The downtown flower gardens in Los Altos, CA are among the most popular aspects of the city. Deep pink carpet roses, white petunias, candy tuft, fortnight lilies, cosmos in many shades of pink and red, and Icelandic poppies create a rainbow of welcome to those visiting the village. Pre-1915 cottages and craftsman bungalows join an eclectic mix of other houses, with white picket fences enclosing many front yards. Lacy-leafed pepper trees provide dappled shade and shingle cottages nestle between small Spanish-style stucco homes with red-tile roofs. Los Altos became Santa Clara County's 11th city when it incorporated on December 1, 1952 with a minimum residential lot size decreed at no less than one-quarter acre.
Redwood Grove invites users to explore a natural, pastoral setting, observe wildlife, explore the Ohlone Indians hunting ground and wade in Adobe Creek. This beautiful place in Los Altos is a six-acre nature preserve that includes majestic redwood trees, a hillside trail, observation decks and a rose and herb garden. In Los Altos Hills at the top of the headland, visitors looking down the bluff can see a large open expanse with horses grazing and pathways leading into Byrne Park, a beautiful area of green pastures and rolling hillsides. At the crest is Westwind 4-H Barn, home to a non-profit organization supported by numerous volunteers offering free programs of horseback riding to children with physical disabilities.
The observatory at Foothill College offers panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, down into the Santa Clara Valley, and on a clear day, off into the mountains east of Santa Clara and San Jose. Twilight is an especially lovely time to catch the sun's last rays spreading across the landscape.
A community of high expectations, Los Altos has been recognized both locally and nationally for its outstanding school system. All eight schools are included on the list of the Top 100 schools in California and students consistently score among the top two percent in all categories of the achievement tests statewide. Students attend public schools based on their area of residence. High school students attend either Los Altos High School or Mountain View High School, which is part of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District serving grades nine through 12 for the Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View areas.
Students in the most southern part of Los Altos attend Montclaire Elementary School and Cupertino Junior High; both are part of the Cupertino Union School District and Homestead High School part of Fremont Union High School District. Some students from sections of Los Altos Hills are assigned to schools in Palo Alto Unified School District: Lucille Nixon Elementary School, J.L. Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School.
Higher education can be obtained from many nearby institutions: Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, De Anza College in Cupertino, Menlo College in Atherton, San Jose State University, Stanford University and Santa Clara University.
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