Welcome to California’s tech-centric brain pool. Stretching roughly from the city of Belmont down to San Jose around the south end of San Francisco Bay, Silicon Valley is home to some of the largest technology corporations in the world. The area is marked by sprawling campuses, including that of Stanford University and Fortune 500 companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook. Hike or bike a trail and overhear the next big idea. Visit a museum that blinks and buzzes with what-if innovations. And enjoy the riches of a booming economy, with performance spaces, high-end shopping, and multi-starred restaurants.
See where the magic happens by exploring Silicon Valley’s tech hubs. At the Googleplex in Mountain View, you can witness “Googlers” talking, texting, and riding the signature yellow bikes. Only an official badge can get you into the gourmet-food-for-free cafeterias—but anyone can visit the Android sculpture garden with pieces commemorating the release of different operating systems. Just south in Cupertino, pick up logo t-shirts, caps, and mugs at the Apple Park Visitor Center. North in Menlo Park, you’ll find the Facebookcampus’s iconic “like” sign in baby blue—a popular selfie backdrop. Don’t miss the modest building in Palo Alto where it all began: the garage at 367 Addison Avenue where, in 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard forged a partnership that would become HP.