Visitors Guide to the midpeninsula
Discover where to go to play, dine, shop or relax
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Whether you are visiting for business, for pleasure or to attend a conference or other event at Stanford University, you will quickly discover the unusual blend of intellect, innovation, culture and natural beauty that makes the Palo Alto area so special. Palo Alto’s home to Nobel Prize winners, Silicon Valley CEOs, venture capital firms, Hewlett-Packard and one of the most renowned universities and medical centers in the world. While Palo Alto developed as a sleepy college town, the emergence of Stanford University in the 1970s as the nation’s leading high-technology research center paved the way for hundreds of start-up businesses with connections to Stanford professors and their inventions. Thus Palo Alto became known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley and attracted engineers and others from all over the world to pursue their dreams. The Stanford campus itself is the biggest visitor attraction, and visitors could easily spend a day or longer exploring the beautiful campus. But at a minimum any visit should also include a walk or drive through the tree-lined residential neighborhoods (among the costliest in the nation), a walk in the foothills or Baylands and some great shopping and eating in the several business districts. For our list of 10 sites not to miss while you are visiting, look in the “Attractions” section. Enjoy!
Inside: Attractions .............................................6 Arts & Entertainment...................... 10 Shopping .............................................12 Stanford ................................................14 Recreation ...........................................16 Getting Around .................................18 Safety.....................................................19 Map ....................................................... 20 Dining................................................... 24 Hotels ................................................... 28 The Palo Alto Visitors Center is co-located with the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce at 400 Mitchell Lane in downtown Palo Alto. The Visitors Center is staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and may be reached at 650324-3121. The center has useful brochures and other materials and can assist with answering questions and addressing special or unusual needs of visitors. Destination Palo Alto (www.destinationpaloalto.com) offers much more information about where to go and what to do while visiting Palo Alto.
Visitors Guide is a special project of the Palo Alto Weekly. Copyright (c)2011 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. On the cover: Heisman Trophy favorite and senior quarterback Andrew Luck is back to lead the Stanford football team into the new Pac-12 Conference in 2011 after guiding the Cardinal to a 12-1 record and Orange Bowl victory in 2010. Photo by John Todd/Stanfordphoto.com.
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attractions The Palo Alto and Stanford area offers things to do for all ages and interests. Our favorite recommendations for outof-town visitors are listed below. The numbers shown in ( ) are the location markers on the map on page 20-21. A trip to the Stanford University campus is the highlight for most visitors, where attractions include Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, Cantor Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden and a central campus bustling with activity (see page 14).
Hoover Tower (5) Stanford University; 650-723-2053; www.stanford.edu/dept/visitorinfo/plan/guides/hoover.html Visible to all the surrounding areas, Hoover Tower is a landmark to Stanford students, faculty, alumni and the local communities. The 285-foot tower offers spectacular views of Stanford campus, the Foothills and the Bay Area from its observation deck. A student tour guide is available to point out important landmarks and sights.
Cantor Arts Center (4) 328 Lomita Drive (at Museum Way); 650-723-4177; www.museum.stanford.edu Stanford family members created the museum to display their personal collection of objects of art and cultural interest; now, the museum’s collections are devoted to a wide range of art, from 19th century American drawings to contemporary sculptures. While at the center, visitors should be sure to visit Stanford’s outdoor sculptures: the Rodin Sculpture Garden, which houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside of Paris, the New Guinea Sculpture Garden as well as numerous pieces throughout the campus. Admission to the museum is free, and visitors can take advantage of docent tours, lectures, gallery talks, special events, the bookstore and the cafe overlooking the sculpture gardens. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
HP Garage (7) 367 Addison Ave., Palo Alto Known as the Birthplace of Silicon Valley, the HP garage is a symbol of innovation and entrepreneurism. College friends Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard purchased the garage in 1938 as a workspace to develop their own company, which has become one of the most successful in the country. The modest building served as a research lab and a development and manufacturing workshop. However, as the company grew, the garage was quickly outgrown, and the company moved to a larger headquarters. The property is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Computer History Museum (10) 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-810-1010; www.computerhistory.org Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computing history, the Computer History Museum houses one of the largest international collections of computing artifacts in the world, including computer hardware, ephemera, photographs, moving images, documents and software. Through online and physical exhibits, visitors can discover the worldwide impact of the computing revolution on the human experience. While some of the online exhibits complement physical exhibits, most are independent from
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each other and provide the visitor with unique information on computers. Admission to the museum is $12-$15. Docent tours are offered throughout the afternoon. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunset Magazine Gardens (3) 80 Willow Road, Menlo Park; 650-321-3600; www.sunset.com If you are the home-gardening type, you won’t want to miss a visit to the famous Sunset Magazine Garden. Located at Sunset Magazine’s headquarters in nearby Menlo Park, the display garden offers a glimpse of architecture and foliage from the major climate zones of the West. The garden contains a 1.2-acre lawn, four designated areas representing the Northwest, Northern California, Central California, and the Southwest Desert and Southern California regions, and a 3,000-square-foot test area. The entire display garden is open for free, self-guided tours, weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Gamble Garden (8) 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto; 650-329-1356; www.gamblegarden.org Willed to the City of Palo Alto by Elizabeth F. Gamble in 1981, the 2.3-acre Gamble Garden Center features a 1902 Colonial/Georgian Revival house and formal, working and demonstration gardens. The historic property is now a nonprofit community horticultural foundation and places an emphasis on education as well as aesthetic beauty. The demonstration gardens include an herb garden and cutting beds. The estate also includes a carriage house, teahouse, tool house, greenhouse and a gazebo. Conveniently located and open to the public at no charge during daylight hours, a visit to Gamble Garden Center is always a relaxing experience.
Filoli Estate & Gardens (1) 86 Cañada Road, Woodside; 650-364-8300; www.filoli.org Standing for “Fight, Love, Live,” Filoli Gardens is one of the most magnificent remaining country estates and gardens of the early 20th century. The 43-room estate, built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bourne in 1917, allows visitors to enjoy a collection of 17th and 18th century antiques. The spectacular gardens, made up of terraces, pathways, pools, lawns, foliage, trees and flower beds, are perfectly groomed and ever-changing based on the time of year. The gardens are most known for their collection of more than 500 varieties of roses. Whether your goal is to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere or learn about the various plant collections, a stroll through the exquisite gardens will not leave you disappointed. The gardens and estate are open to visitors from mid-February through October.
Palo Alto Baylands (9) East end of Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto; Baylands Nature Center: 650-329-2506; Baylands Preserve: 650-617-3156 The Baylands protects some of the last remaining saltmarsh and mud-flat habitats on the West Coast. It offers excellent birding year-round. Wintertime high tides bring bird watchers from around the world. In the spring and fall, the Baylands is a prime stopover or destination for birds traveling on the Pacific route of their migration flyway.
Stanford Dish Walk (6) Along Junipero Serra Boulevard, between Page Mill Road and Alpine Road, Stanford
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attractions W I N E R Y & V I N E YA R D S
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Rain or shine, youâ€™ll find hundreds of locals and Stanford students walking or jogging the trail at The Dish, named after the large old radio-telescope used for research in the Stanford foothills and visible from throughout the area. The paved trail climbs the hills and offers spectacular views of the Peninsula, the campus and the coastal mountains. The main loop trail is 3.5 miles and takes about an hour and 15 minutes to walk. Most visitors park on Stanford Avenue, then enter through the gate at Junipero Serra. Be sure not to park on the side streets where Stanford residential parking permits are required or youâ€™ll be ticketed. No dogs or bicycles are allowed. Hours: sunrise to sunset (from 6-6:30 a.m. to 5-7:30 p.m. depending on the season)
Allied Arts Guild (2) 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park; 650-322-2405; www.alliedartsguild.org Located in nearby Menlo Park, the Allied Arts Guild is an oasis of shops, gardens, artistsâ€™ studios and a cafe. A favorite spot for visitors, the historic site has carried out the foundersâ€™ original vision of a European-style crafts guild and created a lovely environment to shop, eat and relax. The Guild houses numerous studios and shops of various artists, ranging from furniture repair to pottery making. The Artisan Shop sells handmade art and is operated solely for the benefit of critically ill children at the Lucile Packard Childrenâ€™s Hospital. Visitors can also enjoy lunch at the charming cafe with a view of the gardens.
take time to relax hot tubs steam sauna massage facial spa treatments Delicious fresh Italian food in beautiful downtown Los Altos prepared with the freshest ingredients and healthy choices. Come and try our delicous and affordable lunch menu
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Waterccourse Way www.watercourseway.com QP 650.462.2000 165 Channing Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94301
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arts & entertainment Theater, music and opera are alive and well in Palo Alto, with performances nearly every night of the week:
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Dragon Productions offers professional live theater at 535 Alma St., Palo Alto, including “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams (though Aug. 21). Call 650-493-2006 or visit www.dragonproductions.net. Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, the oldest theater by and for children in the United States, performs at Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, including the musical “Once Upon a Mattress” (Aug. 3-13). Call 650463-4930 or visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/childrenstheatre. Palo Alto Players, which brings works from Broadway, OffBroadway and beyond, performs at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, including “Nunsense With a Twist” (Sept. 17-Oct. 2), “Parade” (Nov. 5-20), “Aftermath” (Jan. 14-22) and “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry” (Jan. 8-Feb. 5). Call 650-329-0891 or visit www.paplayers.org. Stanford Jazz Festival is held June-August. For festival lineup call 650-736-0324 or 650-725-ARTS or visit www. stanfordjazz.org. Stanford Lively Arts brings in world-class musicians and dancers. Upcoming programs include Sphinx Virtuosi and Catalyst Quartet (Oct. 19); Josh Roseman Sextet (Nov. 12); Julliard String Quartet (Dec. 4); and Tao (Feb. 14). Call 650725-ARTS (2787) or visit livelyarts.stanford.edu. TheatreWorks, a nationally acclaimed theater of Silicon Valley under the direction of Robert Kelley, presents dramas, comedies and musicals year-round at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., and at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, including “Sense and Sensibility” (Aug. 24-Sept. 18), “Clementine in the Lower 9” (Oct. 5-30), “The Secret Garden” (Nov. 30-Dec. 31), “The Pitmen Painters” (Jan. 18-Feb. 12) and “Now Circa Then” (March 7-April 1). Call 650-463-1950 or visit www.theatreworks.org. West Bay Opera, Palo Alto’s own opera company, will stage “Samson et Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saens (Oct. 14-23) and “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Feb. 17-26) at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road. Call 650843-3900 or visit www.wbopera.org.
Artisan Shop & Studios Scenic Gardens Historical Architecture Events & Meeting Facilities For more details, please see our website: www.alliedartsguild.org Or Call (650) 322-2405 10 Fall/Winte r Vis itors Gu id e 2 0 1 1
Still looking for cultural events? You could try: Foothill College Lohman Theatre, which is mounting Peter Stone’s “Curtains” (through Aug. 14) at 12345 El Monte Road (Interstate 280 at El Monte), Los Altos Hills. Call 650949-7777 or visit www.foothill.edu/fa. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, at 500 Castro St., Mtn. View, is a performing-arts complex hosting more than 400 events a year: theater, dance, music, professional Bay Area companies. Call 650-903-6000 (24 hours) or visit www.mvcpa.com. Shoreline Amphitheatre is an outdoor concert venue that hosts performances by major, world-touring acts from late April until late October, at One Amphitheatre Parkway, Mtn. View. Call Shoreline box office at 877-686-5366 or visit www. livenation.com/Shoreline-Amphitheatre-tickets-MountainView/venue/229414.
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