In a region filled with commuter towns and ever-evolving industry, the city of Palo Alto sits like an elder statesman among adolescents. This older town owes much of its prosperity to neighboring Stanford University, which was founded by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their deceased son.
Palo Alto is equidistant between the Mineta San Jose International Airport (1667–2077 Airport Blvd., 408/501-0979, www.sjc.org) and the San Francisco International Airport (800/435-9736, www.flysfo.com).
CalTrain (www.caltrain.com, fares $3–11) can get you there as well. The commuter train runs from Gilroy to San Francisco, with a hub in San Jose. That same hub serves access to the VTA Light Rail (www.vta.org, fares $2–4), servicing San Jose up to Mountain View.
Palo Alto is easily accessed via U.S. 101 and I-280.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition