July 6, 2013

A Whirlwind Weekend in the San Francisco Peninsula


 
1.  I'd take you for dinner at one of the many fantastic ethnic restaurants--easily one of the best aspects of the Peninsula!  One thing I miss about my time in San Diego is the excellent Mexican food available everywhere, but El Grullense fills that hole in my heart.  You can order whatever you want, but I'd strongly recommend the carnitas tacos, with plenty of pico de gallo and marinated spicy carrots from the salsa bar.  Or, branch out a little and try something else--Korean, Israeli, Chinese, Thai, Indian.  At SGD Tofu House, I'd recommend either the dumpling tofu stew or the bibimbap (rice bowl).  At Oren's Hummus Shop, an always-packed Israeli cafe,  get the amazing hummus.  At The Noodle Shop, the XO fried fish and the hand-pulled chow mein.  At Shana Thai, try the green curry and pad see ew noodles. At Sitar, go with the buffet and make sure to eat plenty of naan.
 
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2.  It's famous for a reason!  You shouldn't miss Stanford University.  Walk around and enjoy the sculpture gardens and the stunning Memorial Church.  Wander for a while among the exhibits at the lovely (and free) Cantor Art Museum.  Catch an inexpensive or free sports game or, for a view of the whole Bay Area, take the elevator up Hoover Tower to the observation deck.  If it's a Sunday night, enjoy a free movie with Flicks.

3.  Calories don't count on vacation, so we'll stop in and grab a treat at Fraiche Yogurt in downtown Palo Alto.  Get the soy or chocolate (or both!) and top with raspberry puree, handmade mochi, and wildflower honey.

4.  The weather is perfect, and getting outdoors is a must.  You can't visit the Peninsula without taking advantage of the acres and acres of natural preserves and hiking trails, and we'll take advantage of the gorgeous day at Windy Hill.  Bring a camera.
 
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5.  The locals would protest if I didn't bring you to one of the farmer's markets that take over local downtowns each weekend.  Palo Alto (http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/california-avenue/) and Mountain View offer gorgeous local produce and artisanal foods, and you can stroll around downtown while you're there.  

6.  You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway that a trip to the Peninsula wouldn't be complete without stocking up on some books for your flight home.  The libraries here have pretty incredible book sales, so ask around, and also check out the Book-Go-Round and Feldman's.

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4 comments:

  1. My sister went to Stanford for her undergrad and I love the Peninsula. A Stanford tour is truly incredible. I recommend actually having a guide. They take you around in little golf carts and you get to see so much of the campus and learn so much about it. The Mountain View farmers market is definitely small, but mighty. This post makes me want to go down there again.

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  2. Great post! There is a fantastic hotel in Mountain View called the Crest View that I would highly recommend. It's a sweet boutique hotel that has the comfiest beds and huge jacuzzi tubs. All of the rooms have kitchenettes as well, but they offer a free buffet breakfast everyday as well as buffet dinners during the week. It's very affordable ($60-$85 depending on day of the week) and I can't wait to go back! When I lived in Fresno it was my escape when the central valley got too hot. :)

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  3. This is so great! We're so close, a little over an hour away, and these are some great date ideas! Loved this review, thanks so much!

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  4. Aaaand... my post about visiting Palo Alto just became obsolete. Sigh. Should have sent it to you when I wrote it months ago.

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