This idyllic neighborhood is also home to award-winning schools and exceptional public services.

Welcome to Hillsborough

Picturesque charm and ample tranquility await in this peaceful Northern California hamlet

Located just north of Silicon Valley, Hillsborough is one of the wealthiest communities in America. The town is unique because of its no commercial zoning law and many large homes – the minimum square footage allowed for a home is 2,500 with a minimum lot size of half an acre. Boasting an illustrious, colorful, and affluent history, no other suburban town matches the heritage of distinguished living in Hillsborough. With its phenomenal schools, town government facilities, a private golf course, wooded areas plus views of the San Francisco Bay, the town thrives on its core foundations as a beautiful place for sophisticated living as well as a great place for families.

From its glorious, historic mansions to its wonderfully rustic feel, you’ll understand why Hillsborough is so frequently ranked as one of the most coveted places to live in the country. From the moment you first step foot in this affluent, beautiful enclave, you will see wonders all around. Situated in San Mateo County on the gorgeously scenic San Francisco Peninsula, this verdant town is known for its peaceful ambiance, lush greenery, and privacy. This idyllic neighborhood is also home to award-winning schools and exceptional public services.

Its prime location promises residents and guests a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city but just enough proximity to San Francisco to savor the art and culture the mega-destination offers. Staggering views of the Bay and an abundance of impeccable open space make the town fertile ground for a range of delightful outdoor activities, including golfing, hiking, and cycling. To top it all off, Hillsborough prohibits commercial spaces, giving the exclusively-residential town a thoroughly serene ambiance.

What to Love

  • Booming with gorgeous natural splendors
  • A sublime, Mediterranean climate
  • Near Burlingame, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley
  • Deemed one of the most prestigious places to live in the U.S.

History and Heritage of Hillsborough, CA

Hillsborough, California, is steeped in a rich history that traces back to the mid-19th century, beginning its narrative as a part of the vast Rancho San Mateo. The land that would become Hillsborough was purchased by William Davis Merry Howard, a New Englander turned San Francisco business titan, who bought the 6,500-acre rancho from Cayetano Arenas in 1848. Howard's acquisition marked the beginnings of a community that would evolve into one of the most affluent and exclusive locales in the United States. By the time California became a state in 1850, Howard had solidified his holdings, establishing a grand estate called "El Cerrito." Despite Howard's early death in 1856, his legacy paved the way for Hillsborough's development as a residential haven for San Francisco's elite.

The incorporation of Hillsborough in 1910 was driven by local estate owners' desire to preserve the area's rural character, free from the urban encroachments of neighboring areas like Burlingame. This led to the establishment of a community with strict zoning laws that emphasized large, secluded properties—a character that Hillsborough retains to this day. The early 20th century saw the construction of magnificent mansions and the subdivision of large estates, which attracted further affluent residents seeking a bucolic lifestyle near the city. As the town evolved, it maintained a commitment to preserving its unique character, devoid of commercial development, thus ensuring its status as a quiet and exclusive enclave.

Local Lifestyle

Hillsborough is composed solely of homes — and the beauty of nature. This naturally lends itself to a tight-knit community feel, which is one of the leading reasons people choose to settle down in this area.

The majestic estates throughout Hillsborough are also a magnet for luminaires ranging from Elon Musk to Alicia Silverstone. You’ll often find your neighbors gathering together for barbecues or happen upon them on one of the region’s lush, pristine hiking trails.

Dining, Shopping & Entertainment

Hillsborough has neither restaurants nor retail centers, which is an enormous part of its allure. That said, residents are just a short distance away from the array of eateries and boutiques on Burlingame’s Burlingame Avenue, and downtown San Mateo. Wake up and walk to Philz Coffee for your morning brew or make a breakfast date with friends at Alana’s (and try their scone of the day). Enjoy lunch at Copenhagen Bakery and Cafe and order their outstanding Chinese chicken salad, and end your day at Velvet 48 for a glass of wine.

Evenings out on the town are best enjoyed at Pausa Bar & Cookery, a hip cocktail lounge and bistro that features inspired Italian fare like burrata with carrots gastrique and mandarin oranges and turmeric Bucatini with roasted broccoli rabe and smoked sheep ricotta.

Outstanding Italian cuisine is also prepared to perfection at Stella Burlingame. In this upscale osteria, you can start with delicious truffle stuffed gnocchi and end with a warm apple galette paired with vanilla bean gelato. Visit TwelveMonth, the hottest new vegan spot in town, for uniquely crafted dishes in large portions and fun cocktails.

​​​​​​​Shopping near Hillsborough is always a pleasure, particularly if you visit the luxe boutiques and department stores around San Francisco’s world-famous Union Square or Stanford Shopping Center, where most residents of Hillsborough do their shopping. This upscale, open-air shopping center has everything from high-end department stores to eclectic, one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Things to Do

One of the boons of living in Hillsborough is that you’ll have a bounty of pleasurable activities at your fingertips, both on a daily basis and at excellent community events hosted throughout the year.

The Hillsborough Concours D’Elegance is chief among them. Held in the balmy summer, this is a superb way to get your fix of magnificent vintage cars. The Hillsborough Family Fun Run, which is put on by the Hillsborough Schools Foundation, offers a great time for the whole family. The foundation also hosts the town’s annual tennis classic and a dinner dance and live auction.

The annual Memorial Day Parade in Hillsborough is also hotly anticipated. When you’re in the mood to soak up some history, the town is also home to the breathtaking Carolands Chateau, a massive Beaux Arts estate that bursts with stunning gardens. Avid golfers, meanwhile, will be thrilled by the pristine fairways at Burlingame’s Crystal Springs Golf Course and the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed champion course at Burlingame Country Club.

Arts and Culture

Hillsborough, California, embodies a rich mix of arts and culture, primarily supported and celebrated through community initiatives and local organizations. The Hillsborough Arts Council plays a pivotal role in this, dedicating over 50 years to fostering the arts within the community. This council enriches local life by supporting artists and arts organizations, investing in arts programs, and enhancing cultural access throughout the area. The absence of commercial entities within Hillsborough's borders accentuates its unique cultural scene, focused on private events, historic architecture, and local art exhibitions, rather than commercial art galleries or theaters. The town’s commitment to maintaining its residential charm contributes to a vibrant community life where arts and cultural activities are deeply integrated into the social fabric, supported by events and educational programs that engage residents of all ages

Commute & Traffic in Hillsborough, CA

Commute and traffic in Hillsborough, CA, are influenced by the town's geographic location and community structure. Hillsborough is part of the San Mateo County, which is serviced by Commute.org, an organization dedicated to reducing vehicle miles traveled and encouraging the use of sustainable transportation alternatives. This includes promoting carpooling, cycling, and the use of public transit like Caltrain and BART to help alleviate congestion and enhance the quality of life for residents.

For those commuting to schools like The Nueva School, which has campuses in Hillsborough and nearby San Mateo, a variety of transportation options are available. The school coordinates regional bus services, promotes carpooling, and provides Caltrain passes to facilitate access to its campuses. This reflects the broader community’s efforts to ensure efficient and sustainable commuting practices across the region​.


Children who reside in Hillsborough have the option to attend one of the town’s top-performing public schools, such as:

Elementary Schools:

Middle School:

High Schools

There are a few esteemed private schools located in Hillsborough known for their academic excellence.

For families seeking innovating education for children with severe speech and physical impairment, explore the amazing offerings of The Bridge School. The school was founded by Pegi Young, Jim Forderer and Dr. Marilyn Buzolich in 1986, and has since become a world recognized leader in AAC and AT. Many know of the school due to the world renowned Bridge School Benefit Concert organized by musicians Neil Young and Pegi Young. It was an annual, all acoustic, non-profit charity EPIC event held at Shoreline Amphitheatre. All proceeds directly benefit the operations of The Bridge School.

Community Guides

In 2023, the Hillsborough average price for a home was $6,128,963, a 3% decrease from the previous year.​​​​​​​


The Brewer Subdivision affords its residents the perfect blend of lush, leafy green serenity and urban convenience. Homes here are in the mid to high range for the Hillsborough real estate market, and the inventory includes many large and newer builds. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $4,025,000 to $8,300,000.

This neighborhood offers proximity to El Camino Real, and it is the closest Hillsborough neighborhood to downtown San Mateo, where residents enjoy myriad restaurants and retail.
Schools for this neighborhood include San Mateo High School, Crystal Springs Uplands School, Crocker Middle School, and South Hillsborough Elementary School


Real estate in the Carolands community rarely comes on the market, a testament to residents’ attachment to this area. When homes do come up for sale, inventory includes classic and contemporary homes and remodels, some with extra-large lots and views out to the Bay. Price ranges, too, can vary; as of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $2,700,000 to 11,680,000.

This neighborhood offers commuter convenience with proximity to Highway 280, while the restaurants and retail on Burlingame Avenue are only a 2-mile drive.

​​​​​​​Schools for this neighborhood include top-rated West Hillsborough Elementary School, North Hillsborough Elementary School, Crocker Middle School, and Burlingame High School.


Real estate in Country Club Manor doesn’t often come up for sale, but when it does, inventory includes newer and larger homes set against the neighborhood’s lush, leafy green surroundings. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $4,677,068 to $7,800,000. This neighborhood offers proximity to Burlingame Country Club for golf on its 18-hole course.

​​​​​​​Schools for this neighborhood include Burlingame High School, Crocker Middle School, and top-rated North Hillsborough Elementary School.


Though its name might suggest otherwise, residents of Hillsborough Heights enjoy homes set on lovely level streets. The housing inventory here includes older, distinguished homes with styles including Mediterranean and Tudor. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $3,419,000 to $13,250,000.

This neighborhood offers commuter convenience and walkable proximity to retail and restaurants in downtown San Mateo.

​​​​​​​Schools for this neighborhood include San Mateo High School, Crocker Middle School, and South Hillsborough Elementary School.


Offering classic and contemporary homes in a variety of architectural styles, set among abundant trees, and with views out to the Bay, it’s little wonder that properties seldom come up for sale in Hillsborough Hills. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $3,700,000 to $14,975,000.
Schools for this neighborhood include West Hillsborough Elementary, North Hillsborough Elementary, Crocker Middle School, and Burlingame High School.


Hillsborough Knolls is a well-established community in Hillsborough, California. Homes here include a range of architectural styles and time periods. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $3,610,00 to $7,550,000.


For homebuyers in search of seclusion, the Hillsborough Oaksbridge neighborhood offers privacy and larger lots in a wooded setting. Real estate in this neighborhood includes pre-war homes, estates, and newer builds, with the notable absence of ranch-style homes, which makes it unique in Hillsborough. As of 2023, prices for single-family homes here range from $4,100,000 to $12,100,000.

This neighborhood offers walkable proximity to Broadway Avenue in Burlingame for restaurants and retail, and it is conveniently close to Highway 101 and El Camino Real.
Schools for the Hillsborough Knolls neighborhood include North Hillsborough Elementary School, Crocker Middle School, and Burlingame High School.

Overview for Hillsborough, CA

11,390 people live in Hillsborough, where the median age is 46.3 and the average individual income is $158,941. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

46.3 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Hillsborough, CA

Hillsborough has 3,512 households, with an average household size of 3.24. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Hillsborough do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 11,390 people call Hillsborough home. The population density is 1,847.14 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

51.07 / 48.93%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes
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