16 Best Things to Do in Sunnyvale, CA

Sunnyvale, CA

While this vibrant, technologically advanced city is known for its leading role in the technology and aerospace industries, it also boasts an array of recreational activities, cultural experiences, and stunning natural beauty.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the delightful fusion of innovation and tradition, urban buzz, and tranquil open spaces.

Join me as I share the best things to do in Sunnyvale, California.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: James Foulds, Edward Robertson, Sonia Whitfield, Roberto Nichols, Peyton Fisher, Alejandro Reed and Keri Freeman.

Embrace the Tiki-Tropical Vibe at Las Palmas Park

Tall trees at Las Palmas Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

It's a bright Saturday afternoon, and as I leave my home, the sunlit path meanders toward my favorite oasis in Sunnyvale - Las Palmas Park.

The vibrant tiki-themed vibe of the park never fails to fill me with exhilaration.

Spread across 24 acres, the park is a tapestry of recreational activities, green spaces, and community living.

On any given weekend, you can find me basking under the California sun, with a book in one hand and a cool drink in the other, cherishing the tranquility of this tropical haven.

The waterscape, complete with a picturesque pond and a fountain, amplifies the serenity of the surroundings and provides a soothing soundtrack to my reading.

Moreover, the park is a paradise for sports enthusiasts like me.

The tennis courts are a hub of friendlies and fierce matches.

Meanwhile, the smooth pavements appeal to my passion for skateboarding, offering a perfect glide every time.

And if you're a volleyball fan like me, you're in luck.

The park boasts a vibrant volleyball scene, with pickup games always happening.

However, the charm of Las Palmas Park also extends to the smallest members of our community.

The park features exclusive playgrounds for different age groups.

You can often find the little ones playing, their laughter echoing around the park.

If you have a pet, you'd be thrilled that the park is dog-friendly.

A dedicated dog-run area ensures your companion can enjoy the open space as much as you do.

The park also features a vast green lawn dotted with picnic tables.

There is nothing like a community picnic to bring people together, and you can often find me there, sharing food and stories with my neighbors.

Embracing the tiki-tropical vibe, Las Palmas Park is truly a gem in the heart of Sunnyvale, offering something for everyone.

Whether you're seeking tranquility, recreation, or community, this park is the place to be.

Enjoy Saturday Morning at Sunnyvale Farmers Market

There's something incredibly satisfying about starting my Saturday by weaving through the hustle and bustle of the Sunnyvale Farmers Market.

When I enter the market, I'm greeted with the vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms.

The oranges, grapefruits, cherries, and blueberries are exceptionally flavorful, each bite bursting with the essence of real, farm-fresh produce.

One of my favorite things about this market is the sheer variety of merchandise available.

It's not just about the food, although the selection of uncooked meats, precut veggies, and ripe fruits is extensive.

I've also discovered several art and craft stands, plant vendors, and even a booth dedicated entirely to air plants.

There's never a dull moment here between the unique finds and the generous free samples offered by many vendors!

I can't resist the food vendors selling prepared meals when I'm in the mood for something more savory.

The Oaxacan food and the dressed-up potatoes are simply mouthwatering.

Plus, there's a local ice cream shop and a spot where I can get fresh Pacific oysters - a true treat!

What ties the entire experience together, though, is the live music that fills the air with lively tunes, creating a festive atmosphere that's hard to resist.

The market is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Sunnyvale, right outside Whole Foods.

This means I can swing by and get my grocery shopping done all in one trip.

It's nestled among a vibrant selection of restaurants and bars, perfect for grabbing a bite or a drink after I'm done exploring.

So, if you're looking for a fun family outing or just a way to kick off your weekend, visit the Sunnyvale Farmers Market.

Explore the Stars at De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium

You haven't truly experienced a night under the stars until you've visited the De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium.

This spot is a local treasure, hosting captivating astronomy shows and vibrant laser displays.

The magic begins once you enter the domed room, where the universe is brought to life in an awe-inspiring spectacle.

One of my favorite experiences has to be their tribute to Prince.

The show stunned everyone with laser versions of Prince strumming his guitar, interspersed with beautiful images of his face – a truly unique and mesmerizing display.

Moreover, the entire room was filled with fellow Prince enthusiasts, singing along to classics like Little Red Corvette and Raspberry Beret.

The atmosphere was electric.

But the planetarium is also a fantastic educational resource.

I remember taking my kids' 5th-grade class to see the Earth, Moon, and Sun show.

One thing to note is that they offer discounts for Title 1 schools, which I only found out on the day.

It's worth inquiring about if you're planning a school visit.

The De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium doesn’t restrict itself to just one genre of music either.

They also showcase shows accompanied by bands like the Beatles, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd.

Every visit to this fantastic place makes you feel like you are traveling in space, while the music of some of the greatest artists in history sets the tone.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, the De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium is an experience of a lifetime.

It's a fusion of education, entertainment, and a celebration of some of the greatest music ever created, all under one cosmic roof.

Spend the Day Out at Baylands Park

Daytime view of Baylands Park
Momo_46 / Shutterstock.com

I'll never forget the first time I visited Baylands Park.

It was a bright sunny day, and the 70+ acre park just seemed to spread before me like a green carpet, glowing in the sun.

The park is a perfect blend of wild spaces and developed amenities, with playgrounds for kids, trails for hikers, and a beautiful wetlands preserve that is a treat for nature enthusiasts.

What strikes me about the place is the sheer amount of open space it offers.

The grasslands are a spectacle, especially on a windy day when the grass waves in rhythm with the breeze.

Meanwhile, the lively and vibrant park makes it an ideal location to spread out a picnic blanket, lay back, and enjoy the day.

Just remember to bring your picnic gear, water, and food, as no shops are on the park premises.

Another notable feature of Baylands Park is the wetlands preserve.

Trail at Baylands Park
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

It's home to various bird species, including many ducks that seem to have made the wetlands their permanent residence.

Walking through the trails or cycling down the paths that carve through the wetlands, you'll feel as if you're in a world away from the bustling city.

And then, there are separate areas for different activities.

Whether you want to host a party, play sports, or take a leisurely walk, Baylands Park has covered you.

The children's park and the game competition areas are always teeming with activity and laughter.

Likewise, the air is always fresh, the trees provide ample shade, and the park is far removed from the hustle and bustle of traffic and city noise.

A day out at Baylands Park is well spent.

The park provides ample space and opportunity for everything, whether a picnic with friends and family, a quiet walk with your thoughts, or an energetic day of outdoor sports.

Unwind in Sunnyvale's Serra Park

Let me tell you, the tranquillity and fun-filled atmosphere at Serra Park in Sunnyvale are unmatched.

This nature area has become my go-to spot for unwinding on the weekends.

The easy parking and clean restrooms make the experience hassle-free right from the start.

Likewise, the park is a haven for those who love outdoor activities or want to enjoy a picnic.

There is an ample space where you can either relax or engage in playful activities.

The park is well-manicured and provides open spaces where you can bask in the beauty of nature.

Moreover, what I adore the most about Serra Park is its child-friendly environment.

The park boasts not one, not two, but three dedicated areas with play structures that can keep children of all ages entertained for hours.

For instance, the water-sprinkling play structure is a particular hit among the little ones!

Sports enthusiasts like myself can play on four tennis courts on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Additionally, a large area can be used for various outdoor games and activities.

If you're planning a get-together, several picnic areas can be reserved for outdoor parties.

The park also offers ample parking spots, making it convenient for visitors.

Serra Park, with its blend of playground features and natural elements, is indeed one of the best parks for families in the area.

Its unique play structure, fanciful pathways, and climbable tubes are fascinating.

The park's mature trees offer plenty of shade, making it a perfect place to relax and enjoy a sunny day in Sunnyvale.

Find Inner Peace at Shirdi Sai Darbar

Every time I walk into the Shirdi Sai Darbar, I am enveloped by a wave of peace and tranquility that is hard to describe.

The temple radiates positive vibes; for me, it's a sanctuary that has become an integral part of my life.

One of my favorite times to visit is during Guru Poornima.

The grand celebration is a sight to behold, a sensory experience that stays with you long after you've left.

Another festival that holds a special place in my heart is Durga Puja.

The temple comes alive with vibrancy, and the atmosphere is filled with contagious energy.

Moreover, the idols inside the temple are indeed beautiful, but what stands out to me is the idol of Jalaram Bapa.

It's a presence that has a calming effect on me.

A well-known and worshipped saint from Gujarat, his idol is a pleasant surprise to many unaware of it.

When I have the time, I prefer to spend a bit longer in the prayer area.

The harmony and tranquility that it offers is unparalleled.

With every breath, I can feel the troubles of my daily life melting away, leaving behind a sense of calm and peace.

What's also remarkable about Shirdi Sai Darbar is that it provides free prasad to devotees daily, especially at festivals.

It's a gesture that truly reflects the essence of Indian culture - sharing and caring.

Moreover, there's something comforting about how Shirdi Sai Darbar and the Bay Area Hindu temple are essentially the same.

It's a familiar feeling, a sense of belonging that makes this place even more special.

Visit the Sunnyvale Public Library

Building sign of Sunnyvale Public Library
Sunnyvalelibgk at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walking through the doors of the Sunnyvale Public Library is like stepping into a literary haven where books of all genres welcome you with open arms.

Its spacious and airy interiors offer a serene sanctuary, a perfect setting for reading, studying, or working on personal projects.

The first thing that strikes you about this library is its vast collection of books.

From classics to contemporary, fiction to non-fiction, there's a book for everyone.

No language is left behind either, with a wide array of books in various foreign languages truly reflecting our diverse community.

Navigating the aisles initially might seem like a labyrinth.

But once you get the hang of it, it's pretty simple.

The children's section is an oasis, bustling with tiny tots engrossed in vibrant picture books or participating in fun activities.

Moreover, the dedicated space for infants with little tables is quite thoughtful and appreciated by the parents.

For the tech-savvy, they have a plethora of e-books and internet-connected PCs.

Connecting to the library's wifi is a breeze, making bringing your device and work super convenient.

Thanks to the self-service kiosks, returning and checking out books is as easy as possible.

And let's not forget the ample parking space available, making every visit a hassle-free experience, whether you're popping in for a quick book pickup or planning to spend the day.

The Sunnyvale Public Library is a community hub for learning, exploring, and connecting with fellow book lovers.

No wonder it's a favorite spot among locals.

Spend the Day at the Seven Seas Park

There's something magical about spending a Saturday at Seven Seas Park.

When you step foot in this local gem, you're transported into a world of fun, laughter, and endless entertainment for the little ones.

The park is a bustling hub of activity, with its diverse playground stations, each uniquely designed and offering a different thrill.

Likewise, the kids adore the spray pool, a lifesaver on those sweltering summer days.

Watching their eyes light up as they play with the water vortex is a sight.

What sets Seven Seas Park apart for me is its convenient location.

It's central to local businesses and easily accessible from the main freeways, which makes it an ideal spot for impromptu family gatherings or lazy weekend afternoons.

Its layout strikes a perfect balance, providing play areas for toddlers and older kids.

The design of the various activity areas is ingenious and keeps the children entertained for hours.

A notable feature is the dog park – a haven for our furry friends.

Seeing the community come together, with pets and owners enjoying the open space, is heartwarming.

Seven Seas Park is truly a local treasure that brings the community together, whether it's for the thrill of the playground, the splash of the spray pool, or the joy of a dog's wagging tail.

Conquer Heights at Movement Sunnyvale

I felt my heart race as I laced up my climbing shoes, ready to conquer the towering walls at Movement Sunnyvale.

This is not your typical gym.

With its expansive bouldering areas, diverse grades in top rope and lead sections, and impressive fitness area, it's a haven for climbers and enthusiasts alike.

The gym is housed in an ample, well-lit space - though I must admit, a few areas could use more lighting, especially midday.

Moreover, the climbing walls are varied, some reaching dizzying heights while others are significantly shorter, catering to climbers of all experience levels.

What truly excites me is the GrirGris attached to the top ropes; sure, they might not always be smooth for belaying, but they certainly add an extra layer of challenge.

Being able to lead a climb at Movement Sunnyvale is an exhilarating experience.

Whether you're a seasoned climber or a newbie looking to dip your toes in the sport, Movement Sunnyvale promises a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Discover Sunnyvale's Roots at the Heritage Park Museum

Exterior of Heritage Park Museum
Yngvadottir, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to delve more into the historical essence of Sunnyvale, I urge you to find your way to the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum.

Hidden in plain sight, this quaint museum is a treasure trove of tales from Sunnyvale's past.

It's neatly nestled inside a replica of the original Murphy family home, the family who pioneered Sunnyvale's development.

During countless visits, I've been intrigued by the rotating exhibits that paint an intimate portrait of old-time Sunnyvale.

The museum's exploration of our town's significance in the aerospace and tech industries always leaves me in awe.

It's not just the remarkable exhibits that make this place unique; it's free to visit!

The only caveat is the limited opening hours, but it's a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge it offers.

What adds to the charm of this museum is the warm, welcoming atmosphere.

For me, the best part of the museum is the bookstore.

It offers a range of books and souvenirs that serve as a tangible reminder of Sunnyvale's history and intriguing past.

Whether you've lived here for years or are a newcomer to Sunnyvale, I highly encourage you to visit the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum.

Not only will it deepen your understanding and appreciation of Sunnyvale, but it might even make you see the streets and places you frequent in a new light.

Check Out Golfland USA

One sunny afternoon, my friends and I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and head to Golfland USA, our little amusement paradise.

I remember being greeted by a well-maintained, 18-hole mini golf course that offered a refreshing change from the mundane cityscape.

Moreover, I recall munching on a delicious hot dog as we navigated the challenging holes, each uniquely designed and decorated to add a touch of creativity and fun to the game.

What was even more enjoyable was the fact that Golfland USA wasn't just about mini golf.

It also had a clean and well-maintained arcade that catered to both the young and the young at heart.

We spent much of our day there, trying our hands at different games and reveling in the nostalgia they brought.

Another delightful surprise was the family of ducks that had made the park their home.

Watching the adorable ducklings waddle around added an extra layer of charm to our day out.

But what stood out for me was the atmosphere of the place.

Even though it was a sunny day and the park was populated with people, it never felt overcrowded.

The two sides of the golf course helped disperse the crowd, making it feel like our group had the space all to ourselves.

Spending a day at Golfland USA was more than at an amusement park.

It was a much-needed escape into a world of fun and relaxation in our backyard.

While the entry fee might seem a tad overpriced at $17 per adult, the experience, in my opinion, was worth every penny.

Explore the Bay Trail Sunnyvale

Daytime view of Bay Trail Sunnyvale
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Walking along the Bay Trail Sunnyvale is like taking a stroll through a nature painting.

The 20-mile trail stretches from Sunnyvale to Sand Point, offering ample opportunities for walking, biking, or simply enjoying the beautiful bay views.

I often start my journey from the Moffet entrance near the treatment plant.

Contrary to what you might think, the surroundings don't smell bad.

It's pretty pleasant!

And the best part? It's free.

The trail is mostly flat and paved, with just a few hills here and there.

The lack of a crowd is a real plus.

It offers a tranquil environment for bird watching and enjoying the open skies.

Duck along Bay Trail Sunnyvale
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Parking is usually straightforward, especially on weekends.

However, remember that ongoing construction during weekdays might limit the number of street parking options.

Also, certain areas near Ponds A12, A13, and A16 are currently not accessible to the public due to construction and trail closures.

The latest updates show these areas will remain closed until early 2024.

One thing to note is that despite the trail's length, amenities such as bathrooms are not abundant.

So, planning your route and pit stops might be a good idea.

Similarly, there's little shade along the trail, so pack your sun protection!

Bay Trail Sunnyvale offers a delightful blend of relaxation and mild adventure.

Whether local or a visitor, it's a fantastic place to explore and connect with nature.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go on an Adventure at California's Great America

Welcome sign of California's Great America
Oleg Alexandrov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in Santa Clara, California, California's Great America is my go-to escape for the adrenaline rush.

Who needs a vacation when you have such an incredible amusement park on your doorstep?

My weekend routine often includes hopping on a few heart-stopping roller coasters at Great America.

The mix of modern and classic wooden coasters never fails to get my pulse racing.

Each ride delivers a unique experience, from vertigo-inducing drops to loop-the-loops that turn your world upside down.

But it's not all about the thrill rides.

There's also the family-friendly Peanuts Snoopy Land, a hit with the kids in town, and an eclectic mix of carnival games for some light-hearted fun.

People at California's Great America
Oleg Alexandrov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

And when the Californian sun is too much, we cool off at the water park, which has become a local favorite for its massive slides and fun water attractions.

A visit to Great America isn't complete without indulging in the park's feast of food options.

From classic amusement park treats to hearty meals, there's something to satiate every craving.

Moreover, Great America's live entertainment shows are a spectacle.

The captivating performances and magical parades are the cherry on top of a fantastic day at the park, making it an experience you wouldn't want to miss!

So, if you're in Santa Clara and are looking for a day filled with adventure and fun, look no further than California's Great America.

Aerial view of California's Great America
Oleg Alexandrov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Create Unforgettable Experiences at Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

The grounds of Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
yhelfman / Shutterstock.com

Now and then, when the city buzz gets too overwhelming, I head out to my favorite sanctuary, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve.

Hidden within its 739 acres, there's a sense of tranquility that comes with the rolling views and the freedom of exploring the miles of trails.

Whether on foot, bike, or horseback, every visit promises a refreshing experience.

The park is conveniently located in the South Bay, making it a popular spot for dog-friendly hikes.

I tend to choose from various routes available, each offering a unique perspective of the South Bay's beauty.

My favorite time to explore the trails is in the morning when the sun is just high enough to warm up the area.

The paths through the park are a good mix of shaded and sunny, making the hike comfortable and visually stunning.

Also, the recent rains have given a refreshed look to the landscapes, making the views even more breathtaking.

What makes this place special is the wildlife you encounter on your hikes.

I’ve been lucky enough to spot wild deer prancing around and various birds perched in the trees or soaring in the sky.

It's a sight that never gets old.

Even though the park can get busy, with its vast and flat main trails, it doesn't take away from the feeling of being one with nature.

I recommend making it a point to come early, especially for those picture-perfect views that are genuinely Instagram-worthy.

With each visit, my love for the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve grows, and I can't wait for my next adventure there.

Make a Weekend Escape to Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

The grounds of Rancho San Antonio County Park
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and let the serene environment of Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve whisk you away.

This little paradise offers the tranquility that's hard to find in the city.

The beauty of this place is breathtaking - 25 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous, offering stunning views at every turn.

I frequently lace up my hiking boots and set off on these trails, enjoying the peace, quiet, and fresh air.

The trails are always well-maintained and clean; some even offer a decent elevation gain for those seeking a challenge.

There's something so soothing about walking alongside a clear creek, listening to the water rush by.

There's plenty of shade in the valley, which is a relief during the hotter months.

And when you reach the top of the hill, the view is simply spectacular!

Trail at Rancho San Antonio County Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

You can overlook several Bay Area cities' buildings, a sight that always amazes me.

On weekends, I often take my kids to visit the working farm, where they can see and interact with farm animals.

They love it!

You can even buy fresh eggs from the farm despite limited availability.

The main trail from the parking area to the farm is stroller and wheelchair friendly, making it a perfect family outing.

Moreover, the park boasts plenty of parking spaces, though finding a spot might take a few rounds on busier days.

The Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve is a weekend escape, a getaway from city life, and a place to connect with nature and unwind.

So, take a break from your hectic schedule and visit this hidden gem. You won't regret it.

Final Thoughts

Sunnyvale, California truly is a treasure trove of experiences, each one unique.

Despite having lived here for years, it's as if I've only scratched the surface of what Sunnyvale has to offer.

It truly is a city with limitless possibilities, a place that keeps me falling in love with it daily.

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