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Walnut Creek Magazine

Fall in Love With Palo Alto

Dec 01, 2021 03:01PM ● By Pam Kessler

(Fran Miller contributed to this story)

Just an hour drive south, Palo Alto buzzes with an energy and an entrepreneurial spirit that’s palpable. Whether exploring the shops and restaurants lining University Avenue, attending meetings at Google, or concerts at Shoreline, put Palo Alto on your list for a stylish local getaway.


A Tribute Portfolio property, Hotel Citrine swung open its doors last June, sharing a dog-friendly campus with AC Hotel by Marriott. Located on San Antonio Road—just 15-minutes from vibrant University Avenue—the boutique property boasts spacious suites with huge patios, and comfortable indoor/outdoor spaces to relax, work, and dine. Lounge on the sun-drenched pool deck with craft cocktails and creative tapas. The hotel’s restaurant, Wild Onion Bistro & Bar, has a casual vibe and menus that showcase Northern California’s bounty. Highlights include fresh-pressed juices and Benedicts at breakfast, BLT Caesar salads at lunch, and an eclectic mix of chardonnay steamed mussels and grilled lamb chops for supper. 

Directly across the street from Stanford Shopping Center and its premier shops, the Stanford Park Hotel is steeped in collegiate spirit and luxurious accommodations. Behind the traditional exterior, fountains and gardens fill serene private spaces. Borrow a bike and ride downtown, work-out in the fitness center or relax by the pool. Savor an espresso on the front porch or enjoy complimentary wine tastings. The hotel’s Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar serves oysters on the half shell and craft cocktails in the lively bar. 

Nestled at the rear of a large business park off University Avenue, the Four Seasons Hotel pays tribute to its techie travelers, welcoming Silicon Valley high rollers with freshly baked pastries by day and cocktails and charcuterie by night. Come Friday, the hotel 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 a private chalet at the property's Après Village holiday pop-up where Executive Chef Martin Morelli treats guests to gruyere cheese and champagne fondue, poutine, and s’mores made with house-made graham crackers and vanilla bean marshmallows.



Explore the stately homes, beautiful gardens, and tree-canopied streets of Steve Jobs’ Crescent Park neighborhood. Wander the gloriously landscaped 2.5-acre Gamble Gardens and discover its historic property and architecture. Hike up to the Stanford Dish, named for its 150-foot diameter radio telescope. Choose the 3.7 or 5 mile loop, the reward is a panoramic Peninsula view.      

Stroll or bike around the stunning 8,180-acre Stanford University campus, where you'll find the Rodin collection at the Cantor Arts Center featuring one of the artists' largest exhibits outside of Paris. A premier art destination in the South Bay, a bold OY/YO sculpture by Brooklyn-based sculptor Deborah Kass welcomes visitors to the museum. 


Tamarine Lines form out at the door of this venerable Vietnamese hot spot. Favorites include crab and garlic noodles and minted jalapeno chicken,


Rangoon Ruby This Burmese eatery is famous for its tea leaf salad and delicious twist on classic pad Thai. Rice noodles are tossed with red bell peppers, onions, baby bok choy,cabbage, peanuts, bean sprouts and scrambled egg, 

Nobu At this world-famous sushi sensation the atmosphere is chic, the food stellar, and the drinks potent,


Son & Garden If you love Farmhouse Kitchen, don't miss brunch on the porch at their Menlo Park outpost near the train station. The food is colorful and delish,

Evvia Estiatorio This Palo Alto hot spot serves sophisticated Greek fare to the Silicon Valley glitterati. Fabulous fish, savory roasted meats, and sun-soaked vegetables,


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