Palo Alto has a below average violent crime rate and an above average property crime rate compared to other cities in the United States.
The beating heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto is an affluent city that's home to tons of startups, one of the world's top universities, and a vibrant downtown. The city's startup minded culture goes all the way back to its roots as a charter city; this means that residents and the city establish and administer its own laws, rather than state and regional laws. This offers flexibility to choose and modify governmental structure as needed.
Its downtown area — centered around the attractive, tree-lined University Avenue — is full of restaurants, shopping (mostly high-end), and services. You'll find some bars around as well, including the quintessential college bar, The Old Pro. (Above the first floor retail on University Avenue you'll sometimes see people sitting at their computers in the startup offices on second floors.) The downtown is destination for young people due to its nightlife and the lack of things to do in neighboring cities.Overall, it's got the feel of an upscale college town and can easily be explored on foot.
If there's a dominant feature to this city, it's definitely the campus of Stanford University. Palo Alto's booming tech scene is largely driven by this school, which churns out talented graduates each year. Google's founders went to Stanford; so did Elon Musk, Marissa Mayer, Reed Hastings, Jerry Yang…the list goes on. Outside of technology, Stanford alums have made their mark on government (Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy), sports (Andrew Luck, Kerri Walsh Jennings), business (Mukesh Ambani), and the arts (John Steinbeck, Issa Rae), medicine, law, and just about every other industry.
Away from the downtown, a few other commercial streets, and the university campus, Palo Alto is mostly residential and thoroughly suburban. The city is comprised of a number of different neighborhoods, but there's not much difference between them. Quiet, leafy streets with well-tended properties are the standard.
You'll find a range of housing options here, from subsidized housing options to mansions. Singles, families, and students all have options to suit the space they need, but everyone pays a premium to live in Palo Alto: the housing market is expensive, with median home prices at $2.75 million. A two-income family pulling in well over six figures will find themselves just in the middle class. It's best to have deep pockets here.
While you'll likely want a car to really get around, there are other options. The city is rated as one of the most bicycle-friendly in the country and you'll see people biking to and from work. There's also a Caltrain station near downtown, making it easy to head north to San Francisco or south to other Silicon Valley cities.
For those with children there are more than a dozen stellar public schools. Palo Alto also has a fair share of highly rated private schools, including a couple international schools.
Despite the costs, Palo Alto is one of the most well-rounded cities in Silicon Valley. Its great weather (300 days of sunshine a year!), relaxed atmosphere, attractive streets, and range of amenities make this an inviting place to live.
Palo Alto is bordered on the north by East Palo Alto and the Bay, on the east by Mountain View, on the south by Los Altos Hills, and on the west by Menlo Park.
One of the intellectual giants of academia, Stanford University boasts a beautiful open campus that’s one of the largest in the world. Take a stroll to see its Romanesque architecture. Has many activities open to the public centered on the arts, history, and sports.
Located next to the campus of Stanford University, this upscale, open air mall is pleasant to walk around and has your typical mall retail stores. It also has a number of restaurants.
This marsh and nature preserve will be sure to appeal to your outdoorsey side. With 15 miles of trails, this is a family friendly location for hiking, jogging. and biking. Offers great birdwatching as well!
Photo Credits: Thanks to @garden_of_muth, @lizzylapp, @gentlemenwithhighlife, @yhi_0416, @singhsamyak, @cdean2.0, @rainbow.work, @boscooppa, @merry.jam, @timchau3, @sophiamonroehomes, @helloyashad, @saifaljaibeji, @get.zenmaid, @_gabrielaboff, @dmitry_trahtenberg, @ebaughan, @szaretsky, @nikce for your great photos of this neighborhood!