Mountain View

50 things to do in Mountain View, CA

Mountain View, in the heart of Silicon Valley, is probably best known as Google’s headquarters. Framed by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the south and the Bay on the north it’s a picturesque city of almost 80,000.  Come to Mountain View for Google and the Computer History Museum, stay for a lovely downtown, the Shoreline Lake or enjoy one of the many great street festivals.

I appreciate all comments and suggestions. COVID-19 restricted many activities, please check online if places are open or still in business.


Parks and Gardens

1. Rock Garden

Rock garden at Pioneer ParkRake some rocks at the Rock Garden at Pioneer Park. A gift from the citizens of Iwata,  Japan, Mountain View’s sister city. (, 1146 Church St, Mountain View, CA 94041) 

2. Community Gardens

Wheelbarrels at Willowgate community garden

Stroll around the community gardens at Willowgate,  Latham, or the Senior Center (

3. Heritage Park

Soil & Water, Heritage ParkHeritage Park has a shared urban garden operated by Soil & Water, a non-profit, volunteer-led organization. You can get your hands dirty every Saturday from 9 am – 11 am. (,  771 North Rengstorff Avenue)

4. Water Wise Gardens

Sign for Green Garden of Mountain View

There are currently six showcase waterwise gardens all around town, showing off native plants and low water usage. ( [Also see: Mountain View’s Water Wise Gardens]

5. Plaza Green

Plaza GreenChill out at Plaza Green, downtown’s pop-up park. (, 500 Castro St)  [Also see: Chill Out in Downtown Mountain View’s Plaza Green]

6. Seed Exchange

Seed bank at the Mountain View library

Start your own garden. The seed exchange at the MV library can help. (, 585 Franklin St)

7. Google’s Demonstration Garden

Sign for Google demonstration gardenSee Google’s demonstration garden, examples of sustainable landscape. (, Charleston Rd, near Huff Ave)

Places for Kids

8. Eagle Park or Rengstorff Park Pool

Pool at Rengstorff Park

Swim some laps at Eagle Park or Rengstorff Park pool. (, 650 Franklin St. or 201 South Rengstorff Avenue)

9. Shoreline Park’s Kite Fly Area

Kite at the Shoreline kite flying area

Fly a kite at the Shoreline Park’s kite flying area. Since it is close to the Bay it always seems to have a nice breeze. Perfect for kites of all abilities. (​​, N Shoreline Blvd) [Also see: Fly a Kite

10. Rengstorff Skate Park

Rengstorff skate parkRamp up with your skateboard at Rengstorff Park. (, 1931-2057 Crisanto Ave)

11. Scow Schooner Play Structure

the scow schooner play structure  at Shoreline Park

Have your little ones play at the scow schooner play structure  at Shoreline Park. This is a tribute to the flat-bottomed vessels from the 18th and early 19th century delivering grains and materials around the Bay. (, Shoreline Park)

12. View Teen Center

The View teen centerThe View Teen Center is a free hang-out space for 6th to 12th graders. (, 263 Escuela Ave)


13. Golf

Golf clubs

Play a round of golf at Moffett Field (, 934 Macon Road) or Shoreline Golf Links (, 2940 N Shoreline Blvd)

14. Water Sports

Kayaks lined upThere are great water sports at Shoreline Lake, like kayaking and windsurfing. (, 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd.)

15. Trailblazer Race

Shorleine Park bike lane

Bike the Stevens Creek Trail or challenge yourself to a 10K, 5K or 3K Trailblazer race. (

16. Play Bocce

Bocce court at Cuesta ParkPlay bocce at Cuesta Park – you have to bring your own set of balls, but the rules are posted. Afterwards you can enjoy a picnic or BBQ. (, 615 Cuesta Drive) [Also see: Have a picnic weekend

17. Adult Fitness Parks

Adult fitness equipment at Sylivan Park

Work out using the grown up fitness area at Rengstorff Park or Sylvan Park.  (, 201 South Rengstorff Ave, Sylvan Avenue & DeVoto Street) [Also see: Get in shape for free]

18. Vasper

Cooling machines from VasperVasper, is a true Silicon Valley work-out. While being on a bike (or a rower unit or an elliptical unit) you wear cooling pads. These exercises were developed for fast muscle building. (, 580 Cody Rd) [Also see: Streamline your Exercise]

Short Hikes

19. Shoreline Park

Bay view at Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park offers 750-acre wildlife and recreation area with a nice view of the Bay. (, 3070 North Shoreline Boulevard) 

20. Historic Walking Tour

Rengstorff houseDo a historic walking tour of Mountain View. In fact Rick Heli developed three walking tours for Mountain View. (

Museums / Galleries

21. NASA AMES Research Center

Selfie spot as astronauts

Visit the NASA AMES Research Center Tuesdays to Fridays 10 am – 4 pm. If you ever wanted to see a moonstone or wondered how the researchers work in space (think nerdy tiny house) this is the place for you! (, Moffett Field) [Also see: Walk into space exploration]

22. Moffett Field Historical Society Museum

Sign Welcome to Crows LandingExplore the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum. It is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. Admission $8 for adults, discounts for special groups available. Make sure to have an ID on you since this museum is on base.(, Severyns Ave., Building 126) [Also see: Follow the Trains at Moffett Field]

Historic Places

23. Rengstorff House

Rengstorff house

Get some history at the Rengstorff House, Mountain View’s oldest house – especially spooky on Halloween. (, 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd.)

24. The Last Immigrant House

Immigrant houseThe last immigrant house, a tiny 400-square foot house, got restored and can be seen at the Heritage Park (, 771 N. Rengstorff Ave.) [Also see: Admire the Tiny House at Heritage Park]


25. Hanger One

Hangar 1

Get closer to Hanger One – one of the largest freestanding structures in the world. You might want to combine this with visiting the Moffett Field Museum, see above. (,_California), Moffett Field)

26. Oldest House on Castro St

Former lock museumThe Lock Museum might be forever closed,  but the house on 175 Castro is still the oldest on Castro St and beautifully remodeled. (175 Castro)

Public Art

27. A Piece of the Berlin Wall

Pieces of the Berlin Wall

Admire a piece of the Berlin Wall. You can view part of the Berlin Wall in Mountain View in front of the public library. (585 Franklin St.) [Also see: Celebrate one less wall]

28. Tick Tock the Crocodile

Crocodile statueSit on a crocodile – great photo opt for kids (, 556 Middlefield Rd.)


29. Amphitheater


See a show at the Amphitheater – notably the bridge school benefit concert organized by Neil Young in October ( (, One Amphitheatre Parkway)

30. Pear Theater

Pear TheaterWatch a play at Pear Theater. For over 20 years the Pear enlightens its audience with original plays. (,1110 La Avenida Street)

31. Center for Performance Art

People sitting in front of the Center of Performing Arts

See a great performance at the Center for Performance Art. (, 500 Castro St.)

32. Community School of Arts and Music

Community School of Music and ArtsListen to a concert at the Community School of Arts and Music or see a free exhibit at their Mohr’s Gallery (, 230 San Antonio Circle) [Also see: Morph your art]


33. Annual Garage Sale

Girl with wagon at a garage sale
Photo courtesy City of Mountain View

Score some bargains at the annual garage sale, or at the Rengstorff Park community yard sale. (

34. Farmers Market

Farmers marketPick up some fresh fruits, vegetables and other goodies at the farmers market; Sunday from 9 am – 1 pm. This is one, if not the, largest farmers market in the Bay Area with 80+ vendors. (, 600 W. Evelyn) [Also see: Eat local produce]

35. The Midwife and the Baker

People in line for the Midwife and the BakerThe Midwife and the Baker sells their artisan bread on Sundays at the farmers market, but you can also pick up your baked goods right at the bakery (Monday-Saturday 7 am-12:30 pm) (, 846 Independence Ave)

36. ArtPop

Entrance to Art Pop

ArtPop is a pop-up artisan market with a holiday theme. You can buy locally made handcrafted goods during the Holiday season. They also fundraise for homeless projects. (, 275 Castro St.)


37. Castro Street

Outside tables at Castro StreetStroll along Castro Street – Mountain Views great downtown. The 100 to 300 blocks of Castro Street will be closed to motor vehicles through January 3, 2023, making it a great European plaza feel. [Also see: Dine in Circles]

38. Beer Gardens

Sign at Ludwigs: Biergarten

Trust a German to recommend two beer gardens on either end of Castro. First Ludwigs serves amazing Apfelstrudel. (, 383 Castro St) The second Das Bierhauz operated by Olympus, a favorite for the after-farmers-market-crowd. (, 135 Castro St)

39. Zareens

Wall with pitchers at ZarreensEat Indian/Pakistani food at Zareens. Zareens spices are complex and give you layered food admiration. This was one of my first blog posts, since then they have expanded to Palo Alto and Redwood City. But the original, Michelin-mentioned place is still around.  (, 1477 Ply​mouth St., #C) [Also see: Dinner & a movie]

Nerdy Fun

40. Google’s Headquarters

T-Rex sculpture at Googleplex

Visit Google’s headquarters (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway) and have fun with some great photo ops, e.g. in huge primary colored chairs. The android figures at the Android Statue Lawn Garden are gone from their old home at 1981 Landings Dr. Maybe they will be repaired and shine at the opening of the new Google’s Charleston East building? [Also see: Hope for Reconstruction of the Android Lawn Statues]

41. Google’s East Charleston Building

Google Charlston East buildingEast Charleston, Google’s new futuristic campus is now  open to the public. You can eat at a cafe or see the public art. (, 2000 N Shoreline Blvd) [Also see: Hope for Reconstruction of the Android Lawn Statues

42. Computer History Museum

Computer History Museum

Visit the Computer History Museum – this is one for the real nerds. The collection of artifacts related to computer history is astounding. (, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd) [Also see: It’s all digital history to you]

43. Birthplace of Silicon Valley

Sculptures at the Birthplace of Silicon ValleySee the birthplace of Silicon Valley. The city of Mountain View acknowledges the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as the birthplace of Silicon Valley with a plaque and an art installation at the site on 391 San Antonio Rd. [Also see: Explore the Dark Side of Silicon Valley

44. Red Rock

Red Rock cafe

Sip coffee at Red Rock and watch the coder on caffeine. The independent coffee shop is usually lined with people on laptops typing away. (, 201 Castro St.) [Also see: Support your independent coffee shop]

Must-show-to-a-visitor Places

45. Egrets Nesting Area

Flying egretSee the egrets nesting area at Google, April – July (Shorebird Way) [Also see: Big white birds]

Festivals / Events

46. Art and Wine Festival

People strolling Castro Street at the Arts and Wine Festival

Stroll the Art and Wine Festival in September. Art, wine, artisan food, and kids entertainment are all back.  (, Castro Street between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue)

47. Silicon Valley Irish Fleadh

A man at the Fleadth FestivalDance with the Irish at the Irish Festival in May. A celebration of Irish culture brings you food, beers, arts & crafts and children’s fun zones.  (

48. Community Tree Lightning

Kids playing in the snow

The Community Tree Lightning ceremony features local choirs. You might even enjoy some man made snow; December (, Civic Center Plaza) 

49. German Holiday Market

A choir singing at the German Holiday MarketEnjoy Gluehwein or hot punch at the German Holiday Market; December. A re-creation of a German Weihnachtsmarkt.  (, Civic Center Plaza) [Also see: Holiday Markets]

Other Ideas

50. Mountain View Shuttle

Mountain View Community shuttle

Ride the free Mountain View shuttle (


Did I miss something? What are your suggestions? As always no affiliations with the mentioned businesses unless otherwise noted. Dates are for 2022. Please let me know of any changes or mistakes. All images are mine, unless otherwise noted, please don’t use without permission. © 2022


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