Mountain View in California is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Mountain View is one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley, and has many notable Silicon Valley companies either headquartered there or with a large presence, including Google, Symantec, Nokia and Microsoft.
Mountain View is reachable from all three Bay Area airports:
San Francisco: Take a short ride on the BART train to Millbrae station, then take Caltrain southbound service.
San Jose: Take a free shuttle to Caltrain's Santa Clara station and then take the northbound train service. Also, you can take a free shuttle to the VTA Metro/Airport station and take the VTA light rail.
Oakland: Take a shuttle van service. This is the least desirable of the three airports in terms of distance. You can also take a shuttle to the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station, take BART to Millbrae station, then take Caltrain southbound.
Caltrain service connects Mountain View to San Francisco and San Jose. There are two stops. Most trains stop at downtown (Castro St) stop.
It is possible to connect to Amtrak trains via San Jose Diridon station via Caltrain.
There is also a VTA light rail service that connects downtown to several suburb locations in the south bay. VTA light rail can also be used to connect to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train (to Sacramento) in Santa Clara.
For travel within Mountain View itself and the neighboring area, The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority  (VTA) operates bus and light rail service. The Caltrain , which runs all the way from San Francisco to Gilroy stops in Mountain View as well. Caltrain also provides relatively easy access to both San Francisco and San Jose Airport.
Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd (near Highway 101), ☎ +1-650-810-1010, . W-Su 10-5. World's largest and most complete computer history museum, documenting the area's primary industry.$15.
Castro Street. Castro Street is a charming district full of ethnic diversity and interesting local businesses. Although there is a strong Asian presence among restaurants and shops, many different cultures are represented along these blocks. There is a weekly farmer's market and on certain Thursdays it is home to a great street fair with vendors and a classic car show. Also convenient access from public transportation by way of several trains and buses. If you live near this area or in most of Mountain View, Google provides free Wi-Fi internet all over (it's fast too).
Google Headquarters, 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy. Drive around the large campus of buildings to see where all the geeks work. Make sure to take a picture in front of the huge Android statue at Building 44 (1635 Charleston Road).
Shoreline Wildlife Refuge Area and Trail, In Shoreline Park at the end of Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, ☎ 650.903.6392, . Once the site for dumping trash, Mountain View closed this area as a dump and turned it into a park instead. Now it's a beautiful 700-acre park with a saltwater lake, golf course, rolling grassy hills, and bay trails.
Hacker Dojo (hackerspace), . Non-profit community center for geeks.
Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway (Off Shoreline Boulevard near Highway 101), ☎ 1-650-967-3000, . Outdoor concert venue with huge tent cover, location for many large Bay Area concerts as well as community events.
Century Cinemas 16, 1500 N. Shoreline Blvd., ☎ +1-650-960-0970. Large movie theater with ample parking showing recent big movies.
Shoreline Aquatic Center, 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd (in Shoreline Regional Park at the end of Shoreline Blvd), ☎ +1-650-965-7474, . Water sports center with boating, windsurfing, and other aquatic activities. Equipment rental available.
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Federal Airfield, off Highway 101, Mountain View; visitor Center, ☎ 650.604.6497. Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm. Founded in 1939, Ames Research Center has evolved into one of the nation’s premier research labs. Ames provides the products, technologies and services that enable NASA missions and, in turn, expand human knowledge.
Reach new heights and go Kite Surfing, where the wind in Mountain View is free! Go here to check it out: Shoreline Park at Mountain View, 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View is the home of many big box stores including REI, Best Buy, and Costco near the Hwy 101 Rengstorff exit and Walmart, Sears, Target, Ross, in the San Antonio shopping center.
Castro Street is the main downtown area with many restaurants and bars. East and South Asian food is available in abundance, but it is by no means the only choice. Watch the hours of operation; most restaurants in Mountain View are not open very late. A good list of restaurants in Downtown Mountain View can be found here .
Kirin, (on Castro Street). 11 AM-midnight every day. Look past the fish tank crawling with lobsters outside and look in for some cheap and tasty Chinese food. Parking is accessible and the service is quick.
Fu Lam Mum Sea Food Restaurant, (on Castro Street). 11 AM-2:30 PM, 5 PM-midnight every day. Dim sum is the staple of this restaurant, so come here hungry! Most dim sum plates cost between $3-5, and with the endless parade of food being served, you're guaranteed to walk away full. The shrimp and pea sprout dumplings come recommended.
Spice Islands Cafe, (210 Hope Street (at Villa), one block east of Castro Street), . Authentic Singaporean food although the service can be inconsistent. While there is still a sign, the restaurant is closed.
Shezan, (216 Castro St). The location formerly occupied by Sue's Kitchen (and Godavari, in another incarnation) now holds a Pakistani restaurant with superb food full of subtle flavors.
St. Stephens Green, (on Castro Street), . Stiff drinks, good pub food and plenty of standing space available, St Stephens Green is perfect for happy hour drinks or just a casual meet up with friends. Although an Irish pub, it seems that hip hop is the vibe of choice here.
Tied House Cafe and Brewery, (one and a half blocks off Castro on Villa), . American.
Chez TJ, 938 Villa St. (next to Tied House), ☎ (650) 964-9647, . Swanky, Michelin-starred restaurant. Worth the splurge.Expensive.
Bangkok Spoon, (one block off Castro Street on Villa).
Gelato Classico, (on Castro Street). Italian ice cream.
The Posh Bagel, (on Castro Street). Bagels, sandwiches, crepes, and grilled panini.
Taquería Los Charros, (one block off Castro on Dana St). Mexican food. Excellent tacos, and many other choices.
Taquería La Bamba, (on Castro Street). Great burritos.
Chef Liu, (on Castro Street). Excellent, inexpensive, Taiwanese Chinese food
Hong Kong Bistro, (on Castro Street). Western-style food from Hong Kong, vestiges of a colonial era.
Cantankerous Fish, (on Castro). Good Happy Hour. Nice fish selections.
Cascal, 400 Castro St., . Excellent Latin American Tapas, particularly good for sharing food in groups. A little on the pricy side.
Vaso Azzurro, 108 Castro St., . Italian food, served in a restaurant with substantially-Italian-speaking staff
Cafe Yulong, (on Dana St., half a block east of Castro). Reasonably authentic Beijing-style Chinese food
King of Krung Siam, (on Castro St., at the corner of Villa). Good Thai food
New Mongolian BBQ, (on Castro St., near Dana St.). Relatively inexpensive all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ (fill a bowl with ingredients and sauce, and it will be cooked for you)
Scratch, 401 Castro Street (Castro and California, across Castro from Cascal), ☎ 650-237-3131, . Updated American comfort food. It has a great bar with unusual, craft selections of American distilled spirits. Also, good soups, salads, and appetizers. Main courses are inconsistent but many are quite good.
Amarin Thai Cuisine, 174-176 Castro St. (near Villa), ☎ 650-988-9323, . Good Thai food. Also has branches in Santa Clara and San Jose.
There are some wonderful Mexican restaurants in the area serving Poblano style food.
Fiesta del Mar, 1005 Shoreline Ave, . Serves delicious sea food dishes as well as the famous and elusive Enjococado chicken.
Fiesta del Mar Too, (one block off Castro on Villa).
Vive Sol, 2020 W. El Camino Real, ☎ +1-650-938-2020. Specializes in cuisine from the Pueblo region of Mexico. An outdoor seating area makes this a great place to go on a warm summer evening.
La Fiesta, 240 Villa St. (about a 10 minute walk east of Castro St., just past a bunch of car mechanic shops), ☎ +1-650-968-1364, . Mexican food
There are other great eateries in Mountain View not on Castro Street:
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!