Destination guide

Settle into Silicon Valley

Palo Alto welcomes many business travelers thanks to the city’s prime location in Silicon Valley and status as the home of Stanford University. A Palo Alto vacation rental is a great choice for business travelers and families alike, offering more space and freedom as well as giving you every chance to get out and explore Palo Alto’s upscale dining opportunities. Palo Alto enjoys a vibrant cultural and arts scene too, as well as family-friendly attractions and plenty of green spaces to explore.

Things to do

Palo Alto arts and culture

The Cantor Arts Center has amassed some wonderful treasures over its more than 100 years of history, including a collection of Rodin sculptures, on display in the center and its Rodin Sculpture Garden. If you’re staying at your Palo Alto vacation rental with kids, a visit to Palo Alto’s Junior Museum and Zoo will keep them entertained – the more than 50 species on display here include bats, birds, bobcats, and tortoises. Or, in summer, head to the city’s Rinconada Park where, under the shade of redwood and oak trees, you’ll find Palo Alto’s municipal swimming pool, picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, and walking trails.


Visit Stanford campus at Palo Alto

This lively university town has great shopping, dining, and entertainment to explore in 2 downtown areas: along University Avenue and along California Avenue. Both boast many independent and refined restaurants, featuring authentic international cuisine and award-winning dining. The Stanford University campus is home to many of Palo Alto’s main attractions, including the Hoover Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House, and the Stanford Theater, an independent movie theater. Take a guided tour led by student volunteers to explore the campus, or head to Hoover Tower to enjoy the beautiful gardens and fountain at its foot, and panoramic views from the top.


Enjoy the Bay Area climate

Palo Alto experiences warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters that typify the San Francisco Bay Area. Between May and September, temperatures hover amenably around the 70s, although can sometimes peak in the 90s. During these warm summer months, the Pacific fog rolls over the western foothills as the sun goes down to cover the night sky in a thick blanket that helps to trap the summer warmth. The Santa Cruz Mountains to the west shelter Palo Alto from much of the Pacific Coast rains. Winters are colder, but seldom freezing, making snow rare.

Natural features

Back to nature near Palo Alto

In addition to those at Rinconada Park, you’ll find miles of trails and panoramic views across the Bay Area around Palo Alto’s landmark radio telescope, the Stanford Dish. To the east, Baylands Nature Preserve is one of the largest tracts of undisturbed marshland remaining in San Francisco Bay. Its unique mixture of tidal and fresh-water habitats make it a prime bird-watching area on the west coast. Canoes, kayaks, and sailboards are welcome on its peaceful waters. To the southwest of your Palo Alto vacation rental, the forests and flower-filled grasslands of Foothills Park and the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve have hiking and biking trails worth exploring.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Palo Alto

Fly into Palo Alto, CA (PAO-Santa Clara County), the closest airport, located 3 mi (4.8 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you can also fly into San Carlos, CA (SQL), which is 8.6 mi (13.8 km) away.

If you're traveling by train, the main station is Palo Alto Station. You might consider catching a ride on the metro at Palo Alto California Ave Station for ease of access to the rest of the city.

Where to stay around Palo Alto?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 597 vacation rentals near Palo Alto. From 273 Houses to 233 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Palo Alto for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Palo Alto?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Palo Alto:

  • College Terrace: 15 vacation rentals
  • Midtown: 43 vacation rentals
  • University South: 41 vacation rentals
  • St. Claire Gardens: 25 vacation rentals
  • Crescent Park: 38 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Palo Alto?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Palo Alto. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Stanford University Medical Center: 1,034 vacation rentals
  • Stanford Theatre: 1,044 vacation rentals
  • Palo Alto Station: 1,045 vacation rentals
  • Stanford University Arboretum: 1,036 vacation rentals
  • Palo Alto Art Center: 1,055 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Palo Alto listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Palo Alto?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 273 Houses in Palo Alto. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Palo Alto include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 233 rentals available
  • Cottages: 20 rentals available
  • Studios: 223 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Palo Alto?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 80 vacation rentals with pool available in Palo Alto. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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