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Mountain View in California is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Mountain View is one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley, and has many notable Silicon Valley companies either headquartered there or with a large presence.


Mountain View is a mid-size city at the heart of Silicon Valley, hosting offices of a number of notable tech companies--Google, Microsoft, Intuit, LinkedIn, among others.

Shockley Semiconductor, the first high-tech company to establish itself the region, began research and manufacturing operations in Mountain View in 1956. For this reason, Mountain View is often considered the 'Birthplace of Silicon Valley.'

Mountain View's history prior to the mid-20th century is dominated by agriculture; in fact, much of the city's infrastructure (roads, parks, etc.) bears the names of wealthy families who owned farms and orchards throughout the now-densely urbanized city.

Silicon Graphics, one of the early pioneers in the graphical processing hardware industry, was headquartered in Mountain View before it was sold and later relocated in the early 2000s.

Once a small startup with a nondescript office along Charleston Blvd., Google has since grown to dominate Mountain View's corporate ecosystem. Google tests many of its experimental technologies within the city limits, and self-driving cars maneuvering about on test drives are a common sight along city streets.

Get in[edit]

Map of Mountain View (California)

By train[edit]

Caltrain service connects Mountain View to San Francisco, San Jose, and Gilroy. Almost all Caltrains stop at the 1 Downtown Mountain View Station on Castro Street, including all local and limited-stop trains, and most Baby Bullet trains. All local trains and some limited-stop trains also service the 2 San Antonio Station, near the border of Mountain View and Palo Alto.

To get to Amtrak trains from Mountain View, connect at the San Jose Diridon or Santa Clara stations via Caltrain.

The VTA light rail service, also located in the downtown station, connects riders to several suburban locations within the South Bay as well as San Jose. There are three ways to get to Mountain View through the light rail:

  1. Take the orange line ("Mountain View - Alum Rock") straight to Mountain View. It's the final destination going westbound.
  2. Take the blue line ("Baypointe - Santa Teresa"), get off at Baypointe Station, and switch to the orange line.
  3. Take the green line ("Old Ironsides - Winchester"), get off at Old Ironsides Station, and switch to the orange line.

The light rail can also be used to connect to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train (to Sacramento) in Santa Clara. The rates for fares vary by intention, but a standard single ride is $2.50 and can be paid with cash or Clipper card.

By air[edit]

Mountain View is reachable from all three Bay Area airports:

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO IATA): The BART train has a stop directly at the airport, which you can ride to the Millbrae transit center. From Millbrae, leave BART and take Caltrain southbound service. If you are taking a taxi, note that San Francisco-based taxis may charge 150% of the normal fare when going more than 15 miles outside the city limit, and the fare is likely to be over $100. Uber/Lyft is usually under half the price.
  • San Jose (SJC IATA): Take a free shuttle to Caltrain's Santa Clara station and then take the northbound train service. Also, you can take a free shuttle to the VTA Metro/Airport station and take the VTA light rail. Taxi fare is likely to be in the $35-45 range.
  • Oakland (OAK IATA): Take a shuttle van service. This is the most distant of the three area airports. You can take BART from the new Oakland Airport BART extension, ride to Millbrae station, then connect at Millbrae to Caltrain southbound. Taxi fare from OAK is likely to be about $100.

Get around[edit]

For travel within Mountain View itself and the neighboring area, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) operates bus and light rail service. The Caltrain, which runs all the way from San Francisco to Gilroy stops in Mountain View as well. Caltrain also provides relatively easy access to both San Francisco and San Jose Airport, via BART or bus connections. There are also free shuttles operated by Mountain View Community Shuttle that operate during the daytime connecting residential areas to downtown. While major points of interest may be accessible by bus from downtown, coverage in other areas is limited and service is infrequent. It is recommended to travel around by car or by bike. Mountain View is good for cycling: many streets have bike lanes or are wide enough to comfortably support bike traffic.

The downtown area is walkable. The downtown blocks of Castro street nearest to the train station are closed off to vehicle traffic.


  • 1 Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd (near Highway 101), +1 650-810-1010. W-Su 10AM-5PM. The world's largest and most complete museum on computing history, documenting the area's primary industry. Be prepared for a massive collection of room-sized computers, vacuum tubes, entangled wires, and devices large and small. A geek's delight and a must-see in Silicon Valley. $18, children free. Computer History Museum (Q964035) on Wikidata Computer_History_Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Castro Street. Castro Street is a charming district full of ethnic diversity and interesting local businesses. Although there is a strong Asian presence among restaurants and shops, many different cultures are represented along these blocks. There is a weekly farmers' market and on certain Thursdays it is home to a great street fair with vendors and a classic car show. Also convenient access from public transportation by way of several trains and buses. If you live near this area or in most of Mountain View, Google provides free Wi-Fi internet all over (though it is spotty in many locations).
Google's headquarters
  • 3 Google Headquarters (Googleplex), 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy. Drive around the large campus of buildings to see where all the geeks work and get a taste of the mischievious Google corporate culture. The campus is also a 10- to 30-min walk from the Computer History Museum depending on where exactly you want to go. Make sure to take a picture in front of the huge bunch of Android statues on the Google Android lawn on Landings Dr. They are located right next to the company store, which sells a wide range of rather affordable swag and has a Google bike to take pictures on. On your way, have fun spotting the colorful bikes (easy), the "Noogle" propeller hats bestowed upon new employees (less easy, but worth it!), and the various Android statues hidden between the buildings. Google is arguably the friendliest of all tech giants with tourists—the Googleplex's courtyard, complete with a dinosaur skeleton, is open for selfie takers. Google opened a visitor center in 2023 called the Google Visitor Experience that features a café, pop-up shop and various events. A with the rest of Silicon Valley companies, no public tours of its offices are generally available. However, some tech events advertised on Meetup are held at the Google campus. Googleplex (Q694178) on Wikidata Googleplex on Wikipedia
  • 4 Shoreline Wildlife Refuge Area and Trail (In Shoreline Park at the end of Shoreline Boulevard), +1 650-903-6392, . Once the site for dumping trash, Mountain View closed this area as a dump and turned it into a park instead. Now it's a beautiful 700-acre park with a saltwater lake, golf course, rolling grassy hills, and bay trails.
  • 5 Hacker Dojo (hackerspace), 599 Fairchild Dr. Non-profit community center for geeks. Hacker Dojo (Q5637246) on Wikidata Hacker Dojo on Wikipedia



Mountain View has many big-box stores including Costco and ROSS near the Hwy 101 Rengstorff exit. And Walmart, Target, Kohl's, and Safeway are in the San Antonio shopping center. There's an excellent Japanese Market, Nijiya Market, in the Grant Plaza shopping center.

  • 1 Farmers' Market, Mountain View Caltrain Station, 600 West Evelyn Ave. Su 9AM–1PM. Features fresh produce and prepared foods from farmers and small food producers in the area. On '49ers game Sundays, the market is relocated to the corner of Bryant St. and California St. a few blocks away.


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $10
Mid-range $10 - $20
Splurge Over $20

Castro Street is the main street in the downtown area with many restaurants and bars. East and South Asian food is available in abundance, but it is by no means the only choice. Watch the hours of operation; most restaurants in Mountain View are not open very late. There are some wonderful Mexican restaurants in the area serving Poblano style food.


  • 1 Gelato Classico, 241 Castro St. Italian ice cream. A local favorite, with long lines out the door during peak hours.
  • 2 The Posh Bagel, 1040 Grant Road. Bagels, sandwiches, crepes, and grilled panini.
  • 3 Los Altos Taqueria, 2105 Old Middlefield Way. Cheap Mexican food in a low-frills setting
  • 4 La Plaza, 40 S Rengstorff Ave. Mexican supermarket with an attached food court. Best tortas in Mountain View.
  • 5 Hong Kong Bakery, 210 Castro St. Chinese bakery operating for more than 40 years with delicious and affordable deserts. Cash only.
  • 6 Cheztakos, 323 El Camino Real, +1 408 841-2191. Su-Th 5-11PM, F Sa 5PM-midnight. Mexican food truck offering tacos, burritos, and quesadillas (choose your own meat) with vegetarian options too.


  • 7 Amarin Thai Cuisine, 174 Castro St, +1 650-988-9323. Good Thai food. Also has branches in Santa Clara and San Jose.
  • 8 GEN Korean BBQ House, 2540 W El Camino Real, +1 650-559-5997. Korean BBQ and ban-chan
  • 9 Olympus/Das Bierhauz, 135 Castro St, +1 650-336-7613. Two restaurants in one; one serving Mediterranean fare, the other serving German favorites. Also serves delicious deserts and has a number of German brews on tap.
  • 10 Himalayan Kitchen, 820 E El Camino Real, +1 650-967-4240. Pan-Indian cuisine with a focus on Himalayan specialties
  • Zareen's, 1477 Plymouth St Suite C, +1 650-628-6100. Delicious Indian food with signature naan wraps. Also has branches in Redwood City and Palo Alto.
  • 11 Cafe Baklava, 341 Castro St. Turkish food
  • 12 Blue Line Pizza, 146 Castro St. Delicious deep dish pizza with signature cornbread crust
  • 13 Fiesta del Mar Too, 735 Villa St.
  • 14 Fu Lam Mum, 153 Castro St. Daily 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-midnight. Dim sum is the staple of this restaurant, so come here hungry! Most dim sum plates cost between $3–5, and with the endless parade of food being served, you're guaranteed to walk away full. The shrimp and pea sprout dumplings come recommended.
  • 15 Garden Fresh, 1245 W El Camino Real, +1 650-961-7795. Vegetarian (Vegan) Chinese.
  • 16 Kirin Chinese Restaurant, 485 Castro St. Daily 11AM-midnight. Look past the fish tank crawling with lobsters outside and look in for some cheap and tasty Chinese food. Parking is accessible and the service is quick.
  • 17 La Fiesta, 240 Villa St (about a 10-minute walk east of Castro St., just past a bunch of car mechanic shops), +1 650-968-1364. Mexican food
  • 18 Napoletana Pizzeria, 1910 W. El Camino Real (in a shopping area on El Camino Real), +1 650 969-4884. Only certified authentic Italian pizza in the South Bay. An experience. Moderate.
  • 19 New Mongolian BBQ, 304 Castro St. Relatively inexpensive all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ (fill a bowl with ingredients and sauce, and it will be cooked for you).
  • 20 Taquería Los Charros, 854 West Dana St. Mexican food. Excellent tacos, and many other choices. Very inexpensive for the Castro St. area.
  • 21 Ramen Izakaya Yugen, 152 Castro St, +1 650 428 0888. Excellent tonkotsu ramen and other Japanese fare.
  • 22 Vaso Azzurro, 108 Castro St. Italian food, served in a restaurant with substantially-Italian-speaking staff
  • 23 Vive Sol, 2020 W. El Camino Real, +1 650-938-2020. Specializes in cuisine from the Pueblo region of Mexico. An outdoor seating area makes this a great place to go on a warm summer evening.
  • 24 Superhot Hot Pot, 210 Hope St, +1 650-963-9819. M-Th 5-10 PM, Sa noon-2:30 PM, 5-11PM; Su noon-2:30PM, 5-10 PM. Korean all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant.


  • 25 Cascal, 400 Castro St. Excellent Latin American Tapas, particularly good for sharing food in groups.
  • 26 Chez TJ, 938 Villa St, +1 650 964-9647. Swanky, Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • 27 Scratch, 401 Castro St, +1 650-237-3131. Updated American comfort food. It has a great bar with unusual, craft selections of American distilled spirits. Also, good soups, salads, and appetizers. Main courses are inconsistent but many are quite good.
  • 28 Sushi Jin, 580 N Rengstorff Ave, +1 650-386-5885. Boutique Japanese Restaurant serving a la carte and Omakase. Omakase consists of many courses of sushi and traditional Japanese fare. Expect to pay $150 per person for Omakase. Also has an extensive sake list.


  • Savvy Cellar Wine Bar & Wine Shop, 750 W Evelyn Ave, +1 650-969-3958.
  • 1 St. Stephens Green, 223 Castro St. Stiff drinks, good pub food and plenty of standing space available, St Stephens Green is perfect for happy hour drinks or just a casual meet up with friends. Although an Irish pub, it seems that hip hop is the vibe of choice here.
  • 2 Molly Magees, 241 Castro St. Local Pub frequented by tech workers with good bar food.
  • 3 Fred's Place, 2534 Old Middlefield Way. Laid back dive bar with relatively cheap drinks.


The nearest campgrounds are in the hills to the southwest. In 2021, the city banned people from parking large vehicles (22' or longer) on "narrow" roads, which was about 85% of them. If you rent an RV to visit Mountain View, you'll have to do some research to figure out where you can legally park.

Go next[edit]

Neighboring destinations

Routes through Mountain View
San FranciscoPalo Alto  N  S  SunnyvaleSan Jose
END  N  S  SunnyvaleSan Jose
San FranciscoPalo Alto  N  S  SunnyvaleSan Jose

This city travel guide to Mountain View is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.