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Palo Alto has a lot to offer its residents, including tree-lined streets, a thriving downtown, a plethora of parks and open space for recreation, and excellent public schools. The city’s location next to the Stanford University campus gives residents easy access to lectures, extension courses, and other educational opportunities.
The city of about 66,000 incorporated in 1894 and got its name from a 1,000-year-old redwood tree along San Francisquito Creek. Palo Alto residents are highly educated, with nearly 80 percent of those 25 and older holding at least a bachelor’s degree, according to 2013 United States Census Bureau estimates. The median household income is $122,532. Forbes ranked Palo Alto's 94301 ZIP code 24th on its 2014 list of Most Expensive ZIP Codes, with a median home sales price of $3,525,837.
Open-space areas account for nearly one-third of the approximately 25-square-mile city, which boasts more than 30 municipal parks. Only residents and their guests may access the 1,400-acre Foothills Park on Page Mill Road. The city has one of the most active downtowns on the Peninsula, and an array of restaurants and shops line University Avenue and California Avenue. The Stanford Shopping Center is also a popular destination for retail and dining. Free parking is available in municipal lots downtown.
Numerous tech companies are headquartered in Palo Alto, including Hewlett-Packard and Tesla Motors. Many prominent Web businesses and brands, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and PayPal, got their start in the city.