We spent much of one day in Palo Alto including a stroll on University avenue, which centers the downtown area. This is the hub of the south Peninsula's activities both during the day and especially at night with its many clubs and restaurants. It also is the gateway to Stanford University.
When the Stanford family founded the University in honor of their lost son they purchased so much land that the school still is the largest land holder in the County. Much of the campus is open to visitors and our goal was a visit to the Iris & Gerald Cantor Arts Center. This includes a magnificent historic museum building as well as the Rodin Sculpture Garden. In the museum we viewed a current exhibit on California water which included some truly awesome oil paintings depicting its sources.
That afternoon we were introduced to Dinah's Garden Hotel which enjoys a history that includes its seven acres of gardens, tranquil waterfalls and art objects that whisk one to the South Pacific Islands. We were greeted by General Manager John Hutar and after check-in invited to take part in the afternoon's pool party. This included tasty appetizers, cocktails and live entertainment.
What made the scene so remarkable was that it was all taking place just a block from one of Palo Alto's busiest thoroughfares.
That evening we were at Sam's Chowder House and Oyster Bar for dinner which put us at the center of the bustling excitement that prevails on University Avenue both day and especially at night. Think fish here, famed New England and Manhattan clam chowders, an Oyster bar with six varieties of the species, local favorites like Cioppino or seafood Risotto, or a whole Maine lobster, steamed or grilled.
We talked with Natalie Warmbrodt, manager, and learned that Sam's also has special events like a Happy Hour and an oyster night. We split an order of fried Calamari with another of our group and then challenged the Seafood Risotto which was a huge portion.
Then back to our luxury room at Dinah's for some well earned rest.