Welcome To

Palo Alto

Home to Stanford University and tech corporation giants.

Welcome to Palo Alto

Home to Stanford University and tech corporation giants.

Named after the majestic, thousand-year-old coastal redwood tree known as El Palo Alto, this resplendent city located in the northwestern portion of Santa Clara County, California is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Among the historic buildings and verdant streets, the vibrant energy of innovation moves like a living force. Here, you’ll find headquarters for technology giants like Tesla, Hewlett-Packard, Ford Research and Innovation Center, Skype, and several others. 

Key to the city’s history and development is the founding of Stanford University in 1891 by Leland Stanford, in addition to a train stop. As the university grew and annexed more land, the city grew as well, and now the population of this thriving urban center is home to nearly 70,000 residents. 

Palo Alto is unique for its seamless blend of the old and new, of charming residential melded with cutting edge commercial industries and plenty of activity. Its neighborhoods are architecturally rich, with single-family homes that run the gamut from Craftsman and Classical Revival to modern and Spanish Colonial. The town also accommodates all residential needs by offering luxury apartments and rental spaces in addition to its single-family housing. Investment property in Palo Alto has consistently proven to be a sound decision, due to the area's thriving tech industry, world-class educational institutions, and robust rental market. If you're considering moving to Palo Alto, investing in a property could provide you with a steady income stream, while also giving you a foothold in one of the country's most dynamic and rapidly appreciating real estate markets.

What to Love

People & Lifestyle

Palo Alto is where groundbreakers and dreamers come to get a taste of the action: whether you’re looking to get into the tech industry, build your own startup, or simply raise your family in a location that has a colorful energy and access to incredible opportunities, this is the place for you. The residents of Palo Alto tend to be extremely educated, politically aware, and the town itself is devoted to sustainability and environmental preservation.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

Downtown Palo Alto radiates with bustling activity, and the tree-lined streets give the area a small-town vibe while maintaining a sparkling modern ambiance. With dozens of unique restaurants, boutiques, mom-and-pop stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and so much more, downtown is the place to be for entertainment. More retail options can be found in the enormous Stanford Shopping Center, the mecca for shoppers and diners that houses over 140 stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and more all in an elegant outdoor center.

It’s impossible to talk about the exquisite dining scene in Palo Alto without mentioning Tamarine, an innovative restaurant that blends traditional Vietnamese cuisine with the Californian culture and the best of the local produce. A hot spot for CEOs and Silicon Valley moguls, Tamarine’s atmosphere is just as impressive as its menu, which has inspiring options like mouthwatering hoisin lamb chops. A personal favorite is Evvia, which serves up delicious modern Greek cuisine such as pita, lamb, and baklava. Searching for an upscale locale for a date night or celebratory dinner? Look no further than Nobu, a high-end Japanese restaurant that offers premier sushi dishes. For contemporary, multi-cultural fare with a flair, check out downtown’s Bird Dog, where the osetra caviar is unparalleled, and the chocolate profiteroles come decked in gold leaf. 

Town & Country Village
offers a plethora of excellent shopping and dining opportunities. Highlights include speciality store Hudson Grace, an entertainer’s paradise that sells everything from dinnerware and glassware to table linens and candles, and authentic Spanish tapas restaurant Telefèric Barcelona.

Things to Do

Activities in Palo Alto are just as diverse as the city itself. Residents and visitors have their choice of several museums, outdoor recreation, festivals, and unique sights to explore. Garden lovers will delight at the spectacular beauty of Filoli, the 654-acre estate that includes a 16-acre English Renaissance Garden with Georgian-style terraces meant to emphasize the incredible views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Stanford Dish is a popular hiking and jogging spot, offering panoramic views from sunrise to sunset.

Enjoy the dazzling works of local artists at the Allied Arts Guild in nearby Menlo Park, where the art is created and sold to the public in the same studios, all set among beautiful architecture and impressive gardens. There’s no shortage of culturally immersive experiences and chances to view art in Palo Alto. Check out the nationally acclaimed Palo Alto Art Museum for its visually stunning displays of local work or the Rodin Sculpture exhibit, one of many featured at the Cantor Arts Center located on Stanford University’s campus. 


Palo Alto is home to many excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:

  • Duveneck Elementary School, K-5, one of the top-ranked public elementary schools in the state 
  • Henry M. Gunn High School, 9-12, one of the top-ranked public high schools in the state
  • Castilleja School, 6-12, one of the top-ranked private schools in the entire state
  • Stanford University, internationally-ranked private college with world-renowned research programs
  • Palo Alto High School, 9-12, ranked the #4 best public high school in California by Niche

If you're planning on moving to Palo Alto, Gretchen Swall Real Estate can help you find the perfect home that fits your unique needs and preferences in this thriving tech hub of Silicon Valley. As a seasoned real estate agent, I am well-equipped to facilitate your process of moving to Palo Alto, ensuring a smooth transition to your new home.

Work With Gretchen

A natural born problem solver, Gretchen is known for her resourcefulness in challenging situations. As an agent who is prepared for all situations and knowledgeable in her craft, she is a huge asset to her clients and is thorough in educating them every step of the way.