Silicon Valley Tech Tour

By Ben Landis, Marketing Manager at Discover Santa Clara® 

Silicon Valley stands as the epicenter of technological innovation, shaping the world through groundbreaking inventions. This iconic area in the heart of California quite literally powers the world as we know it. From the microprocessor that powers our favorite devices to the algorithms that drive our favorite platforms, every corner of the modern world bears the mark of Silicon Valley innovation. Join us on a behind-the-scenes journey with our Silicon Valley Tech Tour. Experience the birthplaces of tech giants, see iconic campuses, and witness firsthand the ingenuity that continues to shape our future.

: Please visit each location's website for hours of operation.

1. Intel Museum

Begin your journey at the Intel Museum, where Silicon Valley’s history unfolds. Intel pioneered the microprocessor, a tiny but powerful electronic device that serves as the brain of a computer. With 10,000 square feet of free, interactive exhibits, the museum offers a fun and educational experience for both children and adults. Explore Intel’s history and latest technologies at their free self-guided museum.

Address: 2200 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054

2. Drive Past NVIDIA’s HQ

NVIDIA is a tech juggernaut that ranks #3 in market cap behind other tech giants Microsoft and Apple. While tours aren’t available to the public, a scenic drive along San Tomas Expressway offers glimpses of the impressive structures that make up part of their headquarters. See the 500,000-square-foot Endeavor and the 750,000-square-foot Voyager buildings. (Fun fact: the Voyager and Endeavor buildings are homages to the iconic Star Trek vessel and a NASA space shuttle).

Address: 2788 San Tomas Expy, Santa Clara, CA 95051

3. Googleplex Visitor Experience

The Googleplex Visitor Experience offers a glimpse into one of the campuses of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech giants. Check out Google’s hardware products and services at the Google Store, support local businesses at the Pop-Up Shop, enjoy outdoor art and events at their plaza, and grab a bite to eat at Café @ Mountain View.

Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA

4. Computer History Museum

Experience the rich history of computers at the Computer History Museum. This museum offers an extensive look at the evolution of computers and technology, from ancient calculating devices to modern-day innovations. With numerous exhibits, interactive displays, and historical artifacts, the museum provides an engaging experience for all ages.

Address: 1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

5. Take a Pic by the Meta Sign

No visit to Silicon Valley is complete without snapping a photo by the iconic Meta sign. Formerly known as the Facebook sign, this landmark at Meta's headquarters symbolizes the company's influence on social media and technology. Capture this moment and share it with your friends—it's only right that you post that photo on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Address: 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025

6. Steve Jobs' Garage

Visit the birthplace of Apple at Steve Jobs' childhood home, where he and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computers in the garage. This unassuming house at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos is a historic site that marks the humble beginnings of what would become one of the world's most influential technology companies. While the garage itself is not open to the public, you can still drive by and take photos of the exterior.

 Address: 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA 94024

7. HP Garage

Known as the "Birthplace of Silicon Valley," the HP Garage is where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started Hewlett-Packard in 1939. This modest garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto is a symbol of innovation and entrepreneurship. Like Steve Jobs', this garage is privately owned and not open for tours, but visitors can view the historical marker and take photos from the street.

Address: 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

8. Apple Park Visitor Center

Experience the innovation and design of Apple at the Apple Park Visitor Center. This center offers a unique look at Apple's headquarters with an extensive store featuring exclusive Apple merchandise, an augmented reality experience of the Apple Park campus, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the campus. Enjoy a coffee at the cafe and explore the state-of-the-art facility that reflects Apple's commitment to innovation and sustainability.

 Address: 10600 N Tantau Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014

As you explore these locations, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the innovation and creativity that define Silicon Valley. From historic garages to modern campuses, each stop on this tour showcases the pioneering spirit that continues to drive technological advancements. Whether you're a tech enthusiast or simply curious about the history of technology, the Silicon Valley Tech Tour offers a fascinating journey through the heart of the digital revolution.