6.3 out of 10

Pine Forest

37.4585841133773 -122.190512781506
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Safe & Sound
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • LGBT+
  • Trendy & Stylish


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5

"Trees and trains"

Pine Forest isn’t really a neighborhood, its just a block. Well, maybe two. It specifically encompasses Encinal Avenue and Stone Pine Lane. For the perspective resident, the area is heavily wooded and adjacent to Menlo College (a four-year college specializing in business and connecting students to Silicon Valley).

For the most part, the district is saturated with beige, modern-looking apartment complexes and apartment homes mostly covered by trees. However, the Caltrain skirts the northern edge of the neighborhood, making for loud noises every half hour or so. The area hosts a private parking lot which is nestled within the crevices of the communal living space. So maybe in a way, it is its own little middle-class neighborhood.

There is also a big, two-story, unmarked office building and an attached employee parking lot that lines most of the block. But other than that, you’re not missing much. Its biggest perk is that the area is within walking distance to downtown Menlo Park.
  • Nice Condos
  • Noisy Train Tracks
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Shrubs, Pines and Trains"

This is really not so much a neighborhood, as it is just one block. There is a big office building there that is in that sort of Mission style that is common over on campus—I’m not really sure what businesses are inside.

The only time I actually come here is to go to Roger Reynold’s Nursery and Carriage shop when I want to get some kind of plants. Since we live in an apartment, this is usually a house warming gift for one of our friends moving into a house—that kind of thing. There is a really good selection and the staff here is really helpful when you are looking for something.

On the opposite side of the block along Stone Pine Lane there is a long row of three story condos, which are very boxy looking but somehow very stylish. You probably know the kind, with first story garages and really narrow balconies on the second stories and lots of windows on the third where the bedrooms are mostly located. They are not all in the same style though it is pretty obvious they were all put up as a group. They actually kind of remind me of the caves the Pueblo Indians lived in, because the pattern looks somewhat random with some balconies jutting further out than the others. It is actually pretty stylish in a sort of modernist kind of way.

Stone Pine Lane is also a really attractive street with a center meridian where you get a row of pine trees and 45 degree angled parking spaces. The condos stare across at a complimentary set of condos on the opposite end but with enough space in between where this does not feel at all claustrophobic.

This is a pretty good spot to live as well. You are just six blocks from the Atherton Caltrain, and you have the bus stops on El Camino so you can easily commute up to SF, down to San Jose or just to campus without a hitch. You don’t really need a car, though, this being California everyone has one.

Overall, a perfect spot for singles or young couples looking for a good launching pad for their far flung jobs.

The only drawback of this neighborhood/block is that the railroad tracks that carry the Caltrains commuters is right on the eastern end, so if you are a sound sleeper or get bothered by that kind of noise, this area might not work for you. I suppose the plentiful trees might absorb a lot of the noise and that they probably have those double reinforced window panes, but if you are sensitive to noise these might not be of much help.
  • Nice Condos
  • Good Nursery
  • Great Public Transportation
  • Noisy Train Tracks
  • Expensive
  • Busy Adjacent Street (El Camino)
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • LGBT+
  • Trendy & Stylish

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