My wife and I are vacating our vacation hub of San Jose for the evening and heading up north and west, presumably to the Palo Alto area. After asking around and a quick search here's the things that the area is most known for.
Julien Genestoux of Superfeedr glory suggested Stanford as a place to visit while in the valley. If nothing else, I'm certain my wife Michelle will enjoy the Stanford Shopping Center. I've heard tales of legendary hackers and entrepreneurs conjured forth from the mystical paths of the University, and it'd be fun to check it out firsthand.
PARC, Google or Apple HQ
Ok, I admit it. I wanted to geek out and visit the Palo Alto Research Center. I mean who wouldn't want to visit the birth center of ethernet and graphical user interfaces? My wife. Fortunately for her it'll probably be closed by the time we show up in the area (6pm).
Now that I've vicariously experienced the phenomenal swag available at the store on Google campus via Louis Gray's coverage, it's taking an act of will not to go. Plus I know a few sharp Googlers (howdy Denny), but I don't want to distract them from whatever techno wizardry they're feverishly working on this week while I slack off.
I suspect a visit to apple headquarters would be much like my visit to Adobe in San Jose. I would walk into the waiting lounge and walk out, assuming I even got that far. For tech geeks like myself, there's certainly a level of awe and respect for what Apple has accomplished in personal computing. Plus you know, dreams of finding out about all their secret awesome products in the pipes and perhaps some cocoa app building tips.
No, not to visit the many venture capital partnerships (my company isn't ready for VC) but to check out the SLAC. Yeah I'm a science geek with a background in physics. It's hard not to want to see a cousin to the local Brookhaven national labs that I grew up next to. My wife is a bio-science geek which means in theory I could convince her to check it out. But we're going to be in the area after 6pm, which is far past any visiting hours. Probably not gonna happen.
What am I missing?
As an east coast native (hour east of Manhattan), I'd appreciate any suggestions for must visits while I'm in the area later. Preferable hacker meetups, startups that wouldn't mind an evening visitor with a truckload of questions and maybe a few supportive ideas.