Community Housing: Local Communities

Listed below are brief descriptions of some of the communities near Stanford, organized by distance from the campus center.

Within a One-Mile Radius of the Center of Campus

  • Faculty Housing Area. University-owned land southeast of the campus center populated with faculty-owned houses. Rooms are available for rent in some houses, often with limited use of kitchen, laundry, and common areas. Entire houses are occasionally rented out when faculty go on sabbatical.
  • College Terrace. A quiet and friendly neighborhood located at the southeastern edge of campus. Comprised of apartments, cottages and houses where rents are generally high due to the proximity to campus.

Within Two Miles

  • Alpine Road, Menlo Park. A pretty, woodsy area next to the Stanford golf course. Due to the close proximity of this area to campus and the small number of residences, competition is high for the occasional cottage and house for rent.
  • Old Palo Alto. Beautiful older homes with well-kept gardens and lawns, giant oaks, and sycamores. Rooms, cottages, garage apartments, and an occasional house are available at generally high prices. Maximum 15 minute bike ride to campus.
  • Downtown Menlo Park. A comfortable suburban neighborhood with a mix of small family homes and older apartment buildings. Near stores and restaurants. An easy bike ride to campus via the bike bridge.
  • Downtown Palo Alto. A cosmopolitan neighborhood with many shops and restaurants, as well as some older apartments and small houses. Many apartments are in converted large Victorian houses. An easy bike ride to campus. The Marguerite Shuttle travels between downtown Palo Alto and the Stanford Campus.
  • Alameda de las Pulgas. A neighborhood of small and medium-sized houses. This main street is often referred to as "the Avenue." Roughly 10-20 minutes by bike to campus.

Within Three Miles

  • Barron Park. Mainly small houses and cottages, with a few small apartment buildings. This area has a distinctly rural feeling, due to the gardens and winding roads without sidewalks.
  • Ladera. Just a straight shot out Alpine Road. This is a small family-oriented community. Pretty homes, winding roads, and nice gardens. An unincorporated area closely associated with Portola Valley.
  • Midtown & South Palo Alto. Early '50's residential housing. Nice, quiet, tree-lined streets. Rents may be a bit less expensive here. Roughly 25 minutes by bike to campus.
  • Atherton. Beautiful, expensive homes and estates with gorgeous yards in this exclusive neighborhood. Occasional cottages, work exchanges, and rooms for rent.

Within Four Miles

  • East Palo Alto. A separate city bordering Palo Alto. The cost of renting in this area tends to be lower than in other communities. It has had a history of high crime, but the city is going through a major development period, and is improving. Some areas are nicer than others. Within biking distance of campus.

Within Five Miles

  • Portola Valley. An area with lots of land and greenery. There are beautiful custom homes with rooms to rent and large houses which command expensive rental rates. Near Zott's (the Alpine Inn), known for it's great hamburgers. Great for biking and hiking.
  • Los Altos Hills. Big, beautiful homes in the hills beyond Highway 280. Most available rentals are in the room, cottage, or work exchange categories. A longer but beautiful bike ride to campus.

Within Six Miles

  • Los Altos. A nice area of comfortable homes and pretty gardens. Lots of families live in this community, which has a great bike path to campus. Los Altos has a quaint downtown area.
  • Mountain View. Many condos, apartments, and tract houses with less expensive rents than Palo Alto and Menlo Park. About 20-30 minutes to campus by car.
  • Redwood City. Many different neighborhoods and atmospheres. Rents are lower here than in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, but some of the areas are not as nice. Many apartments, duplexes, and houses. 15-20 minutes to campus.
  • Woodside. Another area with lots of land and greenery. Many estates and large homes. This includes houses in the Skyline area. Lower Woodside is open with many fields and horse trails. Upper Woodside is secluded, rural and woodsy.