As rich in history as it is central to today's developing technology, Palo Alto, California, was first identified by Gaspar de Portola while on an expedition from Spain. Portola's miscalculation during the journey led to his crew camping near a tall redwood tree (native to the area), which became known as El Palo Alto, "the tall tree," and led to the name the city holds today.
Palo Alto has become a magnet for visitors who want to enjoy its culture, beauty, history, and progressive energy. As home to one of the most prestigious higher-learning institutions of our day, it continues to be a place for intellectuals and forward thinkers. Palo Alto serves as a reminder that great things can be discovered accidentally by those who are brave and curious enough to travel. Although the tree itself, El Palo Alto, can be seen standing at 110 feet tall today, setting up camp near it is no longer a necessity. Whatever draws you to visit Palo Alto, California, finding the correct sleeping arrangements is crucial to enjoying all the city has to offer.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Established by Leland Stanford Sr. when he founded Stanford University, Palo Alto includes portions of Stanford University within its borders and benefits from a very temperate climate. Taking humidity into account, the best times to visit Palo Alto are between April and mid-November. Climate is comfortable with the height of heat occurring during the months of August to September peaking at about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 Celsius). This busiest time of year in Palo Alto offers vibrant coastal landscapes and the majestic Santa Cruz Mountains. Visit the small coastal town of Half Moon Bay to enjoy its towering redwoods and take part in some family fun by stopping by some of the many family-run farms.
Additionally, trail-seekers can take in the Bay Area's landscape by hiking the 3.7-mile trail around the Dish, Silicon Valley's unofficial landmark. Also, take in some of the charming vineyards and experience the delectable wine tasting offers available by the area's family-owned wineries. During this time of year, rates are a bit higher, but planning ahead can guarantee you get the best deal possible.
By the time fall rolls around, tourism begins to slow as the weather cools, but there are still many attractions and sights Palo Alto has to offer. The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival is a great way to celebrate the fall and enjoy some pumpkin painting. The 20,000-square-foot 49ers Museum at Levi's Stadium is a Mecca for football fans, and the local food and wine scene has something to offer every palate. With temperatures dropping a bit to the 60s, along with hotel rates going down, this is still a comfortable time to visit.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Palo Alto, CA:
Palo Alto, CA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. rate patterns by star rating class in Palo Alto, CA. Browse these charts to calculate the most cost effective time period to book in Palo Alto for any future trips.
What Are Some of the Best Hotels in Palo Alto, CA?
4 Star Average Prices: $249.65
If you're hoping for a luxury hotel in Palo Alto, California, there are a couple options that stand out from the rest. The Clement Hotel is all-inclusive and located in the business district just miles from Stanford University. You'll enjoy five-star amenities including an outdoor pool, fitness center, concierge service, and complimentary full breakfast served from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The rooftop terrace can help you take in the beautiful Palo Alto sunset and the spa services will relax the body and allow your mind to rest.
Another luxurious option is the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto known for its legendary service. About five minutes away from Facebook Campus and six minutes from the Computer History Museum, you can complete your day with a good night's sleep on down comforters and Egyptian cotton sheets. A separate shower and bathtub can soak any soreness away using complimentary designer toiletries.
What Are Some Budget Hotels in Palo Alto, CA?
3 Star Average Prices: $195.02
Any time of year, finding a budget-friendly hotel option is easier than you may think in Palo Alto. Travelodge Palo Alto Silicon Valley is centrally located near many attractions including Stanford University, Stanford Stadium, the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, and Shoreline Park. With amenities such as complimentary wireless internet and 24 cable channels, in-room refrigerator and microwave, and a late check-out available, unwinding after sightseeing is simple. Stretching your budget further, a complimentary continental breakfast is served daily from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and free self-parking is offered on-site.
If you are searching for an option that is close to some of the wonderful shopping experiences Palo Alto has to offer, America's Best Value Inn Sky Ranch is an attractive option. This hotel is just a few miles away from the San Antonio Shopping Center, offers AAA pricing, and stocks the rooms with complimentary toiletries, an iron and ironing board, and hair dryers. Satellite programming with free HBO and wireless internet can provide entertainment while the complimentary continental breakfast can fuel you for your adventurous day, perhaps including a visit to the nearby Shoreline Amphitheater.
2 Star Average Prices: $136.77
What Are Some of the Best Hotels for Discounts in Palo Alto, CA?
The Days Inn by Wyndham San Francisco is about 10 minutes away from the Asian Art Museum and offers AAA discounts. Additionally, it is centrally located near Louise Davies Symphony Hall and many quality restaurants offering a versatile dining experience to fit any budget.
Extended Stay America Fremont Newark is within a 15 minute commute of the Great Mall of the Bay Area and the Facebook Campus. Offering AAA rates, senior rates, military discounts, and complimentary internet and breakfast, this hotel is a great option for the value seeker.
How Do I Get Around?
Traveling throughout Palo Alto, there are several options for you. Many visitors do choose to use a car as there are destinations and attractions quite far from one another which necessitate a commute. However, Palo Alto does offer unique transportation options if you are looking for a more authentic experience of the culture and want to saturate yourself with the experience Palo Alto has to offer.
The Caltrain system operates frequent trips up and down between San Francisco and San Jose. There is also the free Stanford Marguerite Shuttle Bus service with maps of routes available online. Another option is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority buses, taxis, and many pedestrian and bike routes making travel by foot a very safe and economical option. In some cases, a shuttle service will be offered by your hotel which can transport you to centrally located areas enabling quick and safe travel to our desired destinations.
Many visitors also choose to utilize a vehicle while at Palo Alto to benefit from some of the farther destinations, like Hewlett Packard Garage, where a private tour can sometimes be secured in advance. With a vehicle, you can also benefit from free parking in downtown Palo Alto for at least the first two hours, after which fees may apply. Although parking in the evenings and weekends may be difficult, options to park elsewhere are available. Checking the downtown website for details is advised.
What Are Some Must-See Attractions?
Out of town visitors will want to take this opportunity to tour Stanford University campus. Be sure to catch sight of Cantor Arts Center, the Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, and Rodin Sculpture Garden.
Nature lovers will want to visit the serene spaces of the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto and the beautiful estate west of Redwood City known as Filoli Estate and Gardens.
Some family fun and educational options if you have children with you are the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, the Hiller Aviation Museum, and the Museum of American Heritage. Additionally, there are many parks and trails to help children burn off energy and enjoy the atmosphere of the lush city.
Palo Alto, California, has a vast array of attractions, venues, culture, and education to offer almost anyone. A visit to Palo Alto during any season will immerse you in the city's rich culture and multi-faceted educational learning experience. To completely benefit from your trip, be sure to fully understand all the potential Palo Alto offers visitors year round. Some attractions, like museums and historic buildings, are available year round. On the other hand, gardens and parks are best enjoyed during warmer seasons. Planning your itinerary in advance with the weather in mind will ensure you get the best rates for your stay and maximize your time and enjoyment in this bustling city.
As Teri Hatcher put it, 'tired people aren't witty. If you take the time to think about it, she is probably right. When you visit Palo Alto, you will be mesmerized by the sheer amount of activities you can participate in. It's considered one of the most expensive cities in the US, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the thrill of a good hotel. Whether you are on your honeymoon or family vacation, Pato Alto has you covered. In terms of hospitality, Palo Alto has so much to offer you. Still confused? This simple to follow guide will help you decide which hotel is the best for you.
Finding Affordable Stays in Palo Alto
If you are on a budget, one of the best hotels in Palo Alto to visit is the Good Nite Inn. This is an ideal place if you are up to 4 people. The location is perfect as it is very close to some of the major attractions. It offers basic but also comfortable hospitality with freebies included. Other cheap hotels you can choose from include Travelodge Palo Alto, Super 8 Mountain View, The Zen Hotel, Hotel California, Hotel Keen, Garden Court Hotel, Pacific Euro Hotel all of which offer free breakfast. These are just a few of the many cheap hotels that are available in Palo Alto.
What about Luxury Hotels?
If you are looking for a hotel with class and exquisiteness, then The Four Seasons in Silicon Valley situated in East Palo Alto is the one for you. This is one of those Palo Alto hotels that has sublime feel from the very entrance to the magnificent and well maintained lawns and gigantic swimming pool with sun screen. It also has unique services for families.
For a romantic experience, The Ritz-Carlton is one of the hotels in Palo Alto that is meant for the perfect getaway experience. It is graced with very beautiful rooms and breathtaking view of the bay as it is perched on a cliff facing the ocean.
The Rosewood Sand Hill, W Silicon Valley and the Sofitel San Francisco Bay hotels in Palo Alto are well suited for business travelers with many amenities at hand.
What to See in Palo Alto?
Your vacation will never be worthwhile if you eat well. Palo Alto has some of the best restaurants in the Bay area which is not only enjoyed by locals but also visitors. Restaurants in the city are rather small and most of them are independent but offer local and international cuisines.
If you are into walking, hiking, biking and tennis, then you are in for a thrill. The Standard 'Dish loop is popular place to go for runners, walkers and visitors in general. The Baylands Nature Preserve is located at the end of the Embarcadero Road and has a flat walking trail for visitors to sample the extensive wildlife that it has to show. Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course is ideal for any golfer. It's a full length 18-hole, 6800-yard golf course. It has a clubhouse, a range for driving, putting green and practice bunker. Kids will not be left behind as they have a chance to enjoy the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo and the small Museum of America Heritage in down town Palo Alto.
FAQs about hotels in Palo Alto
How much does a cheap hotel in Palo Alto cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Palo Alto can be as cheap as $136.77 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Palo Alto cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Palo Alto has been $195.02 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 4-5 star hotel in Palo Alto cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel in Palo Alto has been $249.65 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)