By Dan Lieberman, @LiebermanTweets

Summer falls on Palo Alto and East Palo Alto alike, making a nice ride in a climate-controlled SamTrans bus sound like a great way to deal with the heat. Route 280 connects both cities, and makes stops at a wide range of interesting places. Here are nine things to do on the 280:

  1. Shop hoity-toity – When I want to feel fancy, I head down to the Stanford Shopping Center. Walking around the high-end shops and upscale eateries, I feel underdressed without a small dog in a purse. That said, if you’re in the market for baller accoutrements, taking the bus to get there will ensure you keep it real.
  2. Palo Alto Transit Center – If you live between Stanford and the Bay along University, this route will also deliver you to the Palo Alto Transit Center, putting the entire Caltrain corridor at your fingertips. If you’re looking to see the Giants in action, check out the Gilroy Garlic Festival, or do anything in between, the 280 is your first mile connection to that wider world.
  3. Learn the difference between gelato and ice cream – Gelato has less fat and less air mixed in. That said, you should try to taste the difference at Gelataio. A branch recently opened near our office, and their rotating selection, as well as complementary chocolate drizzle from a never-ending Wonka faucet, is a contender in the ongoing “Who is making Dan fat” tournament. As long as it’s this hot, this is a necessity.
  4. Stanford Theater – Walking into this art deco shrine to the glory days of American cinema remains a treat. And they’re gonna be showing High Noon in a few weeks, which is legitimately awesome. Tallulah Bankhead came all the way to Hollywood for Gary Cooper, you should at least be able to make it to Palo Alto.
  5. Sam’s Barber Styling – I haven’t had a head of hair worth taking to a barber since the Bush administration (if you ask which one, we’re no longer friends). That said, discerning heads agree that Sam’s is the spot. It’s even got the old school red white and blue poles outside that, once divorced from their creepy history, speak to quality hair cuttery.
  6. Boys and Girls Club – The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula have provided a safe, fun place for kids to learn and play for decades. East Palo Alto’s Boys and Girls Club is located right on the 280’s route, making it easy for parents and kids to take advantage of.
  7. McNair Academy & Brentwood Academy – I hate to break it to my 17 and younger readers, but the school year is about to begin anew. If you attend either McNair or Brentwood, the 280 is your magic carpet, your Shadowfax, your giant dog-dragon, or whatever mystical conveyance best fits your personal style. Now go learn some fractions.
  8. Pupusas Pupusas are an El Salvadoran delicacy, made from masa and stuffed with cheese, beans and/or pork and topped with pickled cabbage. And despite that mouth-watering description, too many people are unaware that they exist. Correct this injustice, and head on down to the Pupusas La Sabrosa truck for a double order of deliciousness.
  9. Jack Farrell Park – In my house, summer means one thing; if I’m not able to get my kids out of the house, they’re going to burn it down. As such, I always have a few parks available for when they start bouncing off the walls. Jack Farrell Park is lovely, well-shaded, and, most importantly, free. Have the kids hop on a bus (with or without you) so they can be exuberant, get some exercise in the sun, and help everyone keep their sanity.



On the Move is a monthly blog feature highlighting places to go and things to see on SamTrans bus routes. If you have a suggestion for a future route, please email Public Affairs Specialist Dan Lieberman at

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