Techy tours of Silicon Valley

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by Hertz - 26 March 2020

Once you know the way to San Jose, you’ll discover the birthplaces of several global tech companies. Jump in your hire car and head into Silicon Valley - so named as the place where maverick computer engineers created the first mass-produced silicon chips - and visit the garages that allowed great businesses to flourish.

Or, visit some of the best tech museums in the world for a hands-on experience with robots, wearable technology and bioengineering projects.

To make sure you experience all the top tech sights in Silicon Valley, use our guide to plan your trip.

Stanford University


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Silicon Valley still attracts the world’s best tech talent from far and wide – but much of this talent is nurtured here, too. Many CEOs of big-time tech companies started their journey at the world-famous Stanford University (CA 94305).

As a leading research university, we couldn’t miss Stanford off our list of the top Silicon Valley tech tours. Groups of nine or fewer can take a free guided tour of the campus to walk in the footsteps of its famous alumni - including Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and renowned astronaut, Sally Ride. Make sure you get a snap of the famous university buildings, the Oval and Hoover Tower.

Apple Headquarters

While you can’t tour the actual offices, you can visit the headquarters of this global tech giant and explore the gardens and Visitors’ Center of Apple Park (CA 95014). The observation deck on the centre’s rooftop offers staggering views of the ring-shaped HQ. You can even use your tablet or mobile to take an artificial reality tour of the offices from the Exhibition area.

Interested in seeing where it all began? Head up to Christ Drive in Los Altos to visit the original garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first created a working Apple computer. The garage is now listed as a historical site and is one of the top tech tourist attractions in San Jose.

The Tech Museum of Innovation


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The Tech Museum of Innovation (CA 95113) is a must when ticking off San Jose’s top tech attractions. Head to downtown San Jose to visit the only museum in the US where you can design a real robot, play with wearable technology and experience a simulated earthquake.

Celebrate human innovation and ingenuity with interactive exhibits, five galleries and an IMAX dome theatre. It’s also the US’s first museum with an interactive bioengineering exhibit for visitors to enjoy. Head to the BioDesign Studio to tinker with the building blocks of life, build new creatures using genetic blocks and use real lab equipment to alter the DNA of bacteria. Everything in the studio is designed with the intention of highlighting the power of biology.

Googleplex

Google’s headquarters (CA 94043) spans across 60 buildings, surrounded by great selfie opportunities for tech lovers. See how many of the Android mascot statues you can get pictures with. Each sculpture has its own ceramic dessert to signify the quirky names of Google’s Android updates over the past several years.

As you explore the campus, you’ll also come across other personable decorating touches such as physical Google Maps markers and Stan the T-Rex. The Google merchandise shop is open every weekday and is the ideal place to pick up official gifts and gadgets. Just a 10-minute drive from the Googleplex, you’ll find the original Google Garage, where the company was founded back in 1998. Although the garage itself isn’t open to the public, it’s still a great photo opportunity and a hotspot for tech fans visiting the area.

With Hertz car hire in San Jose, visiting all the top tech sights in Silicon Valley is a breeze.

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