Menlo Park

Communities

Menlo Park Overview

Directly north of Stanford and Palo Alto lies Menlo Park. The name Menlo Park was derived from two of its first residents, homesick Irish immigrants who helped name the city after their native hometown of Menlough, Ireland. Menlo Park is a quiet city known for its tree-canopied streets, sprawling parks, and friendly residents.

Menlo Park is the US financial center for venture capital, with some of the world’s most powerful and active venture capitalists established throughout the area. Sand Hill Road, a nationally known Menlo Park thoroughfare, is renowned for its concentration of such companies. These firms’ investments have spawned some of the world’s most recognizable brands, such as Amazon, Citrix, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Facebook, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec.

Menlo Park real estate and properties are located in 12 neighborhoods, each with its own appeal and beauty. The variety found throughout the Menlo Park area allows for flexible living in a neighborhood that feels like a perfect fit.

For any questions, or a neighborhood-specific analysis, call a DeLeon Menlo Park specialist today.

Allied Arts & Downtown

The neighborhood of Allied Arts & Downtown, comprising of Downtown Menlo Park and Allied Arts, is sometimes known as Stanford Park, and presents the dichotomy of Menlo Park. While much of Menlo Park is quite suburban, Allied Arts & Downtown is a mix of tranquil, family-friendly neighborhoods with a convenient retail and commercial district.

Downtown Menlo Park is home to a diverse mix of restaurants, shops, and multifamily housing. Santa Cruz Avenue is the main artery of Downtown Menlo Park, and has a variety of commercial establishments, from upscale clothing, and homewares to modest mom-and-pop shops. These shops and restaurants draw in visitors from all over San Mateo County. Residential properties are found starting about two blocks on either side of Santa Cruz. People that live downtown have to deal with car and pedestrian traffic, particularly on weekends. The trade-off, however, is the abundance of convenient shopping and fine dining.

Just across Middle Avenue and right next to Downtown is Allied Arts, also called Stanford Park. Despite being just blocks from Downtown, Allied Arts has an old town, quiet-country feel accentuated by its tree canopy and creek-front location. Just crossing the lamp-topped entrance pillars on University Drive is like a trip back in time. Homes in this area are single-family residences, with newer,luxury properties sitting next to quaint cottages. Homes that are located away from the busy El Camino Real, such as those on Princeton and Yale, typically demand higher prices than those closer to El Camino Real.

Although quiet and suburban, modern amenities can hardly be more convenient to residents of Allied Arts. This area’s centerpiece, the Allied Arts Guild, is a beautiful and historic garden oasis, home to unique shops, artist studios, and the Blue Garden Café. A nearby pedestrian bridge across the San Francisquito Creek leads to Stanford Shopping Center, a premier open-air shopping and dining destination for many visitors in Northern California. Allied Arts is close to parks and shopping yet still retains its original charm and rich character with a quiet atmosphere. These attributes have caused Allied Arts to continually grow in popularity, and thus, it is likely this area will see above average appreciation in the coming years.

Boundaries: 

  • Valparaiso Avenue on the north
  • El Camino Real on the east
  • San Francisquito Creek on the south
  • Fremont Street, Johnson Street, and Arbor Drive on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Fremont Park, Santa Cruz Avenue and University Drive, Menlo Park
  • Nealon Park, 800 Middle Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Jack W. Lyle Park, Middle Avenue and Fremont Street, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Oak Knoll Elementary School (K-5), 1895 Oak Knoll Lane, Menlo Park (API 961)
  • Encinal Elementary School (K-5), 195 Encinal Avenue, Atherton (API 930)
  • Hillview Middle School (6-8), 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park (API 950)
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park (API 819)

Central Menlo

New construction and thoughtfully appointed mansions truly showcase the opulence of the Central Menlo neighborhood, where the most expensive homes in Menlo Park can be found. Despite the growing cost of housing in this area, well-to-do residents of this classy enclave tend to remain fairly loyal to the area, staying close even when they are moving up to larger homes. It is not unusual to have second generation families living blocks away from their parents.

Central Menlo Park consists primarily of well-maintained mid-century ranch homes interspersed with newly constructed, multi-story homes. Large lots are the norm, and typically reach about a quarter acre or more. Lots as spacious as a half-acre or larger can be found on Hermosa Way and Robert S. Drive, giving those streets the look and affluent feel of neighboring Atherton. Residents often enjoy a stroll along the walking trail that follows Bay Laurel Drive and the San Francisquito Creek, which serves as the southern border of this exclusive neighborhood.

This neighborhood has a strong sense of community, as families invariably mingle and socialize at various functions, local restaurants, or on the greens of Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club. Due to the area’s convenient proximity to nationally recognized Sand Hill Road, most of the area’s residents here are often involved with venture capital firms. Also, the area’s prime access to Interstate 280 and Highway 101 allows residents to easily commute to San Francisco and in nearby cities in the Silicon Valley.

Due to the area’s affluence, each household generally has more than two cars. However, safety in the midst of areas with heavier traffic is top priority for this neighborhood, as speed bumps, dips, and crossing guards at crucial intersections aid in making the roads as protected as possible.

Homes in Central Menlo are in great demand, driving prices higher than their original asking price. In 2014, many Central Menlo homes sold for over $2, million, and larger or newer homes often sold in excess of $4 million. Buyers looking for homes in this neighborhood should be prepared to pay more than the asking price and generally more than other Menlo Park neighborhoods. Additionally, these buyers will have to compete against other buyers with disposable income looking to build a brand new or extensively remodeled home.

Boundaries: 

  • Valparaiso Avenue on the north
  • Johnson Street, Fremont Street, and Arbor Road on the east
  • San Francisquito Creek on the south
  • Vine Street, Cloud Avenue, and North Lemon Avenue on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Tinker Park, Santa Cruz Avenue and Elder Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Jack W. Lyle Park, Middle Avenue and Fremont Avenue, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Oak Knoll Elementary School (K-5), 1895 Oak Knoll Lane, Menlo Park
  • Hillview Middle School (6-8), 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park

West Menlo (University Heights)

The neighborhood straddling Alameda de las Pulgas is alternately known as West Menlo or University Heights (also known on the MLS as County/Alameda). West Menlo is in an unincorporated area of Menlo Park, and residents rely on San Mateo County for services and local governance.

West Menlo is different from most of the other Menlo Park neighborhoods in that lot sizes are smaller, typically about 6,000 square feet, resulting in homes that are closer together. The residents’ children go to the preeminent Las Lomitas School District. Second, homes here are more affordable than those in Central Menlo. Third, the neighborhood has immediate access to shops, trails, highways, and offices.

Another lure of West Menlo is the building regulations, which are a little more lenient than Menlo Park’s guidelines. For instance, building a 2,700 square foot house with a two-car garage on a 6,000 square foot lot in this neighborhood is much more feasible than in other neighborhoods governed by the City of Menlo Park. As a result of this, West Menlo is more prone to more newly constructed homes.

Boundaries: 

  • Camino al Lago on the north
  • North Lemon Avenue on the east
  • Sand Hill Road on the south
  • Altschul Avenue on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

 Parks: 

  • Sharon Park, Sharon Park Drive and Lassen Drive, Menlo Park
  • Sharon Park Hills, Valparaiso Avenue and Altschul Avenue, Menlo Park

 Public Schools: 

  • Las Lomitas School (K-5), 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton
  • La Entrada School (6-8), 2200 Sharon Drive, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Sharon Heights & Stanford Hills

This neighborhood consists of both Sharon Heights and Stanford Hills. Residents of this area get the best of both worlds – privacy and accessibility.

Taking its name after the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, the Sharon Heights neighborhood offers residents open spaces and a sense of exclusivity. Tree-canopied streets elegantly crisscross through the verdant hills, adding to the picturesque view of the lush foliage and mature trees prominently featured throughout many properties. With Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club at its perimeter and the famed Sand Hill Road nearby, Sharon Heights has evolved over the years into an upscale neighborhood, as more lavish mansions replace ranchers. Though the area feels exclusive, it is but minutes from offices, shopping areas, and Interstate 280.

One slight downside, buyers considering purchasing in Sharon Heights should be aware of the soil and slope issues with some properties that may require repairs. Buyers who are willing to take on such projects may quickly earn equity, and there certainly are not issues with every home.

Stanford Hills lies at the cusp of Sand Hill Road and Alpine Road. It is a small, triangular-shaped pocket of 78 homes with only one way to get in and out. Even though it is flanked by these main thoroughfares, car traffic is kept to a minimum, and privacy is at a maximum. Some homes in this area have spectacular views of the bay and Stanford’s Hoover Tower. Stanford Hills has a very close-knit community that enjoys the regular gatherings set up by the social committee.

Though the commuting routes are easily accessible along Interstate 280, Sharon Heights also prides itself on the abundant open space preserves, which include hiking, biking, and equestrian trials. It should be noted that this neighborhood is located on land leased from Stanford, but properties are available for purchase by everyone.

Boundaries: 

  • Trinity Avenue and the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club on the north
  • Santa Cruz Avenue on the east
  • Sand Hill Road and San Francisquito Creek on the south
  • Interstate 280 on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Sharon Park, Sharon Park Drive and Lassen Drive, Menlo Park
  • Sharon Park Hills, Valparaiso Avenue and Altschul Avenue, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Las Lomitas School (K-5), 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton
  • La Entrada School (6-8), 2200 Sharon Drive, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Stanford Weekend Acres

Tucked between Alpine Road, the Stanford Golf Course, and San Francisquito Creek, Stanford Weekend Acres (also known as Alpine Road on the MLS) is a rural neighborhood made up of only 7 streets that loop around. This neighborhood is quite small and hidden off of Alpine Road, making it easily unnoticeable by passersby.

Homes in this neighborhood are predominately smaller and older, but there are also newer and larger residences as more families have moved in and expanded their homes. For the nature enthusiast, this neighborhood is filled with outdoor recreation.

The list of possible activities include wildlife watching and jogging or hiking the Stanford Dish loop (a scenic 4-mile loop on steep, paved trails with great views on Stanford University and the San Francisco Bay). The convenience of this neighborhood cannot be understated — only 1 minute to Interstate 280 and Sand Hill Road, and one can hardly get closer to Stanford University.

 Boundaries: 

  • Alpine Road and San Francisquito Creek between the Stanford Linear Accelerator and Stanford Golf Course

 Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 1975 Grant Road, Menlo Park

 Parks: 

  • Sharon Park, Sharon Park Drive and Lassen Drive, Menlo Park
  • Sharon Park Hills, Valparaiso Avenue and Altschul Avenue, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Las Lomitas School (K-5), 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, Atherton
  • La Entrada School (6-8), 2200 Sharon Drive, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Linfield Oaks

Linfield Oaks (also known as Middlefield to El Camino on the MLS) is a typical suburban area, replete with manicured lawns and broad California ranchers. This neighborhood is a planned community that was developed in the 1950s and still retains some of that mid-century sensibility.

Stretching across 80 acres, Linfield Oaks is a stand-alone community consisting mostly of single-family homes, apartments, and office buildings, all next to the large and family-friendly Burgess Park, which offers pools, tennis and basketball courts, baseball diamonds, playgrounds, and a recreation center. Linfield Oaks has several two story homes, as well as a few more modern abodes, but for the most part, even after undergoing varying degrees of renovation, homes in this neighborhood have stayed consistent with the area’s overall look. Apartments are low-level, garden-style buildings with generally long-term tenants and are located on the outer edges of the neighborhood. Along Middlefield Road are office campuses for various businesses, including the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Stanford Research Institute (SRI).

In 2007 and 2008, two new communities rose up in Linfield Oaks. Taylor Morrison developed Morgan Lane, a community of 56 Victorian-style single family homes which ended up selling in the low $1 million range. Summerhill Homes, on the other hand, developed Lane Woods, a community of 32 larger, Craftsman-style single family homes that were priced in the low to mid $1 million range, sold out in 2009.

Streets in Linfield Oaks are wide and winding with plenty of speed bumps, keeping traffic slow and to a minimum. Quiet and peaceful Willow Road bisects this neighborhood, but still allows residents an easy, straight shot to reach Highway 101. Downtown Palo Alto is a short jaunt over the two pedestrian bridges, which crossed the San Francisquito Creek and are located on Alma Street and Willow Place.

For a few of the Menlo Park neighborhoods, including Felton Gables and Linfield Oaks, the city council of Menlo Park has debated on the status of a high-speed railway system running from San Francisco to San Diego, and the potential effects it could have on these areas. A decision on how and where the railway may cut through certain areas has not yet been reached. To learn more, please visit: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/.

Boundaries: 

  • Encinal Avenue, Oak Grove Avenue, and Ravenswood Avenue on the north
  • Middlefield Road on the east
  • San Francisquito Creek on the south
  • Alma Street on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Burgess Park, Alma Street and Mielke Drive, Menlo Park

 Public Schools: 

  • Encinal Elementary School (K-5), 195 Encinal Avenue, Atherton
  • Hillview Middle School (6-8), 1100 Elder Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park

Felton Gables

Felton Gables is a small pocket of single family homes bound by Encinal Avenue, the railroad tracks, and Holbrook Palmer Park. Felton Gables was named after its founding resident, U.S. Senator Charles N. Felton. Senator Felton, a wealthy businessman, built his mansion on this tract in the late 19th century and hosted many luminaries of his day.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Senator Felton’s private estate was subdivided and developed into 115 homes. The homes had various architectural inspirations and remain largely preserved, mostly due to area-specific zoning restrictions, which have discouraged many tear-down efforts and have minimized over-expansion of current homes.

Narrow streets play host to tall, proud oaks which have made their home in the middle of certain roads. Lots are on the larger side, usually reaching about 10,000 square feet, which allows for a bit of a rural, quieter feel. Holbrook Palmer Park, although located across the Atherton border, adjoins this neighborhood, and residents have special access via a private gate for a nominal fee. This park offers 26 acres of grassy fields, historical buildings, tennis courts, and a baseball diamond.

Felton Gables does have two ongoing issues that buyers should be aware of when considering a home here. First, due to its proximity to Encinal Elementary, traffic along Encinal Avenue can be a gridlock, especially during school drop-off and pick-up times. This can make getting in and out of the neighborhood difficult and walking to and from school hazardous.

For a few of the Menlo Park neighborhoods, including Felton Gables and Linfield Oaks, the city council of Menlo Park has debated on the status of a high-speed railway system running from San Francisco to San Diego, and the potential effects it could have on these areas. A decision on how and where the railway may cut through certain areas has not yet been reached.

Homeowners in other parts of Felton Gables will still be affected by the high speed rail construction, but to a lesser degree and with little threat to their homeownership. To learn more, please visit: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/.

 Boundaries: 

  • Holbrook Palmer Park, on the north
  • Encinal Elementary School on the east
  • Encinal Avenue on the south
  • Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Avenue, Atherton
  • Burgess Park, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Encinal Elementary School (K to 5), 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton
  • Hillview Middle School (6 to 8), 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park

Menlo Oaks

The Menlo Oaks neighborhood has three distinct sub-areas: Menlo Oaks, South of Seminary, and Vintage Oaks.

Adjacent to the city of Atherton, the sub-area of Menlo Oaks is unincorporated and relies on San Mateo County for its services. Menlo Oaks has a rural and idyllic charm with its no sidewalks, few streetlamps, and narrow streets shaded by a thick canopy of mature oaks, eucalyptus, and evergreen trees. Adding to the bucolic ambience are the large lot sizes. The style of homes in this neighborhood range from original ranchers to newly built mansions. With the passing of each year, the majority of homeowners have been getting younger and wealthier, and thus the homes have mostly avoided the wrecking ball and have instead undergone major renovations. The largest presence in Menlo Oaks is the private Peninsula School, which offers a striking alternative with its progressive, parent-cooperative curriculum. The 80 year old academic institution has an iconic Victorian manor on campus.

Bordering on the western and southern sides of Menlo Oaks, is the sub-area, South of Seminary, which is named after St. Patrick’s Seminary & University, long regarded as the area’s focal point. Mature redwoods, oaks, and walnut trees shade the streets and provide a sense of tranquility to the neighborhood, while locals comfortably stroll along the curb-less sidewalks, which see little vehicular traffic. Most of the homes in South of Seminary are single-story and date back to the 1940s and 1950s. Scattered on the edges of South of Seminary are apartments and office buildings, offering flexible living in a bustling area.

Sandwiched between South of Seminary and Willow Road is a young development called Vintage Oaks. Developed in the mid-1990s and sitting on forty-six acres tightly surrounding the Seminary, this area was subdivided into 131 homes and 14 duet-townhouses, all on sidewalk lined streets. The houses range from 2,700 square feet to 3,600 square feet and are a mix of architectural styles, from English Tudor to Spanish Mission.

Boundaries: 

  • Ringwood Avenue on the north
  • Bay Road on the east
  • Willow Road on the south
  • Middlefield Road on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

 Parks: 

  • Seminary Oaks Park, 299 Santa Monica Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Willow Oaks Park, Willow Road and Coleman Avenue, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

Elementary school depends on the particular address:

  • Laurel Elementary School (K-3), 95 Edge Road, Atherton
  • Encinal Elementary School (K to 5), 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton
  • Hillview Middle School (6 to 8), 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park

Belle Haven (East of 101)

Located east of Interstate 101 is Belle Haven, a neighborhood originally established as affordable housing projects during the Great Depression.

Residential structures in Belle Haven are mostly single-family homes, with several apartments and duplexes in between. The homes are simple, 800 square feet to 1,500 square feet ranchers. Due to its origins as housing projects, home values have remained significantly lower here than in other Menlo Park neighborhoods. Often the price differential for a home in Belle Haven compared to similar homes near Downtown Menlo Park can be as substantial as 70 percent less.

The recent economic downturn that resulted from the financial market meltdown has drastically affected the housing market in Belle Haven. Half of the homes that sold in Belle Haven during 2010 were distressed properties (pre-foreclosure short sales or bank-owned sales). This caused prices to drop even lower resulting in many savvy investors buying these homes and turning them into rental properties. This proved to be a smart business venture with strong positive cash flow and promising potential for equity growth. With steady demand for rental units, reasonable rents, and fairly dependable tenants, these properties have turned into solid investments for investors with moderate risk tolerance.

Boundaries: 

  • Bayfront Expressway on the north and east
  • Willow Road on the south
  • Highway 101 on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Kelly Park, 100 Terminal Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Marketplace Park, Ivy Drive and Market Place, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Belle Haven Elementary School (K-8), 415 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

North Fair Oaks

Wedged between Redwood City, Atherton, and Menlo Park is the unincorporated area of Fair Oaks. Like other unincorporated areas in Menlo Park, Fair Oaks relies on the County of San Mateo for its public services and governance.

The residents in Fair Oaks are fairly independent and self-guided. Many belong to the Fair Oaks Beautification Association, an all-volunteer, non-profit community organization. The association members worked together to plant and care for 400 street trees, install traffic calming devices to make the streets safer, build and maintain a playground and open space area, organize an annual neighborhood wide garage sale event and social gatherings, and coordinate various community gardening projects.

There are two fairly distinct areas of North Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Acres and The Avenues. Fair Oaks Acres is a small pocket closest to the Atherton border made up of about four blocks of larger homes on large lots that have the feel of nearby Atherton. Typical homes in Fair Oaks Acres sell for around $1-1.5 million, although there are exceptions that approach the $2 million mark.

The rest of North Fair Oaks is commonly called The Avenues, due to the street names. Homes here are on the smaller side, and lots are usually around 5,000 square feet. The neighborhood consists of an eclectic mix of different styles. New or remodeled homes here can still sell for over $1 million, but most typical homes sell in the $800,000 – $900,000 range.

Boundaries: 

  • Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the north
  • Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the east
  • Marsh Road and Middlefield Road on the south
  • Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the west (along William Ave)

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Kelly Park, 100 Termina Avenue, Menlo Park
  • Marketplace Park, Ivy Drive and Market Place, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

  • Garfield Elementary School (K-8), 3600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Flood Park

Flood Park is made up of three sub-areas: Suburban Park, Flood Park, and Lorelei Manor. Despite the sub-areas, residents of Flood Park Triangle all share two common aspects — relative affordability and convenience.

Established during the post-World War II housing development boom, many of the homes date back to the 1940s and 1950s. Streets lined with oak and bay trees create a peaceful setting, minimizing noise from Interstate 101. In the middle of the neighborhood is Flood County Park, a twenty-one acre expanse with baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a petanque court, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and lots of lawn and trails. It is a popular place for residents of Flood Park and surrounding neighborhoods to get together for sports or just enjoy some open space. A short hop onto Bay Road takes residents onto Interstate 101, Silicon Valley’s prime artery.

Each of the three sub-areas of Flood Park Triangle have fairly similar housing and demographic compositions. Homes are typically three bedroom, one bath bungalows sitting on lots of approximately 6,000 square feet. In some homes, second bathrooms were added on to provide further functionality. Housing prices in this neighborhood are dictated by size and location. The distance between the home and Interstate 101 often plays a large role in the final sales price.

Boundaries: 

  • Marsh Road on the north
  • Highway 101 on the east
  • Willow Road on the south
  • Bay Road on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Park: 

  • Flood County Park, 215 Bay Road, Menlo Park

Public Schools: 

Elementary school depends on the particular address:

  • Laurel Elementary School (K-3), 95 Edge Road, Atherton
  • Encinal Elementary School (K to 5), 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton
  • Hillview Middle School (6 to 8), 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park

The Willows

The Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park is separated from Palo Alto by the San Francisquito Creek. Developed in the 1920s, this neighborhood is an eclectic mix of modest bungalows and grand Craftsmen.

Life in the Willows is fairly laid back. Despite being surrounded by the freeway and main thoroughfares, the neighborhood stays relatively quiet with mature trees which flank the meandering streets and soften noise than might come from the Interstate. A shopping strip on the corner of Menalto Avenue and Gilbert Avenue showcases its small-town charm with various resident-run businesses, and Bustling Downtown Palo Alto is only a short drive away as well, by way of the bridge at Chaucer Street, leading directly to University Avenue.

The Willows, with its humbler beginning, has been gentrified over the last several years. Many of the newer influx of homeowners are Silicon Valley employees with young families who want the excellent school district, the modest prices, and the easy access to Interstate 101 and the Dumbarton Bridge. These new homeowners have remodeled and expanded the original homes, inspiring longtime residents to do the same.

Many homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1920s and 1930s as bungalows, often with only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The rest were primarily built in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a bit larger. With new owners, many of these homes have since undergone remodels, or even complete reconstructions, maximizing the amount of square feet of living space. Lot sizes can vary widely, ranging from 5,000 square feet all the way up to half an acre.

Boundaries: 

  • Willow Road on the north
  • Highway 101 on the east
  • San Francisquito Creek on the south
  • Middlefield Road on the west

Library: 

  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park

Parks: 

  • Willow Oaks Park, Willow Road near Gilbert Avenue, Menlo Park

 Public Schools: 

Elementary school depends on the particular address:

  • Laurel Elementary School (K-3), 95 Edge Road, Atherton
  • Encinal Elementary School (K to 5), 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton
  • Hillview Middle School (6 to 8), 1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park
  • Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park

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