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Day Trip - Palo Alto and Stanford

Palo Alto Birdseye view

Day Trip - Palo Alto and Stanford


  • 20 miles north of San Jose
  • Easily accessible by bus and Caltrain
  • Bay Area Bike Share stations


  • Stanford University
  • Downtown Palo Alto
  • Stanford Shopping Center
  • Palo Alto Baylands
  • Cantor Arts Center


Less than 30 minutes from San Jose is the cool Silicon Valley college town of Palo Alto. The main attraction of this charming upscale city is Stanford University. Stanford has served as an incubator for High Tech in Silicon Valley and alumni have founded companies such as Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Electronic Arts, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo!, Cisco Systems and Google.

But, you don’t have to be a geek or relative of a student to enjoy Stanford. On the University's gorgeous campus you’ll find the Cantor Arts Center which is devoted to a wide range of art spanning 5,000 years. From ancient Chinese ceramics to 19th century American drawings and one of the largest presentations of Rodin bronzes outside Paris, this is a gem of a museum easy to see in a day.

The Stanford Shopping Center, with 140-plus stores, dozens of restaurants and coffee shops, and public art by nationally acclaimed artists is a shopaholics dream. This open-air center is considered one of the top centers in the area and will cater to all your shopping needs.

Neighboring Stanford you will find Downtown Palo Alto which is pedestrian friendly, has plentiful parking and top–rated restaurants and nightlife. The restored Stanford Theater offers classic films when you need a rest from all your exploring and people watching.

For the more active visitor, the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, which protects some of the last remaining salt-marsh and mud-flat habitats on the West Coast, offers excellent birding, biking and hiking year round.

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