Welcome to Menlo Park
A quiet, private, and elegant suburban community with a small-town feel and excellent schools
Menlo Park is elegant and inviting with a welcoming small-town feel, located in San Mateo County. As one of seven cities in Silicon Valley, Menlo Park shares the distinction of being home to many high-tech businesses like Facebook, SRI International, and Tyco Electronics. Most residents in the community own new, well-appointed, single-family homes. Not far from the well-manicured lawns and quiet tree-lined streets, residents can easily access I-280 and the 101 for a short drive to the big city excitement of San Francisco or San Jose.
Menlo Park is home to mostly young professionals and their families. Boasting beautiful views of San Francisco Bay, the town has a pleasant, charming, and friendly vibe. Downtown on Santa Cruz Avenue, you’ll find superb restaurants, shops, and boutiques. Along the shores of the bay, are gorgeous parks for hiking, biking, walking the dog, or just enjoying the generally mild and beautiful weather.
What to Love
- Inviting and welcoming with a small-town feel
- Home to many high-tech businesses
- Close to highways for an easy commute
- Plenty of local activities and amenities for families
Although Menlo Park is a densely populated suburban area, it maintains a cozy, close-knit, and low-key ambiance. Sometimes described as a “melting pot,” the area is home to a diverse and inclusive community, exemplified by robust cultural activities and great food. The area is also known for quirky local establishments that harken back to the earliest days in its history. The Guild Theater, established in 1926 and known for its unusual and old-fashioned decor, features independent and foreign films. Being an academically proud, competitive, and rigorous area, it’s not surprising that despite the disappearance of most small book shops around the country, Menlo Park still has two — Felman’s Books and Kepler’s Books.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Although Menlo Park is a relatively small metropolitan area, it offers the high quality and unique flair of dining establishments more often found in large cities. The Refuge, famous for Belgian beer and pastrami, and with a vibe closely resembling that of a New York deli, is a favorite place for locals to grab a delicious Reuben sandwich. The Galata Bistro is another splendid local establishment, offering fresh, made-to-order Mediterranean specialties. French, Mexican, Japanese, Caribbean, American — Menlo Park has food of just about any type you may be craving.
There’s plenty to do for everyone in Menlo Park. Families and singles alike enjoy the many parks and green spaces throughout the community. Some of the favorites for hiking, biking, and picnics are Flood Park with its huge oak and bay trees, and Bedwell Bayfront Park, which has an extensive trail system. For a unique and relaxing experience with an artistic flair, residents enjoy spending time at The Allied Arts Guild, a historic garden with art studios, a cafe, and shops, all in beautiful Spanish Colonial architecture. For teenagers and those looking for a more exciting experience, Burgess Park has a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art skateboard park.
For upscale shopping, the locals head to Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park. The area boasts boutiques, specialty shops, gift stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and fantastic restaurants. Larger shopping centers are found in nearby cities of Palo Alto and Redwood City.
Things to Do
For golfers, The Sharon Heights Country Club offers a “best in class” 18-hole course, two restaurants, tennis, a fitness center, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In addition to the many parks where residents enjoy walking, hiking, biking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area, Menlo Park has many other activities and amenities to offer. Stroll through The Allied Arts Guild gardens and stop in the cafe for lunch.
For something different and a bit edgier, go to Autovino, where you can experience “Art-on-Wheels,” a showcase of rare and beautiful vehicles in a museum-like setting. If you visit on the weekend, you may be able to participate in a Woodside Vineyards wine tasting event.
Menlo Park is the site for the San Mateo County Fair, summer concerts at Fremont Park, the annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace, and the Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts. The county fair is typically held in mid-June and offers rides, contests, exhibits, concerts, a kid’s area, a petting zoo, and lots of food and drinks.
From mid-June through late August, Fremont Park is the site for the summertime concert series. Guests enjoy music from nearly every genre while sitting on blankets and having picnics with their families. The annual Connoisseur's Marketplace, typically held in late July, is a two-day art and wine festival. Located on Santa Cruz Avenue, the show offers amazing art, demonstrations, gourmet cheeses, wine, beer, and entertainment.
Menlo Park is known for its focus on rigorous academics as evidenced by the exceptional schools in the area.