Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Mountain View, CA

  • Published 2023/02/03

Not only does Mountain View, California, sit in the heart of Silicon Valley, where Google and other major tech companies reside, but it’s also got plenty more to offer.

It’s not just computers and smartphones in this city.

You can get some sun in Mountain View, with more than 1,000 acres of park and wildlife areas for you to explore.

Then, you can sample delicious cuisine from worldwide at their world-class restaurants before popping in for a concert at the Center for Performing Arts or Shoreline Amphitheater.

There are also historical attractions in town, such as the Computer History Museum and the historic Rengstorff House.

Do you want to know more about Mountain View, CA?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town.

Tour the Iconic Tech Company at the Googleplex HQ

View of Googleplex HQ

Sundry Photography /

The Google HQ, or the Googleplex, is probably one of the world’s few corporate offices that doubles as a tourist attraction.

Many of its buildings are only open to employees, but there are areas the public can access.

For instance, you can spend an entire morning inside the central lobby alone.

Exterior of Googleplex HQ

arkanto /


The lobby has a “live search” wall that allows people to see the latest Google searches worldwide!

Imagine seeing what other people are searching on Google, updated by the minute in real-time.

When you leave the lobby, you might also come across Stan, an iron model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

A bicycle at Googleplex HQ

Benny Marty /

Many Google employees also have fun with Stan. Sometimes they surround him with pink flamingoes, or sometimes they dress him up.

Stan has become a fixture on the Googleplex since 2006.

Other Googleplex sights include the Google Café and the Google Sculpture Garden.

Visit the Googleplex at 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Sculptures at Googleplex HQ

Sundry Photography /

Enjoy a Quiet Day at Mariposa Park

This little neighborhood park is a terrific place for a relaxing afternoon with the family and kids. Bring your family there, take a sunlit stroll, or simply hang out under the trees.

You can also hold small events there, like birthday parties at the picnic tables.

Likewise, you can teach your kids about nature at this park.

Several signs explaining butterflies abound in the park, perfect for kids learning about the world.

Otherwise, you can let them play around the playground suited for little children.

You can rest easy while watching your kid jump around. Its sandpit also has rocks and a water feature.

Visit the Mariposa Park at 305 Mariposa Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041.

See a Show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre

Front View of  Shoreline Amphitheatre

Uladzik Kryhin /

If you want to catch a performance at Mountain View, you must know that all the major touring acts play the Shoreline Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue with a seating capacity of 22,500.

You can buy one of the 6,500 reserved seats or stay on the lawn, which can admit 16,000 people.

Over the years, the venue has hosted national events like Lollapalooza and Ozzfest.

Aerial View of  Shoreline Amphitheatre

Uladzik Kryhin /

Worldwide acts like the Backstreet Boys also stop by there on tour.

Otherwise, tech conferences like Google I/O hold their events at Shoreline.

Check their website to see if your favorite band is playing Shoreline next!

Visit the Shoreline Amphitheatre at One Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043.

View of  Shoreline Amphitheatre

Uladzik Kryhin /

Check Out the Androids at the Google Sculpture Garden

You’ll miss out on a lot if you don’t drop by the Google Sculpture Garden on your visit to the Googleplex campus.

This garden features various brightly colored statues of Google’s Android, the mascot of its smartphone operating system of the same name.

Every time a new Android OS gets developed, Google commissions a candy-colored sculpture to go along with it.

These sculptures also follow the naming scheme for the OS, which uses dessert names as codenames.

This garden is open to visitors, which means you can take all the photos you want of these cute mascots.

Starting from Android version 11, or the Red Velvet Cake, Google has created 3D models of the Androids, which you can only view online.

Visit the Google Sculpture Garden at 1981 Landings Dr, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Learn Local History at the Historic Rengstorff House

Exterior of Historic Rengstorff House

Sundry Photography /

If you want to see an authentic and gorgeous Victorian Italianate home, you need to visit the oldest house in Mountain View, the fully restored Rengstorff House.

Any architecture enthusiast can quickly identify Rengstorff’s Victorian features, which include the hip roof, the central gable with a widow’s walk, and an enticing front portico.

Tower at the Historic Rengstorff House

EugeneZelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll also find four beautiful downstairs parlors featuring gorgeous period decorations and opening to brick patios and perfectly manicured lawns.

The lawns also contain colorful flowers so that you can fill your camera roll quickly.

View of Historic Rengstorff House

Sundry Photography /

The 3,955-square-foot house has 12 rooms. Its ceilings on the first floor reach 11 feet, while those on the second floor reach ten feet.

Visit the Rengstorff House at 3070 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Windmill at the Historic Rengstorff House

EugeneZelenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Splash around at the Eagle Park Pool

If there’s one thing you should know about California, it’s that when it gets hot, it gets blazing hot.

So, you might want to cool yourself off after a day’s touring in Mountain View.

Luckily, the city offers several swimming pools to take a dip in.

For example, Eagle Park is an excellent tool for everyone ages.

It has a diving board, where you can take the plunge onto the pool’s 13-foot deep end.

Meanwhile, the pool’s shallow end is only three feet deep, so little kids can enjoy splashing.

The water is also warm enough to be pleasant, at 78 to 80 degrees.

The pool also has eight lap swim lanes so that you can practice your swimming skills there, too.

Visit the Eagle Park Pool at 650 Franklin Street, Mountain View, CA 94041.

Go Hiking along the Stevens Creek Trail

Sign of Stevens Creek Trail

Michael Vi /

Nature lovers will also find something to like at Mountain View.

For example, you can hike along the Stevens Creek Trail to work up a sweat.

The trail provides pleasant views of various natural habitats like woodlands, tidal marshes, and city parks.

View of Stevens Creek Trail

Hank Shiffman /

You’ll also enjoy lush creekside environments, which you can easily access via bus, train, and light rail.

The roughly five-mile paved path is also accessible to bikes.

So, you can bring your bike to the trail and explore the woods leisurely.

Learn Aviation History at the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum

The Moffett Field Historical Society Museum is for travelers who want to know more about how the Bay Area contributed to aviation history.

Today, NASA oversees the airfield operations, highlighting the deep connection between the agency and Moffett Field.

You’ll find several artifacts from the airfield on display inside the museum.

From Moffett Field’s earliest days to its key role in World War II and then the Cold War, the military history buff in you will enjoy the visit.

The museum also hosts an aircraft collection, including P-2 and P-3 Navy Patrol plans, a Cobra helicopter, and a U-2 spy plane.

You can even get inside the cockpit of a Harrier VTOL and learn to “fly.”

Visit the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum at 500 Severyns Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Take a Dip at the Rengstorff Park Pool

View of Rengstorff Park Pool

Baltakatei, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, you can also try the Rengstorff Park Pool if you want a more playful swimming experience.

The pool has a slide, so you and your friends can take turns sliding and splashing onto the pleasantly cool water.

It’s a perfect way to spend another sunny day in California.

The Rengstorff Park Pool also has a diving board, where you can launch yourself onto the pool’s 11.5-foot deep end.

Besides its three-foot shallow end, the pool also has a wading pool, perfect for toddlers.

Visit the Rengstorff Park Pool at 201 South Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040.

Celebrate Big Days at the Historic Adobe Building

View of Historic Adobe Building

Bobak Ha’Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historic adobe building is located on the edge of downtown Mountain View, noticeable because of its small-town charm and Spanish-style architecture.

The California Historical Landmark is also a great venue to celebrate special occasions.

The building dates back to 1934, during the Great Depression.

Local laborers built the place using adobe bricks.

View of Historic Adobe Building

Sanfranman59, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

During World War II, servicemen used it as a gathering place, while veterans turned it into a hospitality house.

Today, the adobe building is open for reservations.

If you’re planning to get married, you won’t go wrong reserving this place.

Its rustic charm and idyllic atmosphere will get the butterflies floating in your tummy.

Visit the Historic Adobe Building at 157 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Have a Friendly Game of Golf at Shoreline Golf Links

Shoreline Golf Links offers the best golfing in Silicon Valley with a stunning backdrop of the renowned San Francisco Bay.

A fantastic round of golf in California is easily accessible at Shoreline Golf Links.

The championship course, located within the scenic 750-acre Shoreline, offers you to play alongside their well-known bird sanctuary.

There are 18 difficult holes on the course, 16 acres of water hazards, and a 50-acre sailing lake next to the 10th hole.

Come play a game of seamless California golf.

Furthermore, there are several other places and activities around once your game of golf is through.

Browse Books and Products at East West Bookshop

East West Bookshop is among the biggest independent bookstores of its sort in the globe.

They have served as a community hub for over 50 years, providing a huge assortment of books and products from various spiritual practices.

The bookstore is packed with books and unusual, lovely, and inspirational items.

Take a look at one of the Bay Area’s largest crystal collections at East West Bookshop.

Drop by and see some of their artwork, jewelry, candles, aromatherapy, sculptures, clothes, greeting cards, and a wide range of blank-paged notebooks.

Learn More about Technology at Computer History Museum

Exterior of the Computer History Museum

Uladzik Kryhin /

From guided tours by docents to self-directed tours to exhibits, the Computer History Museum offers something for everyone.

The museum offers ideas from their studies, programs, and collection of technology artifacts and oral histories to bring people together and enlighten them.

Understand why computer history is more than 2,000 years old while learning Photoshop from experts, taking in the sights and sounds of vintage computers, trying your hand at coding, and more.

Interior of the Computer History Museum

Lynn Yeh /

Discover more from the on-site and online exhibitions at the Computer History Museum.

Through extensive and comprehensive exhibitions, effective learning opportunities, engaging programming, and creative media outputs, the Computer History Museum makes technology alive and accessible for all people.

PC Clones exhibit in the Computer History Museum

Cory Doctorow from Beautiful Downtown Burbank, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch your Favorite Sports Teams Play at Sports Page

In Mountain View, California, right in the middle of Silicon Valley, there is a popular sports bar called Sports Page, where sports lovers come to unwind.

It features pool tables, ping pong tables, dart boards, a full-size sand volleyball field in the back, and patio seating.

Sports Page displays every broadcast sporting event on 15 TVs and 14 Receivers.

Grab a drink from one of the 30 Taps, which includes quality scotch, tequila, and all the big liquor brands.

Enjoy and attend the numerous activities at Sports Page, such as live music, karaoke nights, trivia, and more.

Dine, Shop, and Wander around The Village at San Antonio Center

Building sign of The Village at San Antonio Center

Michael Vi /

The Village at San Antonio Center, a live-work-play urban center ideally located in Mountain View, offers a feeling of belonging.

Wander around the outdoor meeting areas and browse restaurants, specialty shops, and boutique services at The Village at San Antonio Center.

Stop by ShowPlace ICON to catch the newest movies playing while you’re out and about.

The Village at San Antonio Center is your one-stop shop for food and entertainment.

It is a destination that serves as a connecting point for people and places.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Outdoors at the Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

View of  Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

If you want to explore an open outdoor space, drive ahead to the nearby city of Cupertino and visit the Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve.

Cupertino is only nine minutes away from Mountain View, so it’s not a long drive.

Trail at Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

When you arrive at the preserve, you’ll get treated to more than 25 miles of trail and a 3,988-acre wide open space preserve.

You’ll also see a 165-acre county park next to the expanse.

You can pick from hiking, biking, or horseback riding if you want to follow the trails.

The grounds of Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

Learn More History at the Los Altos History Museum

Seven minutes away from Mountain View lies the area of Los Altos and the Los Altos Hills, where you can find the Los Altos History Museum.

The place opened in 2001, featuring permanent collections and interactive exhibits.

One of these exhibits is the Crown of the Peninsula, where you can trace the history of Los Altos’ inhabitants.

From the days of the Ohlone tribe to the Spanish and Mexican landowners and then the early American settlers, you’ll learn the entire history of the land.

The museum also contains a replica of downtown Los Altos in 1932, complete with a working model railroad.

Everyone of all ages will surely enjoy looking at this miniature city with a train passing through it.

Visit the Los Altos History Museum at 51 S San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022.

Remember the Great Depression at the J. Gilbert Smith History House

You don’t need to leave the Los Altos History Museum grounds to reach the J. Gilbert Smith History House.

This fully furnished, Craftsman-style house offers tourists a fine glimpse into the lives of ordinary Americans during the Great Depression.

Surrounding the house are tall oaks, picturesque gardens, and a working apricot orchard.

You’ll see only a single telephone hanging in the hall when you enter the house, while a single radio sits in the living room.

You’ll also find a historic tank house outside the house, along with a small house where the farmhand once lived.

There are also sheds for apricot cutting and sulfuring.

You’ll also find a three-hole outhouse and various farm equipment, including a tractor you can climb.

Enter the Wilderness at the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

Wilderness at the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

yhelfman /

Going back to Cupertino, you might want to set aside some time to visit the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve.

It’s right on the edge of downtown, stretching onto Mt. Eden Road on the south and the Stevens Creek County Park on the west.

Hikers, bikers, and equestrians alike will find much to enjoy on this 739-acre wilderness trail.

This preserve gets its name from Fremont Older, a newspaper editor from San Francisco who owned a portion of the preserve for 60 years.

He and his wife Cora lived in their home called “Woodhills,” which attracted celebrities of the day for gatherings.

The open space preserve is in the National Register of Historic Places, although the house and garden are closed to the public.

Visit the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve at Cupertino, CA, 95014.

Have Great Inclusive Fun at the Magical Bridge Playground

In 2015, the Magical Bridge Playground opened its gates to the public in the heart of Silicon Valley.

You’ll need to drive ten minutes to nearby Palo Alto to reach this innovative and inclusive playground that promises fun for everyone of all ages and abilities.

The Magical Bridge Playground prides itself in its intentional design philosophy, mindful of everyone’s different needs.

Because of this philosophy, everyone living with disabilities can still have a whale of a time here.

For example, the park is completely accessible to people on wheelchairs, including a two-story playhouse, a treehouse, and a slide mound.

Children sensitive to sensory overloads can also take a break at the many retreat spaces in the playground.

Likewise, every piece of playground equipment is accessible to everyone, even bucket swings, slides, and a merry-go-round.

Visit the Magical Bridge Playground at 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Final Thoughts

Despite Mountain View sitting in the middle of Silicon Valley, it offers plenty of delights that don’t involve computers or smartphones.

Instead, you’ll find historical sites and nature destinations that should thrill the whole family.

Why not take some time out of your schedule and drive to Mountain View today?

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