Tech History Trail

Explore Los Altos

Ever wonder where Jobs and Wozniak built the first Apple computer or Sergei Brin and Larry Page wrote the first lines of code that would become Google? On this Tech History Trail, you'll follow the paths of some of the most iconic tech companies, from their garage startup roots to the utopian mega-campuses they are today.

Tags: Exploring, Family Friendly, History, Insta-Worthy, Nerdy, Sightseeing

  • Facebook in Menlo Park, United States

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      Facebook (now Meta) was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates and has since grown to become one of the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world. Visitors to Facebook's headquarters can explore the company's sprawling campus, which features a range of amenities such as restaurants, shops, and outdoor spaces. The campus also includes the Facebook Visitor Center, which offers interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of the company's history and mission. Visitors can learn about the company's innovative technologies, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and how they are being used to connect people and communities around the world.

  • Apple Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, United States

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      Located in Cupertino, California, Apple Park Visitors Center serves as a showcase for the company's products and design philosophy, as well as offering a unique architectural experience. The building is circular in shape and primarily constructed of glass, offering panoramic views of the surrounding park. Visitors can take guided tours of the facility, which include interactive displays showcasing Apple's products and services, as well as a rooftop terrace offering views of the main Apple campus. The Visitor Center also features a store offering Apple-branded merchandise and a cafe serving refreshments.

  • Site of Shockley Semiconductor in Mountain View, United States

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      Visiting the site of the Shockley Semiconductor is an essential part of exploring the history of Silicon Valley. Located in Mountain View, California, the site marks the birthplace of the modern semiconductor industry. In 1956, Nobel Prize-winning physicist William Shockley founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, which later became the launching pad for some of the most successful tech companies in the world. Today, the site is commemorated with a plaque, which stands as a testament to the region's innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Visiting this historic site offers a glimpse into the early days of Silicon Valley and serves as a reminder of the transformative power of technology.

  • Los Altos History Museum in Los Altos, United States

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      Visiting the Los Altos History Museum is an excellent way to explore the rich history of Silicon Valley. Located in Los Altos, California, the museum offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the area's early settlers, agriculture, and architecture. The exhibits showcase artifacts and historical documents that tell the story of the region's development, including its transformation into a hub for tech innovation. The museum's collections include photographs, artwork, and interactive displays that provide a window into the daily lives of those who have called the Bay Area home over the years. The museum has a collection of vintage computers and other tech-related artifacts that showcase the area's transformation into a hub for innovation and technological development. Additionally, the museum hosts special events and lectures that explore the intersection of technology and local history.

  • The original Byte Shop location in Mountain View, United States

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      In 1975, the Byte Shop became the first retail store to sell the Apple I computer, which helped to establish the reputation of both the store and Apple as leaders in the tech industry. Although the shop is no longer there, the original Byte Shop building still stands as a testament to the early days of Silicon Valley and the pioneers who paved the way for the region's tech industry.

  • Stanford University, United States

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      Located in the heart of Palo Alto, California, Stanford has been at the forefront of technological innovation and research since its founding in 1885. The university has been a breeding ground for some of the world's most influential entrepreneurs and tech pioneers, including the co-founders of Google and Yahoo. Stanford's commitment to cutting-edge research in fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and renewable energy has helped to shape the region's economic and technological landscape. Visitors to the campus can explore the historic buildings and landmarks, including the Memorial Church and the Stanford Mausoleum, and gain a deeper understanding of the university's impact on Silicon Valley's evolution.

  • Computer History Museum in Mountain View, United States

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      Located in Mountain View, California, the Computer History Museum features a vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that document the history of computing from its earliest days to the present. Visitors can explore iconic machines like the Enigma machine used by the Germans during World War II, the first Apple computer, and the Cray-1 supercomputer. The museum also showcases the stories of the people who contributed to the development of computing, including pioneers like Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing. Through its comprehensive exhibits and educational programs, the Computer History Museum provides a unique perspective on the role that computing technology has played in shaping the world we live in today.

  • Googleplex in Mountain View, United States

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      The sprawling Google campus, with its colorful buildings and whimsical design, is home to thousands of employees who work on everything from search algorithms to cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Although tours are no longer offered, the campus is still worth walking around to get a glimpse of a day in the life of a Googler.

  • Steve Jobs & Wozniak Garage in Los Altos, United States

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      In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs' family home, where they developed the first Apple computer, the Apple I. Today, the garage has been designated a historic site and is considered by many to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Visitors to the garage can see the original exterior of the building, which remains largely unchanged since Jobs and Wozniak's time there. Although the interior of the garage is not open to the public, visitors can still take a moment to reflect on the incredible legacy of two visionaries who changed the world with their innovative ideas and determination.

  • Intel Museum in Santa Clara, United States

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      Intel was founded in 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, and has since become a global leader in the production of microprocessors and other computing technologies. The museum features a range of exhibits that showcase the company's history, products, and impact on the technology industry. Visitors can learn about the evolution of computing, from the first microprocessor developed by Intel in 1971, to the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Interactive displays allow visitors to see how microchips are manufactured and how they power the devices we use every day. The museum also features a hall of fame, which honors some of the greatest minds in computing, including Noyce and Moore, and other pioneers like Alan Turing and Grace Hopper.

  • Buck’s Restaurant, United States

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      Buck's Restaurant was founded in 1991 by Jamis MacNiven, and has since become a popular destination for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and tech industry insiders. Buck's is known for its eclectic decor, which includes a collection of space memorabilia, antique radios, and vintage lunch boxes. The restaurant has been frequented by luminaries such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, and has been the site of numerous deals and discussions that have helped shape the future of technology.

  • Hewlett Packard Garage in Palo Alto, United States

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      Hewlett-Packard Garage is a famous location in Palo Alto, California, considered to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley and the starting point of the personal computer revolution. In 1938, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard rented a small garage at 367 Addison Avenue, where they started the company that would become Hewlett-Packard (HP). Today, the garage is considered a historic site and is a symbol of innovation and entrepreneurship.