Los Altos is a city at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.
Most of the city's growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent bedroom community. Los Altos has several distinctive features. Commercial zones are strictly limited to the downtown area and small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.
Forbes places Los Altos (area code 94022 and 94024) as the 24th most expensive ZIP code in the United States, behind such cities as Alpine, NJ, Atherton, CA, and Beverly Hills. This lists median home price as over $2,500,000.
Los Altos means "the heights" or "foothill" in Spanish.
Los Altos History Museum
Located in one of Santa Clara Valley's few remaining apricot orchards, the Los Altos History Museum explores the rich history of local people and how the use of the land over time has transformed the agricultural paradise once known as the "Valley of Heart's Delight" into the technology hub that is today's Silicon Valley.
Opened in spring of 2001 adjacent to the Los Altos Library, the Los Altos History Museum occupies an building – built entirely with private donations; ownership went to the town in 2002. The Museum features a changing exhibits gallery as well as the permanent exhibit, "Crown of the Peninsula".
With the mission to "collect, preserve and interpret the history of the Los Altos area," the Museum includes interactive exhibits and hands-on activities to encourage children and adults to learn about the community. Other programs include third and fourth grade tours and curricula for local school children, oral history collections, a traveling Ohlone kit, and much more.
There's more history just across the lushly landscaped courtyard in the landmark J. Gilbert Smith House. Built in 1905 and refurbished, the home nestles under majestic heritage oaks and replicates a 1930s farmhouse. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the gardens and picnic tables even when the House and Museum are closed.