North Los Altos' charm -- with its traditional ranch-style houses, townhouses or newly renovated midcentury modern homes -- has attracted residents for years, but its accessibility to downtown, its library, history museum, manicured parks and more has made North Los Altos the place to stay.
Val Carpenter, a resident since 1991, was drawn to the neighborhood because of its proximity to downtown. She has served as a Los Altos City Councilwoman from 2005 to 2014 and twice as mayor.
But before she even lived in the area, Carpenter would take her daughters to Lincoln Park, Shoup Park and Redwood Grove Park.
"When my kids were small, I would bring them to Shoup Park and just be wishing, hoping and dreaming someday that we could live here. So this was really a dream come true for me to move to Los Altos. And I'll be here forever," Carpenter said.
She fell in love with the downtown area that was peppered with one-of-a-kind shops and cafes. Carpenter described the downtown's secluded nature like a "hidden gem."
"Los Altos has a real sense of community that's different from other towns I've lived in. We have the pet parade, the art and wine festival, the Festival of Lights Parade, and there's just a real connectedness in this community that I think is pretty rare," Carpenter said.
The nearby library and history museum were also places that allowed for historical enrichment for old and young alike. Carpenter also mentioned that the library was a convenient resource for her daughters when they were growing up.
Although both her daughters attended Pinewood School, Carpenter assures that both the public and private schools offer strong forms of education.
Malika Junaid, a member of the Planning and Transportation Commission and co-founder of M*Designs Architects, has lived in North Los Altos since 2005. She moved in to a home near Egan Junior High School and Bullis Charter School with her family, drawn both by proximity to her office and the good reputation of the local schools.
Junaid finds the convenience of grocery stores and a thriving downtown as rewarding benefits of living in the area. And the versatility of the North Los Altos neighborhood accommodates her family nicely.
"We are an outdoor family, we love taking our kids out hiking, jogging and biking. But we're also a working family so we need to be close to day-to-day services, and I think that's what you get in Los Altos," Junaid said. "You can take one turn and go off into the hills or you can take another turn and go get your eggs."
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Children's Corner, 97 Hillview Ave.; Los Altos Parents Preschool, 201 Covington Road (nearby); Tiny Tots Preschool, 647 S. San Antonio Road
FIRE STATION: No. 15, 10 Almond Ave.
LIBRARY: 13 S. San Antonio Road
LOCATION: bounded by Foothill Expressway, El Monte Road, El Camino Real and Adobe Creek
PARKS: Village Park, Edith Avenue at San Antonio Road; Shoup Park, 400 University Ave.; Lincoln Park, University at Lincoln Avenue
POST OFFICE: 221 Main St.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): Los Altos Christian School, 625 Magdalena Ave.; Canterbury Christian School, 101 N. El Monte Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Los Altos School District -- Santa Rita or Almond elementary schools, Egan Intermediate School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Los Altos High School
SHOPPING: Downtown Los Altos, Los Altos Village Court and San Antonio Center