At the turn of the 20th century, Menlo Park was a summer home location for wealthy San Francisco professionals. Many large homes remain from that era with huge oak trees and other lush vegetation. Today Menlo Park is an upscale community, primarily residential, with several private prep schools, colleges, and an excellent public school system. A complete selection of shops and stores is available downtown along with many fine restaurants. Located at the southern-most end of San Mateo County, the population of 35,000, which includes West Menlo Park, enjoys one of the nation’s lowest crime rates. Although most of the homes are valued well above the Peninsula average, there are affordable areas in Menlo Park.