Welcome to Palo Alto
Vibrant community centered around technology, education, and the arts
Earning its name from a single coastal redwood tree, El Palo Alto, the city of Palo Alto has grown considerably since its early beginnings. In the 1890s, the city existed to support the fledgling
, Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto's major employer and is well known on the West Coast for innovation and excellent care. Today, Palo Alto is home to not only the world-renowned university, but a bevy of tech companies, including HP Inc., Tesla, and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
As you might expect from a large collection of neighborhoods, the 36 areas that form Palo Alto’s residential section are incredibly diverse, each with a distinct personality. Much of the city is a masterclass in classic mid-century modern, but California Craftsman and Mediterranean Revival homes are plentiful. There are enough varied architectural styles to satisfy every taste.
What to Love
- Vibrant city life with two charming and spirited downtowns: University Avenue and California Avenue
- Abundance of outdoor pursuits, parks, and beloved community centers
- Rich and diverse culture
- Unique and welcoming neighborhoods
Lively Central Hub of Silicon Valley
The city of Palo Alto in Santa Clara County offers something for everyone: young families looking to raise their children close to exceptional educational opportunities, professionals angling to be near the center of the tech universe, and anyone else who takes the live-work-play mantra seriously and wants to be close to all three.
Culture is an important aspect of day-to-day life in Palo Alto. The resources afforded by a major university ensure that the highly educated population carries a deep appreciation for the arts. Enlightened eyes can admire several sculpture gardens while walking the Stanford campus, and the
Cantor Arts Center
is a must-see for art aficionados.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
University Avenue is the city's central strip of activity which bustles day and night. The eclectic restaurant scene is home to the "wildly popular Evvia Estiatorio", the hip Bird Dog and the beloved Osteria among a few. Many also enjoy the quieter hub of California Avenue, with a bevy of valued restaurants.
Palo Alto Sol
, Terun, and
Antonio’s Nut House
are just a few of downtown Palo Alto’s crowd-pleasers.
Avid shoppers will find many terrific shopping opportunities throughout the city. For downtown shopping, visit the
Stanford Shopping Center
Town & Country Village
. The city also has two farmers’ markets, one downtown and the other on California Avenue.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the best entertainment happens on the Stanford campus, notably at the
Bing Concert Hall
. There are four different recreation facilities, including the
Lucie Stern Community Center
Mitchell Park Community Center
. Community and children’s theater is readily available, whether you want to be part of the show or sit back and watch.
Things to Do
The word boredom does not exist in Palo Alto. Runners will enjoy the
Baylands Nature Preserve
is a popular place for leisure and family-centered walks. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking, biking, and equestrian trails of the
and Black Mountain.
Other beautiful natural areas include
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
, which contains a rose garden, cutting garden, formal herb garden, and more. The historic
Bowling Green Park
includes space for lawn bowling as well as a clubhouse. Various lawn bowling activities and tournaments have been going on here since 1933.
Golfers will find satisfying challenges at one of three courses,
Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club
Baylands Golf Links
Stanford Golf Course
. Of course, with Stanford University in your backyard comes the opportunity to witness arguably the most successful athletic department in the history of college sports.
Palo Alto Unified School District
, one of the highest-rated public districts in California, serves the city’s youth. Stanford University also boasts numerous community partnerships with local and nearby schools.