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Discover Palo Alto
The World’s Tech Hub is Not Necessarily Known as a Getaway Locale. It Should Be.


Published On: December 22, 2023
Interior view of Cantor Arts Center in Palo Alto, CA with marble floors and walls, seeral arches and grand interior
Cantor Arts Center // Photo by Stephen Gladfelter

Just a two-hour drive south of Napa, Palo Alto buzzes with palpable energy and an entrepreneurial spirit, making the South Bay town an ideal spot for a rejuvenating getaway. With its Mediterranean climate, fine dining, boutique shopping, numerous
(and free) activities, and creative vibe, Palo Alto inspires.

Better yet, the luxe hotels that primarily cater to weekday business travelers treat their R&R guests with the same red carpet roll-out received by visiting entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Whether exploring University Ave. and the Stanford campus, enjoying a glass of bubbly in a local wine bar, or simply relaxing poolside, a Palo Alto getaway rejuvenates.


image of green gardens with yellow tulips, several water features and ponds with mountains in the background at Filoli Gardens. Photo by Fran Miller

Filoli Gardens. Photo by Fran Miller


Begin your Palo Alto tour with a birds-eye view; the Stanford campus’ Hoover Tower observation platform affords a spectacular vantage point. Peruse Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center’s collections spanning 5,000 years, including one of the most extensive presentations of Rodin bronzes outside Paris—200 works. Hike the Stanford Dish, named for the site’s 150-ft diameter radio telescope. Choose the 3.7 or 5-mile loops, the rewards of which are panoramic views of the bay and the Stanford campus. Explore the stately traditional homes, beautiful gardens, and wide, tree-canopied streets of Steve Jobs’ Crescent Park neighborhood. Wander the gloriously landscaped 2.5-acre Gamble Gardens and its historic tea and carriage houses. Browse the high-end shops at Town and Country Village and Stanford Shopping Center, where people-watching is equally entertaining. Take a 15-minute drive to Woodside for a self-guided or guided tour of Filoli Gardens, one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. Meander its 16 acres of garden paths that flow between tulips, daffodils, roses, and camellia bushes.


outdoor view of Thomas Fogarty Winery with susent in background

Thomas Fogarty Winery // Photo by Danny Dong


Technically located not in Palo Alto but nearby Woodside, Thomas Fogarty Winery provides sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past 40 years, the Fogarty family has honed and developed their grape-growing and wine-making skills in this cool sub-region of the Santa Cruz Mountain AVA, where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are king and queen. Fogarty farming practices reflect a respect for the land and soil, which in turn are the basis for their vibrant wines. Sample their small production, high-end varietals, mostly derived from the vineyards the tasting room overlooks. // www.fogartywinery.com

The Wine Room, in the heart of downtown, is a cozy retreat that provides a unique opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines from all over the world. Vino Locale, also downtown, offers the same and features an al fresco patio with live music. // www.thepawineroom.comwww.vinolocale.org

Graduate Palo Alto Presidents’ Terrace Rooftop Bar with outdoor seating, fireplace, bar and string lights in the evening

Graduate Palo Alto Presidents’ Terrace Rooftop Bar

Graduate Palo Alto Hotel is home to the rooftop President’s Terrace bar, offering panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. There’s not another public rooftop view like it in town. Sit at the small bar or warm up by the fireplace while enjoying creatively crafted cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle from some more obscure labels. Dine on small plates such as Bay Scallop Ceviche or Pacific Kampachi Crudo. The hotel teams with Manresa Bread, so don’t miss the deceptively simple Bread and “Butter,” Manresa sourdough with whipped bone marrow “butter.” // www.graduatehotels.com/palo-alto/restaurant/presidents-terrace/

image of red cocktail in martini glass with steam coming off the top on table with red background

Goa Cooler // Photo courtesy of ROOH Palo Alto

Meaning soul or spirit, ROOH brings the spirit of India to Palo Alto with a delicate balance of rich traditional flavors made with fresh local ingredients and prepared with international techniques and inspirations. A vast majority of the menu comes from farmers/purveyors within a 50-mile radius. While the cuisine is innovative and progressive, the creatively crafted cocktails steal the show. Each is inspired by the Ayurvedic rasas (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) of taste. Nobu, a sensation worldwide, features a chic setting, stellar cuisine, and potent cocktails. Evvia Estiatorio, sister restaurant to San Francisco’s popular Kokkari, serves sophisticated Greek fare and is frequented by Silicon Valley glitterati. Bird Dog is a stylish, minimalistic bistro serving Californian and Japanese dishes made with local ingredients. And don’t miss lunch or dinner at Quattro, the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley’s signature restaurant. Featuring modern northern Italian cuisine and a famed wine list with selections from around the globe, the restaurant’s twinkle-lit patio is the ideal spot to enjoy the region’s nearly year-round ideal weather. // www.roohrestaurants.com, www.noburestaurants.comwww.evvia.net, www.birddogpa.comwww.fourseasons.com/siliconvalley


Interior photo of the lobby at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley with various seating options and grand chandelier

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley


Nestled at the rear of a large business park off of University Avenue, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley is a lovely representation of the iconic brand and its superb hospitality. Though it largely is home to exacting business travelers during the week, come Friday, the hotel reveals a lighter side as it welcomes weekend guests. Lobby lounge [esc] features afternoon tea, wine, and pop tunes in the evening and reverts to a coffee bar with house-made pastries in the morning. Fill your day with a workout in the hotel’s fitness center, where you can schedule a private yoga session. Book an afternoon massage at the hotel’s small and serene spa. Or simply relax by the 3rd-floor rooftop pool where unobtrusive but attentive staff cater to your every need. Seasonal activations, such as the Apres Ski Winter Experience, are whimsical and enchanting and are alone worth a visit. // www.fourseasons.com/siliconvalley.com