An integral part of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay area, Palo Alto thrives as a technology corridor and is named after a 1,000-year-old coastal redwood tree. Along with lively campus life and a charming downtown area filled with upscale eateries, Palo Alto boasts picturesque landscapes at Baylands Nature Preserve.
Things to do in Palo Alto
Visiting Stanford University is more than just a romp through college culture, with renowned attractions, such as the Rodin Sculpture Garden and the Cantor Arts Center. Venture to the top of Hoover Tower for expansive views of the foothills, Stanford campus and the Bay Area.
To find indie-style boutiques and trendy fashion outlets, stroll University Avenue through downtown Palo Alto. It’s also a good place to find international eateries and casual pubs. Pick up some picnic supplies and handcrafted art at the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market, then relax in the gardens at Menlo Park, which is also the headquarters for Facebook.
Families can spend hours at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, with its interactive science experiments and rare species, such as jungle bats and giant tortoises. A 20-minute drive south drops you at the Great America amusement park with free-fall rides, live music and a dedicated KidZville town. You can also view technological inventions at the Museum of American Heritage.
Ready for some fresh air? Hit the hiking paths at Stanford Dish trail, named for the radio telescope you’ll pass on the six-kilometre loop. To see the sparkling San Francisco Bay, hike the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Trail.
Getting around Palo Alto
The transportation network for Palo Alto is extensive, with buses, trains, shuttles, taxis and pedestrian pathways available. Rental cars can be picked up in town or at the San Francisco and San Jose international airports.