Welcome to Palo Alto
The sophisticated and energetic birthplace of Silicon Valley
Nestled in the southeastern part of the San Francisco Peninsula and boarded on the west by the Skyline Ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Palo Alto, California, is home to majestic scenery, an affluent and educated population, and is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Its proximity to the metropolis cities of San Francisco and San Jose allows Palo Alto to serve as an upscale mecca for businesses and residential areas.
The bustling city of nearly 70,000 residents was named for the towering, 1,000-year-old El Palo Alto redwood tree—palo alto roughly translating to “tall stick”—and had its early beginnings around 100 years ago when Spanish explorers settled the area. Stanford University was established here in 1885, and the town is now a vibrant mixture of progressive collegiate culture, innovative technological development, historic preservation, business opportunity, and beautiful residential areas.
From inspiring Spanish Colonial Revival and Prairie style homes to Bay Area Tradition houses and modern homes, Palo Alto is a place where the residential architecture is just as diverse as its city’s culture. Here, you can find majestic single-family homes perched amongst the idyllic hills, lavish condominiums and apartments near the heart of downtown, and every style of home in-between.
What to Love
People & Lifestyle
Palo Alto has a unique, sophisticated, and lively character that makes it unlike any other city in the world. Those who live here can enjoy the ever-beating pulse of vitality that the town offers, as well as its dedication to blending tradition with innovation. It serves as the headquarters for giants such as Tesla, Hewlett-Packard, Skype, and several others.
Ideal for families or individuals, Palo Alto is the place to be for anyone in the business industry, or even simply for those who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. There’s never a shortage of things to do and see here, and the city’s well-planned infrastructure means that there are ample provisions made so that every resident can experience the ease of accessibility.
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
Palo Alto is the absolute heaven to shop in, and its central retail attraction is the famous, open-air Stanford Shopping Center
. Not only does the center have over 140 stores—such as Bloomingdale’s, Coach, Gap, and Louis Vuitton—it also boasts restaurants and cafes, local artwork on display, and award-winning gardens.
Visit the original Apple Store for all of your technology needs, or head to the lively downtown area to shop upscale boutiques and mom-and-pop style retail venues. Romi Boutique
keeps a large stock of unique designer clothes and accessories, and at Letter Perfect
, all of your stationery and invitation needs can be easily met.
Dining in Palo Alto is a rich and varied experience, and the local restaurants embrace cuisine from all cultures. At restaurants such as Il Fornaio
and Osteria Toscana
, gourmet Italian fare reigns king, and both have menus abundant with delicious options. Tamarine
is the go-to spot for authentic Vietnamese food, and at Sundance The Steak House
, you’ll want to be sure to try the delectable, slow-roasted prime rib.
Things to Do
The activities, festivals, and recreational facilities in Palo Alto are replete with fun, engaging, and culturally enriching opportunities. Those who enjoy the arts can venture to the beloved Allied Arts Guild
. A landmark of the peninsula, the building itself is home to beautiful gardens and inspiring architecture and serves as a central location where local craftsmen and artists of all styles work, produce, and sell their incredible creations.
For an even deeper, immersive art experience, residents and visitors can attend the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
, the yearly event that draws over 100,000 visitors to its colorful street vendors and artist displays. The town also holds an annual fall event known as The Harvest Festival, which has music, food, specialized boutiques, and massive rummage sales.
Favor the outdoors? Set among the stunning scenery of the Californian coast as well as the Santa Cruz Mountains, Palo Alto is the ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore Pearson-Arastradero Preserve’s trails that meander through rolling grasslands and dense evergreen forests, or take a quick drive to enjoy the nearby state and county parks.
Palo Alto is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Stanford University, private college with high international rankings
- Henry M. Gunn High School, 9-12, second-best high school in the state
- Duveneck Elementary School, K-12, one of the best-rated public elementary schools in the state