Welcome to Palo Alto
Charming neighborhoods and mix of rural/urban lifestyle.
Palo Alto is a Silicon Valley city that offers an enticing combination of rural and urban living. The city stretches from the San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most of Palo Altos’ homes and businesses are in the northern half of the city close to the Bay, while the southern section features isolated homes and hiking trails rising into the wooded mountain foothills. Palo Alto is the most educated city in the country and its many prominent residents have included Mark Zuckerburg and the late Steve Jobs.
Palo Alto’s eclectic architecture includes Craftsman, Colonial, and Eichler-style homes. The city is divided into many charming neighborhoods with their own architectural mix. Professorville is one of the oldest, with elegant Queen Anne, Craftsman, and Colonial properties dating back to the 1880s. Quiet upscale neighborhoods such as Old Palo Alto, Leland Manor, Embarcadero Oaks, and Crescent Park offer large homes in a diverse range of styles.
What to Love
- Charming neighborhoods with eclectic architecture
- Ideal for Silicon Valley commuting
- Two vibrant downtown areas
- Trails and unspoiled scenery
People & Lifestyle
Palo Alto is a welcoming city with a lot to offer. The city boasts world-class shopping and dining, many parks and trails, and beautiful homes in an array of styles. Palo Alto residents include high-ranking tech figures and Noble Prize-winning scientists. The community is also popular with families because of its outstanding school district.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Palo Alto has two vibrant downtown areas centered on University Avenue and California Avenue. University Avenue features big brands such as the Apple Store
, along with many exceptional restaurants. Tamarine Restaurant & Gallery
combines sophisticated Vietnamese cuisine with cocktails and ever-changing artwork. Maum
is a chic spot for Korean-style fine dining with a multi-course tasting menu. Evvia Estiatorio
serves succulent lamb chops, grilled fish, and other delicious Greek dishes in a bustling space popular among tech and venture capital heavyweights. The minimalist Bird Dog
bistro offers exquisite contemporary cuisine combining the flavors of Japan and California. There’s also hearty Georgian cooking and wine at Bevri
, Jamaican-style jerk chicken and coconut shrimp at Coconuts
, Israeli hummus and falafel at Oren’s Hummus
, and authentic Japanese noodle bowls at Ramen Nagi
. Close to the Stanford University campus, California Avenue is Palo Alto’s most historic commercial district. Established in 1855, California Avenue lives up to its slogan of small-town shopping in the heart of the city with mom-and-pop stores, specialty retailers, and many diverse eateries. There’s also a farmers’ market
held each Sunday morning all-year-round with fresh produce, a wide choice of meat and seafood, gourmet prepared foodstuffs, specialty teas and juices, and knife sharpening services. California Avenue is also known as Palo Alto’s Avenue of the Arts for the prize-winning artworks that adorn the street. Dining choices here include Michelin-starred fine dining at Protégé
, the latter of which has earned a two-star distinction for its innovative cuisine. Stanford Shopping Center
is an upscale open-air shopping mall on the Stanford University campus with tenants including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom department stores alongside high-end brands such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. Stanford Shopping Center has over 150 businesses, including the first Victoria’s Secret store. Town & Country Village is a European-style shopping area with dozens of fashion boutiques, home décor stores, restaurants, and a Trader Joe’s. Highlights include a smaller express outlet of Oren’s Hummus, gourmet pastries and bread at Mayfield Bakery & Café
, and lively Spanish tapas dining at Telefèric Barcelona
Things to Do
Palo Alto is surrounded by unspoiled scenery and open space. The four-mile Stanford Dish loop trail
is a popular hiking spot for Stanford students and Silicon Valley tech workers. This steep paved trail takes in beautiful wildflowers and the trail’s namesake radio telescope on the Stanford University campus. Parks are dotted across Palo Alto and many have off-leash areas for dogs. Peers Park
is the latest addition to Palo Alto’s dog parks, opening to canines and their human companions in 2018. Other off-leash areas for dogs can be found at Mitchell Park
, Greer Park
, and Hoover Park
. Peers, Greer, and Hoover Parks also have tennis courts and children’s play areas. Greer Park is the largest of Palo Alto’s parks, spanning 22 acres and offering numerous sports fields and a skateboarding tri-bowl. 1,400-acre Foothills Park
extends into the surrounding mountainsides with miles of dog-friendly trails running through a captivating landscape of chaparrals, streams, and woodlands. Foothills Park also has a lake and an abundance of wildlife, including deer and bobcats.
Public schools within Palo Alto are operated by the Palo Alto Unified School District and are top-rated.