We’re half way through the Silicon Valley Program. At this point, we’ve found the delicate balance between work, school, sleep, and fun. Yes, we’re all in this for the incredible experiences and opportunities afforded to us through an extended internship in one of the most exciting and innovative places in the world, but I believe that the Silicon Valley Program should just as much be a cultural experience. Even though Silicon Valley is still California, it’s an entirely different place, and, as such, there are a lot of exciting things to do and see. So, in this blog post, I’ll provide a break from the typical post one might see here (about school or work) by focusing on experiences one should have while in the Silicon Valley.
1) Golden Gate Bridge: It’s touristy, it’s cliche, it’s hard to get to, but it’s amazing. Construction on it began in 1933 and was completed in 1937, $35 million later. It was the longest suspension bridge main span until 1969 and connects San Francisco (in the Presidio) to Marin County (near Sausalito). Since it’s always crowded, the best way to see it is by biking to the bridge and biking or walking across it. So, find a clear, sunny Sunday and check out the Golden Gate.
2) Marin County: Marin County sits on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are two spots to look out for. First, Sausalito; a small town that sits on the bay. Find a good restaurant or coffee shop, or spend an hour walking around and admiring the scenery. The second is Hawk Hill, which sits directly next to the Marin-side entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a really steep hill that you can either drive, walk, or bike up; it’s worth it, great views await.
3) Ferry: San Francisco sits on a bay. There are a lot of other cool places that border the bay as well; take a ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Terminal to any one of them.
4) Point Reyes: Point Reyes Station is a small town in the northern part of Marin County. If you have access to a car, take the roughly 45-mile drive to check out the small town and seashore. While you’re there, enjoy fresh oysters in Tomales Bay. You’ll see some Redwoods along the way.
5) California Academy of Sciences: The California Academy of Sciences is a science museum located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. There are a number of fascinating exhibits. Most notably, it boasts an extremely large planetarium, a multi-story immersive rainforest exhibit, an earthquake simulator, and an aquarium.
6) Golden Gate Park: While you’re at the California Academy of Sciences (which is located in Golden Gate Park), you should check out the rest of the park. It’s a great place to walk, but even better if you go on one of many days concerts or festivals are held.
7) Dolores Park: Take BART or the Muni to the Mission District on a clear day or night and make the short trek to Dolores Park. The slightly higher elevation allows for great views of the city.
Hopefully these seven tips can help facilitate your cultural exploration of San Francisco and surrounding areas while in the Silicon Valley Program. There are a number of additional, equally-interesting things to do and see, so spend your Sundays wisely. Below are a handful of photos I’ve gathered during my own explorations.
Giants World Series Championship Parade
Sunrise at Hawk Hill
Boat ride on the Bay
The Blue Angels fly overheard during Fleet Week
Richard Mancuso ’16
Claremont McKenna College