Palo Alto is a prominent city in California. With a population of less than 70,000, the city is one of the most expensive in the country and forms part of Silicon Valley. If you’re thinking of moving here, you’ll want to know the best neighborhoods in the city. So, what’re the best Palo Alto neighborhoods?
Almost all the neighborhoods in Palo Alto are great, but some are quite outstanding. They include Midtown, Downtown Palo Alto, College Terrace, Crescent Park, Barron Park, Old Palo Alto, Professorville, University South, and Charleston Meadows. These areas are serene with great schools and parks.
Apart from these areas, you’ll discover that Palo Alto is generally a great city. It’s very safe and small enough that there isn’t much difference in the quality of the neighborhoods. Note that this city is very expensive. Here, we highlight the best areas to live in Palo Alto.
Midtown is right in the middle of Palo Alto and one of the best neighborhoods in the city. It has several amenities for residents. You’re most likely going to find everything you’re looking for, from eateries to boutiques, at the Midtown Shopping Center. In addition, several excellent schools are here, such as El Carmelo Elementary School, Palo Verde elementary school, and JL Stanford middle school.
Palo Alto High School and Gunn High are the high school options available, and they serve the whole city. These are some of the best schools in the state. There is also Mitchell Park here, and it has an amazing playground that any kid will love. There’s a community center and a library in this neighborhood. It’s quite bicycle-friendly too.
2. Downtown Palo Alto
Here’s where the party’s at in Palo Alto. Downtown is where you’ll find most of the cafes and restaurants in the city. Downtown contains both residential and commercial spaces. So, it has the highest population density. Condos and townhouses are common here. There are several great schools here, and Palo Alto High school also serves the area.
The major parks here are El Camino Park and Coswell Plaza park. Either of them is great for spending your evenings and walking your dog. If you’re looking for an area with a commercial and residential feel in the city, Downtown Palo Alto is where to come.
3. College Terrace
Most of those living here either attend or work at Stanford University. It’s close to Stanford, and residents can easily walk or bike it, depending on their choice. You’ll find that some streets here are only for foot traffic and won’t allow cars. So, it’s an environmentally friendly area. Most of the streets are named after Ivy League universities. So, you’ll find streets such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc., here.
Schools here include Walter Hays Elementary, Escondido Elementary, and Jordan Middle. Residents here have access to Stanford, where there are many green areas. But the neighborhood itself also has Cameron Park. College terrace is close to California avenue, where there’s a bustling farmers market on Sunday mornings. The Caltrain station is also close to the neighborhood.
4. Crescent Park
This is where many of the top guys in Silicon Valley live or own a home. Houses here are quite big, and the lots are bigger than what you’ll find in most parts of the city. Eleanor Pardee Park is here. The park contains two playgrounds for kids, walking and jogging paths, a community garden, etc. Duveneck Elementary is also in this area. Houses here come in diverse styles and are generally newer.
5. Barron Park
The suburban neighborhood of Barron Park has a rural feel to it. If you want a place with more green space and quite secluded, here’s the place to come. The Cornelis Bol Park here is one of the biggest parks in Palo Alto. It contains playgrounds, hiking trails, and lots of other facilities. Excellent schools across all levels are also here. There’s Barron Park Elementary and Terman Middle School. California avenue is also close, so you have access to the shops and restaurants in that area.
6. Old Palo Alto
Homes here are some of the most expensive in the city. It’s a sort of exclusive neighborhood where several prominent people have lived. One of those is Steve Jobs. Several top executives still live here. The average lot size here is more than 10,000 square feet. So, its homes are quite big with wide yards and plenty of space between properties. Homes here date back as far as the 20s and 30s. Bowden Park and lawn bowling green park are here. If you want the biggest and most luxurious homes in the city, here’s where you’ll likely find them.
Professorville is a great neighborhood to live in. It’s close to Stanford, and Downtown is only a few minutes away on foot. Its name came from the Stanford professors who developed the area and lived there when Stanford started. Most homes here are Dutch Colonial, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival homes. If you want to shop or dine in Professorville, you can head to Town & Country Village Shopping Center. Professorville is quite expensive when it comes to the price of real estate.
8. Charleston Meadows
This is a serene and relatively quiet neighborhood to live in. Most homes here have wood facades with glass designs. It’s near the Ventura neighborhood but has its unique character. It’s close to the Nest in Palo Alto. Stanford University and the technology companies’ campuses are also quite close to this place.
9. University South
University South is a small and family-friendly neighborhood. It’s downtown with lots of condos, dining, and shopping experiences. This is the kind of place you’re likely to meet someone you know who lives in Palo Alto. While it has streets bustling with activity, you can still find several quiet streets here. It has a less flashy part that’s equally great, even if not noticeable.
Palo Alto is one of the most expensive places in the US. Homes here cost around $3 million on average. However, the high cost of homes doesn’t seem bad considering the amazing amenities here. The city is also in the center of Silicon Valley, which means it’s easy to get to other parts of the valley from here. Beyond the cities listed above, almost all the neighborhoods in Palo Alto are excellent.