Silicon Valley is named for its role at the heart of the high-tech industry, and many major tech firms have their headquarters offices here. While most campus buildings are locked down with high security, a few notable companies welcome visitors in the form of gift shops, museums, or simply quirky features on their grounds. Even at companies that don't welcome visitors, most won't mind if you stop for a quick photo at one of the main campus signs. Just remember to be discreet and follow their rules.
Google owns dozens of buildings on their Mountain View HQ campus (nicknamed, "The Googleplex"), but the central campus lawn is in front of Building #43. Visitors are invited to park in one of the visitor parking spots adjacent to that building and walk around the campus grounds, taking photos of the quirky art and colorful employee bikes. Most of the buildings are closed to the public, but there are a few notable landmarks; don't miss the life-sized T-rex sculpture (known as "Stan" to Google employees) or the android statue garden. You might even spot Waymo, a self-driving car!
Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park has a handful of visitor parking spots near the campus entrance. While visitors are not allowed to walk on the main campus, they are invited to walk out to the main campus's iconic "thumbs up" sign to take photos.
The popular maker offers an Apple Company Store for visitors to their Cupertino headquarters. Renovated in 2015, the store is a pared-down version of their retail stores, selling devices as well as Apple-branded logo t-shirts, mugs, and high-end accessories that aren't available anywhere else. Note that they don't offer Genius Bar tech support here, you'll need to go to one of their full-service stores for support appointments—but the new Apple Park headquarters, designed by renowned architecture firm Foster + Partners, is absolutely worth a visit.
The Intel headquarters is home to the visitor-friendly Intel Museum, which offers a background on the company's history, technology demonstrations, interactive exhibits, and more. And it isn't just for tech nerds—exhibits also highlight the company's advancements in the medical and science fields, too. The museum store sells Intel branded merchandise including apparel, pens, gifts, computer devices, toys, and other items.
The eBay campus in San Jose has an eBay company store that carries eBay branded merchandise like t-shirts, caps, and mugs. A new welcome center, opened in 2016, features a 15-foot touchscreen that shows the company's transactions in real-time.
The Netflix headquarters office is just off of the 85 highway at Winchester Boulevard in Los Gatos. The complex is just a short drive from Downtown Los Gatos. You can't walk around the Netflix campus, but you can stop to take a photo at the sign on Winchester Blvd.
Yahoo's headquarters office is located at Matilda and 1st Avenue in Sunnyvale. The main building is adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. You can't walk around the Yahoo campus, but you can stop to take a photo at the sign on 1st Avenue.