Cupertino (pop. 65,000) is situated up against the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains. It is something of an anomaly being the one city in the South Bay that doesn't have a distinct town center or main street. It is home to Apple Inc. and a handful of other tech companies, a highly rated local schools system and quiet neighborhoods.
It's 15 minutes west of San Jose and 45 minutes south of San Francisco. The nearest railway, Caltrain (connecting San Francisco with Gilroy, stops in downtown Sunnyvale, about a ten minute drive from the city center.
Cupertino has 2 major streets: De Anza Blvd., which runs North-South, and Stevens Creek Blvd., which runs East-West. The intersection of these two streets is in the center of Cupertino, and most of the businesses and shopping centers in the city are located in the area.
Highways 85 and 280 cross through Cupertino. These provide excellent access to the western cities in the South Bay, and to downtown San Jose (respectively).
Public transportation in Cupertino, as is the case for much of Silicon Valley, is very poor due to the low population density and demographics of the region.
Traffic is not much of an issue and major streets come with bike lanes, so biking is relatively safe.
- De Anza College (intersection of Highway 85 and Stevens Creek Blvd). The community college for the area. It houses the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, where major events in the area take place. It is one of the largest community colleges in the area, and has an excellent reputation.
- Apple Headquarters, One Infinite Loop (intersection of Highway 280 and De Anza Blvd). The headquarters of Apple, Inc.
- McClellan Ranch Park. On McClellan Rd. has an old farmhouse (with pigs!) and a short trail along the creek to walk. Cupertino also a bunch of suburban parks, notably Memorial Park on Stevens Creek Blvd. which has ponds with ducks.
Hiking trails can be found in the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, with is connected with the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserve, offering even more options. Streets generally have bike lanes and (sparsely-used) sidewalks that can be good for jogging.
- Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, ☎ +1 408 864-8836. Tuesday - Thursday, 11AM - 3PM (during exhibitions). Describing itself as "more than a museum" the Euphrat, located on the De Anza College campus, includes exhibitions and programs to engage kids in the arts.
- Cupertino Historical Society and Museum, 10185 N. Stelling Rd, ☎ +1 408 973-1495. Wed-Sat 10AM- 4PM. free; donations welcome.
- Flint Center for the Performing Arts, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd. (On the De Anza College campus), ☎ +1 408 864-8816. The Flint Center for the Performing Arts hosts a wide variety concerts and performing groups. Check their website or phone for upcoming performances and ticket prices.
Cupertino is served by a large regional enclosed mall, Vallco Fashion Park. It features Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney. Although the mall has seen better days, you can count on easy parking and no crowds. The mall is currently in the beginning stages of redevelopment, but will still keep the enclosed mall. The largest and newest attraction in the mall is the AMC 16 movie theater, opened in the past few years, with multiple IMAX projectors. Parking can be difficult to find on weekends in the evening due to the theater's popularity.
Apple's headquarters features "The Company Store." The store sells Apple logo merchandise not available at its standard retail stores, including t-shirts and small gifts, iPods and accessories, but does not sell most Apple hardware. It is open 10AM to 5:30PM Monday thru Friday, and closed on some American Holidays.
- Coach House Wine & Spirits (Liquor and Cheese), 1655 S. De Anza Blvd, ☎ +1 408-252-7141. 8AM - 8:30PM. Awesome local wine store and deli with tons of character. Has great selection of tequila, whiskey, scotch, and vodka. Cheap.
Cupertino has a large Chinese population and so has a lot of Asian food choices. It doesn't have a walkable downtown and most of the restaurants are in smaller strip malls.
- Cupertino Village (Homestead and Wolfe). A good place to find authentic Chinese food, with the restaurants and shops catering to mostly Chinese customers. Joy Luck Palace is a large dim sum restaurant in the center, and there are a few Taiwanese, Cantonese, and other regional specialty places around.
- Alexander's Steakhouse, 10330 N Wolfe Rd (next to Vallco Shopping Mall), ☎ +1 408 446-2222. Amazing tasting steaks but expect a bill in the 100s
- Cupertino Inn, 10889 North De Anza Blvd, ☎ +1 408 996-7700, toll-free: +1-800-222-4828.
- Juniper Hotel Cupertino, 10050 S De Anza Blvd, ☎ +1 408 253-8900. Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 12pm.
- Courtyard By Marriott, 10605 North Wolfe Rd, ☎ +1 408 252-9100, fax: +1 408 252-0632.
- Hilton Garden Inn, 10741 North Wolfe Rd, ☎ +1 408 777-8787, fax: +1 408 777-8040.
- Wellesley Inn, 5405 Stevens Creek Blvd, ☎ +1 408 257-8600. Santa Clara
- Woodcrest Hotel, 5415 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Be careful to check for ticks after hiking in fields in the bay area. There is a high rate of lyme disease transmission in the Bay Area. If a bulls' eye rash develops at the tick bite site, immediately seek medical help and treatment with antibiotics.
Cupertino is very safe, with violent crime virtually nonexistent. On the other hand, this means the local sheriff's deputies have little to do but hide behind bushes to catch drivers for moving violations. Be sure to obey traffic laws while in Cupertino.
- One of the city's strongest assets is its accessibility to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserve (aka Rancho San Antonio) which extends up and down the Santa Cruz mountains.
- Not only is it one of the most accessible, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve is generally not as frequented as the other preserves on the peninsula, making for a quiet get-away very close to the heart of Silicon Valley.
|Routes through Cupertino|
|San Francisco ← Los Altos ←||N S||→ San Jose → END|
|Mountain View ← Sunnyvale ←||N S||→ Saratoga → San Jose|