Stanford University is situated on an 8,180-acre parcel of land that once was the home of Leland Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm. Today's campus still bears witness to this history with a barn, riding stables, miles of trails, and acres of sprawling open space; however, "The Farm" is more than just a beautiful environment. Its unique location on the San Francisco Peninsula, Stanford looks north to San Francisco, south to Silicon Valley, east to the city of Palo Alto, and west to the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountain range. These mountains, which separate San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean, shelter the campus so that summer weather is warm during the day and cool at night. Stanford's beautiful and distinctive architecture -- featuring arched passageways and intimate courtyards -- provide shaded areas for rest and for work.
An eclectic array of shops and restaurants in downtown Palo Alto offers plenty of options for evening and weekend diversions. The Stanford Shopping Center is located on campus and is easily accessible from the University's free Marguerite shuttle bus service that runs weekdays year-round.
Bay Area Treasures and Activities
Summer in the Bay Area provides a host of entertainment opportunities, reflecting its rich diversity. There is an abundance of cultural events such as plays, musicals, and street festivals. Area museums include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco; The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose; and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey. Other activities include a visit to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, watching the San Francisco Giants play during baseball season, and numerous art, dance, and food festivals.