Palo Alto is an idyllic Silicon Valley city featuring dozens of distinctive quiet neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and home of Stanford University and Medical Center. The city also offers many parks and a bustling downtown, giving it a strong community feel. Palo Alto is a vibrant and exciting tech hub with a plethora of tech start-ups happening everywhere. It is surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the San Francisco Bay, and there are many opportunities for outdoor recreation in the nearby area. Palo Alto is also an easy city to navigate by bike.
Palo Alto’s eclectic real estate mix includes tracts of attractive mid-century modern Eichler homes, elegant Colonials, ranch-style properties, and stately mansions.
Palo Alto is home to Stanford University and established tech firms such as Ford, HP, Lockheed Martin, and Skype. Palo Alto is a university town with a large international population, and its highly-educated residents include Nobel Prize winners, Stanford University lectures and researches, venture capitalists, and influential tech figures such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg. It’s also a community-oriented city where neighbors look out for each other and most kids ride their bikes to school every day. Everyone in Palo Alto receives the free newspaper Palo Alto Weekly, which is a wonderful resource for learning about the city’s latest happenings and events.
Palo Alto has two main commercial areas centered on University Avenue and California Avenue. Evvia Estiatorio on one of University Avenue’s side streets is a sophisticated Greek restaurant with a delightful old-world dining space surrounding a rustic fireplace. Evvia uses fresh seasonal ingredients to prepare flavorful wood-smoked dishes with menu favorites including lamb chops, grilled octopus, stuffed calamari, and traditional soutzoukakia lamb meatballs served with tangy Greek yogurt. Coupa Café has two locations close to University Avenue where you can enjoy tasty coffee, pastries, and Venezuelan specialties such as aperas, pabellon, and empanadas. Coupa Café is a popular choice among tech workers, and many start-ups have conceived and tested products inside. University Avenue’s beautifully designed flagship Apple Store is always packed with people keen to try out the latest products created a short drive away at Apple’s Cupertino campus.
Peninsula Creamery harkens back to a time before Palo Alto became synonymous with tech. This local institution has been serving delicious ice cream and milkshakes to Palo Alto residents since 1923. Town & Country Village is an upscale shopping mall with outdoor gardens a short distance southeast of University Avenue. Town & Country Village’s businesses include fashion boutiques, bakeries, home furnishings emporium Sur La Table, and a Trader Joe’s for grocery shopping. There’s also a Whole Foods Market close to University Avenue.
Many more shops and restaurants can be found at Stanford Shopping Center. Major stores at this centrally located retail complex include Bloomingdale’s, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jeffrey, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., and the world’s first Victoria’s Secret store.
Palo Alto is an exciting city with many events throughout the year. The Palo Alto Festival of the Arts attracts more than 150,000 visitors over three days each August. The festival centers on University Avenue and features over 300 vendors and exhibitors. Highlights of the festival include an Italian Street Painting Expo and hands-on activities at the Kids’ Art Studio.
The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in September attracts large crowds with glass blowing demonstrations and the chance to buy unique Halloween-themed glass artworks. May Fete Parade has been an early May tradition in Palo Alto since 1920. Many local youth organizations participate in the parade and create homemade floats. Palo Alto’s 4th of July Chili Cook-Off is another fun community event where you can enjoy chili tastings and other family-friendly activities. Throughout December, houses along Fulton Street are illuminated with festive lights as the street is transformed into Christmas Tree Lane.
Palo Alto hosts two weekly farmers’ markets with vendors offering fresh local produce and artisanally prepared foodstuffs. Saturday’s farmers’ market takes place in Downtown Palo Alto, and Sunday’s market is held on California Avenue.
Palo Alto operates its own Palo Alto Unified School District. Highlights include:
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