Belmont, which translates to “beautiful mountain,” is located about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. This city’s roots trace back to about 1850, two years prior to the carving out of San Mateo County. Until about 50 years ago, Belmont was largely pastoral, a part of the 35,000-acre Rancho Las Pulgas.

The Ralston Mansion is a historical landmark, built in the 1860s by William Ralston, founder of the Bank of California. The grand palace has been restored and features a hall of mirrors, a grand staircase, crystal chandeliers and a ballroom filled with an impressive collection of period antiques reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles. Tours are offered during the week, and the mansion is available for social celebrations.

1870 Gallery and Studios is a cooperative, with more than 25 artists participating in a variety of media. Local and global artists’ works are featured regularly, and various cultural events are offered including seminars, workshops and classes for all ages.

While the Stanford Shopping Center is nearby, the Belmont Plaza Shopping Center presents a broad spectrum of shopping and dining opportunities with a charming village ambience. And, of course, the Farmers Market is every Sunday, rain or shine, complete with locally-grown produce and home-grown entertainment.

Over the past several decades Belmont has grown and flourished into an upscale address for some of the Bay Area’s distinguished luminaries.