Menlo Park is ideally situated on the center of the San Francisco peninsula, benefitting from the bayside's near-perfect weather. In the late 1800s, the area's temperate climate drew many of San Francisco's elite to build lavish summer estates in town. During World War I, the area played host to the Army's Camp Fremont, and when World War II came to town, Menlo Park was home to Dibble Army Hospital. The city grew up along El Camino Real, and its downtown retail district centers around Santa Cruz Avenue. Today, Menlo Park is a suburban oasis of beautiful homes with a thriving business community that incorporates a number of leading high-tech companies.