Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Graduate Life Activities

Main content start

Activities in the Local and Surrounding Areas

What do people do for fun?

The Office of Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) within the Dean of Students Office supports over 600 university-recognized, incredibly diverse student groups on campus.

There are various gyms on campus, along with many intramural sports and club sports. There are also athletic classes you can take for credit (kickboxing, Pilates, boot camp, yoga, etc) or simply for fun at the residence complexes. Other than sports, there are a plethora of cultural events in the arts, dance, music and other live performances on and off campus. San Jose is ~20 minutes away while San Francisco is ~45 minutes away by car. Both are also accessible by public transportation. If you prefer outdoor activities, hiking trails and extensive bicycle routes are minutes away and a few hours of driving can take you to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the northern California Redwoods, etc. while Santa Cruz and Monterrey are closer attractions.

What are the common attractions in the area surrounding the San Francisco Bay?

San Francisco has abundant theaters and cultural events, SFMOMA, Civic Center, Asian Museum, China Town, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park (de Young Museum) and Golden Gate Bridge. Further north, you can visit Muir Woods redwood park, various marinas, Point Reyes National Seashore, etc., while further south you can visit Monterey Bay Aquarium, stroll beaches along the Pacific Ocean, go rock climbing and tour wineries in the Santa Cruz mountains.

How is the transportation system? How do you get around?

There are on-campus shuttles that also access the local train stations, local bus lines, CalTrain, BART and Muni. Many students have cars. Many do not. The majority of students also have bikes to get around on campus.

Are there intramural sports and sports clubs?

Yes to both. Intramural sports range from volleyball to soccer to billiards, and club sports range from triathlon to sailing to martial arts. The CEE department fields several teams.

How are the gym facilities?

The Arrillaga Family Sports and Recreation Center is the primary gym for students. The facility is on Campus Drive right across from the track. At Arrillaga, you'll find squash courts, a climbing wall, basketball courts and a weight room with cardio-machines (elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, etc.). Students also can take classes for physical activities such as martial arts (Arrillaga has a training room), fencing, yoga, etc.

Also, the recently opened Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC) is the newest recreational facility on campus. It's on Santa Teresa Street right next to Roble Field and a short walk from the CEE department. AOERC features a fitness center, outdoor recreational pool, three indoor courts, academic classrooms, a climbing wall and an outdoor recreation center.

Stanford also has a great outdoor pool center and has several tennis courts spread across campus. It is not unusual for Stanford to host national track-and-field or ATP tour events, so you shouldn't be surprised to see some big names in sports strolling about on campus.