Nola might be the closest you'll come to harnessing the power to teleport. Those who enter the doors to this downtown Palo Alto restaurant will find themselves transported to dazzling New Orleans for a party that will send them dancing down Bourbon Street. The two-level courtyard-style interior filled with eccentric art and generous staff make for a lively dining experience. Whether you're coming in for happy hour, dinner or a late-night bite, the vibrant menus are filled with Southern indulgences including spicy jambalaya and bread pudding. For those feeling extra daring, they can take on the ultimate challenge of ordering the infamous "bug juice" with pineapple, vanilla bean and brown sugar mixed with fruit juices and a rum float. So grab those Mardi Gras beads and get lost in the lure of this downtown establishment.
535 Ramona St., Palo Alto, 650-328-2722; nolas.com
Want to be a superhero to your kids this summer? Grab your cape and take them over to see a show at Palo Alto Children's Theatre, this year's winner for best place for live entertainment. In addition to its beloved outdoor Summer Hot Dog Season, the theater puts on a variety of kid-centric shows throughout the year on its main and playhouse stages. And though it's designed for youth, the long-running theater's reputation for high quality means that grown-ups, too, should come away well-entertained.
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-463-4930; bit.ly/PAchildrenstheater
Runner-up: Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Wi-Fi Hot Spot
A high-tech city like Palo Alto probably has no shortage of places where the Wi-Fi is faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive, but it's the Palo Alto Library that emerges as the hero of Wi-Fi hot spots. Bring your wireless device, hop on the free network (no password or library account needed) and away you go! Where else can you study, work or simply scroll your social media feeds for free while also checking out great books, music and movies and special events for kids and adults? It's the perfect blend of old-fashioned and up-to-date.
City library locations are listed at library.cityofpaloalto.org
Runner-up: Philz Coffee