One of the most interesting cities in the United States is Palo Alto, not only because of the moderate California weather but because it is home to a major medical university, home to a number of high tech industries and oddly, not a city entirely to itself. Bordered by the city of Stanford, part of Palo Alto overlaps boundaries with Stanford so it is part of Stanford as well as being Palo Alto.
This can be totally confusing to tourists, but when visiting Palo Alto, it should be known that if you travel out from the center of the city you may actually be in one of the bordering cities without even knowing it! Because of this, many of the top
attractions in Palo Alto may not be in Palo Alto at all.
Stanford University draws more visitors to Palo Alto than any other attraction. Many first time visitors come to Palo Alto because they are considering enrolling in the university or have a child seeking entrance. Stanford University has a cutting edge school of medicine which draws some of the most brilliant academics in the country. During open registration hotels in Palo Alto are often full, so before planning a visit to the city it is suggested that you book accommodations well in advance.
Hewlett Packard Garage
Palo Alto is attributed as being the birthplace of what we today refer to as Silicon Valley. From techies to history buffs, the Hewlett Packard Garage sees tens of thousands of visitors each year. In this garage in the year 1938 William R. Hewlett along with his longtime friend and associate David Packard developed an audio oscillator, their first electronic product. This is a must see. After all, how can you visit the birthplace of the concept of Silicon Valley without visiting the garage where the idea took root?
The Museum of American Heritage
This is one place that has something of interest to literally everyone. With a heavy focus on inventions spanning a 200 year period from 1750 to 1950, artifacts are both permanent and rotating so the timing of your visit may be important. Take time to call ahead if your visit to Palo Alto isn’t time-sensitive as you may wish to plan around technology displays as they are brought in. When coming to town to see the displays at the museum, you may want to book your stay at Nest Palo Alto which is themed around the high-tech experience you would expect in Silicon Valley.
While there are a number of nature preserves and outdoor parks and activities that are worth seeing, most visitors to Palo Alto come either because it is the heart of Silicon Valley or because it is the home of Stanford University. There will be something to do and see at all hours of the day and night and you just might find that you go home with a much greater understanding of just how important technology is in our everyday lives. Just don’t get so involved in technology that you don’t take a break to enjoy the warm and refreshing California sun.