Things To Do In Downtown Palo Alto When You're A Wedding Guest

Eat

If you like Mardi Gras-- and who doesn't?-- try Nola [map] for some Cajun cuisine and a Fire Engine Margarita-- it's not DeeAnn's signature White Sangria, but it's damn good.

If you're in the mood for some really spicy food, head over to Jing Jing [map] and get ready to lose some taste buds to their famously hot & spicy dishes. Some of our favorites: the Chef's Special Orange Peel Beef, Szechwan Dan Dan Mein (Noodles), and of course, Kung Pao Chicken.

In a hurry? Go to World Wrapps [map] at the corner of University and Emerson. Curtis likes their wasabi-laced Samurai Salmon Bowl with a smoothie to wash it down.

If there's too much cash burning a hole in your back pocket, walk down Emerson to Whole Foods Market [map] and exchange your yuppie food coupons for some organic yuppie treats.

We all (but especially DeeAnn) scream for ice cream! The Peninsula Creamery (a.k.a. Peninsula Fountain & Grill) [map] at Emerson and Hamilton has been serving great milkshakes since 1923. If Whole Foods didn't clean you out, go crazy and order the Bubbly Burger (which comes with a bottle of Dom Perignon).

If you're looking for something more European, Gelato Classico [map] a few blocks away offers tasty Italian ices and is right across the street from the Aquarius Theatre. Speaking of which...

See Movies

The Aquarius [map] features independent and foreign films, and also shows cult classics during their midnight movie series. Even if you don't go in, swing by to check out their witty marquees. As a bonus, Jing Jing and Gelato Classico are right across the street, so you can make a night of it with a dinner-movie-dessert trifecta-- and you only have to look for parking once!

Back on University Avenue, the Stanford Theatre [map] shows classic American films, including silent and black-and-white cinema. And every Christmas Eve, they have a special screening of It's a Wonderful Life, which Curtis and DeeAnn never miss if they're home for the holidays.

Shop

Some might say it was a travesty for Borders [map] to take over the Varsity Theater building. It's true that downtown's used bookstores (Bells, Megabooks, Renaissance) do have more character, but if you're looking for music, movies, or coffee, you'd better make a run for the... never mind.

It's not downtown, but the Stanford Shopping Center [map] is a mecca for conspicuous consumers from all walks of life. And it has sentimental value, since it's where we met Alton Brown of Good Eats on his 2004 book tour.

Play

On her birthday, DeeAnn loves to go to Watercourse Way [map] for a massage and a soak in the hot tub. Sometimes Curtis goes with her, and hijinks ensue.

See the Sights

At the corner of El Camino Real and Alma Street lives El Palo Alto [map], the tree for which this fair city was named: a redwood estimated to be over a thousand years old. This was also one of the locations Team Snout used in our first production of The Game, Homicide: Life On The Farm.

Techno-geeks can make a pilgrimage to the original HP garage [map], where Bill Hewlett and David Packard built their first product together: the Model 200A resistance-capacitance audio oscillator! Please, try to contain your excitement.

St. Thomas Aquinas Church [map] is the oldest church in Palo Alto, but more importantly, it's where the title characters in Harold and Maude first meet. Bring some licorice for your visit.

In addition to the Women's Club, there are plenty of historic sites all along Homer Avenue. If the weather is clement, you might consider taking a stroll one afternoon.

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