Living in the Bay
Stanford is an exceptional place to go to school. It goes without saying that the university is home to world renown scholars, nationally recognized athletic teams, and distinguished artists and musicians. Beyond that, however, Stanford is situated in the heart of the Silicon Valley, a short drive from San Francisco, and an even shorter drive from state parks and the Pacific Ocean. Stanford is in the part of the Bay Area known as “The Peninsula.”
Graduate students often live close to campus, commuting to school by bike or car. According to a recent survey of the current Stanford Sociology graduate students, the department estimates:
- 30% of our doctoral students live in Stanford graduate housing on campus; 70% of our doctoral students live off-campus (most live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Redwood City).
- 60% of our doctoral students own a car; and 40% ride their bike as their primary form of transportation.
- 30% of our doctoral students live in a one-bedroom apartment; 70% share living costs with a roommate or partner/spouse.
- One-third of our doctoral students estimate their living expenses (rent and utilities) at $1000 or less; one-third estimate their living expenses are between $1000 and $1500.
The links below are organized to into two groups:
- The Living section is meant to provide resources for new graduate students as you prepare to relocate before school begins.
- The Enjoying section offers resources for exploring and experiencing the natural beauty and cultural diversity of the bay area.
- Stanford Community Housing Services
Information and listings of off-campus housing for Stanford affiliates – includes subsidized off-campus housing
- Stanford Graduate Housing
Information about on-campus housing for graduate students
- Google Housing Maps with rental listings
A unique tool that couples Google Maps with Craigslist
Arguably the most useful tool for finding Bay Area housing
- Stanford Parking and Transportation
Buy your parking permit, Cal Train “Go Pass,” register your bike, and more.
A great resource for people who bike for transportation or recreation.
- Cal Train
The public train that runs from San Francisco through Stanford/Palo Alto (and other towns) down to San Jose/Gilroy; and back.
- Sam Trans
Public transportation in San Mateo county
- Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Local busses (many that serve the Stanford community) and light rail
- BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
Public transportation serving San Francisco and the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, etc.)
- Muni Metro System
San Francisco buses, subway, and streetcars.
Free Shuttle Services
- Stanford Marguerite Shuttle
Free Stanford shuttle with multiple lines to take you from point A to B on campus, to downtown Palo Alto, and also many local shopping areas.
- Palo Alto Shuttle
The local free shuttle
Telephone and high-speed internet for off-campus living.
- City of Palo Alto Utilities
Electric, gas, sewer, and refuse for Palo Alto residents.
- Comcast Cable
Cable and high-speed internet for off-campus living.
- Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation (PG&E)
Electricity and gas for area living (non-Palo Alto).
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Greenbelt resources, news, and events.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area
About the Golden Gate National Parks.
Point Reyes National Seashore
About the Point Reyes recreation area.
- East Bay Regional Park District
About parks and recreation in the East Bay.
- Best of San Francisco Restaurant Guide
- City Search Restaurant Guide
- Jatbar:Jason and Terry's Bay Area Review
Regular folks write reviews of restaurants, clubs, and more.
- Palo Alto Online Restaurant Reviews
Reviews published in the community newspaper.
Local and Regional Museums and Related Institutions
- Alcatraz Island
- Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
- Bay Area Discovery Museum
- California Academy of Sciences
- California Palace of Legion of Honor
- Cantor Center for Visual Arts
- Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens
- Children's Discovery Museum
- Computer History Museum
- Filoli Gardens
- M.H. de Young Museum
- Mission Cultural Center of Latino Arts
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Museum of the African Diaspora
- Palo Alto Art Center
- Precita Eyes Mural Arts & Visitors Center