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Highlights of the Silicon Valley

Located just south of beautiful San Francisco, the Silicon Valley is the high-tech headquarters of the state of California. Famous companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook anchor the area near the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose. With so much big business in the area, it’s become a big draw not only for business travelers visiting for conferences and meetings, but as a stop-off for incentive groups as well. Here’s some of the reasons they come to “geek out” on the region’s techie attractions.

A walking tour around the grounds of the palm-studded campus of Stanford University is a delightful break from a string of days spent indoor in meetings. Highlights include the Rodin Sculpture Garden, the bustling Quad at the heart of the campus, and the observation deck atop Hoover Tower which offers views panoramic views of the Bay Area.

Not far from Stanford is the Hewlett-Packard Garage, where the invention of an audio oscillator in 1939 is said to have sparked the birth of Silicon Valley. The garage is so famous that it is now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Interested visitors can also drive by the former homes of Apple creator Steve Jobs and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest museum dedicated to the history of the Information Age is located in the Silicon Valley! Through fascinating exhibits visitors can play games, see over 1,1000 artifacts, learn about computer pioneers, and discover why computer history is actually 2,000 years old.

Although much of their campuses are off-limits to visitors, there are still plenty of attractions geared towards curious fans at some of the biggest tech companies in the world. In Mountain View, visitors to Google’s Headquarters can take pictures at the quirky Android Sculpture Park. In Cupertino, visitors to Apple’s headquarters can purchase logo apparel and Apple-branded gifts at the company store.

photo by Don McCullough via creative commons

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