Known as the Mission City, Santa Clara dates back to 1777 when Spanish missionaries built a mission where Santa Clara University is currently located. Almost encircled by the City of San Jose, Santa Clara has a population of 102,000.
As well as having its own convention center, the city is home to the training grounds of the San Francisco 49ers and Paramount’s Great America. The George F. Haines International Swim Center can be found in Santa Clara and is home to world-class Olympic swimmers, divers and synchronized swimmers. The Santa Clara Swim Club offers a range of competitive swimming programs and is known for their Gold Medal Team in the USA Swimming Club Excellence Program. Santa Clara families also enjoy events such as The Nutcracker presentation put on by the Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Department and their Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival. The 52-acre Central Park offers a great setting for the Art & Wine Festival, which tends to attract more than 50,000 people throughout the two-day event each year.
Santa Clara was voted as one of the ten All-American Cities in the New Millennium by that National Civic League. It is also rated as one of the most affordable cities in the nation for business and one of the region's lowest combined utility cost areas out of the nine Bay Area counties. Their public safety department is also one of the fastest in the state.
Santa Clara has its own unified school district, and students attend schools based on their residency location and through open enrollment. There are two magnet schools in the district that students can apply to through a lottery system. The district also extends into a small portion of Sunnyvale as well as Alviso in North San Jose. The schools on average are good performing schools, with some of the best located in the Birdland neighborhood of Sunnyvale near the new Apple Campus. Santa Clara University is a top private Jesuit university located near the San Jose border on The Alameda and is also the site of Mission Santa Clara.
Santa Clara has three primary zip codes: 95050, 95051, and 95054. The 95050 zip code includes the heart of Santa Clara around Santa Clara University. The 95051 zip code includes areas to the West of San Tomas Expressway between Central Expressway and Stevens Creek Blvd. The 95054 zip code includes the area North of Central Expressway, which is home to more of the city's industry and commercial space. The city has a nice blend of single family homes and condominiums and townhomes across all price ranges.