Must See Silicon Valley Sights

By Ryan Koss

Welcome to the valley – Silicon Valley. The tech capital of the world. Home to Facebook, Google, Apple, and the thinkers and creators of the technology that has forever changed our lives.

If you’re a techie visiting the valley or a family looking for some fun day trips, here are a few sights you won’t want to miss:

Steve Jobs’ Garage
Address: 2066 Crist Dr, Los Altos, CA 94024
Steve Jobs stands in front of his boyhood home, where (with the help of his friend Steve Wozniak) he designed and built the first 50 Apple computers.

Significance: In the garage of this average-looking ranch home, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple Computer. The two also brainstormed ideas about future technology in the space. The home was Jobs’ childhood home and also used as one of the sets for Steve Jobs, the Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle Steve Jobs biopic – which features several scenes in the fabled garage.

Visiting the Location: The home is a private residence in a quiet neighborhood and while residents don’t seem to mind people taking a photo, they ask that people respect their privacy and stay off private property. The street doesn’t have a sidewalk, so if you stop to see the sight and get a pic from the street, make sure to mind traffic and keep the noise down.

Nikola Tesla Statue
Address: 260 Sheridan Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tesla-StatueThe life-size statue of Nikola Tesla emits Wi-Fi in one of Silicon Valley’s most influential cities: Palo Alto. (Image: Paul Steffan)

Significance: What began as a Kickstarter project quickly became one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative monuments. The life-size tribute to the grandfather of tech emits free public Wi-Fi and also houses a time capsule set to be opened in 2043. Located in the heart of Palo Alto, the statue symbolizes architects of the future, something Silicon Valley is famous for.

Visiting the Location: The statue is located in a large courtyard in downtown Palo Alto. Thanks to the nearby restaurants, shops and boutiques, Palo Alto is a perfect place for a family day trip.

Apple’s Campuses
Addresses: 1 Infinity Loop & the corner of Homestead & N.Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA
Apple’s new HQ features a groundbreaking circular design set to accommodate 13,000 employees across the 176 acres.

Significance: 1 Infinity Loop is the site of Apple’s original campus and where Steve Jobs worked. A second campus now being built will become Apple’s new headquarters when it opens in the second half of 2016.

The new campus is situated on 179 acres, will have 300,000 square feet of research labs, and space for 13,000 employees spread across four floors. When it opens, Apple’s new headquarters will set the standard for a modern tech workplace. It was also the last project Steve Jobs was heavily involved with at Apple.

Visiting the Location: You can visit 1 Infinity Loop and shop in the Apple store, which is open to the public. This is the same store Apple employees shop in. The store also features apparel you can only buy here. The offices are not open to the public.

Apple’s new campus is currently under construction and there is no access to the site. However, you can catch a sneak peek inside Apple’s new headquarters, thanks to daring drone operators who have flown their quadcopters over the site.

NASA AMES Research Facility & Visitor Center
Address: Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA

Now partially owned by Google, Moffett Field is home to the NASA AMES Research Facility.

Significance: After opening its doors in 1939, NASA’s AMES Research Facility quickly became a world leader in space and aeronautics research. Located in Mountain View at Moffett Field, NASA AMES Research Facility features a vast history of military and technological milestones, including its recent purchase by Google.

Visiting the Location: While the research center is only open during selected times, NASA’s AMES Visitor Center is open year round. Bring the family to the Exploration Center and discover the galaxy. Featuring an immersive theatre, space-shuttle cockpit simulators and tips on how to live and work in zero gravity, the AMES Exploration Center is sure to inspire the astronaut in your family.

Buck’s of Woodside
Address: 3062 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062

Buck’s of Woodside is where Silicon Valley’s brightest minds meet to create the businesses that will change the future.

Significance: This is THE go-to meeting place for entrepreneurs and tech-driven venture capitalists. A Silicon Valley landmark, some analysts estimate that more money has been loaned from this location than anywhere else in the world. Tesla Motors, Hotmail and many, many other key Silicon Valley companies became incorporated and funded at this classic diner.

Visiting the Location: Buck’s of Woodside is the perfect place to refuel between visits to Silicon Valley landmarks. It’s open weekdays from 7:00am to 9:00pm and 10:00pm on weekends.

Silicon Valley is a great vacation destination. For more information about visiting the area, check out local Visitor Center information, which can be found online.