SANTA CLARA, SAN JOSE, PALO ALTO, MOUNTAIN VIEW, FOSTER CITY, WOODSIDE
It looks like a sleepy valley at first glance: low-rise buildings, boulders placed just so on corporate lawns, but make no mistake, this is the capital of the high tech world. Much of the South Bay is steeped in innovation, from the venture capital firms along Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park to the manicured Stanford University campus in Palo Alto. Scientific progress is celebrated in San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation and enjoyable kitschy suspense is generated in the Winchester Mystery House with its trap doors and secret passageways. For a look at tech before it went nano, check out the colossal aircraft hangar along Highway 101 in Sunnyvale.
Directions: South on highway 101 along the bayshore or Highway 280 along the ridge top heading down the Peninsula.