Woodside, California

Coordinates: 37°25′15″N 122°15′35″W / 37.42083°N 122.25972°W / 37.42083; -122.25972
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Town of Woodside
The Village Hub in Downtown Woodside
The Village Hub in Downtown Woodside
Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
Woodside is located in California
Location in the United States
Woodside is located in the United States
Woodside (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°25′15″N 122°15′35″W / 37.42083°N 122.25972°W / 37.42083; -122.25972
CountryUnited States
CountySan Mateo
IncorporatedNovember 16, 1956[1]
 • TypeTown Council
 • Total11.47 sq mi (29.70 km2)
 • Land11.47 sq mi (29.70 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation387 ft (118 m)
 • Total5,309
 • Density460/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes[5]
Area code650
FIPS code06-86440
GNIS feature IDs1660202, 2413509

Woodside is a small incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States, on the San Francisco Peninsula. Woodside is among the wealthiest communities in the United States, home to many technology billionaires and investment managers, with average home prices exceeding 10 million dollars[citation needed]. It has a council–manager system of government. The population of the town was 5,309 at the 2020 census.[4]

Woodside has a median household income of $375,561, median family income of $401,591 and median home price exceeding $4.5 million.[7]

History and culture[edit]

The Woodside area was originally home to indigenous people belonging to the Ohlone tribe. In 1769, led by Gaspar de Portolá, Spanish explorers searching for San Francisco Bay camped at a site near Woodside.

Woodside is said to be the oldest English-speaking settlement in the southern part of the San Francisco Peninsula. The first English-speaking settlers arrived in the early 19th century to log the rich stands of redwoods. Charles Brown constructed the first sawmill in Woodside on his Mountain Home Ranch around 1838. Brown's adobe house, built in 1839, still stands today.[8] By mid-century, the Woodside area had a dozen mills producing building materials for a booming San Francisco.

In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, 20-year-old Mathias Alfred Parkhurst purchased 127 acres (0.5 km2) of timberland and named it “Woodside"; of course, this name was kept. By the late 19th century, Woodside was home to country estates. The Sequoia Redwood trees in Woodside are currently 3rd generation growth. The first generation of the Redwood trees were used to build San Francisco's original homes. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the loggers returned to Woodside to cut the second growth of redwood so they could be used for the rebuilding of San Francisco.

In 1909, the Family, a private club, set up camp facilities and rustic buildings in Woodside at the Family Farm, a rural retreat used by club members for recreation. Gatherings at the Family Farm include an annual Farm Play, written and performed by members. In 1912, the Family pooled funds to build Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Portola Valley, designed by 19-year-old Timothy L. Pflueger, his first commission.[9] The historic building was repaired at a cost of US$600,000 after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.[10]

Woodside was incorporated in 1956 and it retains a rural residential character even though it is only a short commute to Silicon Valley and Stanford University.

In early 2022, the town drew widespread derision for declaring itself a mountain lion habitat to avoid state affordable housing requirements.[11] It backed down on that attempt after California Attorney General Rob Bonta denied this claim.[12] Bonta wrote: "There is no valid basis to claim that the entire town of Woodside is a habitat for mountain lions. Land that is already developed — with, for example a single-family home — is not, by definition, habitat. (...) Our message to local governments is simple: act in good faith, follow the law, and do your part to increase the housing supply."[13]


The intentionally small business district includes: a few restaurants; a grocery store; a saloon; a hardware and horse tack store; a home and garden store; an Aveda hair salon; a cleaner; and a post office. Outside of the business district are the Stillheart Institute educational event center, Skywood Trading Post and the Mountain Terrace event center.

Town restaurants include the Michelin starred Village Pub, Buck's of Woodside restaurant, known among Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as the location where many VC investment deals have been signed, Firehouse Bistro, and the Little Country Store.

Numerous residents keep horses, and the town government maintains a network of horse trails. Some residents live on farmland used for business. The town is also popular among local cyclists and draws them in large numbers on weekends. The most popular road cycling routes include Old La Honda Road, King's Mountain Road, Cañada Road, Southgate Drive, Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84. The Tour of California bicycle race includes several roads along and adjacent to CA-84 and Skyline Boulevard.

Woodside is home to a number of open space preserves, including the Purisima Open Space (part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space), where both horseback riding and bicycling are allowed. For mountain biking, the famous Skeggs Point is located in Woodside along Skyline Boulevard.

Dr. Carl Djerassi founded an artists' colony in the community in memory of his late daughter Pamela.[14] The Djerassi Artists Residency is one of several Bay Area programs that houses artists. It is located adjacent to the campus of Stanford University, east of the town. Other Bay Area programs include Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga and Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin. Woodside is also home to wellness centers including the Canyon Ranch Woodside luxury wellness retreat.

Geography and climate[edit]

Woodside is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, midway between San Jose and San Francisco, just north of Silicon Valley, in San Mateo County. The San Andreas fault runs through portions of Woodside. Much of Woodside is wooded, with redwoods and Douglas fir dominating in the western hills and more oaks and eucalyptus in the lower areas. San Francisco Bay lies to the east, while Pacific Ocean beaches lie to the west. The Santa Cruz mountains separate Woodside from the ocean and extend down to Monterey Bay about forty miles south.

The nearest cities and towns are Redwood City, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Atherton, San Carlos, Belmont, and Palo Alto.


As is true of most of the California coastal areas, weather in Woodside is usually mild during most of the year. Summers are dry and can be hot; winter temperatures rarely dip much below freezing. Average January temperatures are a maximum of 60 °F (16 °C) and a minimum of 36 °F (2 °C). Average July temperatures are a maximum of 88 °F (31 °C) and a minimum of 51 °F (11 °C). Snowfall is extremely rare except in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains, where several inches falls every several years. Annual precipitation averages 30.9 inches (785.4 millimeters) and falls on an average of 61 days annually.

The record maximum temperature was 114 °F (46 °C) on July 22, 2006, and the record minimum temperature was 17 °F (−8 °C) on February 6, 1989. Temperatures reach 90 °F (32 °C) or higher on an average of 48.4 days annually. Temperatures drop to freezing on an average of 10.0 days annually. The maximum rainfall in one year was 59.86 inches (1,520 mm) in 1983. The maximum rainfall in one month was 20.50 inches (521 mm) in December 2002 and the maximum in 24 hours was 4.64 inches (118 mm) on December 1, 2002. On February 5, 1976, 3.0 inches of snow fell at the fire station.

Hills and mountains between Woodside and the Pacific coast make fog much less prevalent than in nearby San Francisco. As well, during the summer, Woodside's climate is remarkably hotter than that of San Francisco.

Parks and environmental features[edit]

Woodside has a variety of habitat types including California oak woodland and riparian zones. There is considerable biodiversity present, Woodside being within the California Floristic Province. Notable species present include the rare and endangered species Acanthomintha duttonii, the San Mateo Thornmint. It is also home to Huddart County Park, which is accessible by authorized motor vehicles, pedestrians, and horses on Kings Mountain Road.

While Huddart County Park is probably the most well-known park in Woodside, Wunderlich Park is extremely popular with both hiking and horse enthusiasts. The trails in this park are shared by those on foot and on horse and span almost 1000 acres.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 census Woodside had a population of 5,287. The population density was 450.6 inhabitants per square mile (174.0/km2). The racial makeup of Woodside was 4,717 (89.2%) White, 23 (0.4%) African American, 4 (0.1%) Native American, 332 (6.3%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 63 (1.2%) from other races, and 144 (2.7%) from two or more races. There were 243 residents of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (4.6%).[16]

There were 1,977 households. The average household size was 2.67. There were 1,487 families (75.2% of households); the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 48.8 years. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.7%.


Woodside is home to many venture capital and investment firms including: Benchmark Capital Partners, Crosslink Capital,, GSV Asset Management, ND Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Ridgelink Ventures.


According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 24, 2016, Woodside has 4082 registered voters. Of those, 1606 (39.3%) are registered Democrats, 1256 (30.8%) are registered Republicans, and 1052 (25.9%) have declined to state a political party.[17]

In the California State Legislature, Woodside is in the 13th Senate District, represented by Democrat Josh Becker, and in the 24th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Alex Lee.[18]

Federally, Woodside is in California's 14th congressional district, represented by Democrat Eric Swalwell.[19]


The Woodside Elementary School District operates public elementary and middle schools. The Sequoia Union High School District operates Woodside High School.

Funding for public schools in Woodside are supplemented by grants from private foundations set up for that purpose and funded by local residents that enables Woodside to have one of the highest per pupil funding rates for elementary school and middle school students in the Bay Area.[20]

Points of interest[edit]

The city is served by the Woodside Public Library of the San Mateo County Libraries, a member of the Peninsula Library System.

Film and television[edit]

The house in the Robin Williams movie Bicentennial Man is in Woodside. Dynasty was filmed at the Filoli Estate (not the interior of the mansion, but the exterior), as were the films The Wedding Planner, The Game, Lolita, George of the Jungle, Heaven Can Wait, and Harold and Maude. The musical Rent also has a scene filmed inside the Filoli Estate.

Notable people[edit]

Several notable people who live or have lived in Woodside, California, include:

Actors and entertainment[edit]

Artists and designers[edit]

Business and entrepreneurs[edit]





See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Woodside". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Woodside (town) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau.
  5. ^ "ZIP Code(tm) Lookup". United States Postal Service. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Woodside, California". Median Income in 2013. United States Census Bureau. 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Eucalyptus trees fall, Brown Adobe stays put at Woodside's former Schroll estate". The Almanac News. July 6, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Poletti, Therese (2008). Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-756-9.
  10. ^ "St. Denis Parish. History". Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  11. ^ Dillon, Liam (February 4, 2022). "Wealthy town has an answer against building affordable housing: Mountain lions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  12. ^ staff, NBC Bay Area; News • •, Bay City. "Woodside Reverses Housing Decision After AG Denies Mountain Lion Sanctuary Claim". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  13. ^ Maria Cramer and Alan Yuhas (February 7, 2022). "California Town Says Mountain Lions Don't Stop Housing After All". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  14. ^ "Djerassi artists' retreat hosts rare open house". East Bay Times. July 28, 2007. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Woodside town". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Report of Registration as of October 24, 2016 : Registration by Political Subdivision by County" (PDF). Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  18. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  19. ^ "California's 14th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  20. ^ George Packer (May 27, 2013). "Change the World Silicon Valley transfers its slogans—and its money—to the realm of politics". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 30, 2015. In wealthy districts, the public schools have essentially been privatized; they insulate themselves from shortfalls in state funding with money raised by foundations they have set up for themselves.
  21. ^ "Frances Baldwin". SFGate. Hearst Communications. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  22. ^ Nelson, Cletus. Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes. Feral House.
  23. ^ Hamlin, Jesse (December 14, 2014). "Artist Margaret Keane hasn't lost wide-eyed enthusiasm for work". SFGATE. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  24. ^ "Scott Cook". Forbes. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  25. ^ "Masayoshi Son". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  26. ^ Woollard, Deidre (March 27, 2008). "Larry Ellison's $3 Million Tax Rebate". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  27. ^ "Joan Baez opens up on retirement, Rock Hall induction". April 2, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  28. ^ Wheeler, Brad (January 11, 2019). "Musician Pegi Young, Neil's ex-wife, who died on New Year's Day, co-founded a school for children with special needs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 5, 2020.

External links[edit]