3945 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Phone: (650) 493-3141
Fax: (650) 493-6313
Spread over 21.4 acres (8.66 hectares) in Southern Palo Alto, the Mitchell Park was established in 1957. This beautiful park provides a much needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Named for J. Pearce Mitchell, a Palo Alto city councilman, the park was designed by Robert Royston. As such, Mitchell Park offers a volley of recreational activities and facilities like horseshoe pits, handball courts, jogging paths, picnic spots, playgrounds and much more. Apart from this, there's a dog park where your furry friends can retreat to. All in all, Mitchell Park makes for a fun day out for the entire family.
Hoover Park has something for everyone: large grassy areas, two children's playgrounds, a baseball field, tennis and handball courts, basketball courts, a picnic area and a dog run. One of the unique features of the park is the dry creek bed where an artificial creek once flowed but was drained due to the drought of 1976. The park is a perfect place for your little ones to play around while you sit down with a good book and soak in the nature under the cool shades of the trees. If you own a dog this would be a great place to find new friends for your pet. Restrooms are also available so are pooper-scoopers.
Winter Lodge is the only permanent outdoor ice skating rink west of the Sierras and has been open since 1956. Open from September to April, the skating rink is a great holiday destination or weekend activity for kids and adults alike. There is one mid-sized outdoor rink and another, smaller rink indoors. Come by during the day for all-ages skating or come by at night for adults-only skating (perfect for a date). Inside the lodge, fireplaces and a hot chocolate vending machine provide a warm welcome to visitors. Skating lessons are also available.
Named after a Mexican gold miner, Don Jesus Ramos, who settled in California, the Ramos Park is one of the many public parks in the city. This green expanse is a perfect space to laze around with a book or enjoy sports with your kids or friends. It features amenities like playground, basketball hoop, picnic spots, BBQ facilities and benches too.
Named after Alexander Peers, a prominent resident and former president of Mayfield Bank, the Peers Park is a green space of the city. This park offers different activities for locals that include kids playing area, tennis and basketball courts and a field house. The Peers Park Field House can also be rented for private events. Check website for more details.
One of the biggest parks in the city of Palo Alto, Greer Park is a place that is good for some fresh air. One can enjoy some recreational sports at this park, with basketball courts, soccer and softball fields and baseball diamonds in the park premises, along with a skateboard park. Kids and families will like to spend time at the playground, or picnic areas, some with barbecue pits as well. They also have a fenced area for dogs.
The Elizabeth Gamble Garden is a 2.5-acre (one hectare) property that includes a historic Victorian home, carriage house, tea house, a gazebo, and formal and demonstration gardens. The garden is home to fruit trees, a herb garden, several varieties of irises, perennials, roses, wisterias and a Mediterranean garden. If you come at just the right time of year, you may even see the garden at the peak of its cherry blossom season! Home gardening classes taught by master gardeners are offered throughout the year, and tours are available for groups of eight or more who call in advance; the property is also a popular site for weddings and wedding receptions. Admission is free to the public every day during daylight hours, though the office is only open during weekdays.
Located right next to the picturesque Professorville neighborhood, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo has been a reliable source of family fun since 1934, when it was established as the first children's museum west of the Mississippi. The zoo houses around 200 species of animals, including snakes, reptiles, tortoises, sharks, raccoons, bats, a red-tailed hawk and two bobcats. A total of 14 hands-on museum exhibits are designed to educate children about physics, earth science and math. It is also a popular destination for field trips and birthday parties.
The Arrillaga Recreation complex is an important sports center covering about 75,000 square feet (6967 square meters), reserved for Stanford University students and staff. Arrillaga Family Sports Center (AFSC) is part of this center and offers discounts to the faculty, alumni and students of Stanford University. Guests are also admitted at slightly higher rates. It provides amenities such as lockers, showers, cardio machines, basketball and squash courts. Check their website for the hours at which the showers and lockers are made available.
Shoreline Park encompasses the Shoreline Lake and offers expansive hills, the artificial lake and a golf course with 18 holes. Gusty winds in the area make Shoreline a popular location for windsurfers and kite-flyers. Hikers, walkers and bikers will find miles of winding natural and artificial trails to explore. It also houses the Shoreline Aquatic Cente which offers visitors facilities like kayaking, sailing, boating, canoeing and windsurfing. This park is also home to an amphitheater, a café and a Victorian house.
Palo Alto Airport is a small general aviation airport where locals fly their privately-owned planes in and out. One 2443-foot (745-meter) asphalt runway is available. There is also a car rental counter. Note that no commercial planes fly here.
Byxbee Park is a great place to spend a few hours away from the city. What was once a landfill is now an urban park filled with various modern concrete sculptures. It's also a great place to ride bikes along the trails, go birdwatching, or watch the windsurfers.