Geek Guide to Silicon Valley: Part 2

One year ago I moved into Mountain View. Six months later I started working for a start-up company and I’m still learning about the Silicon Valley atmosphere. In Part 1 I familiarized you with Silicon Valley terminology. This post is about nearby geeky places to visit.

Google garage
232 Santa Margarita Ave, Menlo park. The garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in 1998, 6 months later they moved out. You need to enter the drive to see the garage. The house is now owned by Google.

Sand Hill Road
3000 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park. Sand Hill Road is famous for the concentration of venture capitalist firms. These companies provide a modern way of funding high tech companies. Green gardens filled with statues and a golf course surrounds the offices.

Facebook Headquarters
1601 Willow Rd, Menlo Park. Besides office buildings, you can see Facebook bikes, and take a picture at the Facebook thumb sign. You cannot go inside.Facebook

The Facebook house
819 LA Jennifer Way, Palo Alto. In 2004 Mark Zuckerberg and friends moved into this house. The house is still being sublet to start-ups during the summer. This is the same house as in movie The Social Network. You cannot go inside.

HP garage
367 Addison Ave, Palo Alto. College friends Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their business in the late 1930s from a 12 by 18-foot garage. Palo Alto claims that it is the birthplace of Silicon Valley.

Nikola Tesla Statue
260 Sheridan Avenue, Palo Alto. This statue of Nikola Tesla started as a Kickstarter project to give Tesla more recognition. It also acts as a free Wi-Fi access point and time capsule, that will be opened in 2043.

Stanford University
Palm Dr 1, Stanford. You can take a group tour or take a self guided tour. The first Google server build with Lego blocks can be found in the Huang Engineering building.

Hacker Dojo
599 Fairchild Dr, Mountain View is a hacker space, and a co-working space, where a lot of engineers and entrepreneurs come together to work on their start up, to hack, to build a robot, or just to hang out. I work from this building. You can walk in between 10 am and 10 pm and ask someone for a tour.

Google complex
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View. The Google’s headquarters are here. There is no visitor center, and you cannot go inside, but you walk around campus, over the courtyard, and see many hybrid and electrical cars and Googlers on colorful bikes.

Android statues
1981 Landings Drive, Mountain View. Make a cool picture with the Android statues. A new statue is placed on the lawn with every new Android version.

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory
391 South San Antonio Road, Mountain View. The first silicon devices were manufactured here. The building is gone and there’s only a plaque left. Mountain View claims this is the birthplace of Silicon Valley.

NASA AMES Research Center
Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, Mountain View. Free entrance, you can easily spend 2 hours here.

Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View. I really enjoyed this museum. You can easily spend 3 hours here.

Red Rock Coffee
201 Castro street, Mountain View. Buy a coffee and see geeks working on their Apple laptops, this place has multiple floors.

Steve Jobs garage
2066 Crist Dr, Los Altos. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak put together the boards of their first computer, the Apple I, starting in 1976. Steve also grew up in this house.

Apple Headquarter and Apple Store
1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino. You can see the office buildings, you can’t take a tour, but you can go into the Apple store (Monday to Friday). It’s the only Apple store that also sells official Apple t-shirts, caps and accessories.

Fry’s superstore
1077 E. Arques Ave, Sunnyvale. This a really big electronics store. You can buy computers, laundry machines and small electronic components.

384 West Caribbean Drive, Sunnyvale. A store full of used computers, networking equipment, and computer components. This place is a bit messy and makes you feel you’re in a flea market.

The Tech Museum
201 South Market Street, San Jose. This a really cool and interactive museum. You can easily spent 3 hours here. It’s full of children.

Intel Museum
2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara. At the Intel headquarters the museum has exhibits of Intel’s products and history as well as semiconductor technology in general. Free admission.

HSC Electronics store
3500 Ryder Street, Santa Clara. Real electrical engineers find their electronic components here. This place is a bit messy and makes you feel you’re in a flea market (I liked it).

Bay Area Maker Faire
Every year somewhere in May this 3 day event is held in San Mateo. This faire is a big exhibition for people in the maker movement and is open to everybody, children will love it. Makers show off their creations that can be anything like robots, 3D printers, artistic vehicles, drones, textile, etc. I recommend to spend a full day (9 am to 8 pm here)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *