Mountain View (California)
Caltrain service connects Mountain View to San Francisco and 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.
There is also a VTA light rail service that connects downtown to several suburban locations in the South Bay. VTA light rail can also be used to connect to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train (to Sacramento) in Santa Clara.
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.
- 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.
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.
Mountain View is good for cycling: many streets have bike lanes or are wide enough to comfortably support bike traffic. There are several Bay Area BikeShare stations located in Mountain View, as well as in a few neighboring cities.
The downtown area is walkable.
- 1 Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd (near Highway 101), ☏ . 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.
- 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).
- 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—but, as with the rest of Silicon Valley, no public tours are available.
- 4 Shoreline Wildlife Refuge Area and Trail (In Shoreline Park at the end of Shoreline Boulevard), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 1 Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway (Off Shoreline Boulevard near Highway 101), ☏ . Outdoor concert venue with huge tent cover, location for many large Bay Area concerts as well as community events.
- 2 Century Cinemas 16, 1500 N. Shoreline Blvd, ☏ . Large movie theater with ample parking showing recent big movies.
- 3 Shoreline Aquatic Center, 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd (in Shoreline Regional Park at the end of Shoreline Blvd), ☏ . Water sports center with boating, windsurfing, and other aquatic activities. Equipment rental available.
- 4 Stevens Creek Trail. Good for walking or riding a bike.
- 5 NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Federal Airfield, off Highway 101), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-F 10AM-4PM, Sa- Su Noon-4PM. Founded in 1939, Ames Research Center has evolved into one of the nation's premier research labs. Ames provides the products, technologies and services that enable NASA missions and, in turn, expand human knowledge.
- 6 Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain View has many big-box stores including REI, Best Buy, IKEA, and Costco near the Hwy 101 Rengstorff exit. And Walmart, Target, Ross, Kohl's, and Safeway are in the San Antonio 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:|
|Mid-range||$10 - $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, 444 Castro St. Bagels, sandwiches, crepes, and grilled panini.
- 3 Amarin Thai Cuisine, 174 Castro St, ☏ . Good Thai food. Also has branches in Santa Clara and San Jose.
- 4 Amber, 2290 W. El Camino Real. Indian.
- 5 Bangkok Spoon, 702 Villa St.
- 6 Cafe Baklava, 341 Castro St. Turkish food
- 7 Fiesta del Mar, 1005 Shoreline Ave. Serves delicious sea food dishes as well as the famous and elusive Enjococado chicken.
- 8 Fiesta del Mar Too, 735 Villa St.
- 9 [dead link] Fu Lam Mum, 153 Castro St. 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-midnight every day. 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.
- 10 Garden Fresh, 1245 W El Camino Real, ☏ . Vegetarian (Vegan) Chinese.
- 11 Hong Kong Bistro, 147 Castro St. Western-style food from Hong Kong, vestiges of a colonial era. One of the few restaurants in Mountain View open late; serving until midnight.
- 12 Kirin Chinese Restaurant, 485 Castro St. 11AM-midnight every day. 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.
- 13 Krung Thai, 590 Showers Dr (San Antonio Shopping Center). Thai.
- 14 La Fiesta, 240 Villa St (about a 10 minute walk east of Castro St., just past a bunch of car mechanic shops), ☏ . Mexican food
- 15 Napoletana Pizzeria, 1910 W. El Camino Real (in a shopping area on El Camino Real), ☏ . Only certified authentic Italian pizza in the South Bay. An experience. Moderate.
- 16 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).
- 17 Shiva's, 800 California St. Shiva's has been reviewed as one of the top north Indian restaurants in the Bay area. Lunch buffet is a popular choice. Good for group dining.
- 18 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.
- 19 Taquería Los Charros, 854 West Dana St. Mexican food. Excellent tacos, and many other choices. Very inexpensive for the Castro St. area.
- 20 Vaso Azzurro, 108 Castro St. Italian food, served in a restaurant with substantially-Italian-speaking staff
- 21 Vive Sol, 2020 W. El Camino Real, ☏ . 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.
- 22 Chef Zhao Bistro, 400 Moffett Blvd (in Moffet Plaza), ☏ . Lunch 11:30AM–2PM. Dinner starts at 5PM. Closed Mondays. Sichuan Chinese food focused on fresh food in an unfussy setting. Try traditional dishes like pig's feet or goat, or American favorites like General Tao's chicken. Take out or dine-in. $15.
- 23 Cascal, 400 Castro St. Excellent Latin American Tapas, particularly good for sharing food in groups.
- 24 Chez TJ, 938 Villa St (next to Tied House), ☏ . Swanky, Michelin-starred restaurant.
- 25 Scratch, 401 Castro St, ☏ . 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.
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.
- 1 Best Western Mountain View Inn, 2300 W El Camino Real, toll-free: , fax: .
- 2 Holiday Inn Express, 1561 West El Camino Real, ☏ .
- 3 Hotel Strata, 93 W El Camino Real, toll-free: , fax: .
- 4 Hotel Aria, 2700 W. El Camino Real, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 5 Hotel Zico, 200 E. El Camino Real, ☏ .
- 6 Quality Inn & Suites Hotel, 5 Fairchild Dr, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 7 Ramada Limited, 55 Fairchild Dr, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 8 Super 8 Mountain View, 1665 El Camino Real, ☏ .
|Routes through Mountain View|
|San Francisco ← Palo Alto ←||N S||→ Sunnyvale → San Jose|
|END ←||N S||→ Sunnyvale → San Jose|