Welcome to Palo Alto
Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 14 miles north of San Jose, Palo Alto, with its mixture of mid-century, Mediterranean, and modern homes is perhaps best known as the “birthplace of Silicon Valley.”
Home to many prominent cutting-edge technology companies and a neighbor to the illustrious Stanford University, one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions, this city features many historic areas, a vibrant shopping district, and diverse cultural attractions.
Filled with great parks, recreation, hiking trails, and art centers, Palo Alto is also known for its top-rated schools and more than 30 different quaint neighborhoods — all with their own distinct style and flair.
More than 125 years old, the city is named after a majestic 1,000-year-old coastal redwood tree found along San Francisquito Creek, where early Spanish explorers settled. Today Palo Alto offers a blend of business and residential areas anchored by a vibrant downtown. Tree-lined streets and historic buildings reflect the California heritage here, and more than 69,000 residents call Palo Alto home. Nearly 100,000 jobs are within its borders.
The city, which also manages a regional airport and provides its own fire, police, and emergency services, has been recognized nationally for its innovation and management.
What to Love
Home to many prominent cutting-edge technology companies
Filled with great parks, recreation, hiking trails, and art centers
Known for its top-rated schools and quaint neighborhoods
People & Lifestyle
This family-friendly community offers an array of amenities and has much to explore. Well-known for its sustainability efforts toward reducing its carbon impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, and resource consumption, the city is inhabited by forward-thinking individuals who are either employed by a cutting-edge technology company or significantly influenced by their commitment to creating a better tomorrow.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
World-class chefs dominate this well-heeled suburb, but hungry college students still impact the dining patterns of Palo Alto. Some locally famous dining options include , which brings Michelin-pedigreed Cal-Indian cuisine to the area in a bright, colorful patterned space. There’s also , a favorite among Stanford students. This three-story restaurant was built to resemble a French Quarter building and serves Louisiana classics like gumbo and jambalaya. is well known for its tasting menu experience and posh wagyu short rib pithivier, while pumps out authentic Neapolitan-style pizza regularly.
Things to Do
The , established in 1996, presents stories and artifacts of the information age and explores the computing revolution and its impact on society.
, stretching 1,940 acres, is one of the largest tracts of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide access to a unique mixture of tidal and freshwater habitats, and many consider this spot to be one of the best bird-watching areas on the west coast.
is dedicated to bringing back the authentic movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. Opened in 1925, this theater served as Palo Alto’s premier movie house for decades. Today, it focuses on showing both classic and modern-day films as they were intended to be viewed: on the big screen.
is an upscale open-air shopping mall located on the campus of Stanford University. There are 140-plus stores located here, including Cartier, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton.
is a radio telescope in the Stanford foothills built in 1961 by the Stanford Research Institute. This project cost $4.5 million and was funded by the United States Air Force. The area around this historic telescope is now popular for hiking and jogging and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset throughout the year.
Palo Alto is home to many excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- , K-5, named one of the top three best public schools in California
, 9-12, Known locally as "Paly,” this public comprehensive high school is one of the oldest high schools in the region. The school's property is adjacent to Stanford University, which provided the land for the school.
, 9-12, Established in 1964, Gunn High School was named after Henry Martin Gunn, who served as the Palo Alto superintendent from 1950 to 1961