Welcome To

Palo Alto

The city of Palo Alto has grown considerably since its early beginnings.

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 University, 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, Protégé, Terun, Namaste, are just a few of downtown Palo Alto’s crowd-pleasers. And for coffee and french pastries, try Mademoiselle Colette.
Avid shoppers will find many terrific shopping opportunities throughout the city. For downtown shopping, visit the Stanford Shopping Center and Town & Country Village. The city also has two farmers’ markets, one downtown and the other on California Avenue, a promenade which is closed to car traffic.
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 and 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 Stanford Dish Walk. 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 Pearson-Arastradero Preserve and Foothills Preserve 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, and 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. Go Cardinals!


The 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.

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