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Welcome to Palo Alto
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 Palo Alto so special.

The area is home to Nobel prize winners, Silicon Valley CEOs, venture-capital firms, HP, Facebook 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 as the leading academic high-technology research center in the nation in the 1970s led to 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.

Palo Alto is known for the quality of its public schools, not surprising considering the close ties to Stanford and the fact that more than three-quarters of the adults in the community have advanced degrees.

The Stanford campus itself is the biggest visitor attraction, and visitors could easily spend a day or longer exploring the beautiful (and large) campus.

But at a minimum any visit should also include a walk or drive through the tree-lined (and among the costliest in the nation) residential neighborhoods, a walk in the foothills or baylands and some great shopping and eating in the several business districts.

Check out the Attractions section for places to visit, or our Top Ten Picks list.


Download our bi-annual printed Visitors Guide (5mb PDF), which is distributed through all local hotels, Stanford event organizers and many other locations. It includes a handy guide to area restaurants.

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Palo Alto Visitors Center
355 Alma Street, open Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. Drop in, visit online or call 650-324-3121 for assistance during your visit.
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