A Maximus Guide to Menlo Park, California

Resting on a peninsula just north of Palo Alto is Menlo Park: a city of small-town appeal and big-city opportunities. At the heart of Silicon Valley, this city is home to Maximus’ very own Sharon Green, a sustainable, modern and fully renovated apartment community situated amid 16 acres of natural parkland.

Home to the corporate headquarters of Facebook and the founding grounds of Google, Menlo Park stands as one of the most well-educated cities in the country. However, past all the Silicon Valley buzz, what you’ll find here in Menlo Park is a suburban charm rife with beautiful outdoor scenery, beloved independent stores and mouth-watering restaurants. 

Although San Francisco is just half an hour away for a day trip, there’s plenty of adventure to be found in the local scene. When it comes to dining, the Bay has been home to countless legendary chefs — lucky for Menlo Park, Jesse Cool’s historic California-minded restaurant Flea St. Cafe is West Menlo Park’s destination for farm-to-table fare. Sustainably farmed and sourced ingredients are the heart and soul of delectable dishes from braised short ribs to a whole vegetarian tasting set meal. 

Every great city needs its staple coffee shops for the countless day-to-day coffee runs. If you’re looking to sit down for a bit, try Cafe Zoë — The Willows’ favorite independent community coffee shop. If you’re searching for the best brews that a cult coffee drinker can buy, the sleek and modern Coffeebar has two locations in town, offering the whole suite of Italian brews and neo brews such as their keto coffee. 

Outside of dining, Menlo is also home to the beloved Allied Arts Guild. This collection of gardens, studios and shops has been both a popular destination for strolls with the family and a coveted venue for wedding receptions. Among breathtaking Spanish architecture and bountiful gardens, there are plenty of opportunities to visit art studios, peruse artisan craft shops and stop for a bite at the beautiful Wisteria Cafe.

Photo: Allied Arts Guild

For those craving to get even closer to nature in the midst of the hustle and bustle of urban life, look no further than Bedwell Bayfront Park and Ravenswood Preserve. Countless marshland trails in these areas are perfect for hiking and cycling, while the vast open areas and observation decks are great for kite-flying and birdwatching. 

Once the sun goes down and you’re itching for a bit of nightlife, British Bankers Club is the rooftop spot for atmosphere and cocktails. For those seeking a more casual spot for drinks after work though, The Refuge is your destination gastropub for thick pastramis and Belgian brews.

Photo: British Bankers Club via Instagram

While it’s not the loudest or flashiest city in the Bay, Menlo Park is the area’s quiet gem that’s just a stone’s throw away from the larger crowds. When it comes to the forward-looking yet classically suburban California lifestyle, there’s no place like Menlo Park.