While there are many tourist attractions in Palo Alto, there are some that visitors will find more interesting than others. This list will show you a few of the best attractions in the area for all of the people in your traveling party. The list has something for everyone, including kids.
10. The Stanford Shopping Center
With more than 100 different stores, the Stanford Shopping Center will appeal to everyone in your traveling group. You may think that stopping at a mall when there are so many things to do in Palo Alto seems like a waste, but you may change your mind when you see all the different stores you can shop at all in one location. As one of the best shopping areas in the city, you will have a great time shopping for and looking at a variety of different things, as will the rest of your family.
9. Watercourse Way
If you are seeking a relaxing weekend in Palo Alto, stop by Watercourse Way where you will experience the height of relaxation. With a number of different massage, spa treatments and skin care treatments and packages, you and your friends or significant other can feel pampered. Packages are geared towards couples or bridal parties, so keep that in mind when you make your reservations. There are also tub rooms and saunas at the spa, if those are something you are interested. If you are interested in a massage or spa treatment, be sure to make reservations today.
8. Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve
Situated on 1,940 acres of land, the Baylands Nature Preserve offers visitors a few different outdoor activities to occupy their time in the area. At the preserve, you can spend your day looking for cool birds and kayaking or sailing on the water. There are biking and walking trails that will take you to beautiful places in the preserve. Windsurfing is also an option in the preserve for those who are interested in trying it. If you are interested in visiting, you should stop by the website to see all the park rules, which include not picking plants or flowers and no kite flying.
Professorville is a unique neighborhood in Palo Alto containing a number of beautiful houses that were built by professors from Stanford University. The University would allow professors to build homes on the University’s land, but would only lease the land. Now the area is a popular tourist attraction in the area, because of the unique buildings. Walking through the neighborhood won’t cost you anything, which makes it a nice stop for those who love to look at houses, but don’t want to have to drop a lot of money to do so.
6. Cantor Arts Center
Art lovers will enjoy browsing Cantor Arts Center. As part of Stanford University, the museum can be found on campus. Admission to the museum is free, so you can look at beautiful art without breaking the bank. The gallery is open from Wednesday to Monday, and is closed on Tuesdays. On Thursdays, the gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every other day, the museum opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. If you would like to take a tour, there are a couple different options, but you may want to check out the gallery’s website for tour information.
5. Hoover Tower
The Hoover Tower is a landmark on the Stanford University campus. The tower is 285 feet tall and contains 48 bells that ring for students on campus. Guests can tour the tower and see the beauty that it contains. If you visit with a Stanford student, you can take the tour for free, but otherwise the tour will cost $3 per adult and $2 for children under the age of 13. Reservations are not required for tours. You will be able purchase tickets at the tower lobby, so you don’t need to plan your visit in advance.
4. Junior Museum and Zoo
Kids will have a great time exploring the Junior Museum and Zoo. With more than 50 different species of animals at the zoo, the kids will love playing with and petting the animals, including hedgehogs and ferrets. Many of the different exhibits are also animal based, such as the insect exhibit that showcases different bugs. The museum’s mission is to engage a child’s curiosity in science and nature, so the exhibits all revolve around those fun subjects. While admission is free, a $5 donation per person is suggested. Hours from Tuesday through Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays, the museum opens at 1 p.m. and closes at 4 p.m.
3. Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
At the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, you can enjoy a nice afternoon wandering through a number of different gardens. The garden offers free admission, so it is a great romantic date spot that won’t cost you a fortune. The gardens are open every day during the daylight hours, so hours really depend on the day and season. You can take a tour of the gardens and buildings for $10 per person with a minimum of 8 people. Tours are only available from Monday through Friday. You will need to schedule tours in advance, however.
2. Museum of American Heritage
For a blast from America’s past, stop by the Museum of American Heritage. At the museum, you will see many different exhibits that showcase the past of this country. You can request a tour of the museum for a small donation fee per person. If you do plan to visit, be aware that the museum is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many of the permanent exhibits at the museum are centered on American life from 1920-1950. There are also rotating exhibits, so you will see something new every time you visit.
1. Stanford University
Stanford University is home to many different landmarks for those in the area. Visitors may also be interested in a few of these, including the Hoover Tower and the Stanford Dish, which is open to visitors daily at different times depending on the season. The campus is home to many different art museums and outdoor activities. You could spend your time on campus taking a tour or you could visit the Historic Red Barn that sits on campus, as well. Be sure to visit the cactus garden for a unique perspective on the plants. While you are on campus, you will see all the beauty the university offers to its students daily.
Although there are many different places to visit in Palo Alto, you should consider what each member of your group will enjoy the most before planning your trip. The area is full of natural attractions that are not only educational, but also beautiful. Depending on your budget and the amount of time you are spending in the area, this list should at least help you get started with planning your trip.