The Menlo Oaks neighborhood has three distinct sub-areas: Menlo Oaks, South of Seminary, and Vintage Oaks.
Adjacent to the town 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 oak, eucalyptus, and evergreen trees. Adding to the bucolic ambiance 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.