Menlo Park, California

Capital of Venture Capital

Downtown Menlo Park
Downtown Menlo Park
Downtown Menlo Park
Downtown Menlo Park
Lyle Park
Lyle Park
Burgess Park
Burgess Park



Sunny Days: 255
73100 Affordability
95100 Schools
50100 Diversity
86100 Safety

Move fast and please, please, please don't break anything.
Mark Zuckerberg 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park

The Best Thing About Menlo Park?

Peace & Quiet

Menlo Park is an idyllic, leafy, suburban town. It’s filled with families (mostly) and a bazillion dogs all quietly going about their business on the peaceful, winding, tree-lined streets amidst the beautiful homes and parks throughout town. If you have been living in San Francisco or Los Angeles or New York or any chaotic city and craving a chill experience for you and your kiddos then Menlo Park is the ticket.

The Worst Thing About Menlo Park?


With peace and quiet can come a relatively snoozy lifestyle. Menlo Park has little to do socially and so locals caution those considering moving here to steer clear if they crave a lot of local fun. Next door Palo Alto has a substantial commercial district if you want to live mid-peninsula but be a short walk to restaurants and bars. Since Menlo Park is the home of the headquarters of Meta/Facebook there are always plenty of young professionals considering and then often rejecting Menlo Park in favor of Palo Alto or Mountain View or even more often, San Francisco.

Lifestyle of Menlo Park

As noted this is mostly a family-focused suburban town. There isn’t much to do although there are a growing number of restaurants along El Camino and Santa Cruz Ave. What people like about the Menlo Park lifestyle isn’t the nightlife, it’s the dozens of parks, with picnic areas, off-leash areas for doggos, playgrounds, tennis courts (pickleball on the rise!), skateboard areas and lots of general open space for the kiddos to play. It’s the excellent schools, great youth sports and tons extra-curricular programs that move people to love living here.

Plenty of people live here though, not because of what they can do in Menlo Park, but rather because it is incredibly convenient for getting to many of the local tech companies, particularly Facebook but also Google and any number of the other big players. It’s also just 30 minutes up to San Francisco or down to San Jose. There’s a Caltrain stop here if you want to skip driving and there’s a shuttle service running throughout the city to downtown Menlo and downtown Palo Alto.

Schools in Menlo Park

The Menlo Park School District covers K-8 for Menlo Park and neighboring Atherton. It’s considered an excellent school system and grades out at an A on All of the elementary schools in the city get A’s so you can’t really do wrong no matter where you live. The high school level is where Menlo Park really shines. The city is part of the Sequoia Union High School District and students are zoned for Menlo-Atherton High School. It grades out at an A+ on and is well regarded across the board for academics, teachers, college prep and extracurriculars. There are also plenty of privates in the area but with public schools this good most families stick to those.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Kids and Chill

If you can afford living here, you have kids, and you’re looking for an absolutely peaceful existence to raise them, then consider chilling in Menlo Park. It’s an escape from the madness (and some fun) of SF, San Jose and the rest of the bay.

Neighborhoods in Menlo Park

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Allied Arts & Downtown

Young Professionals/DINKs/Families/Retirees

The neighborhood of Allied Arts & Downtown, is sometimes referred to as Stanford Park, contains the only commercial districts in Menlo Park.

Downtown runs along El Camino and Santa Cruz Avenue and is the center of Menlo Park Dining. While there isn’t a ton to do here for eats and drinks what’s there is good. This includes: The Refuge, for upscale American fare, Menlo Tavern, for great pub food and drinks, Back A Yard, a cool Caribbean grill, among many others. Allied Arts runs just south of Downtown and is a cool complex of art studios, a restaurant and gardens. In addition to being a home for working artists it also has a shop for visitors interested in the art and is a space used by many for special events such as weddings, meetings, and luncheons.

There are a number of apartment buildings on El Camino and Santa Cruz, many newer developments like six50live that come with all the newest amenities and offer a super short walk to everything to do in the area. Just a block or two off of these two commercial centers the single-family housing starts. Plenty of stunning older homes along University Ave and newer modern builds in the Allied Arts District. These homes do not come cheap as the median home price here is $2.5m+.

Belle Haven

Young Families / Young Professionals/DINKs

If you’re looking for a more affordable entry point to Menlo Park then check out Belle Haven. Located east of 101, the neighborhood was originally established as an affordable housing project during the Great Depression.

The housing is primarily small single-family ranch style homes, with some apartments and condos as alternatives. The prices drop from a median $2.5m for Menlo Park overall to $1.3m in Belle Haven. Not cheap by any standard but if you can find one in original condition the prices can drop below a million.
The neighborhood is on the edge of the Facebook Building, depending on your pov that could be good or bad. More universally appreciated, there are several parks and playgrounds with Kelly Park the most notable. It’s over 8 acres of beautiful green outdoor space with playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer field with lights, full size track, tennis courts, pickleball courts (they’re everywhere!), outdoor exercise equipment and so much room for the kiddos to run.

Central Menlo


Just west of Downtown/Allied Arts is the Central Menlo neighborhood. A mix of new construction and traditional homes it is the most luxurious and expensive neighborhood in the city. The neighborhood is so beloved and even tight-knit it’s not unusual to have second generation families living blocks away from their parents.

The lots in Central are large and beautifully maintained and the streets are winding and tree-lined. It’s the neighborhood that most resembles the look and affluent feel of neighboring Atherton and prices run from low $4m up to $16m+. While there aren’t as many parks in the neighborhood as others residents often enjoy a walk or run along the trail that follows Bay Laurel Drive and the San Francisquito Creek, which serves as the southern border of the neighborhood.

Felton Gables


Felton Gables is a small pocket of single family homes bound by Encinal Avenue, the railroad tracks, and Holbrook Palmer Park on the east side of El Camino Real. Restrictions on development have contained the size of the homes and the lots are larger so there is a quieter, rural feel to the neighborhood.
Holbrook Palmer Park, just across the border in Atherton borders Felton Gables, and residents have special access via a private gate which gives them 26 acres of open green spaces for kiddos/doggos to play, along with tennis courts and basketball courts and playgrounds.
Prices in Felton Gables run $3m+, which is expensive relative to most cities but is not outrageous for Menlo Park. Locals love both the quieter vibe of the neighborhood and the fact a 26 acre park is essentially everyone’s backyard.

Sharon Heights & Stanford Hills


Sharon Heights and Stanford Hills are two of the most beautiful and bucolic neighborhoods in Menlo Park. Sharon Heights takes its name from the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, which gives the area a lush, private vibe. Stunning, magnificent trees cover the winding streets among the hills of the area. Originally a neighborhood of ranch homes, most have been replaced with mansions (many gated) but the golf club’s social offerings create a tighter community than might be expected.

Stanford Hills sits right next to Sharon Heights and is a small pocket of 78 homes with only one way in and out. Car traffic is kept to a minimum and privacy is greatly valued. Many of the homes in the Hills have stunning views of the bay and Stanford’s Hoover Tower. There is also a social committee that puts together regular social gatherings for the neighborhood so like Sharon Heights the community is tighter than you might expect.

The Willows


The Willows is an eclectic neighborhood(for Menlo Park) with an extremely tight community. There’s a pretty good mix of different ages, race/ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds who work both in tech and the other area industries. There are older ranch-style homes that were in many cases purchased in earlier generations at low prices that sit next to sleek modern homes priced at $4m+. That mix of starter and high-end homes results in a cool blend of different neighbors and a much more interesting social scene at the many community gatherings (of which there are many).

One of the great things about The Willows neighborhood is it runs along the Palo Alto border and is a walk from that city’s downtown. Living in an interesting neighborhood and being a short walk to the best commercial district on the peninsula is a great option and why The Willows is so popular.