Life in the Bay Area
With easy access to San Francisco and a host of outdoor attractions, Stanford students enjoy a world of cultural options that round out their graduate experience. The diversity of things to see and do in the Bay Area fosters an innovative, entrepreneurial, and creative environment that encourages students to think big and pursue original ideas. Thanks to our beautiful weather, it is a mix that we experience every day.
San Francisco is a drive (or train ride) away and a cultural destination for festivals, clubs, concerts, ballet, theater, opera, museums, sporting events, restaurants, water sports, wildlife spotting, and sight-seeing. If you don't mind the cooler, windier weather and longer commute, you may be rewarded with a vibrant, urban living experience.
As a member of the Stanford community, you have access to all University events and "the farm's" park-like campus with orchards, gardens, fountains, hiking trails over rolling hills that offer glimpses of horses, hawks and cows grazing, as well as a lively culture of performing arts and committment to diversity.
The adjacent city of Palo Alto has a beautiful downtown with diverse shops, restaurants and events like farmers markets to keep you busy. Many fellows live in the nearby cities of Mountain View, Redwood City, or slightly further out. Some live in "the City", San Francisco
Walk, bike, train, or drive
Few campuses can beat the sheer beauty of Stanford and the surrounding Bay Area. Our campus features sprawling fields surrounded by a three-mile walking loop, while redwoods, wildflower meadows, and the Pacific Ocean all are within a half-hour drive. Many students live in the graduate-student neighborhoods on campus, where they socialize with a diverse peer group through dinners and organized outings. Others opt to live off campus. Stanford is easily accessible from the surrounding Bay Area by bike and Caltrain, which stretches 80 miles from San Francisco to the north and Gilroy to the south. While biking is the most popular way to get around campus, transit options also include a free campus shuttle and car-share.
Stanford regularly draws world-class speakers and performers, and many students visit also San Francisco for concerts, museums, and nightlife. Meanwhile, downtown Palo Alto provides a host of restaurants, coffee shops, and retail within walking distance. Outdoor events—including a weekly farmers market on the edge of campus—flourish in our mild climate.
Searching for helpful websites/apps to find last-minute daycare or childcare? Need child-friendly suggestions for camps, weekend activities, etc.? Here is a collection of childcare resources!
Whether you’re coming from near or far, Stanford Parking & Transportation Services got you covered. Bike, carpool, or transit – we can help you find the best way to get to, from, and around campus.
While fellowship will fill up a lot of hours, you will definitely have some free time. When you’re not sleeping, here are some ideas of things you might want to do. Art enthusiasts will enjoy touring the galleries at the Cantor Arts Center, the Anderson Collection, the Stanford Art Gallery. Have a picnic in the Oval; take a self-guided Outdoor Sculpture Walk, Tree Walk, or Spring Plant Walk; visit the Mausoleum and Angel of Grief or Cactus Garden; explore the Stanford Foothills with a hike to The Dish; walk, bike or run on miles of scenic paths.