San Ramon California - From Ranch Land to Sparkling City
San Ramon, like most of the Tri-Valley region, had humble beginnings as a ranching and agricultural area, with rolling oak studded hills and spectacular valleys. Settled in the late 1700's, but it was the gold rush that helped the village of San Ramon get established, thanks to a stage coach line that ran from the valley to Oakland. The first post office was established in the village, located at the intersection of Deerwood Rd and San Ramon Valley Blvd. In 1873, a post office was established in San Ramon. The Southern Pacific Railroad came to the valley in 1891, along what is now the iron horse trail. It remained predominantly an agricultural and ranching hub until 1966, when Interstate 680 was completed connecting San Jose with Walnut Creek, and bringing with it suburban development.
Several early settlers purchased large tracts of land for ranching and agriculture. One of the notable settlers, Thomas Bishop, acquired 3000 acres of land in San Ramon. In 1978, this land became Bishop Ranch, encompassing Bishop Ranch Business Park, home to Chevron Corporation, AT & T, Toyota, and U.P.S. to name a few. Indeed, it was the development of Bishop Ranch that shaped San Ramon, as large corporations moved operations from the expensive San Francisco and Oakland marketplaces to the wide open spaces of San Ramon, bringing with them thousands of well paid employees. In 1983, the city finally incorporated, and officially became the city of San Ramon.
While San Ramon experienced tremendous growth starting in the 1970's, it still lacked one feature found in Danville, Pleasanton, and Livermore… a downtown. Various plans have been put forth to develop a downtown area for San Ramon. Original plans envisioned redeveloping the site of the original village off of Crow Canyon Rd, San Ramon Valley Rd, and Deerwood Dr. Recently in 2008, the city announced plans to build a "downtown" city center on 40 acres along Bollinger Canyon Rd in Bishop Ranch. At a projected cost of $750 million, the current plan proposes a hotel, high end retail, movie theatre, restaurants, library, city hall, transit center, residential units, and high end office space.
San Ramon is part of the San Ramon Valley School District, which also serves Danville, Alamo, and Blackhawk. The San Ramon Valley School District is very highly regarded, boasting some of the best schools in the Bay Area.
Housing in San Ramon covers many styles and price ranges. There are affordable condos and townhomes, luxury townhomes, patio homes, and higher density planned unit developments, and many single family home developments. There are modest older homes in central San Ramon, more luxurious homes in the Twin Creeks & Bollinger Hills area, and 3 major master planned communities on the Eastern edge of San Ramon in the Dougherty Valley: Gale Ranch, The Bridges, and Windemere. It is the ample supply of new neighborhoods and homes that makes San Ramon such a popular destination for home buyers. Luxury home developments, such as Norris Canyon Estates, provide exquisite estates for those searching for more exclusive housing options. Indeed, there are a variety of choices for virtually every price range.
Along with the high end office buildings of Bishop Ranch, San Ramon also boasts exceptional retail developments, with anchor tenants such as Target, Borders, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Lucky's to name a few. It is also home to a first class Marriott hotel located in Bishop Ranch.
There are numerous parks in the city, including the city center park with an event center and several sports fields. There are also miles of open space to enjoy in the hills surrounding San Ramon, as well as the Iron Horse Trail which runs from Pleasanton all the way into Walnut Creek.
Few cities in the Bay Area can offer the quality of schools, the large selection of housing options, and the access to recreation and jobs that San Ramon can. It is truly a community that has come into its own.
San Ramon Community Videos
Be sure to check out our San Ramon Video page for videos about the community of San Ramon.