Silicon Valley spans over 20 miles of parks, museums, culture, mountains and, of course, technology, with an endless number of things to do and see. From natural landscapes to history and science, here are 25 must-see attractions dotted across Northern California’s Silicon Valley.
Absorbed as much technological history as you can handle? Wind down at this chic brewery. Established in downtown San Jose, Hermitage’s first brewpub opened in 1987, and the brand has been brewing some of the finest ales and beers in California ever since. Cellar master Greg blends individual batches from 50-120 barrels, producing frothy tipples with hints of spice, herbs and the customary toasted oak. Visit the Tap Room and be guided through the brewing process, sampling IPAs and American sours – and if any really take your fancy, you can purchase them to take home.
Set in the foothills of the Diablo Range, Alum Rock Park is best experienced on two wheels – on its three-mile (5km) bike trail – or four legs, should its six miles of horse trails be more your speed. If you prefer to walk, the hiking here is classed as “medium level”, meaning it’s suitable for most abilities and ages. The craggy splendor creates essential habitats for a host of wildlife – from black-tailed deer and bobcats to large birds of prey, Northern Pacific rattlesnakes and two species of lizard – and there are several picnic areas offering panoramic views across northern Silicon Valley.
Wine cannot be ignored when exploring the Silicon Valley, and Wine Affairs has enough to keep even the most knowledgeable oenologist on their toes. Conveniently situated on the Alameda – slap bang in the middle of San Jose and Santa Clara – this snug urban bar was once a bike shop and bookstore, before finding its true identity serving California and international wines, along with American porters, stouts, ales and lagers. Drink in the atmosphere, but not before sampling its delightful menu.
This park owes its name to a contest held by the San Jose Mercury News in 1957, just four years before it finally opened to the public and ten years before it was expended into a zoo. Kids will love the wide range of animals on show (surprising, considering its small size), but for the unenthralled, there’s also go-karting, carousels and other delightful rides aplenty.
Additional reporting by Jo Varley.