The City of Palo Alto is an unusual blend of intellect, innovation, culture and natural beauty. It is home to Nobel Prize winners, Silicon Valley CEOs, venture capital firms, Hewlett-Packard and one of the most renowned universities and medical centers in the world. Though Palo Alto developed as a sleepy college town, the emergence of Stanford University in the 1970s as the nation's leading high-technology research center paved the way for hundreds of startup businesses with connections to Stanford professors and their inventions. Thus, Palo Alto became known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley and attracted engineers and others from all over the world to pursue their dreams. The Stanford campus itself is the biggest visitor attraction. But at a minimum any visit should also include a walk or drive through the tree-lined residential neighborhoods (among the costliest in the nation), a walk in the foothills or Baylands, and some great shopping and eating in the handful of nearby business districts, including ones in Menlo Park and Mountain View.