Living in Saratoga CA: Upscale Suburban City with Rustic Charm

Living in Saratoga CA: Upscale Suburban City with Rustic Charm

Welcome to Saratoga, where luxury meets Californian natural beauty. This mid-sized city sits at the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, only 14 miles west of San Jose. 

Sawmills and fruit orchards were the area’s claim to fame, beginning way back in 1848. Over time, the frontier town became a destination for wealthy travelers and business people. It got its name after springs were found that resembled those in Saratoga Springs, New York. 

There are a lot of reasons to search for homes in Saratoga. Outdoor enthusiasts, lovers of the arts, and samplers of culinary delights will be more than satisfied here. We’ll get specific about restaurants and amenities soon, but first, let’s chat more about the homes in Saratoga.

Historic Section of Saratoga CA

A historic section of Saratoga - via David Sawyer

Saratoga Homes and Neighborhoods 

Most of Saratoga is flat, suburban, and very green. It feels like Saratoga has allowed the forest to reclaim some neighborhoods. The result is a city that feels balanced with nature and not overdeveloped, not unlike the frontier town it once was. 

Saratoga is full of luxurious homes and spacious plots. Breathtaking hillside mansions in the west give way to more modest homes in the east, with high listing prices throughout. It’s a sought-after spot in the Bay Area, boasting access to the busiest parts of Silicon Valley, while feeling like a retreat. 

Street in Saratoga CA

A Saratoga street - via Naotake Murayama

Prospect Road is the northern border, while the Lawrence Expressway is Saratoga’s eastern border. There are several neighborhoods within Saratoga city limits.

Parker Ranch: Long sloping roads lead up into the hills above Saratoga, deeper into the forest, and further from the cityscape. High-priced homes start above three million dollars, but residents happily live in one of the most gorgeous spots in the Bay Area. 

Downtown Saratoga: Also called Saratoga Villiage, this upscale area brings fashion, food, and a touch of history. A limestone building here once served as a general store, plus there’s a pioneer cottage from 1895, among other historic buildings. In the early days of logging, this beautiful area was called Bank Miles. 

Saratoga Foothills/West Saratoga: This residential area is often called the Saratoga Hills. There’s some equestrian property further out and lots are generally larger, which suits homeowners (and horses). 

Saratoga Home Prices + Cost of Living

The median home prices in Saratoga CA are up over 1% between October 2022 and 2023, and listing turn to pending in around 10 days.

What’s the median listing price for a Saratoga CA home for sale?

The median listing price in Saratoga was over $3.9 million in December 2023. Just three years prior, homes were listed for a median price of around $2.5 million. 

According to one source, the cost of living in Saratoga is far above the national average. In fact, it’s above the global average as well, ranking in the top 1% most expensive cities in the world. 

Saratoga will pose a challenge for some families who seek affordability, but the Bay Area has plenty. We’re experts here, having bought and sold homes for clients since 2008. We’ll happily point you towards reasonably priced homes in areas equally beautiful to Saratoga. 

What Local Attractions Are There in Saratoga?

There are oodles of historic sites and modern attractions in Saratoga, so it’s easy to make weekend plans. Locals can watch the opera, visit the historical museum on Big Basin Way, or ride horses with Garrods, just to name a few. 

The Saratoga Arch

The Saratoga Arch - via David Sawyer

Entertainment and Exercise in Saratoga CA

Popular attractions in Saratoga include Montalvo Arts Center, an exquisite location offering

a wealth of arts inside and out. The architecture of this landmark is quite unforgettable, so you’ll want to check the event schedule here. Stroll around the premises or enjoy musical concerts, comedy, and theatre at the three locations inside the Center.

The Hakone Gardens

Entering the Hakone Gardens - via Brad Greenlee

Saratoga is also the home of Hakone Estate and Gardens, an 18-acre traditional Japanese garden that is more than a century old. This venue is known to be one of the oldest authentic Japanese-style gardens in the Western Hemisphere.

How about some green spaces? Sanborn County Park is a 3.4-acre county park situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Locals head here for long walks and can keep active all day, as the grounds are open from 8 am until sunset. With multiple treks to choose from, there is a path for all different fitness levels and cardio intensity.

Saratoga State Park

A Saratoga State Park - via krishanu_seal

18 Holes of Golf and Lunch at Local Vineyards

Saratoga Country Club has a spectacular golf course, swimming pool, and several tennis courts. Don’t feel like getting your heart rate up with neighbors and friends? There’s a table waiting for you in the luxurious clubhouse restaurant, which can be rented for weddings and events.

Mount Eden Vineyards is known as one of the original 'boutique' vineyards in California. Focusing on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, Mount Eden Vineyards are settled in the cool shade of mountaintops. They’ve produced award-winning wines for over half a century.

The Mountain Winery

The Mountain Winery - via Rob Corder

Another unmissable location for all wine lovers, events, and relaxing retreats is The Mountain Winery, located in the heights of Saratoga. You can enjoy a wine-tasting experience, followed by live performances organized by the venue. The Mountain Winery is also a great choice for private functions and holiday parties.

Does Saratoga Have Education Options?

The education matches the high value of homes in Saratoga CA, meaning that they are top-notch. The Union School District serves Saratoga, but also offers education for Mente Sereno and Los Gatos pupils. 

The National Blue Ribbon, which recognizes top public and private schools, has selected Redwood Middle School and Argonaut Elementary School from Saratoga. Other leading institutions for grades 9 and up include Los Gatos High School and Saratoga High School. Luckily for parents and students, the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District is recognized as one of the top unions in California.  

The Saratoga Libray is a useful local asset to students of all ages.

How is the Healthcare System in Saratoga?

Living in Saratoga CA means escaping from hustle and bustle, but that doesn’t put you far from medical care. The center of Saratoga has plenty of smaller clinics, therapy centers, and even vets for your furry friends.

In terms of full-sized hospitals, the Los Gatos hospitals will be convenient for Saratoga residents. On Expressway 85, there are several options, such as El Camino Health, Los Gatos Community Hospital, and Los Gatos Medical Center. There are, however, pediatric and internal medicine options in Saratoga city limits.

We’ve Got the Scoop on Saratoga

After reading about the home prices, cost of living, and lifestyle on offer, you might have a new opinion about living in Saratoga CA.

To browse homes for sale in Saratoga CA, or to explore nearby areas with more affordability, why not reach out to locals? The Jamison Team has been selling and buying homes for our clients since 2008, working our way to one of the highest success rates in the industry. We also offer buyer guarantees, which take all the uncertainty out of homeownership.

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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