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Palo Alto is one of Northern California’s most desirable cities. Close proximity to Stanford University and several high-tech companies make the city ideal for up-and-coming professionals. The Midtown area houses a mix of residential and commercial properties with beautiful tree-lined streets perfect for walking.


Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Palo Alto, CA is $1,660 for a studio, $2,612 for one bedroom, $3,279 for two bedrooms, and $3,669 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Palo Alto has increased by 3.5% in the past year.

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55 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
36 Transit Score® Some Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable



Students and professionals gather at Palo Alto Café for coffee, tea and carefully crafted dishes. The large coffee shop occupies a space on Middlefield Road near Colorado Avenue, just over two miles from Stanford University. The café provides free Wi-Fi, so people often gather to study or mingle in the casual atmosphere. Try the veggie bagel with a generous portion of avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers. Don’t forget the coffee; the beans are ground on-site, making for a great cup of joe.

When searching for an authentic Cuban experience, try La Bodeguita del Medio. Located on California Avenue, the restaurant name translates to “the little bar in the middle of the block.” What the restaurant lacks in size it makes up for in taste. Start with the crab cakes, and then follow them with the arroz con pollo, spicy roasted pork over white rice, black beans and caramelized red onions. When visiting, you can choose to sit in the bar, but seating in the main dining room requires a reservation.

The ambiance at Sancho’s Taqueria resembles that of an authentic Mexican eatery. The popular restaurant serves Bay Area residents with its famous Baja-style fish tacos and carnitas burritos. House favorites are the fish tacos and the surf and turf burrito, which features carne asada and prawns. The restaurant only takes cash, so make sure to stop by the ATM before heading here.

Most of the bars such as The Patio, Scotty’s Bar and Grill and NOLA restaurant and bar can be found within walking distance of each other along University Avenue. Take a friend to NOLA to share a NOLA’s original hurricane in a 60-ounce moron bowl.


Palo Alto gets its name from the tall Redwood trees that grow on the east side of San Francisquito Creek. The growth site holds claim to the second California historical landmark, El Palo Alto. A plaque at the historical landmark recounts the adventures of the Portola expedition from San Diego to Monterrey in 1769. The 63-man, 200-horse expedition took a wrong turn, which led them to Sweeny Ridge and the San Francisco Bay. The expedition spent time camping under El Palo Alto before they turned back to reach Monterrey.

Palo Alto houses several museums such as Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and the Museum of American Heritage north of Embarcadero Road. The Museum of American Heritage often hosts the annual Holiday Lego Extravaganza, while the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts sets up every August on University Avenue.


All streets in Midtown/Palo Alto feature sidewalks, making them walk- and bike- friendly. The city considers the trees that line the roads an urban forest, and municipal codes protect them as such. Over nine percent of Palo Alto residents ride their bikes to work, and the city has received gold status from the League of American Bicyclists since 2003. Still, not many streets contain dedicated bike lanes, and crossing some intersections can be dangerous.

Commuters who prefer their personal vehicles can easily access Highway 101 and Interstate 280. Additionally, state Routes 82 and 84 cross the city from north to south. Palo Alto does not utilize parking meters, and municipal complexes and multilevel parking lots offer free parking for two- to three-hour intervals. It won’t be easy to hail a cab on the street; if you find that you don’t want to drive, consider calling one of the local cab companies or use your smartphone to request a Lyft ride.

Commuters have several options for public transportation. Caltrain provides rail service between San Francisco and San Jose; directly in the center, the stop at University in Palo Alto is the second most popular on the entire line. Palo Alto circulates a free shuttle to major points within the area, while Santa Clara Valley Transportation provides transit to areas within the south bay and Silicon Valley.


The cost of living in Palo Alto rises to over three times the national average, but the Midtown area is much more reasonable at 36 percent less than Palo Alto city proper. Residents trade the high cost of living for low crime rates, access to exceptional education systems and close commutes to some of the largest companies in the south bay. An average one-bedroom apartment will run around $2,640.

If traveling to San Jose via the Caltrain, expect a commute time of approximately 50 minutes. One-way fare costs approximately $5.25. Gas prices in Palo Alto can rise as high as 30 percent above the national average, which may explain the popularity of bicycling and rail travel. You can expect to pay around $8 for a pint of beer.


A centrally located Safeway makes grocery shopping in Midtown a breeze. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods can be found north of the Embarcadero. Also north of the Embarcadero, the Palo Alto Farmers' Market opens every Saturday from May to December.

Shady Lane on University Avenue, carries unique artisan-made products at a reasonable price. The shop doesn’t limit itself to one type of textile; you can find glass art, jewelry and woodwork, and you can often talk to the artisans themselves as they help out around the store. When looking for a beautiful gift or an accent piece for your home, stop by the shop - you won’t be disappointed.

When you need a new pair of shoes, stop by In Her Shoes on El Camino Real. The unique shop carries exclusive shoes, handbags and jewelry. While the prices might seem high, the proceeds from the high-quality products help a good cause. The owner, Pam Rosekrans, donates 100 percent of the profit from the store to the San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Fund for Women.

High-end shoppers will head to Stanford Shopping Center, which contains the department stores Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's. The fashion center also features designer stores such as Eileen Fisher, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors.


Midtown contains three great parks. Greer Park, Midtown's northernmost park, contains a playground with nearby picnic tables with barbecue grills. Athletes frequent the park for its two basketball courts, four softball fields, little league field and five soccer fields. Adventure seekers enjoy the tri-bowl skateboard facility, and dog owners can exercise their dogs in the off-leash dog area.

Nearby, Herbert Hoover Park provides a different set of amenities. Equipped with two playgrounds, a handball court and two tennis courts, this park has a little something for everyone. All neighborhood parks welcome dogs, but if they are not in a designated off-leash area, they must remain on their leash. Midtown parks do not host any annual events, but you can reserve spaces at each of them for parties and events.


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Midtown Palo Alto Apartments for Rent

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Parker Palo Alto
1094-1094 Tanland Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94303
1 hr
$2,634 - 5,440 1-4 Bed Available Now
2850 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306
$3,109 - 4,127 1-2 Bed Available Now
4 days
2867 Alma St
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$2,750 2 Bed Available 09/06/17
4 days
2869 Alma St
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$2,650 2 Bed Available 09/05/17
2492 High St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$2,150 1 Bed Available Now
1 day
Park Plaza
2865 Park Blvd, Palo Alto, CA 94306
No Availability 2 wks
2891 Alma
2891 Alma St, Palo Alto, CA 94306
No Availability 2 wks

Apartments for Rent in Midtown Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto is one of Northern California’s most desirable cities. Close proximity to Stanford University and several high-tech companies make the city ideal for up-and-coming professionals. The Midtown area houses a mix of residential and commercial properties with beautiful tree-lined streets perfect for walking.

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