Stanford University

Stanford University, one of our country's most esteemed schools, is located in the Bay area, approximately 35 miles from San Francisco in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. The impressive 8,180-acre campus is home to just over 7,000 undergraduate and 9,400 graduates who come from all over the world for the challenging academics, beautiful California weather, and the chance to study and interact with an engaged student body and dynamic faculty. Although the University is practically a village unto itself with its own zip code, it calls the City of Palo Alto home. Downtown Palo Alto is a short walk from campus with many hotels, shopping, and restaurant options.

Visitor Information: Tour Stanford

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Transportation: Three major airports serve the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco International (SFO)San Jose Mineta International (SJC), and Oakland International (OAK). Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, Stanford is roughly equidistant from the San Francisco and San Jose airports. Although San Francisco is the largest of the three area airports and offers the most options, some visitors find that San Jose’s smaller size makes it an easier alternative, especially for domestic flights. The local transit hub for bus and train services at Stanford is the Palo Alto Caltrain Station, located near the main entrance to campus. If you are traveling from San Francisco or San Jose, Caltrain is your most convenient option.

Stay: Stanford’s location adjacent to Palo Alto and Menlo Park offers an abundance of hotel options. The university has two properties close to campus, the Rosewood Sand Hill, one of the area’s most luxurious accomodations set on 16 acres with gorgeous views of the Santa Cruz mountains and The Stanford Guest House, a more economical choice.  Both hotels are located about a mile west of the Stanford campus on Sand Hill Road. Other popular choices with visiting families are the Palo Alto Sheraton, the Westin Palo Alto, and the boutique Clement Hotel. In the heart of downtown, book a room at The Nobu Epiphany Hotel. 

Coffee: Enjoy your morning brew at Coupa Cafe located right on campus. Peets, on Campus Drive, serves great coffee along with beautiful views.

Breakfast: Students head to popular Tootsies at the Stanford Barn for their unusual but delicious ricotta pancakes. Grab a seat outdoors and enjoy the beautiful California weather. Crepevine and Joanies are both good options as well.  Start the day off on a healthy note at BARE Bowls, downtown Palo Alto’s health food eatery specializing in pure açaí bowls with amazing fruit toppings. They also make killer smoothies.

Lunch: Students rave about the burgers, the salads, and fries at Gott Burger. From a small taco stand at the Farmers Market, Tacolicious has grown into a proper sit-down establishment offering a variety of tequilas and delicious tacos. Head to Pluto’s for their Mozzarella Moon Sandwich. Local Union 271 serves the best-grilled cheese and tomato soup. San Fran’s popular Pizzeria Delfina made fans happy when it opened in Palo Alto with plenty of veggies, salads, and larger plates on the menu in addition to their signature pies. 

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All Day Dining: Right near campus in the Town and Country shopping center, Mayfield Bakery and Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their open kitchen cafe with a focus on locally sourced Californian cuisine. The Bakery opens at 7 am and is a great place to grab a coffee, pastry or a salad and enjoy a quick meal on one of the indoor or outdoor tables.



Casual: In Menlo Park, head to Refuge known for their rib eye cheesesteak. A favorite at lunch or dinner for Neapolitan pizzas, Terun showcases modern Italian fare with a California twist. Students swear Oren's Hummus serves some of the best Mediterranean around. Located at the Stanford Barn, Vina Enoteca brings the rustic charm of Italy to the Silicon Valley.


A Step Up: Chef Robbie Wilson's Bird Dog, in downtown Palo Alto, focuses on local cuisine. Students say Zola is a parent favorite for seasonal French fare. Fans rave about the grilled lamb chops and whole fish at upscale Greek, Evvia Estiatorio, from the owners of San Francisco’s standout Kokkari. Flea Street Cafe from local legend Jesse Ziff Cool is located in nearby Menlo Park a mainstay for sustainable California cuisine. You will find elevated, inventive Vietnamese dishes at Tamarine. For a outstanding dining experience book a table at The Sea (from the team of Alexander’s Steakhouse) for an innovative, high-end seafood feast.

Late Night Snack: In Town & Country Village, Tin Pot is a must visit. Try one of the unusual, inventive flavors like Cinnamon Snickerdoodle or Roasted Banana Fudge Ripple. For late night pizza, students head to Pizza My Heart.

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Local Attractions: A must visit, The Cantor Arts Center is open six days a week and features over 200 works by Rodin in their permanent collection. See the Stanford campus from the top of the Hoover Tower Observation Platform. The 285-foot tower is a landmark for students, alumni, and the local community. Run or walk The Dish, a scenic 4-mile loop with great views of the school and the San Francisco Bay. The well-paved trails are popular with both students and locals from Silicon Valley.

Touring Stanford


You might not know it, but Stanford sports teams are consistently among the best in the nation—Stanford has won the Division I Director’s Cup the last 20 years. It was exciting to follow the men’s soccer team all season long in 2015 culminating in winning the National Championship!
— Theo
Studying with some of the brightest students in the world challenges me to work harder. Stanford offers tons of interesting classes and my professors overall have been stellar. You really can pursue whatever you are passionate about.
— Jordyn
While it’s nice to have Palo Alto nearby for movies, restaurants and shops, it’s not a college town and with the tech bubble it has become quite expensive. Life revolves around campus and I love the proximity to San Francisco.
— Sylvie





The Stanford Tree

School Colors


Acceptance Rate

4.7% (2016)

Common Application


Supplement Essays


Early Action/Decision

Early Action



SAT Average


ACT Average



7,000 Undergraduate




Admissions Office

Montag Hall 355 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305-6106

(p) (650) 723-2091
(f) (650) 723-6050

Sports Divisions

NCAA Division I

Greek Life


Noteworthy Alumni

Reese Witherspoon
John F. Kennedy
Larry Page
Susan Rice

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