About Santa Clara County

General Description
In the same way that the Tigris and Euphrates Valley is heralded as the cradle of civilization, Santa Clara County will be heralded as the birthplace of a new age: the age of computers and microchips. But along with its booming space-age economy, Santa Clara County also hosts a variety of other resources. The county is home to Stanford University in Palo Alto, which, in the 1930s and 1940s nurtured the entrepreneurial visions of students like William Hewlett and David Packard, who later founded Silicon Valley.

A generation ago, the area stood in the economic and cultural shadows of its northern neighbor, San Francisco. Then a surge of growth brought a half million new residents, along with their semiconductors and their cultural diversities, into the metropolitan mainstream. Today, with a population of about 1.5 million, Santa Clara County holds its own.

San Jose, at almost 850,000 in population, is the state's third largest city, behind Los Angeles and San Diego. With a skyline of top-of-the-line hotels and modern office complexes, along with the $116-million convention center and new sports / concert arena, San Jose is ready for the next century as an energetic modem metropolis. Fourteen other cities complete the county's personality.

Palo Alto marks the northern terminus of the urban / industrial chain known as Silicon Valley. In between are the urban and suburban communities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino and Campbell. To the northeast is Milpitas, and to the southwest are the charming hillside villages of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Monte Sereno. Crowning the agricultural South County are Morgan Hill, unincorporated San Martin, and, of course, Gilroy.

At the confluence of 4 major freeways (101, 280, 680 and 880), San Jose has long been the fortress of mighty freeway interchanges. But along with its new status as a truly metropolitan center, San Jose also now boasts a light rail system. Other modes of transportation in Santa Clara County include County Transit buses, carpooling, bicycling, and the CalTrain Peninsula Commuter train line, which moves thousands of workers each day up and down the peninsula, from Gilroy to San Francisco. San Jose International Airport completes the transportation picture.

Regional and state parks in the Gilroy vicinity include Mt. Madonna Park (3,039 acres) to the west, Uvas Canyon Park (1,049 acres) to the north, and Coe State Park (32,000 acres) to the east. In addition, Anderson, Calero, Chesbro, Uvas and Coyote reservoirs are all nearby, offering a full complement of water-related sports and recreational activities.