Featured Image Caption: Silicon Valley California

Silicon Valley is a famous region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. Major Silicon Valley cities include Palo Alto, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, including the headquarters of more than 30 businesses in the Fortune 1000 – from Google and Intel to Apple and Facebook, Silicon Valley is now a major hub and startup ecosystem for high-tech innovation and scientific development.

As the site of the multitude of technology-focused institutions centered around Palo Alto’s Stanford University and over 2,000 tech companies, it welcomes a large number of corporate visitors every year. Although the Valley is also visited for touristic purposes, the majority of the visitors tend to visit for business purposes. Hotels like the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley are a popular accommodation destination for corporate travelers as it is a quick 10-minute drive to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and a short drive from tech sites on Enterprise Way. Additionally, it offers a complimentary shuttle to nearby companies, such as well as the headquarters of Google, NetApp, Juniper Networks, and Yahoo.

Silicon Valley’s proximity to suppliers, customers, and cutting-edge research gives each a competitive advantage and has made Silicon Valley a global center for high technology, innovation, and social media.

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As of 2013, the region employed about a quarter of a million IT workers. Considering the amount of unprecedented, revolutionary change this small part of the world is causing around the globe using only a simple element as its basis, it probably won’t take long for Silicon Valley to be referred to as Si Valley in honor of silicon’s pivotal power. Not bad for such a commonplace element.

Besides the high concentration of businesses in the region which attracts thousands of tech enthusiasts every year, there are an endless amount of things to see and do in the Valley.

Starting with the Intel Museum, which sings the praises of all things silicon by displaying a cylindrical bombshell-shaped silicon crystal from which super thin slices can be cut. Here, you have the opportunity to learn about computer technology’s history.

Next, there is the NASA Ames Research Center which is an aircraft research lab founded in 1939. Although it is not open for public tours, it is one of NASA’s ten installations in the area and you can wander around all the exhibits in the Exploration Center and the Moffett Museum.

There is also the Tech Museum of Innovation where you can learn about innovation through hands-on activities and exhibits. In this museum, children and adults can experience a VR bird flying machine, a robot station and an IMAX theater.

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Silicon Valley also boasts beautiful natural parks in the area which are definitely worth visiting at least once. The Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, Castle Rock State Park and Kelley Park are among the local favorites as you can enjoy gorgeous scenery, hike the trails and soak up some sun. Mt. Umunhum is yet another beloved natural preserve that stands at 3,486 feet and is the fourth-highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Last but not least, if you are looking for something a little different, Silicon Valley also offers a few quirky and unique experiences. At the Winchester Mystery House, you can take a guided tour of a presumably haunted 160-room mansion to enjoy a few scares and giggles. For those with a sweet tooth, you can visit the Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto for delicious artisanal chocolate. And finally, to sip on unique and decant wines, you can visit the La Honda Winery.

Fun facts: The element silicon that gave the Valley its quaint name, and devices their awesome computing power and usefulness, is itself just a very common element that makes up almost a third of the entire earth’s crust. The name Silicon Valley, which originally referred to the large number of innovators and manufacturers in the region specializing in silicon, is now a synecdoche for the American high-technology economic sector.

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By Viveca Knapp
who is residing in Milan, City in Italy.


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