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Discover Palo Alto with a Local Guide ….

Palo Alto Tourism

Welcome! We will be looking at PALO ALTO, MENLO PARK, EAST PALO ALTO, and STANFORD for great places to visit! Get ready to enjoy a huge page about this wonderful part of Northern California. We will be looking at the HP garage, Google offices, Facebook offices, Stanford’s Palm Drive, historic sites, museums, Rodin sculptures at Stanford, lots of data about the CITY OF PALO ALTO (including: history, weather forecasts, photos from the 1940s and more). Are you planning to move to Palo Alto? Find out about PALO ALTO RENTALS on a site I update.

– Intro message by Ardan Michael Blum (Your webmaster at 345 Forest Avenue). Note: Also on this Palo Alto Blog you will find: PALO ALTO VS EAST PALO ALTO and discover Palo Alto’s Emergency Services Volunteer program run by the outstanding Ken Dueker.

About the City of Palo Alto

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 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.” 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. NOTE: See (different page) on this site: Palo Alto Demographics – With Comparison to East Palo Alto statistics.

It is interesting to note that in the last 40 years a large portion of the downtown shops have changed. From what I understand, the only main businesses that are still in place include the Pacific Art League, the Library, the Palo Alto Creamery on Hamilton Ave (which has the best pastry in town) and The Cardinal Hotel, … Oh and the first rate barber Hector (who moved from Cuba about 50 years ago to settle in Palo Alto) next to the hotel. Maybe there are more, but GONE is the gas station,and almost everything else from what I am told. {Updated – 1/23/2018} Wait … Well hold on … I have to add a bit more returning to this paragraph to clarify: See this page for an overview of historical landmarks which include: Palo Alto Tower Well, the beautiful post office, and further away the touching, Stanford Mausoleum.

You can navigate within this view of downtown Palo Alto:

Fun places to visit as soon as you are in town

Calendar of weekly events in Palo Alto



Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

Museum’s Website

The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

Website – Facebook / Facebook II – Youtube – Exhibition Schedule – Wikipedia – 
 – – Instagram – Front of building – Twitter and Google Culture Institute

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes more than 44,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary.

With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford’s academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond and attracts campus visitors from around the world.

Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and a great resource for teaching and research on campus. The Cantor is also famous for its outdoor sculpture, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden, modern and contemporary art across campus, and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden.

Cantor Arts Center
Lomita Drive at Museum Way
Stanford, CA

Closed Tuesday
Easter Sunday, 4/16
11 am–5 pm
11 am–8 pm
11 am–5 pm

– Admission is free of charge

Photography is allowed in the Center as long as the images are for personal, non-commercial use and works shown are part of the Cantor Arts Center’s collection. Photography of special exhibitions and of works on loan is restricted. Consult with the Visitor Service volunteer upon arrival to learn where you can photograph. Tripods cannot be used inside, but flash is OK. No wedding photography is allowed. Photography guidelines are at
The Cantor Arts Center respects the intellectual property rights of others, and we ask that you do the same. You can learn more at

Public Transit
Accessible by numerous public transportation agencies including Caltrain, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency, SamTrans, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, Dumbarton Express, and the East Bay Express.

The Stanford Marguerite, a free weekday shuttle system, picks up and delivers passengers to and from nearby public transportation stations and university locations, including the Cantor Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden, and Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden. If you would like to know more about the Marguerite shuttle, please contact the Transportation Office at 650-723-9362 or visit the Transportation Office Web site at

See: Eternal link: about the Rodin sculptures at Stanford

Hoover Tower

Tower Website

Hewlett-Packard House and Garage – PALO ALTO TOURISM “MUST VISIT” LOCATION

The Hewlett-Packard House and Garage is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto. This garage is the birthplace of 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.

Wikipedia About HP House & Garage

See also: HP House & Garage

Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve – PALO ALTO TOURISM “MUST VISIT” LOCATION

Baylands Official Website

Stanford Memorial Church

Stanford Memorial Website

Hanna–Honeycomb House

About the Frank Lloyd Wright Designed House

Arastradero Preserve

Official Information

Palo Alto Foothills Park

City of Palo Alto Park Page

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve

Map in PDF

Museum of American Heritage

Esther Clark Nature Preserve

Located at the end of Old Adobe Road off of Arastradero Road.
Trail Map in PDF guide

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve

Preserve Website

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Information from

Charleston Slough


Steve Jobs’ Grave

Cult of Mac – About the Grave

And this second important article: article in the Mercury News


Some timeline history information and location (note the Google complex is very large and there are several locations so we will focus on the largest of these). “Search engine Internet giant, Google, was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin and in February of 1999 moved into office space at 165 University avenue with 11 employees. Later that year, Google moved to Mountain View as space became an issue for expansion plans.” Via:

Googleplex central campus – 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

The Google Inc. central campus, a subset of the larger campus called the Googleplex.


Note: The original “The Facebook Inc” headquarters were located at 471 Emerson Street in Palo Alto “In 2004, when Facebook was then known as, they leased space at 156 University Avenue, in Downtown Palo Alto. Then in Feb 2005, Facebook leased 471 Emerson at the corner of Emerson and University Avenue. In December 2011, Facebook, was spread out in about a dozen locations downtown, including the Magnolia Hi-Fi building and a small office space at 101 University and 1601 California Avenue. At the end of 2011, Facebook completed their move to Menlo Park.” Adapted from this first rate site:

Location: 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
Worth a read: on
Timeline history: on


Entrance to Stanford – Map and Street View. For this I choose to have 3 street views (instead of your having to navigate inside of one or the other).


In °F

In °C


In °F

In °C





Color blindness tools
Surface Observations Plot for WFO Sacramento

Northern California Surface Observations with Esri Maps

Northern California
Observation Map and List of Stations

Latest METAR Observations
for Northern California
Latest METAR Observations
for Southern California

California Interactive
Observation Map
Experimental RSS/XML
Data Feeds

IWIN California Data
Local Storm Report



California Fire
Weather Page
Weather Service: Watches, Warnings and Advisories for California



NWR Alarms
FIPS Codes
Automated Voices
Spanish Voices
California Fire
Weather Site Map

NOAA Weather Radio
Severe Weather
Rip Currents
Safe Boating
Winter Weather
Air Quality
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Fire Weather OutlooksUV

Extra: You may wish to set up email alerts about Palo Alto weather

Walking Time/Speed with Google Maps

Google Maps is AMAZING! Let us take the example of a walk I have searched for locally. Here is Google’s estimated walk time from mid-town to a location close to the wonderful Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve

Using queries on Google Maps for Palo Alto here are the walking time estimates between main sights.

Please double check the estimates and route planner / distances BEFORE traveling by foot; walking distances may vary if you wish to avoid large roads. Example: Going SOUTH from Palo Alto you will maybe wish to avoid using El Camino Real by foot and would no doubt prefer to walk parallel to it on a bike friendly street. Example: The Bryant St. “Bicycle Boulevard” (going from Palo Alto Avenue to East Meadow Drive at a distance of about 20 minutes by bike and 1 h 4 min (3.3 mi) by foot) includes branding signage and enhanced roadway markings and additional traffic calming measures.

 Walking Time Estimates

Palo Alto Train Station to Stanford Shopping Center:

9 m walking time (o.4 mile) estimated.

Palo Alto Train Station to Whole Foods Market:

8 minutes for 0.4 mile:

Palo Alto Train Station to Baylands:

1 h 13 min (3.7 miles) via Embarcadero Rd:

Palo Alto Baylands to Facebook HQ (Menlo Park)

1 h 30 min (4.6 miles) via San Francisquito Creek Trail:

Palo Alto Baylands to Google HQ (Mountain View)

1 h 19 min (4.1 miles) via E Bayshore Rd

Palo Alto Baylands to IKEA (East Palo Alto)

 Palo Alto Baylands to California Ave Station:

59 min (3.0 miles) via Embarcadero Rd and North California Ave

California Ave Station to Equinox at 440 Portage Avenue

14 min (0.7 mile) via Park Blvd and Portage Ave

Equinox at 440 Portage Avenue to Mitchell Park Community Center:

38 min (1.9 miles) via Park Blvd and W Meadow Dr

Mitchell Park Community Center to Gunn High School

45 min (2.2 miles) via East Meadow Dr and Maybell Ave

Henry M. Gunn High School to Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford

1 h 6 min (3.4 miles) via Hanover St

Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford to the start of University Avenue

21 min (1.0 mile) via Palm Dr

See: Palo Alto Demographics – With Comparison to East Palo Alto statistics.

Also by your blogger: Offline Education, and in French: Seniors Genève


This Palo Alto tourism guide was last updated on 02/05/2018