As you head south from San Francisco, San Mateo County with its famed Silicon Valley stretches across the peninsula offering magnificent Bay views on one side and the rugged beauty of the Pacific Coast and Highway 1 on the other. In between the coasts, you can check out the high-tech giants in Palo Alto, go wine tasting and pumpkin hunting in the valleys, or take in the amazing sunsets and fresh seafood. Fall in Silicon Valley and all of San Mateo County is sure to be filled with wow moments.

High Tech in Silicon Valley

For someone like me, who happens to be a huge computer geek, Silicon Valley was exciting. You can almost feel the cutting-edge in the California air there. You can drive down the street, past the high-tech giants—Apple, Google, Facebook—and even stop by the Company Store at Apple during the week to pick up logo items. If you’re looking for a great photo opp, snag a pose in front of Facebook’s headquarters (sorry, there’s not a visitor center at Google). My favorite stop to explore the computer history of Silicon Valley was the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

The Computer History Museum is one of the best ways to experience both the history of computers and to ponder what the future of computers might hold.

The interactive experiences at the museum engage even those who might not be professed “geeks”. I love that it explains mainframes and punchcards—and on select days there’s a demonstration for those who have no idea what punchcards are and how noisy computers used to be in the old days. I’m fortunate I never worked on those, but that old technology makes me stop when I complain about a slow internet connection or something “outdated” on a computer.

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