Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell

Cambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad.

Cambrian Park Plaza signFor people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities! Most Silicon Valley home buyers would say that Cambrian Park real estate offers a very good value.

What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen. (It may, when the Cambrian Park Plaza redevelopment takes place.)

But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has loads of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool.

Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout part of two zip codes, part of 95124 and some of 95118.

If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village.  People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.

 

Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:

 


View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map

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Saratoga’s Portos-Harleigh Neighborhood

Portos-Harleigh NeighborhoodThe Portos-Harleigh neighborhood is a highly sought after community in Saratoga. Suburban yet centrally located, walkable, and easy access for commuters. Keep reading to learn more about this neighborhood, its homes, the local amenities, possible concerns, and home costs.

Neighborhood Profile: Boundaries and Property Descriptions

This community encompasses a number of streets north of West Valley College, and is named by its most prominent streets: Portos Drive and Harleigh Drive. It’s major borders are Saratoga Ave to the north west, Fruitvale Ave to the west, and Allendale Ave to the south between Fruitdale and Via Alto Ct.

This community lies within the greater Gardiner Park neighborhood (according to NextDoor), which also includes the Saratoga Gardens subdivision, Aspesi / Casa Blanca, and Riverdale communities to the north, and Peremont tract to the east.

It includes multiple tracts and was primarily built up in the 1960s and 1970s, but there are younger homes as well. Kerwin Ranch Ct and the end of Ronnie Wy are two smaller tracts built up between 1987 – 1995. Throughout the neighborhood there have been individual rebuilds over the years.

Most homes are on large, standard lots, but there are a smattering of flag lots as well.

The Average Portos-Harleigh Home

If I pull the data on homes in this mapped area. Here’s what the “average home” would look like:

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Houge Park in the Cambrian area of San Jose

Houge Park on Cambrian area of San JoseHouge Park is a fantasticly appointed, well maintained twelve and a half acre park in the Cambrian area of San Jose (at Twilight Drive & White Oaks Avenue, SJ 95124).   There’s something for everyone, whether it’s benches to sit and enjoy the area, tables for playing chess and checkers, or opportunities to play tennis or chess. With a large, grassy spaces and a walking & jogging trail, folks who want to just get out and walk will have plenty of room for that.

When my (now grown) kids were small, my husband would sometimes take them there to meet up with a local astronomy club to view the stars. I’d take them to the playground to let off steam during the day.  It was really helpful that there is so much space – and restrooms!

 

Features of Houge Park

Some of the most appreciated aspects of Houge Park are these:

  • Restrooms
  • 3 Playground areas in all, including one for ages 2-5 & another ages 5-12
  • Picnic sites (no reservation)
  • BBQ
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Exercise course
  • Basketball court
  • ½ basketball court
  • Two tennis courts (unlighted)
  • Parking lot & plenty of street parking

If you’ve never been to Houge Park, it’s a worthwhile destination and a pleasant surprise in the midst of a residential neighborhood.  Cambrian is a popular area in which to live, and even nicer if you’re in close proximity to a beautiful park such as this  one.

With the Houge Park sign, shown above, you can see that there are play structures in the distance – with lots of lawn in between.

One of the nearby neighborhoods is the Villa Cambrian subdivision in the Parker area.

Continue reading to see more photos and get more info.

 

Houge Park swings and more

 

Below, please note the nicely paved path and par course.

 

Houge Park in San Jose

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Jeffrey Fontana Park in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

Jeffrey Fontana Park is an Almaden gem, set into a residential area but also adjacent to loads of other parkland. In the not too far distance is a view of the coastal hills with Mount Umunhum on top. Jim, Clair, and I spent some time there last weekend and I thought some of our readers may enjoy seeing some photos and learning about this park (and perhaps be inspired to visit it, too).

 

View of Mount Umunhum from Jeffrey Fontana Park - photo by Mary Pope-Handy on --

 

Where is Jeffrey Fontana Park?

The 10 acre park begins at Meridian Avenue in San Jose at Oakglen Way. The other side of Meridian is TJ Martin Park. and just north of it is the humongous Guadalupe Oak Grove Park (previously shared about this park).  In the map below, this is the park with the green park icon in the middle. You could spend many hours checking out these three connected parks !

 

Almaden Valley Parks - TJ Martin, Jeffrey Fontana, and Guadalupe Oak Grove

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Oaktree Park

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in Almaden Valley area of San JoseThe Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose is a scenic residential community with wide appeal to home buyers due to good Almaden schools, close proximity to large parks and is one of only a few areas in Almaden Valley which includes a cabaña and swim team. Additionally, this area is very convenient as it’s close to schools, shops and commute routes to downtown San Jose and much of Silicon Valley. It is a fairly intimate neighborhood with 156 homes.

Where is the Oaktree Park neighborhood?

The Oaktree Park subdivision is within the boundaries of Meridian Avenue, Redmond Avenue and Mcabbe Road on three sides and the Jeffrey Fontana Park on the north side.

The census bureau (and perhaps also the city of San Jose) has attributed names to some parts of Almaden and this neighborhood falls into the Crossgates section. I do not believe that most residents refer to this area that way, though. Perhaps more likely they’d call it part of the greater Fontana Park neighborhood. Just the other side of Meridian is the vastly larger Almaden Meadows neighborhood.

 

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ)

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ) – click on image above to go to live Google Map

 

What schools serve the Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose?

The public schools for Oaktree Park are within the San Jose Unified School District:

Los Alamitos Elementary School (API 935 in 2013, a, 8 on Great Schools in 2023 )
Castillero Middle School (API 846 in 2013, a 7 on Great Schools in 2023)
Pioneer High School (API 822 in 2013, a 7 on Great Schools in 2023)

Los Alamitos Elementary and Holy Spirit Elementary (Catholic) are both just a couple of blocks from Oaktree Park. Additionally, there are 2 preschools really close too: Precious Preschool and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool.

For more information and links for schools, school districts, API scores and maps of boundaries lines for schools in the Almaden area of San Jose, please also read:

Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

What are homes like in Oaktree Park?

Homes in Oaktree Park are single family dwellings – all detached houses (no townhouses or condominiums). These are primarily ranch style or two story ranch style houses, built in the early 1970s  on lots of about 8000 to 9000 square feet, though a few are more than that. Interior size runs between about 1600 square feet to about 3000 square feet (if added on). P

Prices will be impacted by home size, condition, and exact location (such as on a busy road or immediately adjacent to the high voltage power lines that run through the park) at one end of the spectrrum to beautifully updated or rebuilt larger homes in an ideal location within the neighborhood.

Check the listings below to see the current prices and keep reading for more information on the Oaktree Park neighborhood below!

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Prides Crossing Neighborhood

The Prides Crossing neighborhood in the northern part of Saratoga has a lot to boast about: a sense of community, easy access to commuter routes and many amenities, and laid-back California luxury. We’ll go into more detail below, but here is a profile of the neighborhood in bullet points:

  • The average home is ~2,400 SqFt on ~12,500 SqFt lot, built between the early 1960s-70s
  • Homes are in the attendance area for either Saratoga or Cupertino schools
  • Expect to pay between $3 – $4M for most homes, possibly a little less for a small home near a busy street, and more for a larger, centrally located home
  • The neighborhood is home to 2 parks, a member-owned pool and racket club, and has easy access to commuter routes, shopping, entertainment, and places of worship
  • There are few hazards, but keep an eye out for Zinsco panels

1 Prides Crossing South sign along Cox Avenue

Where is Prides Crossing?

Prides Crossing Map with markers

Click to view full size – Prides Crossing map with markers

North of 85 near the Campbell and West San Jose borders, boundaries of the neighborhood include Prospect Rd to the north and Cox Ave to the south, with 85 and Saratoga Creek at the southern corners. To the west, Scully Ave and to the east Titus Ave border what makes up the majority of the neighborhood, although they are not exact boundaries (the map paints a better picture). Miller Ave is the main thoroughfare through the community with a brick and brass sign marking it’s entrance at it’s intersection with Cox Ave.

While not technically part of Prides Crossing, I did include a corner of the Summerplace subdivision (built 1973) in the neighborhood map as it might easily be mistaken as such. There are 46 homes in the Summerplace tract (5233), but 37 are only accessible through the Prides Crossing neighborhood, touching the south end of Kevin Moran Park, while the other 9 are on the opposite side of highway 85!

Continue reading below, or explore other areas in our interactive map of neighborhoods in this city. We are slowly adding more!

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Guadalupe Oak Grove Park in Almaden Valley

Recently my family and I visited the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park in Almaden Valley. As the bird flies, it’s less than 2 miles from our home, but somehow we hadn’t been there before. We loved it and I thought our readers might enjoy seeing some images and learning more about this cool pocket of nature in suburbia.

There are some informative signs in the park. One stated that there are 15 types of oak trees in California – something I had not previously known. In this park there are several types of oaks, including, I believe live oak, valley oak, black oak, blue oak, and the California buckeye, which is related. (There are some empty or blank sign stands along the trail. For neophyte explorers like myself, it would be great if they would indicate which type of oak is which.)

 

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park sign - Almaden Valley, San Jose, CA 95120 - sign

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park boasts 62.7 acres with paths or trails. Some of these trails are fairly level and not on challenging terrain, while others  are more steep. The trails wind through varying types of vegetation. Some parts are dotted with oak tress, others are shrubs or grasses.

It’s located at 5982 Thorntree Drive San Jose, CA 95120 and is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily. More location info is at the bottom of this post.

This is immediately adjacent to Jeffrey Fontana Park, which has a playground, lawns, and the more typical neighborhood park features, so it’s very convenient to visit both in one day. Guadalupe Oak Grove Park does not have a tot lot, youth playground area, et cetera, per the city of San Jose’s page for this park.

Close to the parking lot there is a shady stretch where you’ll find  log benches to the side. It’s a pleasant spot to just relax and watch the birds and other animals.

 

Shady part of a trail near the parking lot - Guadalpe Oak Grove Park

 

Other sections are grassland. Right now, they are dried out (so it’s no surprise that barbecues are not allowed here!). It was mild the day we stopped by, but this area might be uncomfortably toasty on a summer day.

 

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Introducing a Beautiful Willow Glen Neighborhood, “The Willows”

The Willows - home on Brevins Loop in Willow Glen - The Willows near Rubino CircleWillow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.

KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.

The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.

 

The Willows - Rubino Circle street view
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Doerr Park of Willow Glen

When locals think of Willow Glen, most will picture the charming historic homes and bustling downtown strip, but this attractive community extends beyond the historic blocks. The Willow Glen Neighborhood Association defines the Central and Historic Willow Glen area apart from the Greater Willow Glen Neighborhood and Planning Area, roughly 10.4 square miles with approximately 82,000 residents. One of the scenic communities of the greater Willow Glen area is Doerr Park.

Doerr Park

Doerr Park Neighborhood of Willow Glen MapDoerr Park, sometimes called Doerr-Steindorf or simply Doerr, is within the 95124 zip code of San Jose, not far from the Cambrian border. The boundaries of this community are Curtner Ave, Meridian Ave, Foxworthy Ave, and Leigh Ave (See it on this Google Map). It is marked by tidy homes and yards with neat green lawns and airy street trees. Towards the center of this highly walkable neighborhood sits a nearly 12 acre city park. Doerr Park is a sunny community park with expansive lawns, open tree groves, picnic benches with barbeque stations, two magnificent playgrounds for different age groups (one of them has 3-tiered climbing towers and long slides for the older children!), a basketball court, softball field, four tennis courts, and restrooms. The park is very popular!

This neighborhood is accessible, too! There’s shopping and an office complex at the corner of Foxworthy Ave and Meridian, with a Grocery Outlet, gas station, and bank. It’s very close to more shopping including restaurants, Target, Home Depot, and more. For commuters, it’s only a 6 minute drive to 85, 17, and Almaden Expy, and there are bus lines which run along Curtner and Leigh.

There are a few possible negatives to consider, however. Some areas are beside easements for high voltage power lines, though a large portion of the easement connecting to the park has recently been transformed into a community trail. Not all phone lines are under ground, which might be considered an eyesore by some.

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Rio Rinconada, Saratoga Highlands & La Rinconada Park neighborhood in west Los Gatos

Saratoga Highlands Rio Rinconada in west Los GatosThere’s a lovely neighborhood in west Los Gatos which is set between the La Rinconada Golf Course and the Rinconada Hills gated community (near the corner of Pollard and Quito Roads). There are 3 distinct subdivisons: Rio Rinconada (where all the roads are named “Calle” something), Saratoga Highlands (More Avenue, Roxbury Ln, Prince St., Mattson Ave., and part of Wedgewood Av), and a third area which seems to have no specific name but which is said to have been built by Thrust 4 and includes bigger, younger, more expensive homes on larger lots – many with 3 car garages and views.

The La Rinconada Park is one of the major draws to the neighborhood. Another is the very close proximity of a shopping center which includes a good sized Safeway, and an elementary and middle school close by too.

A few years back I wrote about these west Los Gatos subdivisions and the neighborhood generally on my Live in Los Gatos blog, and I also included a video “drive through” for those who’d like a really good feel for the area. Want more info? Please continue reading at Saratoga Highlands, Rio Rinconada, Granada Way and La Rinconada Park Neighborhood on Live in Los Gatos.

 

La Rinconada Park in west Los Gatos

 

What do homes cost there?

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