Summer Family Fun with a Mountain View
Mountain View, California is one of the most beautiful and desirable small cities in the United States. It got its name from the amazing views it has of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is one of the biggest cities (population about 75,000) in the Silicon Valley and is home to tech giants like Google and Symantec. The population has a high median household income of close to $100,000 but it also has a high cost of living (about 50% above the national average). The city is clean, modern and has many fine places to eat and shop. It is near a number of very excellent California Wineries and prestigious Stanford University is just a few miles away in Palo Alto. The main drag in the heart of the downtown area is Castro Street. It is lined with trees and wide sidewalks. Along a four block stretch by the train station, pedestrians can find upscale boutique shopping, fine restaurants and some wonderful bakeries.
Summer is a great time to take the family on a vacation to the San Francisco Bay area. There is so much to see and so much to experience. San Francisco has the street cars and Fisherman’s Wharf and gets most of the attention, but there are many wonderful places to explore in the region. Don’t forget to visit and spend some time right here in Mountain View.
Castro Street Bakeries
A walk along Castro Street in Mountain View can be the perfect opportunity to satisfy your craving for a piece of Greek baklava with a cup of Turkish coffee. NETO Caffe & Bakery serves up Mediterranean and European inspired pastries. This is a great spot for a German pastry, Belgian cheesecake or the always popular chocolate babka. If you are in a hurry ask them to box up a few of their Italian specialties. To paraphrase a memorable line in The Godfather, leave the tip and take the cannoli.
If you love freshly baked bread, continue walking down Castro Street until you come to LeBoulanger. This French Bakery and Cafe makes the absolutely best bread in the entire Bay area. Every day they bake more than twenty different types of bread. Enjoy the buttery croissants, crusty baguettes and out-of-this world assortment of rolls.
You’re not done yet when you are walking down Castro Street. Make a stop at the Hong Kong Chinese Bakery and try something a little different. They bake a mean pork bun and have some really tasty sesame balls.
Just off the beaten path on Middlefield Way is Bajis Down the Street Cafe. You’ll have a wide selection of your favorite breakfast menu items like pancakes, eggs, country red potatoes and fluffy French toast. Very friendly service, well prepared food and reasonable prices make this a good place to have your morning meal. If you can’t make it to Bajis a couple of other suggestions for a hearty breakfast that everyone will enjoy are the Country Gourmet on W. El Camino Real and Hobee’s on Central Expressway.
Some Extra Nice Places for Lunch or Dinner
The choices are many but here are a few of the very best places for a memorable lunch or dinner in Mountain View. Bistro Elan offers fine dining and an excellent selection of wine for special occasions, a business lunch or for anyone who can appreciate a good meal. The Amber Indian Restaurant was rated the Best Indian Restaurant in the Bay Area. The serve northern Indian cuisine, have vegetarian offerings for customers that are so inclined and provide top-notch service. If you are looking for expertly prepared and exquisitely presented fine French cuisine, then, Chez TJ is the place to go. The Chef does Paris proud. You can add this one to your short list of favorite French restaurants.
Dining is always fun, but you can’t spend your whole day eating. Relax and stay in the shade at Shoreline Lake. Saltwater was pumped in from the Bay to create this totally man-made 50 acre lake. Shoreline is both an aquatic recreational area and a wildlife sanctuary. You can have fun sailing and wind surfing but please do not disturb the nesting birds or other wildlife. On a hot day, this is a cool place to be.
San Francisco Bay is also a great place to have fun sailing, wind surfing and kite surfing. The wind seems to always be blowing and the waters are calm. Beginners can take lessons and there are places all along the Bay that rent equipment. If you prefer fishing to wind or kite surfing, ask a local to share their favorite spots to cast a line.
Santa Cruz has everything you need for surfing and swimming. There is close to 30 miles of beach in Santa Cruz County and they appeal to different crowds. For experienced surfers, the best place to go is Steamer Lane. This is where the waves are big and the rides are long. If you have never surfed before, you might want to head over to Cowell’s Beach where the conditions are better suited for beginners. For families and children, the best choice is Main Beach. There are always lifeguards on duty and this is the location of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the adjacent oceanfront amusement park.
Having fun in Mountain View is easy. You will never run out of good places to eat or fun activities to occupy your time. Why not combine business with pleasure? If you are coming to this Silicon Valley city on business, you can spend some of your free time out and about in Mountain View. Summer is just starting out so dress casually, make sure you drink plenty of water and have a great time on your Visit to Mountain View.
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