San Francisco Bay Area Suburbs for families, with best parks, trails and farmers markets

Aug 12, 2021

No matter what your family is looking for, the Bay Area suburbs have so much to offer. From seaside towns to mountain communities to neighborhoods with a more urban feel, there’s a town to fit everyone’s checklist here.

Not to mention there’s always something to do in these popular ‘burbs. With bustling farmers markets, local playgrounds and hiking trails there are tons of choices for kid-friendly outings. But with all of these great spots, where do you begin? Get in touch with Suburban Jungle and start digging into the options. To kick off your search…

The Best Farmers Markets in the San Francisco Suburbs

Farmers markets are a big part of the culture in the San Francisco Suburbs. Of course, locals head here to pick up fresh, organic produce. But these markets are also the place to go for family-friendly entertainment. The San Rafael Sunday Market hosts 200+ vendors, live music and food trucks (keep an eye out for the popular waffle truck). The San Jose Friday Market is close to the Plaza de Cesar Chavez fountains where you can take the kids after to cool off. And these are just the beginning — there are equally impressive markets in Danville, Mountain View, San Carlos and more.

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What are the Top Trails in the San Francisco Suburbs?

If easy access to the outdoors is essential for your family, this is the place to be. Outdoor activities are endless in the Bay Area and some of the best trails are found in the San Francisco ‘burbs.

San Jose’s Los Alamitos Creek Trail is short, sweet and great for families with kids or dogs. Those looking for more of a challenge will want to tackle the ​​Dipsea Trail, which travels from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. And many of these trails, like the Stanford Dish Loop, end near excellent eateries so you can enjoy a delicious post-hike meal.

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Top Playgrounds and Parks in the San Francisco Suburbs

For many families with young kids, it’s important to be close to playgrounds and green spaces. We get it — these are key for weekend picnics, playdates, soccer practice and just staying active. Most Bay Area suburbs feature high-quality public parks so you won’t have any trouble finding one that fits your family.

A few of our go-tos? Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek is complete with an off-leash dog park, nature pond and colorful playground that belongs in a Dr. Seuss story. And San Ramon’s Central Park boasts a huge playground and extensive water feature that is perfect for sunny summer days.

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Fastest-Growing Bay Area Suburbs

Sure, most families flock to the “name-brand” suburbs because these are the towns they’ve heard of and are familiar with. But did you know there are more than 100 municipalities in the Bay Area ‘burbs? And some of these emerging neighborhoods are getting hotter and hotter.

Places like Hayward are still an easy commute to San Francisco but also offer an urban-meets-suburban vibe that many young families crave. The recently revitalized Redwood City features great schools, huge playgrounds and a growing foodie scene. Be sure to add these along with Novato and Los Gatos Hills to your list.

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Best Bay Area Suburbs that Feel Like a Vacation Everyday

Looking for a community with vacation vibes? Maybe you’re ready for an escape from the hustle-and-bustle of city life and want to settle in a laid-back seaside town. If so, consider Tiburon, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay or Carmel-by-the-Sea. Or, if wine country is your ideal getaway, consider checking out the town of Sebastopol. Tourists usually skip this spot so locals get the charm of wine country all to themselves.

These towns give residents the best of both worlds — easy access to the city for work or nightlife without the day-to-day stress that comes with living in a major urban hub.

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Ready to narrow down your search and find the best fit for your family? Let us help. Get in touch now to schedule your FREE Suburbs Strategy session.

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