Palo Alto (; Spanish for "tall stick") is a charter city located in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is named after a coastal redwood tree known as El Palo Alto.
The city was established by Leland Stanford when he founded Stanford University, following the death of his son, Leland Stanford Jr. Palo Alto includes portions of Stanford University and shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. As of the 2010 census, the city's total resident population is 64,403. Palo Alto is one of the most expensive cities in the United States in which to live and its residents are among the most educated in the country.
As one of the principal cities of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto is headquarters to a number of high-technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard (HP), Space Systems/Loral, VMware, Tesla, Ford Research and Innovation Center, PARC, IDEO, Skype, Houzz, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. Palo Alto has also served as an incubator and was headquarters to several other prominent high-technology companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, Logitech, Intuit, Pinterest, and PayPal.