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CA San Jose Almaden Valley

At the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, country clubs and hiking trails sit atop what once was a prosperous mine two centuries ago. Almaden Valley is an upscale community whose scenic views offer an escape from the fast-paced urban lifestyle of San Jose. Its rural, natural setting is complemented by pristine but family-friendly residential aesthetics.

In the 1800s, the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines were a rich source of mercury for gold extraction during the Gold Rush. In 1975, the mines were officially closed and converted into the Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Although the mine is no longer in operation, there remains high levels of mercury in local creeks, and residents are advised to not eat the fish. The min’s legacy remains in street names like Silver Lode Lane and establishments named with Quicksilver.

With its natural setting in between the Santa Teresa Hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains, Almaden Valley offers the perfect location for fans of outdoor recreation and natural views. Within the area are several public recreation sites in addition to the former mine, including Almaden Lake Park, Almaden Reservoir, and Calero Dam. Each feature water recreation, like the 32 acre Lake Almaden offering fishing and paddle boating. The region also features its own public library, the Almaden Community Center. Almaden’s residents can also find upscale recreation at one of the region’s country clubs with golf, swimming, and racqueting.

Almaden Valley attracts families with its access to some of the best public schools within the San Jose Unified School District. Alternatively, many families choose excellent private schools in the area like Almaden Country School and Challenger.

Because of large lot sizes and its rural geography, Almaden Valley is more spread out and tends to be a driving community — there are often no walkable amenities like businesses and shopping, though there certainly isn’t a lack of recreational walking trails. Grocery stores, yoga studios, and fusion restaurants are among the retail and services found in the northern part of the neighborhood along Almaden Expwy and Blossom Hill Rd. These commercial spots are being rapidly developed, with several recent restaurant and shopping center openings just in the past few years.

Homes in Almaden Valley are mostly generously-sized single-family homes with a few condos and townhouses. Most of the developments are newer than any other area in San Jose, such as Willow Glen and even Cambrian. This attracts buyers like Silicon Valley executives, professional athletes, and young families who are looking to avoid the upkeep of historic homes. The commute to high-tech hubs in San Jose is easy and not thick with traffic, and IBM Almaden Research Center is located right in the neighborhood.

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