Few tech companies are more widely known than Google, the search engine and information giant that revolutionized the internet and helped to make it an essential part of our everyday life.
The company has offices around the world, but the most "googlers" (as employees are affectionately known) are based at the "Googleplex," Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The Google office is a popular Silicon Valley and San Francisco sightseeing destination, so I've pulled together these tips for your Googleplex visit:
Where is the Google headquarters?
The Googleplex address is 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, California. The company operates dozens of buildings in the area, but the central campus lawn is in front of Building #43. Park in one of the visitor parking lots adjacent to that lawn.
Is there a Google headquarters tour?
There is no Googleplex tour or Google campus tour in Mountain View. The only way a member of the public can tour the inside of campus buildings is if they are escorted by an employee--so if you happen to have a friend who works there, ask them to show you around.
Is there a Google Visitor's Center?
The company has an on-campus Google Visitor's Center (1911 Landings Drive, Mountain View), but it is only open to employees and their guests.
Is there a Gift Store?
There is an on-campus Google Merchandise Store (1981 Landings Drive, Mountain View) where you can buy Google-branded souvenir t-shirts, gifts, and gear.
The Google Store is open Monday through Friday, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.
You can also buy Google souvenirs from anywhere in the world at the online Google Merchandise Store.
Things to see on the Google Campus:
- Multi-colored bicycles that Googlers use to get between campus buildings. (Note: Visitors are not permitted to ride these bikes)
- Strange works of art including a life-size Tyrannosaurs Rex skeleton often hung with pink, plastic flamingos, and an assortment of quirky stone busts of celebrities and scientists.
- A seemingly always-in-use sandy volleyball court on the main campus lawn (in front of Building #43).
- The Giant Android statues, jumbo cartoon figures depicting each version of the Android operating system (1981 Landings Drive).
- Visit the Google Merchandise Store, right behind the Giant Android statues.
- Colorful umbrellas at the outdoor cafe.
- Organic gardens where they grow many of the fresh vegetables used in the campus restaurants.
- Solar panels covering all the parking garages. The power is used to re-charge Googlers electric cars and supplement the power of the nearby buildings.
- The GARField (Google Athletic Recreation Field) Park, Google-owned sports fields and tennis courts that are opened up to public use on nights and weekends.
- Charleston Park, a public Mountain View city park adjacent to the main campus.
Google Campus Map:
Check out this well-marked Google campus map.
Future Plans for the Google Mountain View Campus:
Google has commissioned architects Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick to create a new design for the Mountain View campus.
In February 2015, they submitted their proposed plan to the Mountain View City Council. The project features airy indoor-outdoor design and lightweight moveable structures that can grow and change with the company.
Nearby Attractions & Things to Do:
- The Computer History Museum
- Visit Downtown Mountain View
- Shoreline Amphitheater (outdoor concert venue)
- Explore Palo Alto