Welcome! We will discover Hotel and Restaurant reviews, Palo Alto Sights and places to visit in Menlo Park, Stanford, and Mountain View. This Palo Alto tourism guide is curated by Ardan Michael Blum (who lives and works downtown).
See: neighborhood maps
Palo Alto is a large area with seven zip codes and THREE train stations (the main station known as "Palo Alto", California Avenue and on game days the "Stanford" stop). The City of Palo Alto is located in Santa Clara county. It is about 35 miles south of San Francisco and 14 miles north of San Jose. Palo Alto is a charming mix of old and new.
Palo Alto’s earliest recorded history dates from 1769 when Gaspar de Portolá noted an Ohlone settlement. The name is derived from Spanish for "stick", and colloquially for "tree" which is combined with "alto" for "tall"; giving the meaning: "tall tree" ~ See: "El Palo Alto: Rooted in History".
The establishment of Stanford University in 1885 made Palo Alto home to one of the world’s leading places of learning.
First people came to Northern California for gold (in 1848/49), then they came for a different metal a hundred years later! From the Hewlett-Packard Garage to Fairchild Semiconductors (in San Jose) came about the birth of "Silicon Valley".
Today this region stretches across the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. This region that includes, among other noted firms, the headquarters for Google, Intel, Cisco Systems, Adobe, Nvidia, eBay, Palantir Technologies, Oracle, Facebook, and Apple! (For a full list of companies based in Silicon Valley see this link).
Tech goes hand in hand with venture capital firms! See: "The First Trillion-Dollar Startup".
Palo Alto is ranked as being part of the 10 best places to live in America. You may wish to see the series "Silicon Valley " from PBS and the portal: San Francisco Bay Area (on Wikipedia).
As of the 2010 census, the city’s total resident population is 64,403. About 39.000 people come into the town daily for work-related reasons. More demographics: City of Palo Alto Population estimates, July 1, 2018 and demographic and Housing Estimates.
Located at 235 Hamilton Ave is a great stop. It is a 2 star hotel with a cozy 1920s design in the heart of downtown. The reviews on Google are 4.1 currently out of 146 ratings (which for a two star is really quite good! It has a 4/5 on Trip Advisor (09/25/19) for 384 reviews and is listed with 9/10 on Booking.com with 244 reviews. The key here is not too expensive, clean, old-time charm and location. Visit their site: cardinalhotel.com It has on the ground floor a charming and good Italian restaurant and if needed a very good men's barber shop run by ever friendly Gerardo.
This 4 star hotel has generally good prices (for the area) with nice pool, and good location to access both Mountain View and Palo Alto. It has (09/25/19) a very good 4.2 from 1, 144 reviews on Google. 4/5 with Trip Advisor from 715 trip advisor users and 8.3/10 from 274 reviews on Booking.com The hotel has a few very nice touches. One of these is a self service little shop for snacks, and another is a game room. Sound-wise it is quite far from the train tracks and not directly on El Camino.
Visit their site: ihg.com
Address: 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Phone: 650 857-0787
At 566 Emerson Street you will find this charming retro diner with good milkshakes and great classic American food! It has a really good side bakery (with take-out options for cakes.
PALO ALTO HOTEL AND RESTAURANT REVIEWS ARE BASED ON COST, LOCATION, SERVICE, DECOR, AND CHARM COMBINED. THERE IS NO PARTNERSHIP OR SPONSORING TAKING PLACE. YOU MAY WISH TO SEE FURTHER HOTEL AND RESTAURANT INFORMATION IN A GOOGLE-MADE GUIDE: HERE
Content adapted from www.cityofpaloalto.org
Start with a shopping trip to Town and Country located at 855 El Camino Real:
The other large outdoor mall is the Stanford Shopping Center.
- This is one of the more charming shopping centers in California. And it is extremely dog friendly!
The Hewlett-Packard House and Garage is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto.
This garage is the birthplace of Silicon Valley. The idea for such a region originated with Dr. Frederick Terman, a Stanford University professor who encouraged his students to start up their own electronics companies in the area instead of joining established firms in the east. The first students to follow his advice were William R. Hewlett and David Packard, who in 1938 began developing their first products.
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 along with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor .
The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes more than 44,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary.
With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford’s academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond and attracts campus visitors from around the world.
The Cantor is also famous for its outdoor sculpture, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden, modern and contemporary art across campus, and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden.
"Googleplex" is located at 1900 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View.
- See this page for details on your visit options: https://www.wikihow.com/Visit-Google-Headquarters
The original The Facebook Inc headquarters were located at 471 Emerson Street in Palo Alto. In 2004, when Facebook was then known as thefacebook.com, they leased space at 156 University Avenue, in Downtown Palo Alto. Then in Feb 2005, Facebook leased 471 Emerson at the corner of Emerson and University Avenue. In December 2011, Facebook was spread out across about a dozen locations downtown, including the Magnolia Hi-Fi building and a small office space at 101 University and 1601 California Avenue. At the end of 2011, Facebook completed their move to Menlo Park.
Location: 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
Timeline history: via businessinsider.com
Official web page
Located at the end of Old Adobe Road off of Arastradero Road. See > Trail Map in PDF guide
Offers a great view of the Bay Area and is a lovely walk. Two notes: No public bathroom options seem available on the hike (as best as I can tell) and bikes are not allowed. See this area map.
Bounded by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the 1,940-acre Baylands Preserve 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 fresh water habitats. It is an important habitat for migratory shorebirds and is considered one of the best birdwatching spots on the West Coast. (Best to drive and start your walk HERE at TERMINAL BLVD in Mountain View).
Open hours are generally from 8:00 a.m. to a specific time based on sunset. Closing times are posted at the entrance gates to all preserves. Details: Open Space Hours
Related: Rules and Regulations
Further reading: History of Baylands Nature Preserve
Official name: Enid W. Pearson Arastradero Preserve is a wonderful place to un-plug in Silicon Valley! See: Trail map | Pearson-Arastradero Preserve Seasonal Trail Status | Official Information | Rules and Regulations |
Address: 1530 Arastradero Rd
- Google Plus Code: 9RPG+RF Palo Alto, California
Note: Foothills Park, the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, and the surrounding area are habitats for the California mountain lion. See more on cityofpaloalto.org.
© 2020 Ardan Michael Blum | This Palo Alto Tourism Guide was last updated 02/20/2020
Direct link to this page: www.paloaltotourism.com