Best Things To Do And See In Palo Alto

Stanford University
Stanford University | Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
Culture Trip

Palo Alto is a charter city located in Santa Clara County. The city was founded by Stanford University’s founder, Leland Stanford, after his son’s untimely death. Although the city is mostly home to Stanford University and major tech companies like Tesla Motors, Palo Alto does have many exciting places for visitors to take a look at. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

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Stanford University

Stanford University

Founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, Stanford University is one of the nation’s top universities with an emphasis on research and technology. The large campus features many sights for tourists such as the Memorial Church, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Hoover Tower and the Stanford Dish.

Cantor Arts Center

Located on the prestigious grounds of Stanford University, the Cantor Arts Center stands as a testament to the visionary founder Leland Stanford’s dedication to education and culture. This exceptional museum was established alongside the university, enriching the Stanford community and visitors from around the world with its diverse and extensive collections spanning 5000 years of art history.

As you step inside the Cantor Arts Center, you’ll embark on a remarkable journey through time and creativity, exploring captivating works of art that traverse continents and epochs. The museum’s carefully curated collections boast an impressive array of masterpieces, ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary creations, showcasing the evolution of human artistic expression.

The Stanford Shopping Center

The Stanford Shopping Center is an exclusive shopping arena with stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom. The open-air shopping and dining destination also features restaurants like P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, The Melt and California Pizza Kitchen. The mall is open seven days a week from 10 AM-9 PM on weekdays, 10 AM-7 PM on Saturdays and 11 AM-6 PM on Sundays.

The Stanford Theatre

Stepping into The Stanford Theatre is like taking a nostalgic journey back in time to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since its grand opening in 1925, this iconic movie house has remained a beloved cultural landmark in Palo Alto, enchanting audiences with its timeless charm and commitment to preserving cinematic history.

As one of the few remaining theaters in the country dedicated to showcasing classic films, The Stanford Theatre is a true gem for cinephiles and history buffs alike. With its stunning interior adorned in vintage decor, including plush red velvet seats and elegant chandeliers, the theater exudes an old-world elegance that transports visitors to a bygone era of cinematic splendor.

Baylands Nature Preserve

The Baylands Nature Preserve is a 1,940-acre natural marshland in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visitors enjoy walking, running or biking on the 15-mile trail stretching across the park. The preserve also features a substantial amount of birds. The preserve’s carefully maintained habitats, including tidal marshes and saltwater ponds, create an ideal environment for birds to forage, rest, and nest. Keep an eye out for graceful herons, majestic egrets, and charismatic shorebirds wading through the shallows, as well as songbirds flitting among the reeds.

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden

The Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden was previously the residence of the Gamble family. Upon Elizabeth’s death, the last Gamble family member, the estate was leased out by the city of Palo Alto. The 2.5-acre property includes gardens, a historic house, carriage house and tea house.

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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.