30 Things You Need To Know About Mountain View Before You Move There30 reasons to move here won't begin to do the city justice.
1. Mountain View Is Full Of Google-ly-ness
Source: Flickr US Trade RepresentativeGoogle is the most used search engine in the world and the company's corporate headquarters is located right here in our backyard. The Google Complex, known locally as Googleplex, opened its Mountain View doors in 2004 and provides, in addition to its many offices and labs, laundry rooms, two swimming pools, sand volleyball courts and cafeterias where employees eat for free. Wi-Fi-enabled Google Shuttles transport workers to and from San Francisco, the East Bay and the South Bay. These perks alone help to explain why, in 2014, CNN Money rated Google the #1 "Best Place to Work."
2. Google Gives Us Free Wi-Fi
Source: Ed YourdonOne of the perks of having Google's campus on our doorstep is the free city-wide Wi-Fi provided by the company. Mountain View has allowed Google, for a fee, (hee, hee) to place wireless transmitters on city owned streetlight poles, creating one of the first city-wide-no-cost Wi-Fi networks in the country. Thanks Google!
3. We're The Outdoorsie Types
Source: Flickr Don DeBoldCalifornia sunshine turns us all into self-righteous health nuts obsessed with hiking, biking and running. There is no better place to embrace an outdoor health craze than in Shoreline Park. Shoreline is a 750-acre nature reserve with a waterway system for water sport enthusiasts, a wildlife sanctuary for many rare migratory birds, an 18-hole golf course and club house, an amphitheater that holds up to 22,000, a 50-acre small-boat sailing lake and a lake side café. There are also 8-miles of trails, bridges and roadways for joggers, bikers, and skaters as well as the historic Rengstorff House that can be rented for events and weddings. The park's natural wetlands include two tide marshes, two sloughs, a seasonal marsh, and two creeks. Is there anything more you could need when enjoying a day out in nature?
4. We Even Rock Out In Nature
Source: Hip-Hop.comTime to unleash your web energy with a head-banging good time. The Shoreline Amphitheatre has 22,000 seats, including lawn seats, a great sound system--even considering the outside, open space--and serves as a local venue for festivals, concerts, comedy shows, celebrations, and more.
5. We Know How To Share
Source: Bay Area Bike ShareMountain View is one of five Bay Area cities participating in a pilot bike share program where members of Bike Share can check out a bike from a network of automated bike stations, ride to a destination, and return the bike to a different station. This is a great alternative to cars or mass transit and serves as a fantastic way to take advantage of the Bay Area's cultivated bike paths.
6. This Is Not Just A Market, It's An Event
Source: Flickr user Selena N.B.H.Each Sunday, Mountain View hosts one of the best certified farmers' markets in the Bay Area. The market features 70 local growers and food vendors selling seasonal and organic produce, freshly prepared food, and homemade goods. This is not just a place to shop; it's a weekly destination for eating, drinking and celebrating the bounty of California.
7. Not Only A Hospital, A Time Capsule To The Medical Future
Source: Flickr user Phalinn OoiThe Mountain View El Camino Hospital, a non-profit hospital affectionately referred to as "The Hospital of Silicon Valley," is ranked as a leading hospital in the area. In 2008, the hospital opened a new state-of-the-art building that Popular Science Magazine has declared the "most technologically advanced in the world." El Camino received this honor thanks to the robots that carry supplies and assist surgeons, the palm scanners used for patient registration and the infection-resistant bedside computers. This was also the first hospital in the country to introduce electronic medical records. Oh, and the hospital meets stringent requirements for seismic activity so it will be a great place to be when the "big one" hits.
8. A Religious Pilgrimage For Techies
Source: Flickr user Don DeBoldThe History of Computers Museum is a Holy Grail destination for any true tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley, which basically includes everyone here. The museum explains the history of computers and the Internet, and provides exhibits on early computers, computer chips, and computerized toys from the 80s. For some interactive fun, pretend to drive a Google Car, used to create Google Street Views.
9. The Heart Of Mountain View
Source: Flickr user Eric FredericksCastro Street is the main street of Mountain View and is packed full of boutiques, great restaurants, bars and cafes including Sushi Tomi (best sushi in town!), Fiesta Del Mar Too, Cascal, Shezan, Molly MaGees and Fu Lam Mum. This is also the location of Mountain View's City Hall and the Performing Arts Center. Castro Street is the place to be when wanting to eat, drink, shop, or have a ball. The street fills up during lunch hour, always has a lively evening crowd, and is where most of Mountain View's festivals and events set up shop.
10. Financially Sound (Wow, So Few Can Say That!)
Source: bluewaikiki.comMountain View is one of only three cities in the entire state of California with an AAA credit rating, meaning the city has been recognized as having a solid and diversified tax base, a very strong financial operation, and a low debt burden. If you are looking for a city job with a pension that won't go bankrupt before you retire, this is the city to send your resume.
11. We Like The Internet But We Love Our Performances Live
Source: Flickr user David SavyerThe Mountain View Center for Performing Arts is a theater with state-of-the-art technology that hosts a "comprehensive performing arts program for a culturally diverse community," and serves the city's cultural cravings with year-round theater and dance performances as well as musical concerts.
12. We Are All Fighter Pilots
Source: Flickr Tim PeirceThe Moffett Historical Society Museum, located on Moffett Field, preserves the history the San Francisco Bay area has played in the nation's aviation and national defense program. The museum is run by dedicated volunteers and offers historic displays, including the opportunity to enter the world-famous shuttle hangers, and provides hands-on fun for kids like the chance to pretend to fly a P-3 Orion, to sit in a VTOL Harrier cockpit, to "fly" in a flight simulator, or to play with an elaborate model train set.
13. And We Are All Shuttle Pilots
Source: Flickr user Dawn EndicoThe NASA Ames Visitor Center is open free of charge to the public and is located within the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. The center provides changing exhibits on the history of space exploration and space science including space craft exhibits. In addition, one can explore data gathered from landing on the moon (see a real moon rock) and view high-definition videos from NASA's mission to Mars. Top off the experience by sitting in a shuttle cockpit simulator and imagine rocketing into space!
14. We Are Smart, And Proud Of It
Source: Flickr user Quim GilMountain View has a fantastic school system with eight public elementary schools, 7 of which have a GreatSchools score of 7 or higher, including 3 schools with a perfect 10 out of 10 score.
15. There's A Way Out, But Who Needs One?
Source: Flickr user Richard Masoner/CycleliciousAlthough once in Mountain View, no one wants to leave, the city does have great transportation access and lies right along highway 101, highway 85, the Caltrain line into San Francisco or San Jose, and the VTA Light Rail System to Santa Clara and San Jose.
16. Family Fun, Out Of The Sun
Source: Gerald LeonardCuesta Park is a fun family park-especially for those with young kids. The park has two children's playgrounds (side-by-side), one for children under the age of 5 and one for children over the age of 5. The playgrounds are connected via a large sand box (pit) filled with ride-on toys, a digger, and a bouncer. The toddler playground and the sandpit are shaded. Cuesta also has vast areas of grassy fields, picnic tables, tennis courts, bike and running paths, and a "dog bowl," a ridged hill in the shape of a bowl that is great for dogs needing to run, climb and frolic.
17. Twisty Water Slide, Enough Said
Source: Flickr user NaystinThe Rengstorff Park and Pool is one of the top notch parks provided by the city of Mountain View. This park contains a state-of-the-art SkatePark, climbing walls, several playgrounds, large sand boxes, grassy areas, picnic tables and BBQ grills. For sports enthusiasts, the park provides running paths, basketball courts, a baseball field, a racquetball court, and the Pièce de résistance: two pools--a kiddie pool and an adult pool complete with lap lanes and twisty water slide!
18. Mountain View Helps Hoarders De-clutter
Source: Bill TimmermanMountain View hosts two annual spring-cleaning events to help residents get rid of unwanted items that might be used by others. The first event is the city-wide Garage Sale which occurs on the first weekend of each May and includes 200 participating homes. The second event is the Community Yard Sale at Rengstorff Park, held on the second weekend of May, and has over 100 vendors selling hot food and offering great bargains.
19. And Provides Family Entertainment
Source: Flickr user Keith JonesNow entering its 36th year, the Spring Family Parade is held each April and includes crafts, games, music and lots of fun. Each May, the city also sponsors the Annual A La Carte and Art, a family orientated festival that features music, car shows, arts and crafts, and food.
20. And Musical Events
Source: Flickr user Jonathan SheniaOr join in on the Summer Concert Series where concerts are held every Thursday evening in three downtown locations during the months of July and August. Bring a blanket or a folding chair, no fixed seating.
21. We Really Believe In Music
Source: Flickr user QuaverOn the first Friday of each month, Mountain View hosts Plaza Events-Mountain View Plaza Palooza--in the Mountain View Civic Center. Join local musicians and entertainers for 90 minutes of sights, sounds, food, and drinks.
22. And Free Movies
Source: Flickr user Amy ClaxtonMountain View also sponsors the Summer Outdoor Movie Night Series to "celebrate how parks make life better." Enjoy a summer night watching movies under the stars and stay fueled with popcorn and beverages, free of charge. Such a generous city!
23. We Also Love Wine And Art
Source: Flickr user Michael Wyszomier-SkiThe annual Mountain View Art and Wine Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the United States and it has been voted the "best festival of the South Bay" multiple times by readers of the local Metro. The festival, held each September, showcases over 600 artists and provides live music, specialty food, home and garden exhibits, wellness booths and more.
24. A Straight Up Wine Party Is OK Too
Source: Flickr user SibelHeld each August on a smaller scale than the Art and Wine Festival, the Annual Wine Walk allows festival goers to sample a variety of California wines and try many offerings from local Castro Street restaurants.
25. Those Who Commute Don't Need A Gym Membership
Source: Flickr user Don DeBoldThe Stevens Creek Trail originates in Shoreline Park and provides over 5 miles of paved paths including 6 under-ways and pedestrian bridges, a 350 ft. pedestrian/bicycle overpass and trails that cross through woodlands, tidal marshes and parks. The trail connects pedestrians with the city's major bus routes and serves as a peaceful and healthy commuting alternative for those looking for a more nature-orientated path to work.
26. We Don't Need To Run To The Border For Authentic Mexican Cuisine
Source: Flickr user Roy PrasadVive Sol is Puebla Mexican Cuisine with the mission to bring "Comida Poblana to Silicon Valley." The food is amazing and the margaritas fantastic, thanks to the quality tequila that patrons say really makes the difference. Vive Sol gets crowded fast on the weekends, but for a taste of true authentic Mexican food, there is no other place to eat.
27. We've Got A Neighborhood Café
Source: Flickr user BrunoHailing back to when the café was the "meeting place of public life," the Red Rock Café serves as an informal gathering place and offers many special events and activities including a kids' story hour, a book club, a knitting club, the Bootstraggers Breakfast, live musical performances, local art shows, and of course great coffee, sandwiches, pastries, and cakes.
28. No Book Is Inaccessible, Even If Out-Of-Print
Source: Flickr user if8The Mountain View Voice has rated Book Buyers "The Best Bookstore in Mountain View" three years in a row as well as "The Best Green Business in Mountain View" two years in a row. Since 1990, this book store has claimed its place as the largest source of out-of-print books in the San Francisco Bay Area and has over 300,000 titles, audio books, CDs, records, and games.
29. Not Just A Bookstore, A Lifestyle
Source: Flickr user Tomas SobelThe East West Bookstore is a more than just a bookstore; it's a resource for ideas, a retreat from the daily grind, a gathering place for the community, and a place for spiritual growth. In addition to serving as an independent bookstore housing a collection of new age books and music--that some of its loyal customers say will challenge some of your long held beliefs--East West also hosts lectures, retreats, yoga classes, and workshops.
30. Obviously, Mountain View Seriously Loves To Read
Source: Flickr user rickbuciahIn the absence of a branch of one of the larger chain-bookstores, Mountain View has the more local shop Books Inc., "the West's oldest independent bookseller." Peruse two floors of books, participate in one of the many special events, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, or set up shop in the upstairs café and enjoy a cup of Joe.
Featured Image Source: Flickr user nasaldemons