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Stanford Park Staff Picks

  • Multiple spotlights shining on theater stage

    A Time-Traveling Tale at the Dragon Productions Theatre Company

    September 03, 2018

    One of the premier performance ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Dragon Productions Theatre Company in nearby Redwood City has spent years nurturing the artistry of emerging talent and establishing strong bonds with the local and regional community of theater lovers. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Stanford Park Hotel, this theater is the perfect spot for a night of dramatic art and action. Next up on the stage, from September 14 through October 7, you can enjoy Madeleine George’s The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist. George’s play tells the story of four Watsons: one the famous assistant to Sherlock Holmes, one the engineer who aided Alexander Graham Bell, one the supercomputer built by IBM to face-off against Jeopardy! all-stars, and one a 21st-century nerd in search of romance. By weaving these four timelines together, the play offers a poignant commentary on the capacity for technology to unite us, even as it rends us apart. Best of all, the theater itself is an intimate 65-person venue, meaning that, wherever you sit, you’ll have the perfect view of all the enchanting action.

    Address: 2120 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Black Lamborghini

    Libations and Luxury Cars at AutoVino

    August 06, 2018

    California is one of the major wine-producing regions of the world, and during your stay with us, we highly recommend a tour of one of the area vineyards or wineries. Though there are many great options to choose from, one of the most fun and unusual choices would have to be AutoVino, conveniently located right here in Menlo Park. Don’t be fooled by the facility’s industrial exterior. Within you’ll discover a superlative winery, with a tasting room open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. Along with the various varietals, you’ll also be treated to a delicious serving of wood-fired pizza prepared fresh onsite. But that’s not all. AutoVino, as the name implies, also houses a wide range of elite luxury and sports cars, which means you’ll have the chance to appreciate all the Bentleys, Porsches, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, and more as you compare vintages.

    Address: 205 Constitution Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025

  • Close up on guitar being strummed

    Warm Days and Cool Tunes at the Central Park Summer Concert Series

    July 02, 2018

    One of the most popular performance events of the year, the Central Park Summer Concert Series in the city of Fremont attracts thousands of visitors eager to kick back under the warm California sun and relax to the tunes of popular local and regional bands. This season’s line-up includes rockin' Journey tribute band Majestic Journey (July 12); Pop Fiction, which specializes in the hits of the 70s and 80s (July 19); Latin Funk sensation Tortilla Soup (July 26); 80s rock ensemble Rock Skool (August 2); Kenny Metcalf, who will convince you that you’ve been transported to an Elton John concert circa 1972 (August 9); and East Bay Mudd, bringing you big brass and all the biggest R&B hits (August 16). All concerts take place on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 P.M. at the Central Park Performance Pavilion next to stunning Lake Elizabeth. Pack yourself a picnic and blanket, and get ready to dance, sing along, or just lie back and let the rhythm flow over you.

    Address: Central Park, next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538

  • Pink roses in garden

    Old World Charm at Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Guild

    June 06, 2018

    Ninety years ago, Delight and Garfield Merner decided to establish an arts guild modeled on the ones they had experienced firsthand during their European travels. Today, the 3.5 acres of land they purchased to make their dream a reality is home to the Allied Arts Guild. During your visit, you’ll marvel at the shops and studios where local artists and artisans sell handmade goods, including jewelry, apparel, furniture, paintings, drawings, etchings, sculpture, and much more. Savor a fresh, organic meal at the Blue Garden Café, and feel transported to the Old World as you wander through three meticulously manicured Spanish gardens: Cervantes Court, The Court of Abundance, and The Garden of Delight (also known as The Blue Garden). Make sure you check out the Artisan Shop, too, where part of your purchase will be donated to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

    Address: 75 Arbor Rd at Cambridge Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

  • Woman with raised credit card sitting on couch with computer and shopping bags

    The Stanford Shopping Center

    May 10, 2018

    What would a vacation be without a day of retail therapy? Fortunately for guests of the Stanford Park Inn, you’re just around the corner from Northern California’s finest open-air shopping and dining spot. The Stanford Shopping Center features over 140 unique specialty shops, from Apple to Aveda, Coach to Crate & Barrel, Kiehl’s to Lacoste, and Tesla to Tiffany & Co. Major department stores include Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s, and dining options also abound. Opt for something high-end like the Asian fusion cuisine of Yucca de Lac or the farm-fresh beef and seafood at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, or keep it casual at California Pizza Kitchen and Chipotle Mexican Grill. As an added treat, the Stanford Shopping Center also boasts an expansive world-class garden with fountains and sculptures that will almost surely inspire a few selfies.

    Address: Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

  • Stanford University main quad and tower

    The Ivy of the West Coast

    April 02, 2018

    At the Stanford Park Hotel, we’re very lucky to be right next door to the top-tier university that shares our namesake. As one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world, Stanford University not only attracts some of the greatest minds to study in its hallowed halls; it also provides visitors countless opportunities for intellectual and cultural enrichment. Free guided tours of the campus are available every day at 11:30 and 3:30 during the academic year, but you can also easily grab a campus map and roam at your leisure amid the exquisite Romanesque architecture and lush greenery. Marvel at the dazzling Byzantine designs that adorn the interior of Stanford Memorial Church, or ascend 285 feet to the top of Hoover Tower, where the panoramic view stretches all the way to the San Francisco skyline on a clear, sunny day. Art lovers will be delighted by the two dozen galleries at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, which features major works from antiquity to today, and the Rodin Sculpture Garden will instantly transport you to Paris with iconic sculptures like The Thinker and The Kiss.

    Address: Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

  • Symphony and boys choir in opulent concert hall

    An Evening with Grammy Award – Winning Ragazzi Boys Chorus

    March 05, 2018

    This month, guests of the Stanford Park Hotel are in for a very special treat. On Sunday, March 25, at 6:30 P.M., the acclaimed Ragazzi Boys Chorus will perform its highly-anticipated From East to West concert, designed to “take audience members on a cross-cultural, global tour.” And if there’s one thing these boys know (aside from music), it’s touring. In addition to performing regularly with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Opera San Jose, the Grammy Award-winning Ragazzi Boys Chorus travels all over the world, from Canada, to Cuba, to Korea, captivating audiences with their versatility, precision, and exquisite harmonies. For this concert at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, just a short 15-minute drive from our hotel, the boys will perform great works of the western tradition coupled with selections from India, China, Japan, Korea, and the Cherokee Nation. To purchase tickets online, visit the Ragazzi Boys Chorus official website here.

    Address: 178 Clinton St, Redwood City, CA 94062

  • Street scene from San Francisco Chinatown

    Ring in the Chinese New Year in Spectacular San Francisco Style

    February 08, 2018

    Ensconced in Northern California’s gorgeous countryside and blessed with the rich variety of cultural attractions that an internationally renowned university brings, there are few reasons for Stanford Park Hotel guests to venture far. But if there’s one day of the year we definitely recommend making the scenic hour’s drive up to San Francisco, it’s the day of the annual Chinese New Year parade. On Friday, February 16, the Year of the Rooster officially becomes the Year of the Dog, and one week later, on Saturday, February 24, San Francisco’s Chinatown will stage the most massive, spectacular Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia. The streets will resound with the beat of hundreds of drums and hundreds of thousands of firecrackers as more than a million revelers join together to marvel at the procession. Marchers will include costume-clad school children, agile acrobats, ferocious lion dancers, and the one-of-a-kind, 268-foot Golden Dragon, operated by a hundred martial-arts trained men and women.

    Location: Chinatown, San Francisco

  • Close up on base of Edison phonograph

    The Museum of American Heritage: A History of Gadgets

    January 09, 2018

    Are you interested in technology? Do you like to know what makes things tick, things like clocks, cameras, typewriters, toys, radios, TVs, household appliances? If you’ve ever gazed in wonder at the mechanical world, then you might enjoy a trip over to the Museum of American Heritage, located in nearby Palo Alto in the historic Williams House. The Museum of American Heritage is devoted to all inventions mechanical and electrical from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The permanent exhibits, which fill six rooms, feature a working print shop, an early twentieth-century kitchen, a 1920s style general store, and an auto garage from the same period. The five other rooms, which contain a rotating exhibit that changes throughout the year, currently showcases Thomas Edison and His Rivals: Bringing Electricity to America, which will continue through February 18. The Williams House itself is an exquisite example of Tudor Revival architecture, and the adjacent garden offers a lush, shaded spot for quiet contemplation.

    Address: 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, California

  • Ballerina in white tutu with bent knees and arm extended above head against blue lit stage

    It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker: A Menlowe Ballet Original

    December 06, 2017

    From Friday, December 15, through Sunday, December 17, the Menlowe Ballet is proud to present four performances of It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, just a ten-minute drive from the Stanford Park Hotel. It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker combines elements from two different holiday favorites, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s masterful 19th-century ballet The Nutcracker and Frank Capra’s 20th-century cinematic hit It’s a Wonderful Life. You’ll marvel as lighter-than-air dancers glide and arc across the stage to music that blends Tchaikovsky’s original orchestral score with jazz riffs composed by the inimitable Duke Ellington. Don’t forget to pack the tissues: with the themes of It’s a Wonderful Life threaded through the production, this show really tugs at the heartstrings. The performance, which runs around two hours and includes a fifteen minute intermission, is appropriate for adults and children age 5 and up.

    Address: 555 Middlefield Rd, Atherton, CA 94027

  • Gray ruins of Medieval castle rising out of green and lavender vegetation

    Hamlet: Expanding the Bounds of Our Philosophy

    November 09, 2017

    One of the most popular narratives in all of Western literature, Hamlet is a story of otherworldly hauntings, guilt, intrigue, and revenge. You’ve probably seen or read Shakespeare’s version of the play, but you’ve never seen it staged in quite the way that Stanford University’s [wit] has planned for you on November 16. As an organization dedicated “to elevating female and non-binary voices in theater,” [wit] encourages “alternative-gender casting, works written by gender minorities, small-scale shows, and workshops to facilitate discussions about gender.” This contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic, a Capstone project for a cast of talented Stanford thespians on the cusp of their professional careers, promises to be as compelling and innovative as [wit]’s philosophy suggests. [wit] invites you to join them for an evening in Medieval Elsinore, where “something rotten in the state of Denmark” inspires a shockingly fresh theatrical experience and proves that, indeed, “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    Address: Elliott Program Center, 589 Governor's Avenue, Stanford, CA 94305

  • Basket with pumpkins fall flowers leaves painted jack o lanterns

    A Terrifyingly Good Time

    October 08, 2017

    Now that fall has arrived, the air is crisper, the days shorter, and the nights spookier. For those guests interested in family-friendly Halloween fun, we recommend the following celebrations, all just a short distance from the Stanford Park Hotel:

    Halloween Spooky Carnival

    This carnival has entertained Menlo Park children for a decade now. Hosted at the Onetta Harris Community Center, the event promises games, candy, face painting, and a costume contest. October 26, 4 – 6 P.M. 100 Terminal Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025

    Halloween Hoopla

    Put on your scariest costume and join revelers as they march through downtown and on to Fremont Park, where bags will be provided to all the kids so they can trick-or-treat at participating downtown businesses. With games, crafts, live music, and magic acts, this communal celebration is not to be missed. October 28, 11 – 2 P.M. The parade kicks-off at the Maloney Street parking lot behind Cheeky Monkey.

    Monster Bash

    Pioneer Park hosts an afternoon of games, crafts, and costumes. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the open-air screening of a classic Halloween film. October 28, 1 – 3 P.M. 1146 Church St, Mountain View, CA 94041

  • Head of golden Thai dragon with muticolored background

    A Night at the Theater

    September 06, 2017

    Theater companies abound in the San Francisco Bay Area, but few are as committed to fostering individual artistic achievement and creating substantive, lasting bonds with the community than the Dragon Productions Theatre Company. Located in nearby Red City, just a short 15-minute drive from our hotel, the Dragon Theatre’s intimate performance space accommodates 65 spectators, ensuring that every seat offers the perfect view of the action (which often extends beyond the confines of the stage and into the audience). Starting September 15 and running through October 8, the Dragon Theatre will present a new play, Cirque Exotique du Monde, which chronicles the lives of a hodgepodge team of circus players in 1936 Berlin whose freewheeling performance space becomes a crucible of political and personal turmoil when Frau Magda Goebbels takes a keen interest in their show. In addition, from now through December, the theater will stay up late one Friday per month for their Late Night Series, bringing sketch comedy, improv, stand-up, and music to the 21+ crowd.

    Address: 2120 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Red Ferrari in front of yellow building facade with man in yellow shirt

    Fast Cars and Fine Wines in Menlo Park

    August 11, 2017

    There are few experiences as characteristically Californian as a leisurely drive along the gently curving mountainside, the ocean waves lapping against the shore below, the sun shining warm above as you make your way to some of the world’s most celebrated vineyards. The Bay Area may not be Napa Valley, but at AutoVino, right here in Menlo Park, you can enjoy two key elements of that quintessentially Californian fantasy: fine wine and fast cars. Despite its curiously industrial exterior, AutoVino houses one of the best wineries around. Stop by any Saturday or Sunday between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M. to be treated not only to an assortment of choice vintages, but also to the scrumptious wood-fire pizza prepared fresh onsite. What about the cars, you say? AutoVino is not just a winery. It’s also a storage facility for high-end luxury and sports cars, which means your wine and gourmet pizza will be served with an up-close look at Bentleys, Aston Martins, Ferraris, and more.

    Address: 205 Constitution Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025

  • Silhouette of a man with his arms up and a guitar in is hand

    The Central Park Summer Concert Series: Music Therapy for the Soul

    July 04, 2017

    We know you work hard, and that often means sitting in an office all day. So when you come to a place as beautiful as California, you just want to kick back and let the mild California sun rejuvenate your mind and body. This July we recommend taking in a free outdoor performance at the wildly popular Central Park Summer Concert Series in nearby Fremont, just a short drive from our hotel. Thousands of revelers will sprawl out with friends and family on the lush grounds of the Central Park Performance Pavilion to hear groups like Caravanserai, the Santana-tribute band that’s now garnered its own cult following; Pop Fiction, a group that will have you singing along to all the greatest pop hits from Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson, to Katy Perry; and Jukebox Heroes, a Bay Area sensation that’ll get you on your feet and dancing like a maniac in no time. And that’s just a small sample of what’s in store Thursdays from 6 to 8 P.M., now through August 3. The Performance Pavilion is located in Central Park, next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538.

  • Garden courtyard at the Allied Arts Guild

    The Allied Arts Guild: Menlo Park's Hidden Spanish Gem

    June 05, 2017

    When Delight and Garfield Merner purchased 3.5 acres of land on the cusp of Menlo Park, their ultimate goal was to establish an arts guild in California that would celebrate the work of world-class local artists in a pristine setting. In just a few short years, that vision had become reality in what is today known as the Allied Arts Guild. Visitors to the Guild can roam through three authentic Spanish gardens: The Court of Abundance, The Garden of Delight (or, the Blue Garden), and Cervantes Court. Enjoy lunch prepared from fresh, local ingredients at the Blue Garden Café and chose from over a dozen shops and studios that craft and sell items like handmade jewelry, couture clothing, furniture, paintings, etchings, sculpture, and more. And remember, all purchases made at the Artisan Shop help fund the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

    Address: 75 Arbor Rd at Cambridge Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

  • Red high heel shoes and a black hand bag

    Northern California's Ultimate Shopping Destination

    May 01, 2017

    In addition world-class universities and wine country, the Stanford Park Hotel is also located within easy driving distance of Northern California’s number 1 open-air shopping and dining destination, the Stanford Shopping Center. With over 140 world-class shops, including high-end retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus as well as many local favorites, the Stanford Shopping Center has something to suit everyone’s taste. Dining options also cover a wide range: you can keep it ultra causal at Gourmet Franks, which serves the best tasting all-beef, chicken, or turkey hotdogs this side of the Rockies, or you can opt for a more elegant lunch experience at Terrain Garden Café, brought to you by James Beard Award winning Chef Marc Vetri. Dinner favorites include Cantonese Asian fusion restaurant Yucca de Lac and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. And even if you leave your wallet at home, you’re still sure to enjoy the gorgeous gardens, fountains, and sculptures that make Stanford Shopping Center a unique and memorable experience. 

    Address: Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

  • Cathedral ceiling of Stanford Memorial Church

    The Old World Meets the New

    April 03, 2017

    During your stay at the Stanford Park Hotel, we highly recommend that you borrow a Linus bike and ride down to the university campus that shares our namesake. Student-led tours are offered every day at 11 and 3:15, but you can just as easily make your way around unaided, save for a small campus map. The manicured lawns and pristine Romanesque architecture would in themselves be enough to merit a morning or afternoon strolling the grounds. In addition to the natural beauty of the campus, however, there’s also the Stanford Memorial Church, whose Byzantine details and elaborate mosaics recall the cathedrals of Venice. Climb to the top of Hoover Tower, where you can take in awe-inspiring views of the surrounding area. Or head over to the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, where you can choose from 24 different galleries. And before you leave, you must see the Rodin Sculpture Garden, where you’ll come face-to-face with such sublime works of art as The Thinker, The Kiss, and even Dante’s infamous Gates of Hell.

    Address: Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

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