'We honestly never thought we'd be so big. We were just a bunch of hippies who wanted to live on our own terms. It all turned out well, but I wouldn't advise young people to follow in our footsteps. There's a lot of uncertainty about future in music business and it's better not to carry that burden all your life.'
Jerry Garcia, the man and the voice behind Grateful Dead, one of the best bands of all time, was just a regular guy from Menlo Park before he became a rock legend. These heartfelt words from him allow us a brief glimpse into what it was that made him such a venerable man, humility and honesty.
That's the thing about Menlo Park, a small city located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It would be an understatement to call Menlo Park a suburb, and hence, the nomenclature of 'city' seems just about right.
Menlo Park of today holds an enormous sway in the digital world, albeit under the cover and behind the curtains. Some of the most powerful digital CEOs reside in Menlo Park, with many internet start-ups and established companies setting up their offices in nearby Bay Area towns and cities. Palo Alto, for example, is known worldwide as being the home of Facebook, and is less than a fifteen-minute drive from Menlo Park.
Another claim to fame that Menlo Park has is its level of literacy. It is one of the most literate cities in the country, with over 72% of its residents holding a variety of advanced and post-grad degrees. So, the semblance of sophistication that one might feel while visiting Menlo Park for the very first time can directly be attributed to this fact.
But that's nearly not all. Menlo Park also offers easy and quick access to a number of beaches and other tourist attraction, making it a perfect weekend gateaway for people living in the Bay Area.
Cheap Lodging Options in and Around Menlo Park
Since Menlo Park is a city full of wealthy and powerful people, it's rather difficult to come across truly cheap hotels and affordable lodging options. This is not to say that there no cheap hotels at all to be found here, it's just that they are too few and too far between.
A long, hard look at various hotels in Menlo Park has led us to believe that to find an affordable stay here, you will need to move away from the downtown area. There are many motels and private lodging houses around the outskirts of the city. However, these still turn out to be a lot more expensive than what your idea of a budget hotel might entail.
Park Grove Motel and Lewis Signature Inn are two such options. These seem to fly a little low under the radar, and that's probably why, the prices of around $100 per night are justified.
Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Menlo Park
This is where the city's hospitality industry really turns up in style. Some of the best resorts in the State of California can be found in Menlo Park, and when we say that, there is not an ounce of exaggeration being employed by us.
Majestic and intimidating buildings, tastefully decorated hallways, gleefully designed suites, a multitude of luxury amenities being just a call away and a host of other custom benefits mean that staying at one of these luxury Menlo Park hotels is nothing short of a heavenly experience!
Rosewood Sand Hill tops this segment, and how! With prices starting from $500 per night, you would have to think more than twice before checking in here. But at the end of your stay, we are pretty confident that you would be so content that you will not begrudge even a dollar you spend here!
Stanford Park Hotel is a similar, but a touch less expensive, property that can allow you to make the most of your stay in Menlo Park, assisted by in-house pools, custom chefs assigned just to you and spas!
Best Western Plus Riviera should also be put into the fray of things, just to be sure because we all are very much in the know of how luxurious Best Western Plus properties tend to be!
Holiday Rentals and Independent Hotels in Menlo Park
This category has some good options for tourists, but nothing too spectacular. The bottom line of 'too pricey' prevails here, with average nightly tariffs in case of a holiday home going well past $150 mark.
But it's not all that bad. These options can be quite cost effective if you are planning on making an extended stay here. It would be even better if you are travelling with a group of friends/family so that you can split the tariffs, making it more manageable.
In Stanford suburb and near Facebook HQ, a great deal of holiday rentals can be found easily. Independent and boutique hotels in Menlo Park also seem to be concentrated around these areas.
Things to Do/See in Menlo Park
The most famous landmark in the region is the Facebook HQ. It is a sprawling campus occupying dozens of acres and state of the art smart buildings. With over 8,000 full time employees, it also happens to be the single largest employer in the region. A number of Facebook's iconic features such as Timeline and Like Button are sculpted in large sizes right in the front premises of the HQ.
Many beaches in the Bay Area are easily accessible from Menlo Park, as well. Pacific hiking trails are not too far away, either.
Best Time to Visit Menlo Park
There's no set time that can be called the best time in this regard. However, to avoid usual rush of tourists in high summer, it's a good idea to visit Menlo Park in late summer or the start of fall (July/August).
This is when Menlo Park hotels bring their tariffs down a notch, giving enough reasons for tourists to come along and enjoy the exquisite weather of Southern California!