At the turn of the 20th century, Menlo Park was a summer home location for wealthy San Francisco professionals. It has a population of approx. 34,000. Many large homes remain from that era with huge oak trees and other lush vegetation. Today Menlo Park is an upscale community, primarily residential, with a number of private prep schools, colleges, and an excellent public school system.
Menlo Park is bordered by Atherton to the north, San Francisco Bay to the east, and Highway 280 to the west. San Francisquito Creek establishes the southern boundary, with the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University just beyond.
Thought to be one of the most educated cities in the United States, Menlo Park is home to a myriad of well-known companies including Facebook, Intuit, SRI International, and the many venture capital and private equity firms lining Sand Hill Road.
Given its thriving economy and property values, it's no surprise that Menlo's school system is top-notch. For grades kindergarten through eight, central Menlo Park is served by the Menlo Park City School District. The Las Lomitas Elementary School District encompasses the Sharon Heights and Stanford Hills neighborhoods. The Belle Haven neighborhood feeds into the Ravenswood City School District, while the Fair Oaks neighborhood is served by the Redwood City School District. Menlo Park is part of the Sequoia Union High School District, with all the city falling within the boundaries of Menlo-Atherton High School.
Private schools include St. Raymond Catholic School (JK-8), Nativity Catholic School (JK-8), Peninsula School (Preschool-8), Trinity Episcopal School (Preschool-5), and Alto International School, formerly known as German-American International School (PreK-12). Saint Patrick's Seminary and a branch of the Fuller Theological Seminary are higher education institutions within the city's boundaries. Menlo Park hosts two branches of the Peninsula Library System, the city center Main Branch and the Belle Haven branch.
Burgess Park is home to the Civic Center, with city council offices, a police station, library, sports fields, picnic areas, and a community pool. The Arrillaga Family Gymnasium offers a central spot for the many educational and recreational resources offered by the city. Several other parks are scattered throughout Menlo Park, and the active Parks and Recreation Department keeps these destinations busy with hundreds of classes, camps, and sports leagues whose mission is to further Menlo Park's dynamic quality of life. Rounding out the city's recreational spaces, two open space preserves, Bedwell Bayfront Park and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge, offer scenic destinations to appreciate the Bay Area's splendid natural environment.
Bustling Santa Cruz Avenue is the heart of the city. This family-friendly downtown thoroughfare is lined with trendy restaurants and interior design shops, as well as the ever-popular Draeger's and Trader Joe's Markets. Downtown visitors are sure to run into a neighbor or a friend from school at favorite coffee houses including Peet's, Starbucks, Coffee Bar, and Café Borrone.
Menlo's distinctive neighborhoods support a strong sense of community as well. Between Middlefield Road and Highway 101 lie the Willows, Suburban Park, Lorelei Manor, Flood Triangle, Vintage Oaks, and South of Seminary. Felton Gables, Linfield Oaks, and Park Forest are positioned between Middlefield Road and El Camino Real. Downtown Menlo, Central Menlo, and Allied Arts are between El Camino Real and Alameda de las Pulgas, while Sharon Heights is nestled in the lower foothills. Unincorporated neighborhoods include Menlo Oaks and North Fair Oaks near Bayshore, as well as University Heights, Stanford Weekend Acres, and Stanford Hills closer to Highway 280. Each boasting its own unique holiday traditions, neighborhood organizations, and aesthetic nuances, these inviting enclaves emanate a sense of belonging that is unique to Menlo Park.