Select Page

Photo of Downtown Menlo Park - image courtesy of Christie's International Real Estate (used by permission)Looking for a “close in” Silicon Valley community not to far from Palo Alto and the Peninsula? Menlo Park should make the short list, as it is home to many of the best elements that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer and enjoys a big diversity of nearby businesses, restaurants, shops, and attractions.

Menlo Park – always popular

It’s fair to say that Menlo Park has always been popular. In the early 1900s, this was the place to own a summer home for well to do San Franciscans (who were escaping the bitterly cold summers which Mark Twain referenced). Who could blame them for finding refuge here, with its mild climate year round?

While many of these beautiful estates and old oaks remain, Menlo Park is now full of homes of every shape and size.  It is an upscale community with excellent public and private schools, colleges, and one of the nation’s lowest crime rates.

More than mild weather draws residents, though. From hilly terrain to the flatlands closer to the bay, this is a scenic community with no shortage of trees and views. Some areas feature views of the hills, and some hilly areas boast vistas of the San Francisco Bay. Others can catch sight of the pretty downtown area.

A big plus of Menlo Park living is the easy commute access with many employment centers nearby, including tech, biotech, venture capital, hospital, and university, among others. Going further? Several freeways and bridges are nearby, but that’s not the only option. Cal Train has a stop right in town, making trips either to San Francisco or to San Jose (and points in between) pretty uncomplicated.

With so much urban sprawl in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area generally, it’s refreshing to find a city with a downtown area. This, too, brings people in to visit or to make it home.

Downtown area

The city does enjoy eateries, shops, and stores of every kind along and near El Camino Real and Santa Cruz Avenue, known as the downtown area. It’s a great place to browse, window shop, and grab a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage and people watch, too.

The stained glass boxes alone are worth the visit if you don’t live there yourself!  These lovely works of art depict important people and things in California’s history. There are quite a number of them along Santa Cruz Avenue. I don’t know of any other cities or towns with this kind of beautiful public art on display.

Menlo Park collage in downtown area

Real estate

Menlo Park real estate prices are well above the Peninsula average, there are some more affordable areas in Menlo Park.  For instance, there are senior condos,  some apartments, and of course larger estate style properties in the mix.

Homes close to downtown or with some sort of view or extra convenience will sell for more than those areas which are more remote, generally.

Generally speaking, though, this is one of the less affordable places in which to buy a home or rent one.

Each month, Clair and I provide the Real Estate Report, which covers San Mateo County (and its cities and towns separately), Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County.  The interactive Re Report for Menlo Park can be found HERE. From the same site you can also pull the PDF, which includes data tables with city by city info in each county. Check out how Menlo Park compares to other nearby areas in San Mateo County.

Single Family homes in SMC, pricing for July 2023:


July 2023 real estate data by city, including Menlo Park, California


Pricing info for townhouses and condominiums in San Mateo County:


SMC Condo and TH real estate data by city


The live Altos Research chart below shows the up-to-date median list price of homes for sale – this will give you an idea of what a house in Menlo Park might cost.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Menlo Park has been home to Sunset Magazine for decades.  It is sad news that Sunset is pulling up roots and moving to Oakland.  We loved it while it was here.


Homes for sale in Menlo Park


Interested in buying or selling property in Menlo Park? We sell there, too, and would be delighted to chat with you about your real estate goals. As a first point of contact, please email us at We look forward to connecting!