Head to the Hoover Tower, a 285-foot structure that is part of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace on the Stanford University campus. Completed in 1941, this tower is a Palo Alto landmark. Pack a lunch to enjoy in the grassy area before checking out the many exhibitions inside, including the 14th-floor observation platform, where visitors can see the entire campus and other gorgeous views of the city.
Hoover Tower, 550 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA, USA, +1 650 723 2053
Stanford Shopping Center
Stanford Shopping Center is one of the top open-air shopping and dining destinations in Northern California. Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus are just a few of the more than 140 world-class stores you’ll find. Locals and tourists also come for the range restaurants and cafés, fresh California produce, gardens, and sculptures. This isn’t just a shopping center—it’s a taste of Silicon Valley everyone should experience.
Car and wine lovers flock to AutoVino to store their most prized possessions in the top state-of-the-art facility. Collectors appreciate the perfect conditions to preserve timeless automobiles and to age wine. Events are held regularly and allow visitors to marvel at some of the most amazing cars on the planet and taste wines from Woodside Vineyards.
AutoVino, 205 Constitution Dr, Menlo Park, CA, USA, +1 650 847 1488
The Stanford Theatre
Opened in 1925 as a movie house, the Stanford Theatre is a cultural beauty of Silicon Valley. The neoclassical Persian and Moorish building is now owned and operated by the non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation. This theatre is a piece of Silicon Valley history and regularly presents Hollywood classics.
The Stanford Theatre, 221 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA, USA, +1 650 324 3700
Hewlett Packard Garage
The Hewlett Packard Garage is where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard formed their two-person company in 1939 and has since been dubbed the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” It was in this rented garage that the very first Silicon Valley startup began, paving the way to worldwide inspiration in technology and innovation. HP acquired the property in 2000 and restored it as it was in 1939.
Shoreline Lake Boathouse
The Shoreline Lake Boathouse is among Silicon Valley’s top scenic destinations. Spend the day kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, and more at this lakeside paradise. Camps, water sport classes, and special events are also offered. Grab a bite at the American Bistro, or pre-order their Picnic Basket to pick-up when you arrive.
Hiller Aviation Museum
This museum is fun for the young, old, and anyone in between. Pilot a flight simulator, fly a drone, or discover the preserved aviation history spanning more than a century. The Hiller Aviation Museum will captivate those who didn’t even know they were interested in taking flight. Open seven days a week, the museum holds different exhibitions weekly, and they turn the parking lot into what can only be described as a food-truck extravaganza every Wednesday afternoon.
Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Rd, San Carlos, CA, USA, +1 650 654 0200
Junior Museum and Zoo
The Junior Museum and Zoo is the place for children to explore, discover, and play through hands-on science exhibits. The zoo has more than 50 animal species for children to learn about and observe. People of all ages will leave here feeling more connected to science, plants, animals, and the planet.
Junior Museum and Zoo, 1451 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA. USA, +1 650 329 2111
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
Roam the 2.5-acres of gorgeous herb and rose gardens, and visit the historic home, carriage house and tearoom. The Gamble Garden is a great escape from the techie metropolis. Breathe in the fresh blooming flowers and herbs, drink in a little history, and maybe even take a class on the stunning Monarch Butterfly, or participate in the Garden Fresh Luncheon.
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St, Palo Alto, CA, USA, +1 650 329 1356
Google Android Lawn Statues
Every time Google launches a new Android or operating system, they add a statue to the lawn in front of the Android development team’s building. Built to represent the codename for the system—always named for a sweet treat—as of August this year, there are 15 statues. Among them are a gingerbread man for the Gingerbread operating system and an Android made out of a plastic KitKat bar, for the KitKat operating system.