Stanford University : Michelin's recommendations
Established by railroad magnate Leland Stanford, this renowned institution sprawls across 8,180 acres. Its gracious, Spanish-flavored Richardsonian Romanesque buildings are shaded by eucalyptus, bay and palm trees. Stanford is a leading academic and research center, with a current enrollment of some 14,000 students. The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, devoted to research in particle physics, opened here in 1961.The historic heart of the campus is the Main Quadrangle, an expansive, tiled courtyard that is bordered by the university's 12 original colonnaded buildings and anchored by the impressive Memorial Church. Built in 1903 by Jane Stanford to commemorate her husband, the church features elaborate Byzantine-style mosaics, stained glass and a renowned 7,777-pipe organ equipped to play Renaissance and Baroque music. Hoover Tower (observation deck open year-round daily 10am-4:30pm ; closed between academic quarters ; $2; 650-723-2053), a landmark 285ft campanile, houses part of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, a public-policy research center inspired by university alumnus Herbert Hoover. The top of the tower features a 35-bell carillon and an observation deck offering a panorama of the campus and of San Francisco and the Bay Area to the north. Stanford also boasts the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, with a dazzling collection of 20,000 artworks.