I'm prejudiced because I went here; having said that...Stanford is definitely worth a visit. There is a lot to see, and the campus is beautiful. Give yourself several hours and wear comfortable shoes. Some tips:
--If possible, walk from Palo Alto (a mile from the train station) or use one of the free "Margueritte" shuttles from the Palo Alto train station (take the P, Y, or X buses). Visitor parking is limited and the cost of parking tickets is steep.
--Depending on your level of interest, available time, and stamina, get a tour. Podcast and self-directed tours are available, but you can also get a real live student-led tour at 11 a.m. or 3:15 p.m. Tours leave from the visitor center on Galvez Street.
--Please remember that this is a real university, not Disneyland. Do not barge into classrooms, bang on windows in the student dorms, and walk in a giant and noisy group in the hallways and arcades adjacent to offices and lecture halls. Please!!
--Hoover Tower is worth a visit to the top to see the area, but only if it is open and only if the weather is good. And bring a jacket.
--Bicycles are the main mode of transportation for students. Keep an eye out for cyclists because they rule the road.
--There are lots of places to eat on campus. Lots. Tressider Student Union has several options (including the coffee shop, Coho), but there are lots of other dining options tucked away all over the campus. Offerings vary from pre-made sandwich counters to coffee shops and kiosks to bistro-style dining. Some places have beer & wine. Check out www.stanford.edu and go to the links for visitors and campus dining.
--Stanford is in a perpetual building mode. Roads are often blocked for construction.
--Memorial Church in the center quad is worth a visit but is often closed for events (such as weddings). Plan accordingly and try to have enough time to return if the church is closed for a special occasion.
--Everyone probably wants to buy a tee shirt, right? The bookstore is big and well-stocked with souvenirs. It also has books! There is also a student-run operation in the student union (Tressider) which carries a smaller selection; prices for these items are often lower than in the bookstore.
--Many buildings such as libraries are open only to students or faculty with ID.
--The older buildings may present difficulties for people with physical disabilities. Although everything has been retrofitted to meet disability codes, wheelchair access will limit what visitors can see.
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