It was just a stop for stagecoaches in the mid 1800s, but it quickly turned into a large and vibrant metropolis where technology is the key player in the economy. Mountain View is now home to some of the world’s biggest companies, and it’s sure to grow further in the coming years. The city also guarantees to astound you with a wide variety of attractions. From museums to natural wonders, you will certainly have a great time. This list will show you the best things to do in Mountain View, California, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley.
1. Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area Preserve
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Albeit a technology-centered city, Mountain View has Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area Preserve to fulfill your bird-watching adventure. The broad expanse of this waterfront nature preserve (roughly 50 acres or 20 ha) offers you a good view as you walk on Levee Trail. The trail features a 0.5-mile (1.6-kilometer) boardwalk that allows you to conveniently and safely get up close to waterfowls. Nearby biking trails are available too. If you feel like engaging in an intense cycling burst, have a go at Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area Preserve.
Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area Preserve
Address: Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
2. Shoreline Amphitheater
You are welcome to grab a beer when you attend a concert at the 22,500-seat Shoreline Amphitheater, set in an open-air location with a spacious grassy lawn fronting its half-circle border. Guests also have the option of sitting in the shaded area. At night, the ambiance becomes even more spectacular with the display of light effects. Check out its official website for the lineup of concerts and events, and book in advance as tickets may sell out fast. As you may have heard, this outdoor auditorium holds live musical performances of famous artists (e.g., Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, Backstreet Boys, etc.) and massive corporate events like Google’s annual I/O conferences.
Address: One Amphitheater Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
Website: Shoreline Amphitheater
3. Google Android Statues Square
Google knows no end in keeping the public entertained. Standing next to its famous Googleplex, the headquarters of Google in Mountain View, is this dreamy space full of fun Android-inspired characters. Each statue represents a version of Android, such as the gingerbread man for Android’s 2.3 version codenamed “Gingerbread,” as well as the sprinkled-covered cupcake statue for Android’s 1.5 version known as “Cupcake.” You are welcome to take a snap or two with these colorful outdoor installations at Google Android Statues Square, which is only a short walk from the visitor center.
Google Android Statues Square
Address: 1981 Landings Dr, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
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4. Rengstorff House
The lovely white house on Shoreline Boulevard with that misty Italian-Victorian vibe is Rengstorff House. Constructed in 1867, Rengstorff is one of the early houses in the city. The wealthy merchant Henry Rengstorff designed his grand residence for comfort, complete with a lovely garden that promises love at first sight, near a shipping point and a ranch. Throughout the years, the property has changed hands, and now it operates as a museum and is one of the popular wedding venues in Mountain View. Take a guided tour with a friendly docent dressed in period costume and explore the nooks and crannies of this opulent residence. Better yet, celebrate your exchange of vows in this idyllic location.
Address: 3070 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
Opening hours: Tue - Wed: 11am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm
5. ShowPlace ICON Mountain View
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Watch your favorite movie in high-quality. Book your tickets at ShowPlace ICON Mountain View, a state-of-the-art movie house that offers a luxurious viewing experience. Automated check-ins, reclining seats, three-tiered seat warmers, spacious and well-lit spaces, hotel-quality staff service - these features are enough to keep you coming back here for more movies. For enhanced comfort and immersive viewing, ShowPlace ICON uses advanced audio-visual technology. They even have headphones available on request that allow you to adjust the volume as you deem fit. What a treat! Its beautifully styled lounge has a nice bar and restaurant where you can cap the night off with a light meal and sweet wine.
ShowPlace ICON Mountain View
Address: 2575 California St #90, Mountain View, CA 94040, United States
Website: ShowPlace ICON Mountain View
Opening hours: 12pm - 11pm (daily)
6. Clocktower Coffee Roasting Company
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Have a cookie or two at the town’s favorite pastry shop on Middlefield Road - Clocktower Coffee Roasting Company. The corporate world can get you caught up in a whirlwind of deadlines and paperwork. Have a break at this cozy cafe with indoor and outdoor patio seating, serving best-tasting delicacies and hot espresso. When pressed for time, feel free to grab and go as this coffeehouse offers in-store shopping and pick-up. You may also use the WiFi facility and entertain clients at the cafe.
Clocktower Coffee Roasting Company
Address: 205 E Middlefield Rd, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 5:30am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 7am - 5pm
7. Shoreline Park
Visit the 750-acre (3,035,142 square meter) Shoreline Park with your family or friends and have a fun time all throughout. Apart from the serene waters and fresh breeze, the lake offers a wide range of activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, and row boating. Private and group lessons are offered from February to October if you want to enhance your sailing skills. You can also jog, go for a stroll, or ride a bike through one of the trails to enjoy the lush scenery and diverse wildlife.
If you’re into history, then don’t forget to check out the well-preserved Rengstorff House. It used to be the home of a German resident in the mid 19th-century, but now, it’s a museum where you can learn more about the city’s eventful past. The museum is open Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Other highlights of Shoreline Park include an 18-hole golf course and a 22,000-seat amphitheater.
Address: 2867 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94041
This is your chance to explore the headquarters of one of the most successful tech companies in the world. Go for a walk around the Googleplex in Amphitheater Parkway for an up-close look at the impressive buildings where the smartest minds work. You’re not allowed to enter the structures, but you can take photos of them from the outside. Don’t forget to take pictures of the 12 adorable Android statues as well. These foam sculptures depict the different code names of the various versions of the famous operating system, all of which are based on desserts.
Address: 1600 Amphitheater Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
9. Computer History Museum
Get to know more about the Information Age in the Computer History Museum, which opened in 1996. Its collection of artifacts is often considered to be the largest in the world, and it includes plenty of rare items. The Revolution exhibit is where you can revisit the first 2,000 years of computing, from the abacus to the internet era. At the PDP-1 Demo Lab, you will see the minicomputer that inspired a generation of hackers and the legendary Spacewar! video game. Continue to the Thinking Big section for an opportunity to learn about the life of renowned mathematician Ada Lovelace. Other highlights include the IBM 1401 Demo Lab, A History of Autonomous Vehicles, and an area where you can expand your knowledge on photoshop and coding.
Computer History Museum
Address: 1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Website: Computer History Museum
10. Moffett Field Historical Society Museum
Here's a picture of Hangar One all lit up - yep, that's the Museum in front.Posted by Moffett Field Historical Society Museum on Thursday, 16 January 2014
From the 1930s to the early 1990s, Moffett Field played a huge role in naval operations. Take a trip to this historic airfield and get to know more about its beginnings as well as its significant achievements. The museum houses military uniforms, photographs, books, different types of aircraft, and old flight instruments. Kids and kids-at-heart can enter the cockpit of one of the planes to know what it’s like to be a pilot. After checking out the artifacts, don’t forget to buy souvenirs at the gift shop. Moffett Field Historical Society Museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, and for security purposes, a photo ID is required before entering.
Moffett Field Historical Society Museum
Address: 126, Severyns Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
11. NASA Ames Research Center
Outside of Moffett Field’s south gate is the beloved NASA Ames Research Center. Upon arrival, let the various exhibits enlighten you about the agency’s long list of achievements. Be astounded by the Mercury-Redstone 1A and SOFIA models, both of which made a huge impact in space exploration. The Kepler Mission exhibit will tell you more about the observatory’s efforts in searching for planets outside our solar system. At the state-of-the-art Immersive Theater, you will have a chance to watch awe-inspiring footages from NASA’s adventures through the galaxy. Expect to be amazed once again when you see the moon rock, which was obtained in 1971 by the Apollo 11 crew. There’s also a replica of a space station and a shop offering different space-related souvenirs.
NASA Ames Research Center
Address: Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94035, USA
Website: NASA Ames Research Center
12. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
This three-theater complex on Castro Street opened in 1991 and is considered as the place to be for performing arts. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts has hosted over a thousand shows from local and international productions. Not only does it offer plays, but also dance performances, comedy shows, concerts, art exhibits, and many other spectacular events. The state-of-the art equipment promises to make your visit even more special. For the complete list of events, make sure you check out the official website.
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 500 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041, USA
13. Stevens Creek Trail
Jog, walk, or ride a bike through the Stevens Creek Trail, which starts at the Shoreline at Mountain View and ends at Dale Avenue and Heatherstone Way. Apart from the fresh breeze, you will also enjoy the lush scenery and the views of mountains, tidal marshes, and San Francisco Bay. There’s a huge chance of you spotting different species of colorful birds as well. Whether you’re alone or with your family or friends, exploring the trail is guaranteed to be an unforgettable adventure.
Stevens Creek Trail
Address: Stevens Creek Trail, Mountain View, CA, USA
14. Mountain View Farmer's Market
This place is open on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and it promises a lovely shopping experience. Mountain View Farmer’s Market in West Evelyn Avenue has over 80 stalls offering different kinds of fresh food and flowers. Some of the most famous food products include fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, and cheese. Enjoy the lively atmosphere as you explore the area and purchase items. The American Farmland Trust voted this market as one of the top 5 in the country.
Mountain View Farmer's Market
Address: Mountain View Caltrain, 600 W Evelyn Ave, Mountain View, CA 94041, USA
Facebook: Mountain View Farmer’s Market
15. Bay Trail
The trail is from Mountain View to Sunnyvale, and it will give you an opportunity to explore San Francisco Bay’s shoreline. Go walking or cycling on the Bay Trail and be enthralled by the views of trees and mountains. You can stop at the lake for a while to see the ducks and many other adorable birds up-close. There are also plenty of areas that are perfect for picnics. The tranquil atmosphere all throughout will definitely make your trip even more memorable.
Address: Mountain View, CA, 94043, USA
See you in Mountain View
Mountain View is also well-known for being one of the safest cities in the Bay Area, which is another reason for you to visit. Pack your bags and check out the many treasures of this amazing Silicon Valley metropolis now.
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