It is always advisable to rent a car the moment you step out of the airport.Though many write that the public transport system of San Francisco is more than ample, for families it can consume a lot of money and the biggest downfall – TIME !! Hiring a car provides flexibility and opens doors as to where you can go as a tourist. If staying or visiting the Silicon Valley hiring a car is needed to make the most of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Here are a few places in the Silicon Valley that must be visited by car:
- Visit Stanford University (Slightly off topic but a must do)
Stanford University is one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions and is quite simply beautiful. Covering 8,180 acres of sculpted and well designed land not only is it worth at least a peek but a full blown tour as well.
If you have time for a self guided tour visit http://visit.stanford.edu/pdf/self-guided_tour_map.pdf
2. Silicon Valley Tour -use your car
First Stop: Apple Inc – Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA
Apple Inc. campus is very secure, this means that walking into buildings is not an option however one must thing to to do is take a picture in front of 1 Infinite Loop. This is a favourite amongst tourists and is an iconic part of the Apple Campus.
Infinite Loop is a street encircling the six main buildings of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Second Stop: Don’t get back in your car. Just a few yards away is the Company Store
This is the only place in the world where you can buy authentic Apple merchandie(caps, t -shirts, pens etc.) however they do not sell any apple devices such as ipads and iphones.
Third Stop – Steve Jobs’ Garage – 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA 94024
Fourth Stop – The Computer History Museum – 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043
The Computer History Museum seems to contain the entire history of the Silicon Valley and contains many originals. You can easily spend the whole day here but for the purpose of the tour 1-2 hours is sufficient.
Fifth Stop – Googleplex (My favourite part of Silicon Valley) – 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
The first thing you will notice are lots of people riding bicycles painted in Google Colours. The company provides them to employees to ride from building to building.
The Google ethos is that a happy employee is a valuable employee. Google makes their employees happy. Food is free at Google with over twenty restaurants are choose from. Employees families can come and have dinner with them, pets arrive on a shuttle and employees can enjoy a break at the spa. Though inside buildings are closed to visitors the outside area is open to all.
Sixth Stop – The Google Android Sculpture Garden, 1635 Charleston Road, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Here you can pose beside big sculptures of the Android OS codename icons: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich. There is also a huge android sculpture and the main entrance to Googleplex. Which as seen below has antennae to match the android.
Seventh Stop- Original Hewlett Packard (HP) Garage
367 Addison Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
If you’re going to be taking a Silicon Valley tour, why not visit the place where everything started? You can easily argue that the entire Silicon Valley began right here in this tiny wooden garage. William Hewlett and David Packard had $538 to their name and used it to start the Hewlett Packard company (fun fact: the name of the company was decided by coin flip–if the coin had come up tails, the company name would have been Packard Hewlett!)
Their first product that really launched the company was a sound oscillator that they were able to sell to the Walt Disney company for use in the movie Fantasia. They used this sale to build up the company we know today, with computers, printers, calculators, and any number of other business products. So while you’re in Silicon Valley, come visit the little garage that is now a California historic landmark.
Eighth Stop – The Intel Museum
The Intel Museum and Intel Museum Store
Robert Noyce Building
2200 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Go behind the scenes in the high-tech world of California’s famed Silicon Valley. See what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip factory, and connect with technologies that give us new ways to work, learn, play, and communicate. The Intel Museum is 10,000 square feet of fun, interactive learning for children and adults.
Ninth and Last Stop – Facebook’s Headquarters – 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, 94025
Park on: 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, 94025
When you’re taking a Silicon Valley tour of all its technology, it’s hard not to visit one of the biggest internet companies in the world. So although this will only take a few minutes, stop by their offices in Menlo Park (you can get free valet parking!) and take a selfie with the famous Facebook Like sign. And while you’re at it, you may as well post it to Facebook or Instagram (a company owned by Facebook, of course).
This concludes the must do tour of the Silicon Valley. Embark and have fun.