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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Mountain View, CA

Written by Brittany Slagle

Mountain View, named for its scenic view of the Santa Clara Mountains, is highly sought after as a place to live in Silicon Valley. Numerous tech companies have chosen Mountain View as their headquarters, while others are drawn to its natural surroundings.

Mountain View boasts a superior quality of life, characterized by excellent public schools, a safe community with low crime rates, ample green spaces, and a thriving business ecosystem. Its strategic location near Silicon Valley and key job hubs across the Bay Area makes it an ideal choice for commuters seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Here are ten things to know before moving to Mountain View, CA. 

1. Googleplex is located right here in Mountain View

Google, the world’s most widely used search engine, has its corporate headquarters situated in Mountain View. The Google Complex, known as Googleplex locally, opened in Mountain View in 2004. Besides housing numerous offices and labs, the campus offers amenities such as laundry facilities, two swimming pools, sand volleyball courts, and cafeterias where employees enjoy complimentary meals. Google’s Wi-Fi-equipped shuttles ferry employees to and from San Francisco, the East Bay, and the South Bay. These perks played a significant role in CNN Money’s 2014 ranking of Google as the #1 “Best Place to Work.”

One notable benefit of having Google’s campus in Mountain View is the free city-wide Wi-Fi service provided by the company. Mountain View permitted Google to install wireless transmitters on city-owned streetlight poles for a fee, resulting in one of the nation’s first city-wide free Wi-Fi networks.

2. Mountain View has a thriving Bike Share system

Mountain View stands out as one of the select Bay Area cities involved in a pioneering bike share program. Through this initiative, Bike Share members can conveniently borrow a bike from automated stations, ride to their destination, and return the bike to any other station. 

This innovative approach offers a practical alternative to cars and traditional public transport, making the most of the Bay Area’s well-maintained bike paths.

3. Explore Castro Street in Mountain View

Right at the heart of Mountain View, Castro Street buzzes with a vibrant array of boutiques, acclaimed restaurants, lively bars, and cozy cafes. From the renowned Sushi Tomi to the delightful Fiesta Del Mar Too, Cascal, Shezan, Molly MaGees, and Fu Lam Mum, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to explore. Moreover, Castro Street is home to Mountain View’s City Hall and the Performing Arts Center, adding to its lively atmosphere.

Whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or simply soak up the local atmosphere, Castro Street is the place to be. The street comes alive during lunch hours, boasts a lively evening scene, and serves as the epicenter for Mountain View’s festivals and events.

4. The city has a good economic and financial standing

Mountain View is among a select trio of cities in California boasting an AAA credit rating. This prestigious recognition reflects the city’s robust and diverse tax base, exceptionally sound financial management, and minimal debt obligations. 

For those seeking secure employment with pension stability, Mountain View stands out as the ideal destination to pursue career opportunities.

5. Take in all that Shoreline Park has to offer

In the Golden State, the radiant California sunshine often fosters a culture of health-consciousness, leading many to indulge in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and running. Amidst this trend, Shoreline Park in Mountain View is a haven for enthusiasts. Spanning a vast 750 acres, Shoreline Park offers a plethora of attractions, including waterways tailored for aquatic sports enthusiasts, a sanctuary that hosts diverse migratory birds, and an 18-hole golf course accompanied by a charming clubhouse.

Moreover, the park boasts an expansive amphitheater capable of accommodating crowds of up to 22,000, a  50-acre lake ideal for small-boat sailing, and a delightful lakeside café. For those inclined towards land-based pursuits, Shoreline Park provides 8 miles of scenic trails, bridges, and roadways, catering to joggers, bikers, and skaters alike. 

Adding to its allure, the park features the historic Rengstorff House, available for hosting events and weddings, amidst its natural wetlands comprising two tide marshes, two sloughs, a seasonal marsh, and two creeks. With such an array of amenities, Shoreline Park offers a complete experience for those seeking a day immersed in the beauty of nature.

6. Shop at the Farmers’ Market every Sunday 

Every Sunday, Mountain View becomes a hub of culinary delight with its renowned certified farmers’ market, widely regarded as one of the finest in the Bay Area. The market showcases a vibrant selection of 70 local growers and food vendors, offering an abundance of seasonal and organic produce, freshly prepared foods, and homemade goods. 

More than just a shopping experience, this market has evolved into a weekly gathering for indulging in delectable foods, savoring drinks, and soaking in the rich bounty of California.

7. Two school districts serve Mountain View 

Mountain View is home to a selection of top-tier schools that provide students with exceptional education opportunities.

Serving Mountain View and Los Altos, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boasts two esteemed high schools: Mountain View High School and Los Altos High School. Both institutions are highly regarded, offering a range of academic and extracurricular programs.

Comprising six elementary and two middle schools, Mountain View Whisman School District is renowned for its unwavering dedication to student achievement. It offers innovative programs such as dual-language immersion and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education, reflecting the community’s commitment to academic excellence and student enrichment.

8. A cost of living index of 231

Living in Mountain View comes with a price tag that’s 131% higher than the national average and a high median home price of $1,873,311. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mountain View rings in at $2,599. 

While food and transportation expenses also surpass the national average, there are plenty of strategies to trim costs. For instance, student discounts are commonly available at many eateries, and various public transportation alternatives are available. 

In summary, while the cost of living in Mountain View may be steep, prudent financial planning can help navigate these expenses.

9. Tech is a major employer in Mountain View 

With its impressive roster of tech giants including Google, LinkedIn, and Mozilla, Mountain View is a thriving hub for high-tech companies. Coupled with its allure as a sought-after tourist destination, owing to its proximity to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, the city brims with job opportunities.

For tech enthusiasts, Mountain View’s high-tech companies offer a plethora of enticing positions. Alternatively, those inclined towards customer-centric roles will find abundant job openings in the tourism industry. Additionally, for individuals with a penchant for hands-on work, opportunities in landscaping and gardening are available, further diversifying the job landscape in Mountain View.

10. Enjoy 256 days of sunshine each year

Mountain View enjoys mostly mild and pleasant weather throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 44°F to 76°F. It’s uncommon for temperatures to fall below 36°F or exceed 86°F.

The rainy season spans about 7.3 months, starting on October 4 and ending on May 13. During this time, there is consistent rainfall. February typically receives the most rain in Mountain View, averaging 3.7 inches.

The dry season lasts for approximately 4.7 months, from May 13 to October 4. Mountain View gets 0 inches of snow annually, and 256 days of sunshine. 

In Conclusion 

Moving to a new city can be both thrilling and intimidating, but if you’re considering a move to Mountain View, CA, you’re in for a delightful experience. Renowned for its diverse population and inclusive ambiance, Mountain View is an inviting city that welcomes newcomers with open arms. While the cost of living may be higher than the national average, getting a good job would go a long way in offsetting many costs.

Whether your move is driven by career opportunities or personal aspirations, Mountain View has a lot to offer, making it an ideal place to settle down and call home.

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