While the public can’t meander through the headquarter offices of Silicon Valley pioneers like Facebook, Apple, or Google, there’s still plenty to see inside this Southern California hub for innovation.
Silicon Valley, the nickname for Northern California’s Santa Clara Valley, has long been home to leading high-tech companies and hundreds of other start-up tech firms. Having transformed industry and the world, a number of these tech giants’ must-see locations are open to tours:
Google Headquarters | Check out the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, and snap a selfie in the iconic Android statue garden. Public tours aren’t available, but you can walk through this colorful campus where employees cruise around on company bikes and wander through Charleston Park—a neighboring public site.
Stanford University | Stanford and neighboring Silicon Valley have long had strong links. The tech hub puts students in close proximity to leading innovations and businesses, while the university’s Research Park has been home to Hewlett-Packard and Facebook—and Tesla Motors currently. Take walking tours of campus Monday through Friday.
The Apple Store | While you can’t buy any of the leading digital company’s phones or computers, you can scoop up some Apple swag from the company store—the only place Apple-branded clothing and accessories are available.
NASA Ames Exploration Center | Just 10 miles north of Santa Clara, this innovative museum is home to the West Coast’s largest Immersive Theater, which offers panoramic views of the universe. Check out a capsule from past space missions or get behind the wheel of a rover in a mock Martian landscape.
Intel Museum | Uncover the history behind the world’s largest chipmaker with hands-on exhibits and a walk-through that details the impact these chips have had on modern technology.
Investing Outside of the Valley
The Silicon Valley certainly seems to breed business success. But don’t overlook the support other cities can offer to start-ups and flourishing businesses. Consider these tips when searching out a location to headquarter:
>Leverage cost of living. Spending less on office space means lower overhead and the ability to increase investment in top talent.
>Relocate for advantage. Focus your attention and efforts where you can connect your resources to top talent and needed expertise.
>Utilize the cloud where you are. Cloud technology and fiber Internet enables start-ups to launch practically anywhere. Google Fiber, for example, connects entrepreneurs with lightning-fast connectivity.