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Menlo Park, California (650) 242-4721

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The Ivy of the West Coast

Stanford university grassy knoll with buildings

One of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, Stanford University, "the Ivy of the West Coast,” comprises a gorgeous campus sprawling over thousands of acres. Though you won’t have time to see it all, if you have a free day explore, it’s definitely worth your time to rent a bike from the campus bike shop and hit the highlights. Armed with a self-guided tour map, you’ll ascend to the top of Hoover Tower for breathtaking views of Palo Alto. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the manicured lawn of the Oval. Then make your way over to Cantor Arts Center, where you can choose among 24 galleries. We especially love the many outdoor art installations, including the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden and the Rodin Sculpture Garden, where the collection of statues by the French master is among the largest in the world. If you’d prefer someone else to show you around, you can sign up for one of the student-led campus tours, offered daily at 11 A.M. and 3:15 P.M.

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

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