Hillsborough is one of America’s richest towns and one of the most prestigious zip codes in the Bay Area. The town was founded in 1846 when the son of a wealthy shipping magnet purchased the land and settled in the area. Wealthy residents of San Francisco were quickly attracted to the beautiful region, but it was exclusively a community for wealthy whites until 1963 when the children of Chinese immigrants moved into the town and brought about desegregation.
Hillsborough is famous for its mansions and historic homes including the Sidney Bazett Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Carolands, one of America’s largest mansions. It’s also known for having some of California’s best schools and gorgeous views of wooded areas and San Francisco Bay. It’s also unique because it has no commercial zoning. That means it’s entirely residential.
Considering moving to Hillsborough? Here’s everything you’re going to absolutely love about living in Hillsborough, a hidden gem in the Bay Area.
Hillsborough, CA Population & Demographics
The town of Hillsborough is located in San Mateo County, California in the Bay Area. It’s on the San Francisco Peninsula just 17 miles south of San Francisco in zip code 94010 and area code 650.
The population of Hillsborough is 11,500 with a racial and ethnic composition that’s 66% white, 28% Asian, 3.5% Hispanic, 4% two or more races, and 0.5% African American or Black. The ratio of males to females is exactly 1:1. The median age in Hillsborough is 48, significantly higher than the U.S. median of 36 and much higher than the Bay Area’s median of 39.
About 24% of the population is foreign-born, lower than average for California and particularly the San Francisco area. 79% of foreign-born residents were born in Asia and 11% were born in Europe.
Hillsborough has a highly educated population with 79% of the population over 25 holding at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s twice the rate for California and compares to 50% for the Bay Area.
Hillsborough, CA is a safe place to live with very little crime. The Hillsborough Police Department releases monthly stats on their Instagram page here.
Hillsborough Climate – What’s the Weather Like in Hillsborough, CA?
While living in Hillsborough, you’ll enjoy a pleasant Mediterranean climate with damp, mild winters and dry, warm summers. It doesn’t snow, and you’ll get about 24” of rain per year on average compared to the national average of 38” of annual rainfall.
During the summer, you can expect highs in the mid-70s in July. The winter low is about 42 degrees. Five months out of the year are very pleasant with high temperatures between 70 and 85. An average of 9 days per year have highs above 90 degrees.
The best time to visit Hillsborough is between June and September. You’ll enjoy the most pleasant temperatures and warm-weather activities and events.
Hillsborough, CA Schools
While living in Hillsborough, CA, you’ll be served by the Hillsborough City School District. You’ll benefit from a great school district with test scores in the top 1% of California districts! It’s also been ranked as California’s #1 school district and one of the top 10 school districts in the U.S. The district has three elementary schools and a middle school.
Interestingly, Hillsborough’s school district doesn’t have its own public high school. Most students in the town attend high school in the San Mateo Union High School District with a school assigned by address. You can also choose from a few independent schools such as the Nueva School, a private school with a lower and middle school campus in Hillsborough and a high school campus in San Mateo four miles away.
Best Neighborhoods in Hillsborough, CA
Where do you plan to settle down after moving to Hillsborough, CA? This charming town is completely residential with several beautiful neighborhoods to call home. Here are some of the top Hillsborough neighborhoods for families, young professionals, and retirees.
Country Club Manor – Most Affluent Neighborhood in Hillsborough
Homes in Country Club Manor rarely go on sale, but this is the most desirable neighborhood in town. Home prices range from $6 to $11.5 million and it’s located right next to Burlingame Country Club. It’s served by Burlingame High School.
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Lakeview – Most Affordable Neighborhood in Hillsborough for Families
Lakeview is Hillsborough’s most affordable neighborhood. Of course, that doesn’t mean much: the average home price is $3.9 million. It’s also one of the largest neighborhoods in the town with easy access to Crystal Springs Reservoir and Highway 280. This neighborhood is served by San Mateo High School, a National Blue Ribbon school.
Hillsborough Oaks – Secluded Hillsborough Neighborhood Walking Distance to Broadway Avenue
Because Hillsborough has no commercial businesses, you need to go to Burlingame or San Mateo for dining, shopping, and activities. Unless you live in Hillsborough Oaks, that is. You’ll be within walking distance of Burlingame’s Broadway Avenue with shopping and restaurants at your fingertips. This desirable community has large, private lots in a wooded setting with a range of newer homes, large estates, and pre-WWII homes. Prices range from $5.2 to $6.8 million.
What Is the Cost of Living in Hillsborough, CA?
The Hillsborough cost of living index is 650. To put that into perspective, compare it to the two most expensive cities in the United States: Manhattan with a cost of living index of 258 and San Francisco with a cost of living index of 269. Hillsborough is one of the most expensive places to live in America.
Utilities are actually 8% below the national average although grocery costs are 24% higher and the transportation index is 146. Housing is what drives up the cost of living in Hillsborough.
The median home price in Hillsborough is $5.87 million, up 20% from 2020 to 2022. You can see Hillsborough, CA homes for sale to see the stunning homes available in the town.
Hillsborough Jobs & Average Income
How much do you need to earn to live in Hillsborough, CA? In 2019, it was ranked as America’s fifth richest town. The average household income in Hillsborough is $373,128. This average excludes households without income and it’s different than the median household income. The median household income is $250,000 and this means half of households earn more and half earn less.
With no commercial activity, there are no jobs in Hillsborough. While living in Hillsborough, you’ll need to commute to work in neighboring cities like Burlingame and San Mateo or commute to San Francisco. Here’s what the 19-mile commute from Hillsborough, CA to San Francisco looks like.
Fun Things to Do in Hillsborough, CA
Hillsborough is a paradise for golfers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. There are tons of attractions in Hillsborough to fall in love with and even more to do in nearby communities like San Mateo and Burlingame.
Just note that Hillsborough is unique in that it has no commercial zoning. That means you need to leave the town limits for shopping, dining, and activities.
Ready to explore the best things to do in Hillsborough with kids or to unwind after a long week? Here are some of the best activities and places to visit.
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This 98-room mansion is one of the last Golden Age homes and a stunning example of Beaux-Arts or French Classical architecture. It’s one of the most famous landmarks in Hillsborough!
Carolands Chateau, 565 Remillard Dr, Hillsborough, CA 94010 (650) 343-0613
This private gold course opened in 1893. It’s one of the best things to do in Hillsborough for couples with social events, tennis courts, and a pool.
Additional attractions in Hillsborough, CA:
Top Hillsborough Restaurants
Ready to explore the best restaurants in Hillsborough, CA? You’ll need to step outside the town just a bit to neighboring San Mateo or Burlingame to enjoy these spots for a fun lunch with friends or date night.
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- Rainbow Pizza is a fun, casual restaurant with Mediterranean classics like gyros and pies in San Mateo’s Crystal Springs Village. Rainbow Pizza, 112 De Anza Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650) 571-1848
- Sapore Italiano Ristorante is a favorite among locals with homemade pasta and a quiet dining environment. Sapore Italiano Ristorante, 1447 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010 (650) 348-3277
- Wakuriya is the area’s best restaurant for celebrating a special occasion. Enjoy haute Japanese cuisine with multi-course kaiseki menus at fixed times. Wakuriya, 115 De Anza Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650) 286-0410
Living in Hillsborough Pros & Cons
- Pro: Beautiful scenery and quiet residential environment
- Pro: Tons of outdoor recreation in the area
- Con: Amenities like restaurants and shopping require driving to neighboring communities
- Con: High home prices make Hillsborough one of the most expensive places to buy a home in the U.S.
Does moving to Hillsborough, CA sound like the right move for your family? You’ll definitely fall in love with the town’s beauty, magnificent homes, and nearby amenities. When you’ve settled on a home, give the Hillsborough movers at AMS Relocation a call for a free moving quote to get started!