their move to Hillsborough.

Schools in Hillsborough

Hillsborough is one of the highest rated elementary school districts in the state with an A+ rating on niche.com. There are three elementary and one middle schools in the public school system and then high school is part of the San Mateo Union High School District, another A+ rated district on niche.com. There are interesting private school options here as well. Nueva is a gifted student private school for PREK-12 that draws students from throughout the bay area. St. Matthews Episcopal Day School(PREK-8) and Crystal Springs Uplands School(6-12) are other excellent options.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Hillsborough is a private enclave for wealthy families. If you want to escape the commercial energies of busier cities and put your kids in amazing schools then it’s worth a look.