Welcome to Menlo Park
Small town, urban vibe, rural sensibilities
North of Palo Alto, extending across the midpeninsula to Interstate 280, is the city of Menlo Park. This elegant community is now best known as the headquarters of Facebook and Sand Hill VC corridor. Its beginnings, however, emerged from more humble roots.
The area originally was part of the Rancho de las Pulgas. It later became one of the last stops along the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, which was eventually purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad. This iconic station is a
California Historical Landmark
and is the oldest passenger train station in the state. The city was named by two Irish immigrants who purchased a plot of land in the area. They named it after their native village in Ireland, Mionloch. Menlo is the anglicized name of Mionloch, which means “small lake.”
Over time, the city developed slowly, with a population growth of only 10,000 new residents since the 1960s. This has helped Menlo Park cultivate a standard of living akin to a stately small town. Here you can find a charming downtown and many quiet, perse neighborhoods.
What to Love
- Wonderful blend of sophistication and ease
- The perfect small-city downtown
- Diverse food scene with an excellent mix of coffee shops
People & Lifestyle
There are three distinctive zones in Menlo Park’s unique layout. The northeastern section encompasses Facebook headquarters (Mark Zuckerberg actually created the social media platform here) and the 160-acre Bedwell Bayfront Park. The central region is an eclectic mix of urban, suburban, and business spaces. To the southwest is the residential outpost of Sharon Heights.
There is a healthy blend of professionals and young families that appreciate the area’s suburban conveniences infused with a light urban flavor. It has a classic small-town feel in the heart of the Bay Area. Conveniently located next to Stanford University and adjacent to Atherton, Menlo Park’s location is unparalleled.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Menlo Park has a little bit of everything spread throughout the city’s 17 square miles.
Downtown Menlo Park
offers a lot of persity to the area’s food and boutique shopping scenes. Popular dining fare includes Mexican at
Cafe Del Sol
, Italian at
, and Japanese at
Koma Sushi Restaurant
There is plenty to discover in the city’s various retail shops, such as Cheeky Monkey Toys, an independent toy store, a spice shop, and an upscale pet store. This delightful downtown offers rest and relaxation with a diverse array of coffee shops. The family owned
Draeger's Grocery Store
, which anchors the western part of the city, is a high end gourmet stop for all of your needs.
Venturing out, the
is the perfect late-night sports bar. If you are looking for an upscale ambiance, try the New American cuisine at
across the way in West Menlo Park.
Things to Do
A handful of parks and outdoor spaces dot the Menlo Park landscape. The biggest is the
Bedwell Bayfront Park
, a vast open grassland along San Francisco Bay. It has a number of hiking trails and is surrounded by a national wildlife refuge. Perhaps even more relaxing is Sharon Park, located on the other side of town, with its peaceful pond setting. Golf enthusiasts should check out the
Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club
St. Patrick’s Seminary
is a moving experience, and the Menlo Park Public Library is open to the public during select hours. For more culture, visit the
Allied Arts Guild
, which celebrates artists of the past and present.
Several districts serve Menlo Park:
Menlo Park City School District
Las Lomitas Elementary School District
Sequoia Union High School District