Shopping Everything visitors need — and want — around town While Stanford Shopping Center (stanfordshop.com) has it all, Palo Alto also features a vibrant downtown shopping district; a quieter but still popular shopping and restaurant sector surrounding California Avenue, just south of the Stanford campus; and Town & Country Village (tandcvillage.com), a specialty center on El Camino Real across from Stanford Stadium. Downtown Palo Alto is crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, when restaurant reservations are advised and parking can be difficult. Many downtown retailers are open in the evenings to cater to the bar and restaurant crowd. California Avenue features boutiques and a large number of restaurants popular with local residents, as does Castro Street in Mountain View. Speaking of beyond Palo Alto, visitors can also find shopping in the downtown areas of Los Altos and Menlo Park. If visitors find themselves needing the basics, grocery and drug stores are conveniently located throughout the Midpeninsula. One of the biggest Safeway stores in the entire chain is located on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, less than a mile north of Palo Alto. Whole Foods has locations in downtown Palo Alto and just south of Palo Alto in Los Altos, and Mollie Stone’s Markets operates a full-service market and deli on California Avenue. CVS Pharmacy has locations in Town & Country Village, on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto and in the Midtown shopping area
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Lights begin to twinkle at Town & Country Village shopping district as the sun sets. Photo by Veronica Weber.
on Middlefield Road south of Oregon Expressway. Walgreens has locations in Palo Alto on Stanford’s campus, on University Avenue, in Midtown and on El Camino Real, as well as one in downtown Menlo Park. For a taste of local produce and music, visitors can head to the downtown Palo Alto or California Avenue farmers markets. Downtown’s market (pafarmersmarket.org) welcomes its crowd on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon from May 9 to Dec. 12. It’s held in the parking lot behind the post office at Hamilton Avenue and Gilman Street. The California Avenue market (urbanvillageonline. com/markets/california-avenue) closes down a few blocks and is open year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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