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City Guide

Meet Atherton

Known for its mansions and exclusive country clubs, this luxurious Bay Area town is one of the best places to live in California, with a wealth of employment opportunities for digital nomads.

Atherton is a small town of about 7,000 people in the Silicon Valley region of California. It’s roughly equidistant from San Francisco to the north and San Jose to the south, and in many ways serves as a suburb for both major cities. Thanks to that, Atherton consistently ranks as the most expensive zip code in the United States, and has the highest per-capita income in the country. This has its benefits too, though, and Atherton is considered one of the best places to live in California from a quality of life standpoint. Wealth and luxury have been synonymous with Atherton since its founding. The first resident was entrepreneur Faxon Atherton, who built a 640-acre estate in the area in the 1860s. Other wealthy families soon followed, incorporating the town as a strictly residential community in 1923. While some of those large estates have since been broken up, the majority of properties in Atherton are 1 acre or more to this day, and its neighborhoods have maintained their fully-residential character even through the tech boom of the 1990s.

Where to live in Atherton

All of Atherton’s neighborhoods are convenient to at least one of the major highways running through the area, so where you live won’t make much of a difference in your commute times. Cost of living is likely to be your main consideration when choosing where to live, especially for nomads and freelancers in early stages of their careers. The vibe of Atherton’s neighborhoods ranges from rural to suburban, with quiet residential areas available in all of them, so you don’t need to live in a mansion to enjoy the town’s high standard of living.

Best Neighborhoods in Atherton

There are levels to the luxury in Atherton. If you want to experience the ultimate in upscale living, neighborhoods like West Atherton and Lindenwood have the multi-million dollar properties and country clubs you’re looking for. The next step down on the luxury ladder would be areas like Atherton Oaks, where mansions nestle side-by-side with more modest family homes. If you’re looking for something a little less ritzy, the Lloyden Park area is a great place to look at, and has a more close-knit community feel than many of Atherton’s neighborhoods. The spacious properties west of Alameda are where you’ll find the most rural vibe, ideal for nature lovers looking for peace and quiet.

West Atherton

West Atherton is a very secluded, rich and well-connected Atherton community nestled deep into the wooded suburban-side. The district enjoys the many grand, dazzling homes that are ever so present within the city. The biggest luxury to West Atherton is its proximity to Stanford University.

Quick Facts About Atherton

For most people, Atherton’s wealth is its defining characteristic. There’s more to this small town than money, though. Here are some facts to round out your knowledge of this unique town:

Work in Atherton

Like many towns in the Bay Area, the tech industry dominates the economy in Atherton. Companies like Facebook, Google, Genentech, and Twitter are among the top employers. There are also a number of prestigious universities and medical centers in the area, such as UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, diversifying the local economy. The unemployment rate in Atherton is lower than the national average, and it’s an excellent place to build a career in industries like software development, education, and health care. In most cases, salary rates are higher in Atherton than for similar positions elsewhere in the country, though this is balanced out by the comparatively high cost of living.

How good is Atherton for Digital Nomads or Remote Work

Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Atherton. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Atherton for both of these growing movements?

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Food and Drink in Atherton

The culinary scene in Atherton represents a good variety of cuisines and styles that’s true to the city’s diverse population. For a casual vibe, The Refuge is a popular spot with locals, especially for late night eats, with a menu of delicious sandwiches and burgers. The Dutch Goose is another unique local bar/restaurant, with a rear patio space and classic arcade games to entertain you while you eat. There are plenty of upscale dining options in Atherton, too. For Mediterranean and French food, check out Left Bank in Menlo Park. Camper (Santa Cruz Ave) serves upscale comfort food, including house-made fresh pasta. For upscale American fare, check out Selby’s (Redwood Oaks) or Oak + Violet (Menlo Park). If you’re more in the mood for Asian food, Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine has unique tropical cocktails along with a full menu of Thai classics. For Chinese/American fusion, I Dumpling is a popular spot. Vegans and vegetarians will have plenty of choices, too, like Skewery by Meso, which serves traditional and vegan-friendly Mediterranean fare.



Top 6 Things To Do in Atherton

While Atherton’s location in Silicon Valley makes it a tech-forward town, it’s also a great place for nature lovers. Outdoor activities are some of the region’s top attractions, ranging from local spots like Sharon Park to large state parks like Baylands Nature Preserve and Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve. Shopaholics will adore Atherton, too, with its plethora of shopping centers, farmers markets, and independent shops like Cheeky Monkey Toys and Kepler’s Books. If you’re a movie buff, check out The Guild, a historical theater that screens cult classic movies and independent films. For live music, you’ll find everything from intimate local shows at dive bars to big-name acts at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

328 Lomita Dr, Stanford


Sharon Park

1100 Monte Rosa Dr, Menlo Park


Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve

10 Old Stage Coach Rd, Redwood City


Flood Park

215 Bay Rd, Menlo Park


Burgess Park

701 Laurel St, Menlo Park


Red Morton Community Park

1120 Roosevelt Ave, Redwood City