The Willows has a distinctively small town ambiance, with the advantage of being close to the bustle of downtown Palo Alto and Facebook headquarters. Bordered by Willow Road, Highway 101 and East O’Keefe Street, Middlefield Road and San Francisquito Creek, the tree-lined neighborhood is centrally located and near shopping and schools.
Many homes in the neighborhood are original bungalows from the 1920s and 1930s, but, like much of the Peninsula, the mix of homes is changing, with significant remodels and new construction. Silicon Valley executives are drawn to the area because of the friendly feel. You often see children riding their bikes to school and neighbors chatting in their front yards. There are several community groups, including a Moms and Babes group, an earthquake preparedness committee, a Willows traffic group and several Yahoo groups.
Another thing that residents love about the neighborhood is the diversity. There is a mix of ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses, including college students. Long-term, elderly residents live next to younger families on every street, making for an eclectic energy. There are lots of gathering places in the Willows, including Cafe Zoe, displaying local artists’ work and featuring live music, and the Willows Market, a spot for wine and beer tasting, as well as other events. Depending on their address and grade, students may attend schools in either the Menlo Park City, Ravenswood City or Sequoia Union High school districts.