Welcome to Stanford
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford serves as not only the home of the university of the same name, but is a unique, de facto town in its own right. While many people consider Palo Alto to be the home of Stanford University, Stanford actually has its own zip code and is considered to be a separate, census designated place (CDP).
Lay of the Land
Stanford is located approximately 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose. With the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Cruz mountains to the west and the San Francisco Bay to the East, Stanford is surrounded by natural beauty and majesty. On the more man made side, it also closely borders several cities, including Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Menlo Park. This puts it into the perfect position to take advantage of everything that the Bay Area and Santa Clara County have to offer.
Most of the over 13,000 inhabitants of Stanford are either residents of on-campus housing or members of the university faculty. This social dichotomy among the residents leads to a relatively modest median household income of $64,499 while the home values remain consistent with the area with an average home or condominium value of well over 1 million dollars.
Stanford itself has very few transportation issues within the area as the majority of locations can be reached via foot or bicycle. However, transportation out of the area is simplified via the public services of both Santa Clara County and the Bay Area. The close proximity to both locations means that residents of Stanford have access to a wide range of local and statewide transit lines and amenities. This includes everything offered by CalTrain, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (about 14 miles to the Union City Bart Station), and everything offered by the Santa Clara County Transportation Authority. By accessing stations located in adjoining towns, Stanford residents have easy access to commuter trains, light rail systems, and bus lines. They are also relatively close to the San Francisco International Airport and the San Jose International Airport.
As home to a majority of Stanford University, the location of Stanford has access to all of the amenities and services often associated with the University, even those that are technically housed in the city of Palo Alto. A popular landmark visible from Interstate 280 is The Dish – an enormous radio telescope. Built in 1966 The Dish was used to communicate with the Voyager spacecraft, but is now used primarily by researchers and academics.
As an institution, Stanford Medical Center is almost as famous and nationally recognized as the university itself. With close to 2,000 total employees, the hospital is world-renowned for its work in several fields of medicine. These include cardiology, organ transportation, neurology, and various areas of cancer research and treatment. Various news and reporting agencies consistently rank Stanford Medical Center as one of the top 20 hospitals in the nation. Stanford Medical Center is not included in the Stanford CDP but along with the Stanford Shopping Center and Stanford Research Park is located in Palo Alto.
Located on the historic El Camino Real road, the Stanford Shopping Center is an upscale open air mall. The center has been operating in some capacity since 1954, but it has since grown to encompass an area of approximately 1.4 million square feet. While the center contains major department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, it also contains a host of smaller luxury retailers including Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, and Burberry.
Stanford Research Park is often considered one of the first technologically focused industrial parks in the nation. Owned by the University, Stanford Research Park played a pivotal role in the creation and subsequent success of Silicon Valley as a technologically focused industrial complex. Many of the founding organizations in the area, including Hewlett-Packard, were early tenants of the park. The park is still the main headquarters of many of the early driving forces behind Silicon Valley, as well as featuring offices of more modern companies such as Facebook and Tesla Motors.