Once upon a time, there was a sleepy college town in California. Stanford University called it home, and while it was a beautiful place, it’s low-key lifestyle was not a big draw for tourists.

Fast forward a few decades, and now it’s the center for high-tech innovation and commerce. Silicon Valley whiz kids and Noble Prize winners call it home, and it’s become a mecca for tourism. Top it off with elegant restaurants and lush countryside, and you have the makings of a great vacation. Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of your trip to Palo Alto.

Palo Alto Hotels and Dining

Finding a place to stay should be at the top of your list. Elegant accommodations are a given when choosing a Palo Alto hotel. While you can always stay in a typical hotel chain, many visitors opt for the unique luxuries of boutique hotels, or a bed and breakfast. If you’re experiencing Palo Alto for the first time, one of a kind lodging will only enhance the experience. Find what suits you best before you reach your destination.

Typical tourist restaurants are a dime a dozen, serving the same bland food anywhere in the world. Choose a locally owned restaurant that truly reflects the vibe of the region. In Silicon Valley you’ll find dozens of unique eateries that will enhance your stay and let you truly enjoy the mid-peninsula.

Seeing The Sights

Live entertainment, world-renowned works of art, and insanely beautiful landscapes are waiting for you.

The Shoreline Amphitheater is the perfect place for a music festival. National and international acts fill this outdoor venue throughout the year. If you are looking for more intimate venues, Vino Locale is a lovely wine bar with live music in a gorgeous space. The menu is eclectic, and the entertainment is top notch.

It’s a little known fact, but this part of California has excellent museums and galleries. Two places to check out on your visit are the Cantor Arts Center, and the Palo Alto Arts Center. The former features work from major artists, like Rodin, and Jasper Johns. The latter is the place to find up and coming local artists.

California is beautiful, and the mid-peninsula is no exception. No visit is complete without a trip to the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. Wildlife and local fauna await you in surroundings that will take your breath away. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out The Ecocenter in Byxbee Park, located next door to the nature preserve. It educates visitors on the local ecosystem, and explains how efforts are successfully bringing back native species and preserving the bay.

Shoot a few holes of golf or enjoy a hike while you’re in the area. The Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course is a public course enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. You can also hike around Shoreline Lake, which lies just south of the Baylands. You can also rent sail or paddle boats, or enjoy a picnic.

Palo Alto is not just a center for high-tech companies and learning. It’s a cultural oasis and outdoor enthusiast’s dream. If you’re looking for pure luxury entwined with world-class art and scenic wonders, Palo Alto is the place to be. Enjoy your visit!

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