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Although it's considered the birthplace of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto has plenty more going for it than tech campuses and start-ups. As the home of Stanford University, it's as much college town as it is tech mecca, and it has a lively, walkable downtown full of restaurants, galleries and shops.
Take a free tour of Stanford’s Mission Revival campus any day of the week, or pop up to the top of Hoover Tower for a birds-eye view of Palo Alto. Hungry? You'll find tons of dining and nightlife options around University Avenue near the campus. For large-scale entertainment, check out the Shoreline Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue that hosts major performances and music festivals.
If you have the time, the city is ideally situated for exploring the Bay Area. Head north to San Francisco, south to San Jose or west through the redwoods to the beach. Palo Alto is also home of the Baylands Nature Preserve, with 1,940 acres of undisturbed marshland and fifteen miles of trails.