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Walnut Creek Magazine

Weekend Getaways: Palo Alto

Oct 04, 2017 01:17PM ● By Fran Miller


By Fran Miller

Just an hour drive south, Palo Alto buzzes with an energy and entrepreneurial spirit that is palpable. While it’s easy to relegate Palo Alto as merely a hub for technology and home of Stanford University, there’s far more to explore. Its proximity to the Santa Cruz Mountains and Pacific Ocean translates to nearby soul-soothing coastal pleasures. And luxe hotels that cater to weekday business travelers love to spoil their weekend guests. Whether exploring University Avenue and the Stanford campus, plugging-in at Hanahaus, or relaxing poolside, it’s time to put a Palo Alto weekend on your radar. 


Stanford Park Hotel

Directly across the street from Stanford Shopping Center and its premier shops, this lodging oasis is steeped in collegiate spirit, luxurious accommodations, and elevated service. Behind the traditionally elegant exterior lie quiet garden courtyards, fountains, and secluded private spaces. Borrow a Linus bike and ride downtown, work-out in the fitness center, or relax by the tree-lined hot tub. Savor an espresso in a rocking chair on the front porch, or enjoy complimentary wine tastings. The hotel’s Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar has an inviting local vibe, oysters on the half shell, and craft cocktails in lively bar. 100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park,

The Clement

No detail is overlooked at this all-inclusive, haute haven located directly across from Stanford’s campus. Its’ butler-style service caters to demanding mid-week business travelers, but weekenders receive the same ‘six-star’ experience. Food, drink, snacks, and cocktails are included with your stay and available 24/7, including an ever ready supply of Kara’s cupcakes and Tin Cup Creamery ice cream. Twenty-three spacious suites offer sophisticated comfort: Matouk linens, Frette towels and robes, stocked refrigerators, large soaking tubs, and in-mirror televisions. Chic shops and top dining spots are within walking distance. Plus the rooftop pool and deck rocks. 711 El Camino Real,


Four Seasons

Nestled at the rear of a large business park off of University Avenue, the gleaming Four Seasons Hotel pays tribute to its corporate travelers, welcoming Silicon Valley high rollers with Caffe Umbria coffee and freshly baked pastries by day, and cocktails and charcuterie by night. Come Friday, the Four Seasons rolls out the red carpet for weekend guests with an oyster bar and resident DJ. Fill your day with a work-out in the hotel’s fitness center or schedule a private yoga session. Book an afternoon massage or simply relax by the rooftop pool, where attentive staff cater to your every need. Don’t miss dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant Quattro, featuring modern northern Italian cuisine. 2050 University Avenue,         


Explore the stately traditional homes, beautiful gardens, and tree-canopied streets of Steve Jobs’ Crescent Park neighborhood.

For the ultimate Silicon Valley-esque experience, head to HanaHaus on University Avenue—a 15,000 square foot community workspace where creatives gather to socialize and share ideas. The Peninsula’s first Blue Bottle Coffee outpost is located here.

Wander the gloriously landscaped 2.5 acre Gamble Gardens and discover its historic property and architecture. 

Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center features collections spanning 5,000 years, including one of the largest exhibitions of Rodin bronzes outside of Paris—200 works in all.



Visit the Tech Museum, the Computer History Museum, or see the famous HP Garage, considered the birthplace of the Silicon Valley. 

Hike the Stanford Dish, named for the site’s 150-foot diameter radio telescope. Choose the 3.7 or 5 mile loops, the rewards are panoramic views of the Bay and the Stanford campus.                  



Tamarine Even on Monday nights long lines wait at the door of this venerable Vietnamese hot spot. Favorites include crab and garlic noodles and minted jalapeno chicken. 546 University Avenue,

Rangoon Ruby A Mark Zuckerberg favorite, this Burmese eatery combines Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines. A house classic is tea leaf salad: roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, yellow split peas, fried garlic, dried shrimp, and fermented tea leaves. 445 Emerson Street,

Bird Dog A stylish bistro that marries California and Japanese cuisine as evidenced by the best-selling grilled avocados filled with a sweet and tangy ponzu. 420 Ramona Street,

Nobu A sensation the world over, Nobu made its Silicon Valley just recently. Located in the Epiphany Hotel, the setting is chic, the food stellar, and the drinks potent. 180 Hamilton Avenue,

Evvia Estiatorio The sister restaurant to San Francisco's Kokkari, this hot spot serves sophisticated Greek fare to the Silicon Valley glitterati. Enjoy fabulous fish, savory roasted meats, and sun-soaked vegetables. 420 Emerson Street,

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