In some circles, Palo Alto is known as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” The technological advancements originating in this city of 64,000 truly are remarkable – not surprising, considering it is home to Hewlett-Packard, Tesla Motors, Plantir Technologies, VMware and PARC. But Palo Alto is a lot more than technology, and not everyone living here is sitting around and dreaming up the next big tech breakthrough. The truth is, Palo Alto offers a superb lifestyle for singles, couples and families that is virtually unmatched anywhere in the United States. We’re going to look at a few elements of that lifestyle.
Eating out in Palo Alto
Palo Alto is the destination of choice for some of the finest dining experiences in the Bay Area. The best and most popular restaurants here are typically smaller, independently run establishments that please guests with outstanding food and service. (Hint: Don’t just show up without a reservation, particularly on extra-busy weekend nights.)
The cuisines offered in Palo Alto restaurants make up an eclectic variety: French, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Thai, Chinese and Greek are complimented by numerous outfits specializing in good old-fashioned American fare. At this time there are 84 restaurants operating in downtown Palo Alto. Go here for restaurant details and a map.
Palo Alto Theater
TheatreWorks began in 1970 as workshop for high school and college students. It has grown over the years to national acclaim and is hugely popular throughout the peninsula. Performances for the 2014-2015 season are divided between Palo Alto’s Lucie Stern Theatre at the Lucie Stern Community Center and the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
The Lucie Stern Theatre is also home to the Palo Alto Players and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. The Palo Alto Players formed in 1931 and are the peninsula’s first theatre company. This year’s productions include Harvey, the regional premier of Big Fish, The Addams Family, Chinglish and many others.
Shopping in downtown Palo Alto
Unique Palo Alto shopping venues include the world-famous Stanford Shopping Center; a vibrant downtown shopping district; a more low-key shopping and culinary district built around California Avenue south of Stanford University; and Town & Country Village, a specialty shopping attraction on El Camino Real new Stanford Stadium.
Shopping downtown is exciting, with large weekend crowds the norm. The area has been defined as “a combination of small-town accessibility and urban ambience.” Everything’s here, from mom-and-pop specialty outlets and art galleries to bookstores, national chain stores and a fine selection of outdoor cafes and coffee shops. The Stanford Shopping Center features destinations like Crate & Barrel, American Girl, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren and too many more to mention here.
Palo Alto Living
Palo Alto’s tree-shrouded neighborhoods and exquisite homes offer the ideal respite from outside activities. Consistently ranked on lists from Coldwell Banker to Forbes as being one of America’s most expensive cities, Palo Alto has a menu of fine properties to back up that ranking.
On the current Palo Alto MLS are 32 grand homes and condos with five properties priced above $8 million. Leading the way is a fully remodeled Spanish Colonial Revival home with five bedrooms and four bathrooms within 5,162 square feet of living space. List price is $11,995,000.
As you can see, Palo Alto offers a full list of things to do and wonderful places to live. It’s no wonder it attracts people from both high-tech and no-tech fields who choose to create the lifestyle of their dreams in the Birthplace of Silicon Valley.