Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
View of Palm Drive

City of Palo Alto

Main content start

Palo Alto is a dynamic global city just outside the Stanford University campus. The city is named after a majestic 1,000 year old coastal redwood tree along San Francisquito Creek, where early Spanish explorers once camped and has grown alongside Stanford University for more than 125 years. Palo Alto is recognized as a global leader in cutting-edge technological development and is known as the "Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” This exciting mix of tradition and innovation makes Palo Alto an extraordinary destination for visitors.

Visit the City of Palo Alto to explore fun and fascinating things to see and do. There is something for everyone!

Visit Uplift Local to explore events, dining, and other retail and service options.

Palo Alto’s Wellness Wednesdays series focuses on community wellness and offers resources to reduce stress and anxiety, and have fun while we manage challenging times together. Visitors are also welcome to subscribe to the city’s newsletters for more information and resources to support your visit.

Image of downtown Palo Alto. Image credit Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online.
Photo Credit: Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online

Our Favorite Local Gems

King Plaza is dedicated in honor of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and the plaza serves as a gathering space and offers free WiFi to the public. 

California Avenue Farmers Market offers fresh market options from local producers. The market is open every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., all year round.

Downtown Palo Alto Farmers’ Market is a market with a variety of vendors selling produce, flowers, global plates and more. The market is open every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., all year round. 

Eight Temporary Murals across Palo Alto were created by eight local artists and artist teams exploring themes of resiliency, empathy, healing, cultural diversity and vibrancy. Viewers can take a walking tour with the help of an interactive tour map. Art labels at each location incorporates QR codes offering additional information about each artist and their artwork.

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is open to the public for free every day during daylight hours. Located in the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, the gardens are a lovely community resource for horticultural education, inspiration, and enjoyment.

Foothills Park. Image credit: Ray Cowan, Flickr
Image Credit: Flickr, Ray Cowan

Foothills Park is a public 1,400-acre park and nature preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California within the city of Palo Alto. Explore Palo Alto's other open space preserves, which offer trails from the marshes of the Bay to the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Interactive Tree Walk Guide series, part of Canopy’s Tree Walk program, consists of neighborhood tree walk routes throughout Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain.

Junior Museum and Zoo is a great environment where children can come to explore and discover animals and science. There are many hands-on exhibits and a community of live animals for anyone to see.

The Hewlett-Packard Garage was the workshop in which William Hewlett and David Packard developed their company HP. The garage has become a symbol of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. In 1989, California named the historic garage the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley'' and made it a California Historical Landmark.

The Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) is the Bay Area's only museum exclusively dedicated to the history of technological innovation from 1750 to 1950.  MOAH is a family-friendly learning environment where visitors of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore scientific and technological history through unique exhibits, special events, and programs. Visitors can also stroll through Heritage Park across the street.

Palo Alto Art Center provides an accessible and welcoming place to engage with art, including acclaimed exhibitions featuring the work of both emerging and professional artists.

Palo Alto Stanford Heritage offers walking tours around the city so visitors can explore different neighborhoods, see historic buildings, and enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets and public spaces.

Public Art Scavenger Hunt, put together by the Public Art Program, is a fun scavenger hunt for all ages to wander downtown to find the many whimsical Greg Brown murals. Share your discoveries on social media using #gregbrownmurals and #cpapublicart. Make sure to tag @publicartpa and @cityofpaloalto to be re-posted and featured on their Instagram accounts. Download and print the scavenger hunt list or view the online map for an easier hunt!