As a California charter city in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto is home to 64,403 residents. The city was established in 1876 by Leland Stanford at the time he founded Stanford University. It is bordered by East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Stanfrod, and Menlo Park, and is home to a number of tech companies, such as Apple, Google, Intuit, Facebook, Logitech, Pinterest, PayPal, and many more. Due to an influx of new startups and businesses, it is one of the five most expensive cities to live in the United States, and its residents are among the most educated.
Palo Alto has a variety of natural habitats, including oak forest, riparian, and estuarine. The 1400 acre Foothill Park offers incredible views of some of these habitats, as well as wildlife like deer, coyotes, and bobcats. The Charleston Slough offers a marsh and littoral zone, providing feeding areas for shorebirds and other estuarine wildlife. Access to nature is an important component in this city, and additional parks and preserves include Arastradero Preserve, Elizabeth Gamble Garden, and the Palo Alto Bayland Nature Preserve.
North of the Oregon Expressway, the city is characterized by older homes like Craftsman and California Colonials. Some of these houses date back to the 1890’s, while others were built between 1900-1940. Palo Alto also has several Eichler-styled homes designed by the Mid-Century-Modern architect Joseph Eicher. Homes in this area can range between $800,000 to $40 million, but the median home sale price is $1.48 million, making this the second most expensive city to live in the United States.
Palo Alto is home to over 7,000 businesses, and is an economic focal point of Silicon Valley. In addition to several tech firms within the Stanford Research Park on Page Mill Road, Palo Alto also has a growing restaurant and retail trade. Stanford Shopping Center and the downtown area of Palo Alto are favorite shopping and eating destinations for visitors and locals alike. This city had the first Apple Store, Whole Foods Market on the West Coast, and the very first Victoria’s Secret store.