Located in Santa Clara County, California, and between San Francisco and the hills, Silicon Valley was once filled with plum, apricot, and cherry trees and was known to local residents as ‘The Valley of the Hearts’ Delight’. Today, the digital revolution has taken over and transformed this once fruit-filled land into the home of some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Wondering what to see in Silicon Valley? We’ve put together a list of some must-see sights in Silicon Valley that form its legacy as the nation’s high-tech business hub.
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What to See in Silicon Valley?
IBM’s New Almaden Research Lab
Anyone who’s interested in technology and how it is rapidly advancing is going to want to visit the place where the computer hard drive was first invented. A vital component of many of our lives, the humble computer hard drive is today, something that most of us would find hard to live without. IBM’s New Almaden Research Lab is in place, and it was opened in 1986 for the purpose of research in computer science, materials science, technology, physical sciences, and storage systems. It contains 155 laboratories and 557 offices.
South Bay Historical Railroad Society
If you’re interested in history or simply have a love for rail travel and its history, a visit to the South Bay Historical Railroad Society is free of charge. The SBHRS is dedicated to the preservation of the Santa Clara Tower, the Santa Clara Railroad Depot, and the two maintenance buildings. If you’re looking to learn more about the history of the Santa Clara Railroad, you can visit the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History, which is located at the Depot.
The HP Garage
Known as the ‘Birthplace of Silicon Valley’, the HP Garage is no longer open for public tours, but it’s possible for visitors to view and take photographs of the property from the sidewalk. Now listed as California Historic Landmark No. 976, the HP garage is where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard developed the first product by HP, the Model 200A audio oscillator.
Whilst you won’t be able to buy computers, iPhones, or iPads or be able to get any on-site help with repairs, a visit to the Apple Company Store and Headquarters is a must for any Apple fan in Silicon Valley. If you’re staying in a Palo Alto hotel, you won’t be too far away from the flagship store where you’ll be able to purchase Apple merchandise including Apple logo caps, shirts, and accessories.
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NASA Ames Research Center
Although the NASA Ames Research Center doesn’t provide public tours, there is an Exploration Center that is open to the public from 10 am-4 pm Tues-Fri, and 12 pm-4 pm on weekends, which is well worth a visit. One of NASA’s ten field installations, was founded in 1939 for the purpose of aircraft research and joined NASA in 1958.
Have you visited Silicon Valley? Would you like to add any more must-see sights to this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.