Welcome to Palo Alto
Vibrant tech hub with great schools and pedestrian lifestyle
Palo Alto is a vibrant tech hub in northwest Santa Clara County. The community is comprised of two distinct sections. Palo Alto’s main residential and commercial areas are located between Menlo Park and Mountain View along the San Francisco Bay. Its boundaries continue through a narrow strip across Interstate 280 and expand into a sparsely populated expanse of rural hillsides rising into the Santa Cruz Mountains to the south. The populated northern portion of Palo Alto is characterized by hip restaurants and shops, quiet residential streets, and outstanding schools.
Palo Alto is comprised of dozens of neighborhoods with an eclectic real estate mix. Midtown and South Palo Alto features many Eichler mid-century modern homes. The upscale neighborhoods of Old Palo Alto and Crescent Park are dominated by grand mansions in varied architectural styles. To the southwest, the secluded properties of Palo Alto Hills enjoy breathtaking elevated views out to the Bay.
What to Love
People & Lifestyle
Residents of Palo Alto enjoy a pedestrian lifestyle, with peaceful tree-lined neighborhoods lying within walking distance of world-class restaurants, major tech firms, and diverse shopping. Palo Alto plays a prominent role in the Silicon Valley tech scene, and its major local employers include VMware, Palantir Technologies, Skype, and Tesla. Palo Alto is also home to prestigious Stanford University. Notable residents include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose Crescent Park home is within a 10-minute drive of Facebook’s Menlo Park campus. While Palo Alto is home to many elite figures and top talent from the worlds of tech and academia, the vibe is friendly and inclusive.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Palo Alto’s main commercial districts are centered on California Avenue and University Avenue. Two of the Bay Area’s best high-end restaurants are across the street from each other on California Avenue. Michelin-starred Protégé
crafts sublime New American-style dishes, while Baumé’s
innovative modern French cuisine has earned Michelin’s two-star distinction.
Other businesses on and around California Avenue include laidback coffee shops, charming family-owned businesses, fashion boutiques, grocery stores, and a farmers’ market
open every Sunday all-year round. University Avenue is considered Palo Alto’s main downtown area and boasts a diverse selection of places to shop, dine, and drink. The Michelin Guide recommends several restaurants here which creatively combine international influences with contemporary Californian-style cooking. These include distinctly Californian takes on Japanese and French cuisine at Bird Dog
, Greek-style Evvia
, Vietnamese-influenced Tamarine
, and French-inspired Zola
. University Avenue also has many causal spots for fast healthy meals, such as Pluto’s
customizable salads and sandwiches. Downtown Palo Alto hosts its own Saturday farmers’ market
and also has a Whole Foods Market.
Palo Alto wine bars include cozy Calave on California Avenue and University Avenue’s all-organic Salvaje
and The Wine Room.
More great dining and shopping can be found at the open-air Stanford Shopping Center
. Anchored by a Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom department stores, this upscale retail destination’s tenants include Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and the first Victoria’s Secret store.
Things to Do
Stanford University is one of the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in the United Status. Its Palo Alto campus features the historic Cantor Center for the Visual Arts
, with a collection that includes more than 400 works from famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Palo Alto World Music Day
in June showcases around 50 performance groups spanning a diverse array of global music styles. In August, Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
attracts around 150,000 attendees for two days of festivities featuring 300 vendors and 60 talented artists creating temporary chalk works for the Italian Street Art Expo. The open space to Palo Alto provides many outdoor recreation opportunities, with 10 miles of trails winding through the rolling savannah grassland and broadleaf evergreen forest of the sprawling Foothills Park.
Public schools within Palo Alto are highly-ranked and are operated by the Palo Alto Unified School District.