10 Things to Know About Redwood City

Redwood City Skyline. Photo via Worlds Best Beach Towns.

Redwood City Skyline. Photo via Worlds Best Beach Towns.

Whether you're thinking about moving to Redwood City, just started working Downtown, or have been a longtime resident here are a few things we think are important to know about this great city right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

1. Downtown is booming.
In 2011, the City Council adopted the Downtown Precise Plan, which provides a vision and plan for developing Downtown Redwood City as a walkable, thriving city center. In the past few years several large commercial and residential projects have gotten underway. The recent construction and projects on the horizon are sparking debate about the pace of building and rising density of Downtown Redwood City. While you might be cursing the construction when you can't find a parking spot on a Friday night, the upside is there are plenty of great places to grab dinner or a cup of coffee in town.

2. The schools are improving.
Although Redwood City has never been known for having great schools, that may change.  Clifford, Roy Cloud, and Henry Ford have made huge improvements in the last few years in their state ranking and API scores and further growth is anticipated in the next couple of years.  Besides having one of the most beautiful and unique high school campuses on the Peninsula, Sequoia has also made huge improvements in state and API scores. It is also one of the only schools in the area with an International Baccalaureate program.

3. Buying a home? There's something for everyone. Really.
Redwood City offers a diverse range of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and price points. Whether you're looking for a 1920s bungalow, an mid-century ranch, or a modern architectural gem inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, you can find it here.

4. A little urban and a little country.
Redwood City also has geographically diverse landscapes ranging from urban with a touch of grit to open, rolling hills with panoramic views of the bay. There are neighborhoods with sidewalks and tree lined streets and there are roads that twist and turn next to worn wooden fences.  There are blocks downtown with highrises and valet parking, and there are blocks where you are likely to see deer, or maybe even a mountain lion. Both ends of the spectrum are well represented, as well as just about everything in between.

5. Redwood City has a rich history.
The entire city is steeped in history and people have been working and living here since the days of the California Gold Rush. There are a host of historical landmarks that showcase California history. The Alhambra Theater, now home to Martin's West, was a popular hangout for Wyatt Earp, a well-known member of the Wild West. The Sequoia Hotel on Main Street once hosted President Herbert Hoover who was honored at the 4th of July Parade in 1928. If you want to geek out on local history, you can visit the San Mateo History Museum located in the historic San Mateo County Courthouse.

6. The only port on the Peninsula.
Redwood City has the only deep water port on the Peninsula. Back in the day, it was used by loggers to transport lumber from Redwood City to San Francisco and other cities up north. Today, it still functions as a port and there is even speculation of further development that could provide alternative transportation between the port in Redwood City and the piers in San Francisco.

7. Redwood City is big: 36.42 square miles to be exact
For a city on the peninsula, Redwood City covers some serious ground. Neighboring San Carlos and Atherton are about 5 square miles. It's also about 75% of the size of San Francisco, which famously spans 7x7 square miles. What does that mean? More room for residential and commercial space, as well as open spaces and parks.

8. Redwood City's Calendar is full of family friendly events.
Every week, you can find something, or multiple things to do in Redwood City. There is an awesome farmers market on Saturday mornings. Free concerts, where you can BYOB (bring your own booze), are hosted on Wednesday and Friday evenings in the summer. And the city hosts an epic 4th of July parade that has been running over 75 years.

9. Places to Play in Redwood City
The neighborhood of Emerald Hills was once billed as a resort vacation destination for city dwellers. Although that dream never fully materialized, the hills between Alameda de las Pulgas and Highway 280 provide a beautiful setting for the Emerald Lake Country Club, the Emerald Hills Lodge and Golf Course, and Edgewood Park.

10. Redwood City has a college.
Canada College a community college perched at the top of Farm Hill Boulevard, right off of Highway 280. The college opened in 1968, offers over 40 programs and certificates for job training, and is home to nearly 6,300 students.