We also help 15neighbors in this community (named gables end) to refinance. We definitely know this area very well. We offer the lowest wholesale rate for them. most of them: 5arm rate is 2.625, no point no fee. some of them choose 30fix, rate is 3.75(for condo, 3.5for single family home), no point no fee.
You could contact me for more details about this area and loan support.
The other agents have answered the shopping and safety question so I will go for schools. The local schools include Monte Loma which is very popular and has a close community feel. You can go to http://www.greatschools.net for the scores, but I can tell you parents and kids love this school. High school is Los Altos High which again is very popular. You should always check with the local districts to make sure there are no changes to the boundaries. K-8 http://mvwsd.org/ High School: http://www.mvla.net/Pages/default.aspx
I love Gables End Homes. They have wonderful floor plans and the upgrades are good quality.
For safety, I would always recommend to go walk the neighborhood at different times and see how you feel about it. Also, talk to neighbors and ask them what they think.
For schools, my website has several links for you to look up including the API, if that is your focus for schools.
For stuff to do it looks like Downtown is the place to go. Downtown Mountain View (Castro) is a great place to hang out. There is a wonderful selection of food and shopping. There are events, such a wine festivals and Farmer's Market.