“Digital DNA,” a seven foot tall egg made of circuit boards, stands downtown at Lytton Plaza. Digital DNA is a seven foot tall by five feet wide egg-shaped sculpture made of steel and silicon computer circuit boards, designed to recognize Palo Alto's central role in birthing Silicon Valley. The Palo Alto Public Arts Commission voted to purchase the sculpture for $9,950 from its creators Adriana Varella and her husband Nilton Malz, and the figure was placed in 2005.
Lytton Plaza is a .2 acre park in the heart of downtown which includes a paved brick area with benches and shade trees. The plaza was built by banker Bart Lytton in the 1960s to hold private art displays and fairs. This is one of Palo Alto's designated free-speech areas, and during our visit there were a bunch of religious fanatics denouncing all of the sins of the non-believers. Plans are currently being considered to renovate the plaza by adding a stage, a fountain and more trees.
The Dish Area is a 1500 acre area west of the main campus in the lower foothills. It is private park that is part of Stanford University. A radio telescope commonly known as "The Dish" is the most prominent landmark in the foothills. Built in 1961, the 150-foot-diameter Dish, which SRI International operates and maintains (US government owns it), is still used to scan distant planets and galaxies. The radar dish gives it its name but it is mostly undeveloped open space which Stanford is preserving. It is a beautiful place for a hike or jog, although there are some hills. On clear days, there are some spectacular views from the top of the hills. The plants and animals are also interesting to watch. Just be sure to read the instructions about what to do if you encounter a mountain lion.
Started sometime between 1880 and 1883, you would not expect a cactus garden to be on the Stanford campus. You would think the climate is not right, but some specimens have done quite well. It is really more a garden of succulents (cacti are succulents), since many of the plants are not cacti. It is formally named the Arizona Garden and is located near the Mausoleum. The beds form the shape of a turtle.
Ten years after its closure by earthquake damage, the Stanford Museum, renovated and expanded, reopened in January 1999 as part of the new Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts. The 120,000-square-foot Cantor Arts Center includes the historic Museum building (constructed in 1891), an enhanced Rodin Sculpture Garden and a new wing with a bookstore, cafe and space for special exhibitions.
I didn`t know what there was to do in Palo Alto when I went, but I knew that Stanford Univ was there. Where there is a univ, there are student events.
There`s always something going on, whether it`s a drama play, musical concert, sports events, or a dance.
I attended an acapella concert by Mixed Company, on Valentine`s Day. Free, might I add. The talent was amazing!! They sang & did skits in between. It was great!
You can find out about campus events online at the website below or visit The Stanford Daily Online (student paper). The best way though is to visit the campus itself. Look at the posted flyers, the Daily itself for the most current events, & go to the Visitor`s Info Center.
University events are great because if you are on a budget alot of the events are free or very low cost. You can even attend a lecture if you miss hearing a professor speak for an hour. Many events are at night so if you have nothing to do during this time this is an option.
We visited here on the Stanford campus. The center featured a series of sculptures by Rodin, the largest set of his bronzes outside of Paris! Admission is free, and it's well worth the visit if you're in the area.
If your staying in Palo Alto, renting a bicycle makes parking easy. You can visit Stanford University on the free shuttle (MArgariet) by the train station and rent a bike on campus at Campusbikeshop.com. Best place to eat has to be at the museum at Stanford.
520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto, California, 94301, United States
Good for: Families
2050 University Avenue, East Palo Alto, California, 94303, United States
Good for: Business
4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California, 94306, United States
Good for: Couples