4.5 out of 10

The Willows

37.4587472099173 -122.152990971036
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Shopping Options
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Students
  • Singles
  • Retirees


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Schools 3/5

"Unremarkable, underwhelming community"

There is nothing too glamorous about The Willows. To put it lightly, the neighborhood is a model of transparency. It is densely populated, almost exclusively residential and saturated with unremarkable homes and a mixed bag of residential aesthetics. According to the 2010 US Census, the total population exceeds 7,000 and is mixed between a white and hispanic community. They live in a community spanning about 0.9 square miles of residential terrain, big for Menlo Park.

The Willows’ residential terrain is firmly gripped in middle-class suburban anonymity. The area has a high concentration of garden-variety homes, mildly aesthetic properties and extremely leafy/bushy communal quarters. For the perspective resident, there is a very divergent style of homes plotted throughout the district for your liking. You also have your selection of mostly single story homes (although there are a few two-story homes peppering the neighborhood). For numbers sake, the bulk of homes are priced between $500,000 to $750,000, a reasonable value considering the usual lofty prices you find in Menlo Park. Those who can afford it usually rake in a typical $95,000/year (as a household).

Many of its down qualities are closely tied to its proximity to sketchy East Palo Alto. The area lies just adjacent to the city and is a hotbed for crime and dangerous activity. However, The Willows is convenient for commuters who have to travel up and down US Route 101 or work for Stanford University. And its most intriguing characteristic is that its only a 5-10 minute drive from the vast San Francisco Bay.
  • Close to Palo Alto Downtown
  • Some Lower Rents
  • Too Close to East Palo Alto
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Bad School, Old Houses"

A lot of people don’t really like the eastern portion of Menlo Park because it borders East Palo Alto, which most people basically consider “gangland.” There are gangs in EPA, but I’m not sure that is enough reason to throw out all of the eastern neighborhoods in Menlo Park.

Unfortunately, in this case, the fears do seem somewhat justified. One sign of this is that the local elementary school, Willow
Oaks is one of the worst in all of the Peninsula. It is basically a failing school by any objective standard.

To a certain extent these negatives do get reflected by lower rent prices. You can, for example, find a 2-bedroom here for $1500/month. That said, this is not completely consistent throughout the neighborhood, with some rents going as high as $4000
for a 2-bedroom.

There are also a lot of boxy 1970’s style apartments here.

That said, I would not really recommend this neighborhood unless you are trying to save on rent. The proximity of Highway 101 and the unimpressive houses don’t really do much for me.
  • Some Lower Rents
  • Big Houses
  • Close to Palo Alto Downtown
  • Lots of Apartments
  • Too Close to East Palo Alto
  • Terrible Elementary School
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Students

Unranked Streets in The Willows

Euclid Ave

"Crowded Shopping Plaza"
37.4598878912438 -122.144728357891

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