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About Palo Alto, CA

Most people connect Palo Alto with its famous university, Stanford. While the university does provide the hub for many of the city's activities, Palo Alto has a lot to offer for residents and visitors. The city is home to well-known tech companies like Hewlett-Packard, Tesla and PARC; Ford and Lockheed Martin have large research and development facilities here in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The Community of Palo Alto

Palo Alto was created next to the existing community of Mayfield because railroad magnate Leland Stanford wanted to place his university in a "dry" town, and Mayfield refused to stop serving alcohol. Eventually, Palo Alto outgrew its neighbor and annexed Mayfield in 1925.

Neighborhoods include Professorville, a national historic area that was home to Stanford's early academics, and Fairmeadow, a pleasant residential area known for its confusing maze of circles and cul-de-sacs. All together, there are 36 neighborhoods in the city.

What to Do in Palo Alto

You really can't skip visiting Stanford, the university that gave rise to the town and tech companies in this part of the Bay. Daily student-guided walking tours will give you an overview of the campus, after which you can focus on the university's renowned art galleries and Rodin Sculpture Garden, take in a performance at one of Stanford's theaters or climb the steps of Hoover Tower for a great view.

The scientifically minded may enjoy a tour of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where even those without a background in particle physics can gain an understanding of the role subatomic particles play in our universe.

If food is on your mind, explore the Palo Alto Farmer's Market, held every Saturday morning. Check out the local produce, meats and bakery goods as you stroll and people watch. Proceeds from the market support senior services. The city also has regular farmer's markets at the Stanford Shopping Center and on California Avenue.

One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Palo Alto

The Museum of American Heritage hides in a small downtown Palo Alto house, but does an admirable job of showcasing everyday technology for 200 years, from 1750 through 1950. Museum curators rotate exhibits regularly, and occasionally open their vast warehouse to the public. You may be able to see anything from how televisions have changed over time to what a turn-of-the-century kitchen looked like.

Dining in Palo Alto

Evvia has been a Palo Alto favorite for more than 20 years, and its high-end and high-quality Greek offerings make for a wonderful special occasion meal. Diners rave about the simple yet perfectly seasoned lamb, the flaky spanakotiropita and the excellent grilled octopus, but you can't go wrong with any dish.

Look no further for authentic Neapolitan pizza than Terun, Palo Alto's upscale pizza and pasta eatery. Get burrata and prosciutto on your pie and choose a glass from the well-curated wine list. If the weather is pleasant, ask for a seat on the back patio.

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