Being the technology fans we are, we decided that spending a Saturday morning on a little driving tour of Silicon Valley was a priority for us. The only places we knew that we could actually see the inside of were the Intel Museum and the Apple Store.
Unfortunately, the Apple store is only open on weekdays. And visiting on the weekend meant that we wouldn’t be able to see the hustle and bustle of employees on the Facebook and Google campuses. However, we were able to navigate with little traffic and still jump out and take pictures, so we were okay with a weekend tour.
The suburbs directly east of San Francisco don’t look anything like the Chicago suburbs, that’s for sure. Beautiful, green, rolling hills and mountains dot the landscape along with yellow and purple wildflowers. Houses are built into the hillsides. The views are serene.
When we entered the area referred to as Silicon Valley, with suburbs that were flatter and more spread out. Lots of nice buildings and homes, with some nicer areas than others, but spacious and well kept. There are many different suburbs that are home to top technology companies.
We started our tour in Santa Clara at the Intel Headquarters, which houses the Intel Museum and Museum Store. If you know what it means to spell your name in binary code, you would enjoy this place.
My three boys spent about half an hour checking out the history of the PC and all the little components in them. You can learn about the history of computers, dress up in the gear used in the silicon chip factory, and explore how Intel makes computer chips.
Next stop: The Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino. Again, the Apple Store itself, which sells items with the Apple logo, was only open on weekdays. So, we instead jumped out of the car and took a few pictures in front of the Apple sign.
Then we made our way to the famous HP garage in Palo Alto, where Hewlett Packard was born, considered the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” There is a sign out front, but it is a private residence, so we only took a quick picture.
Stanford University was right down the street, so we also took a drive through the campus. There was some event going on and parking was limited, so we did not stop, but there was a Visitor’s Center and campus store that looked worth a visit.
We also drove past the Google Campus, Nasa, Yahoo, and Oracle.
Finally, we ended our Silicon Valley tour at Facebook in Menlo Park. We had to join the others who were gathering in front to take pictures with the “Like” sign. Come on, who can resist?
Driving through Silicon Valley was a fun little driving tour on our way to San Francisco. I recommend it for any technology lovers!