Palo Alto – Overview
Palo Alto is a LARGE AREA with TWO train stations: Downtown – the main station and the smaller California Avenue stop. The City of Palo Alto extends across 36 neighborhoods. See PDF and a second map. Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 14 miles north of San Jose. Palo Alto is a charming mix of old and new. It has been judged for 2016 the 6th best place to live in America.
Palo Alto’s earliest recorded history dates from 1769, when Gaspar de Portolá noted an Ohlone settlement.
The establishment of Stanford University in 1885 made Palo Alto home to one of the leading places of learning; worldwide. 53 years later, The Hewlett-Packard House and Garage became the birthplace of the world’s first high-technology region which would be soon known as “Silicon Valley.” The idea for such a region originated with Dr. Frederick Terman, a Stanford University professor who encouraged his students to start up their own electronics companies in the area instead of joining established firms in the East. The first two students to follow his advice were William R. Hewlett and David Packard, who in 1938 began developing their first product, an audio oscillator, in this garage.
It was in the mid 90s that the true impact of this revolution started to be felt worldwide – as the Internet became a means of mass communication and the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area a hub for CEOs to set up some of the most important Tech firms on earth. Today: As of the 2010 census, the city’s total resident population is 64,403. Daily about 39.000 people come into town for work related reasons. See: Demographics
Fun places to visit as soon as you are in town
- Go over to home of Silicon Valley located in the HP Garage at 367 Addison Avenue. (See: Map)
- Drive over to Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve (Best to drive HERE at TERMINAL BLVD in Mountain View to park and start your walk).
- Go over to Stanford for a coffee and a visit of the Hoover Tower, Rodin works, Museums, and more.
- Visit the Stanford Shopping Center.
- Go to University Avenue (enjoy PIZZA MY HEART located next to LYTTON PLAZA. Or head over to GYROS GYROS, or an expresso at CAFE VENETIA– to name but few great places).
- Discover at 221 University Avenue the wonderful Stanford Theatre (showing golden age Hollywood movies in a beautiful setting).
Have free time?
Be in touch with the Palo Alto Emergency Services Volunteers (ESV) program