Nested among neighboring Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park, extended to approx. 26 square miles, Palo Alto is the official capital of Silicon Valley. The home to nearly 65,000 residents including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg, Palo Alto located halfway between San Francisco and San Jose.
The City of Palo Alto was established by Leland Stanford Sr. when he founded Stanford University in 1885. Palo Alto's residents are among the most highly educated in the country and enjoy the diverse cultural benefits that go along with close proximity to such an esteemed institution. The residents are a hardworking sort who enjoy the vibrant quality of life the city provides and are committed to excellence in every regard. From lectures to sporting events, there's never a dull moment in town.
Given its central location and rich history of innovation, Palo Alto is considered the heart of Silicon Valley. The city is headquarters to several high-profile companies including VMware, Tesla, Skype, and Houzz, and has been the incubator for tech giants including Google, Apple, Facebook, Pinterest, and PayPal.
Palo Alto is comprised of 36 diverse neighborhoods. Unified by peaceful, tree-lined streets, the neighborhoods differ in architectural flair ranging from original craftsman to contemporary Eichler. Beyond the varying aesthetics, they share the common qualities of being close-knit and well-maintained.
Palo Alto's schools are highly acclaimed and largely responsible for the city's lofty property values. The elementary, middle, and high schools are part of the Palo Alto Unified School District. Elementary schools include Addison, Barron Park, Duveneck, El Carmelo, Escondido, Fairmeadow, Herbert Hoover, Juana Briones, Lucile M. Nixon, Ohlone, Palo Verde, and Walter Hayes. Students move on to Ellen Fletcher, Frank S. Greene Jr., and Jane Lathrop Stanford "JLS" Middle Schools, then on to Henry M. Gunn and Palo Alto High Schools. Greendell hosts both a Young Fives Program and a Preschool Family Program. The Palo Alto Adult School (PAAS) provides a great collection of high-quality educational programs to meet the lifelong learning needs of its community.
Palo Alto is also home to several highly acclaimed private schools including Bowman International School, Castilleja School, Challenger School, Esther B. Clark School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Girls' Middle School, International School of the Peninsula, Kehillah Jewish Day School, Keyes School, Meira Academy, Palo Alto Montessori School, Pinewood School, Sand Hill School, St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School, Stratford School, Grossman Academy Japanese Language School and Palo Alto Chinese School.
An ideal community for lovers of the outdoors, Palo Alto is graced with plenty of open space for avid hikers, runners, cyclists, and naturalists. Its diverse preserves include Esther Clark Park, Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto Foothills Park, and the Palo Alto Baylands Nature. All combine to offer over 40 miles of scenic trails.
As many as 9.5% of Palo Alto residents bike to work, and 4.8% of residents walk. Many commuters flock to Palo Alto for work, taking advantage of the conveniently positioned Caltrain stop immediately adjacent to Downtown Palo Alto, Stanford University, and Stanford Hospital. Others appreciate the Downtown stop for its proximity to Stanford Mall, the supreme shopping center on the Peninsula.
Palo Alto boasts superior facilities for athletes of all ages, including turf soccer fields, a municipal golf course, ice rink, community pools, skate parks, tennis courts, par courses, gyms, and nearly 30 city parks. The Parks and Recreation Department offers a great many classes for kids and adults in a variety of locations, and the Cubberley Community Center classrooms are always jumping with courses in dance, language, karate, and the like. Elizabeth Gamble Gardens blooms with abundance year-round, and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo is an ever-popular destination for the little ones. Stanford campus attractions include Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, Cantor Arts Center, and the Rodin Sculpture Garden, as well as a central campus that is always bustling with activity.
Located immediately adjacent to Stanford, the University Avenue corridor is Palo Alto's hottest destination. Featuring chic restaurants and bars, trendy shopping, and the old-time Varsity Theatre, it's no surprise that University Ave. is the stomping ground for young professionals and Stanford students alike. California Avenue offers a slightly quieter yet equally enjoyable shopping and dining experience. Its diverse restaurants, weekly Farmer's Market, and gourmet grocery draw many to stroll its sidewalks. Family-friendly Midtown presents another variety of neighborhood amenities, including a well-stocked Safeway, Starbucks, Walgreens, and several restaurants. Three different destinations with unique character, University Avenue, California Avenue, and Midtown combine to create an eclectic experience that is distinctly Palo Alto.