Did you know that Apple’s HQ, 1 Infinite Loop, had a company shop? Did you know that it’s open for fanboys and fangirls to buy merchandise? Did you also know that it’s super easy to get to from San Francisco? Well, if you knew all of that already then good for you – have a prize. But if not, here’s how to find Apple HQ …
Take the Caltrain
It took me a couple of hours to realise it’s called the ‘caltrain’ because we were in California, but hopefully you’re a little smarter than me on that one. Yep, you’ll go far.
You can catch the Caltrain to ‘Sunnyvale’ from the San Francisco depot on 4th and King St. AT&T Park, the Giants’ Stadium, is just up the road if you’re the kinda person who gets their bearings on where the closest sports centre is. There are early ‘commuter’ trains which are a lot quicker than the average 1 hour 15 min journey to Sunnyvale, but of course they’ll be busier and probably more expensive. We bought a zones 1-3 day trip ticket for $14 each and boarded the 11.07am train, which was pretty much empty for most of the journey, and it wasn’t bad at all. You can have a look at the latest timetables here.
Then take the bus
Get off at Sunnyvale station and walk straight ahead over the road, towards the Macy’s entrance. This is where you catch the number 55 bus to the road opposite Apple’s campus. The stop/shelter will be on your right and it’ll be $2 per person each way. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the De Anza & Mariani stop, which is right opposite the road towards Infinite Loop. You’ll spot a few of the Apple buildings as you get closer, their numbers and the logo in different colours. There’s even a pink one, so if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could spend some time getting your picture with every sign.
Sunnyvale seems like a nice place. It was certainly sunny when we were there, and everyone you see as you get closer to the campus seems to be holding a Macbook Air and an iPhone. Are there any backpacks in Sunnyvale?
Be a geek
Once you’re off the bus, cross the road to Mariani Ave and carry on walking for a minute. The entrance to the campus will be on your left, where there’s a chance to nab a picture with the ‘Infinite Loop’ street sign.
And I guess this is where the magic happens! You can’t get into the main building, but you can sit and watch people give it a good go. I can’t be the only one who has thought of trying the old walk-and-don’t-look-back tactic? There’s more opportunity for photos with the signs outside the building too.
Then you can visit the Company Store, where there’s plenty of merchandise to splash your hard-earned (questionable) money on – t-shirts, jackets, stationery, flasks, mugs, hats, and general Apple products and accessories. I really fell for it and bought a notepad, rollerball pen, packet of pencils, and a gift for my brother. I’m not completely selfish…
After the main building and shop, there’s not much else to see without needing an employee pass, unless you want to try and see every building? I’ll leave you to do that though. I’m not that much of a fangirl!
Return to San Francisco with your wares
So once you’ve finished fawning over the site and store, you just need to hop back on the 55 bus to Sunnyvale station and jump on the Caltrain back to the San Francisco depot. All of that for just $18 per person, plus spending money for the company store of course!
1. Take the Caltrain from San Francisco to Sunnyvale
2. Take the number 55 bus from Frances & Olson stop
3. Exit the bus at De Anza & Mariani
4. Cross the road to Mariani Ave and 1 Infinite Loop will be on your left
please note: some header images are from unsplash.com