6.6 out of 10

Monroe Park

37.4085683709744 -122.116684750408
Great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Singles
  • Retirees

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"An affordable convenience"

Framed by San Antonio Road, Alma Street, Arastradero Road and West El Camino Real, Monroe Park is a pleasant and affordable, middle-class Palo Alto community. The neighborhood is fairly small, spanning about 0.3 square miles of exclusively residential terrain. The district’s proximity to commercial zones and the prestigious Stanford University make for an attractive residential experience. And while a couple apartment buildings dot the district, the area gives you a variety of living options that get you more bang for your buck than other Palo Alto communities.

Monroe Park’s residential ambiance is a quiet and safe neighborhood nestled deep into the San Francisco peninsula. And comparative to other Palo Alto neighborhoods, the community enjoys a cheaper option for potential residents and young families. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the long, tree lined streets and quaint communal spaces. Properties are mixed between the attractive and the dull. They offer old style bungalows and 1950‘s California ranch homes on these lots while a couple waves of more modern, two-story homes have slowly crept into the neighborhood the past decade or so. These luxury homes are mostly concentrated towards Wilkie Way. If you’re looking for something cheaper, there are also a couple fresh-looking, recently built and multi-colored apartment facilities clumped around El Camino Real.

While situated along the southern fringe of Palo Alto, the area does offer a lot of amenities. For one, the the San Antonio Shopping Center sits along San Antonio Road. The shopping plaza is outfitted with a Walmart, Trader Joe’s, a 24-hour Fitness and a couple neighborhood eateries and chain restaraurants. Also, the San Antonio Caltrain station skirts the eastern end of the neighborhood and connects residents to both San Jose and San Francisco. There is also convenience to local bus lines that trek along the neighborhood’s border. But even with these option, traffic remains a problem, due in large part to the district’s department store haven. For young families, Monroe Park is served by the Los Altos school district rather than the more esteemed Palo Alto school district.
Pros
  • Good Apartments and Condos
  • Great Schools
  • Relatively Affordable by Palo Alto Standards
Cons
  • Mediocre Restaurant Options
  • No Real Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"As Affordable As Palo Alto Gets"

The Monroe Park neighborhood, just to the south of Charleston Meadow and Fairmeadow neighborhoods, is another neighborhood that we checked out this summer when we were looking for a 1 bedroom. The prices here were relatively moderate compared to some of the prices you come across in Palo Alto. That said a one-bedroom here still runs between $1500 and $1800. Two-bedrooms climb over $2000. That isn’t terrible comparatively, but given that this is still apartment living it still was a bit outside of our target range.

Some of the apartment complexes/condos on the western end of this neighborhood are pretty nice though. They are newer and set up on narrow street plans that influence cars to drive more slowly making the area far more pedestrian friendly. I imagine that if I had kids this would be reassuring.

By the way, if you are looking to buy one of the condos in the area, they will run you about $400K for the older ones (sometimes less if they are in foreclosure) and close to $1 million for the many that were built here in the last decade.

On the eastern half of the neighborhood you get a pretty typical residential area with mix of Eichler style homes and other styles. Monroe Park itself is not much of park at all though the area surrounding it is packed with evergreens giving it a bit of woodsy feel along those streets. Like most of the neighborhoods south of campus this is a really nice area for raising families.

This is pretty suburban area as well, with the San Antonio Mall just to the south providing you with most of the amenities you would expect from living in a suburban area. So chain restaurants like La Salsa abound and you have a smattering of sushi places. You can work out here at the 24-hour fitness and pretty much live a fairly typical middle class life.

One of the nice characteristics of the area and one of the reasons why we seriously considered paying the $400/month extra to rent an apartment here was the proximity of the San Antonio Cal Trains station, which is a real boon for commuters like my bf. In the end, we decided that the campus was about as far as it is for me now living in Menlo Park, so we went with the cheaper rent.
However, this probably would have been our choice had we not found our current place.

I suppose I would recommend Monroe Park to students and young couples in our situation.
Pros
  • Relatively Affordable by Palo Alto Standards
  • Great Schools
  • Good Apartments and Condos
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Mediocre Restaurant Options
  • No Real Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

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