Home to the prestigious Stanford University, Palo Alto is a small yet productive city. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is also perched on the Northern End of Silicon Valley and is home to some of the best educated citizens in the U.S. It is also the base to a number of high-tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Pinterest, where many of the natives work. As you would expect from such a well-heeled community, there are plenty of fancy restaurants, bars and shops for visitors to indulge themselves in. It also has several beauty spots worth visiting, including the pretty harbour area and a nature reserve to name just a few. The bay itself is as good a place as any to start sightseeing.
A 4x4 is perfect for driving around Palo Alto and will not get swallowed up by other larger vehicles whilst travelling on the freeway.
Driving in Palo Alto
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The preferred method of transport in Palo Alto is definitely the car and there is plenty of parking throughout the town, except for downtown.
Municipal parking is free and spread out across town. It is however worth noting that parking is often limited to two hours during business hours.
In Palo Alto, the busiest parts of town happen to be near the university, where much of the traffic is due to a high number of students.
Highlights & Hotspots
Simply known as ‘Stanford’, this campus is a highlight for many visitors who flock to the research university in their droves each year. Hoover Tower offers a great opportunity to photograph the fantastic view over the campus.
Baylands Nature Reserve is a favourite amongst locals looking for some quiet time away from the bustling city. Go for a peaceful stroll around and take in the natural beauty and many bird species. You’re sure to feel a million miles away from Silicon Valley.
Stanford University Golf Course isn’t cheap but you get what you pay for; a beautiful and challenging green that has nurtured great talent over the years including Tiger Woods and Tom Watson. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
As you would expect in the US, steak and fast food joints are everywhere. Sundance Steakhouse is one of the best. Here you can enjoy seafood delights such as jumbo white gulf prawns and sautéed scallops, as well as some of the finest steak that the US has to offer.
The nearest airport to Palo Alto is San Francisco International Airport, which is just a 25 minute drive away in a north-easterly direction. The large airport offers many flights on a daily basis from all over the globe.
The best route to take to the airport is the 101 highway, which has a turn-off on the right to the airport itself.