Sunnyvale in California is known for being close to more famous attractions such as Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada, but to miss this city altogether if you are in the area is to miss a trick, as there is much to see and do in this hidden corner of the United States. Sunnyvale used to be based purely on agricultural roots, and you can still see echoes of this today, with a strong culture of sustainable farming still alive and well.
This is demonstrated through family businesses such as Olson’s cherry and apricot farm, as well as the farmers market that takes place in the city every week. Art lovers will find much to enjoy here as well, not least the fact that there are over 100 pieces of public art to be found all over the city. If you want to get involved in the arts yourself, you can also take a public art class here and create your own masterpiece as a memento of your trip.
Last but not least, Sunnyvale has an amazing number of gorgeous parks and outdoor spaces such as the Sunnyvale Bay Trail to enjoy, so you can get out and enjoy the amazing California weather and the great outdoors at the same time.
Lets explore the best things to do in Sunnyvale:
1. Sunnyvale Farmers Market
If you happen to be in sunny Sunnyvale on a Saturday, then make sure that you don’t miss the farmers market that is open from 9am to 1pm.
The market is known for its friendly vendors who bring with them an array of local produce that some visitors may not immediately recognize.
This includes California favorites such as sugar cane stalks, pineapple guavas, pomelo, and even Asian pears, so if you are on the lookout for something a little different then you will probably find it here.
Lots of vendors are happy to give out free samples so that you can try the produce before you buy, and you will also find other quirky attractions here such as live music.
2. Las Palmas Park
For some outdoor excitement in Sunnyvale, look no further than Las Palmas Park which is one of the best loved parks in the city.
The park is known for its play areas that include basketball and baseball fields, so if you are travelling with a family then this is a good option.
There are also play areas for children of different age groups, and if you want to bring some food then there are barbecue pits and picnic spots dotted around the area.
There is also a popular dog park as part of Las Palmas, so if you are travelling with a pet then this is an excellent park to come to where your dog can roam free.
3. Sunnyvale Public Art
Art lovers will be delighted on a trip to Sunnyvale, as the city is known for having over 100 different pieces of public art on display.
Just some of the pieces to look out for include the El Paseo de Los Suenos which is a bronze sculptural piece in a triangular shape, as well as Meadow Flowers, which is a steel structure that features 14 metal flowers.
If you want to check out the art work in all its glory, then you can pick up a map that will take you on a walking tour of the different locations of each piece.
4. Sunken Gardens Golf Course and Driving Range
Sunken Gardens Gol Course is an ideal location if you want to hit a few balls around in the Sunnyvale area, and there is a 9 hole course here that stretches across more than 1,500 yards of executive course.
There are a range of practice areas here that make it perfect if you are a beginner golfer or you can go to the driving range which is open all year round and is a great place to practice your swing.
At the Sunken Gardens Driving Range you will find 18 stalls where you can warm up before a game or just have fun hitting some balls around.
5. The Lace Museum
If you are looking for something a little different to do in Sunnyvale then consider a trip to the Lace Museum which opened in 1981 and is one of only two museums in the Western United States that is dedicated to the art form of lace making.
To that end, you can expect to find static collections of gorgeous lace pieces here as well as lace making equipment and lace making tools.
You will be taken through the history of lace making in the Sunnyvale area and you can even take a lace making class if you want to give it a try yourself.
There is also a gift shop on site where you can pick up a beautiful lace souvenir.
6. Baylands Park
Baylands Park in Sunnyvale is the place to come if you like nature trails, as the park is known for its numerous pathways that cross the wetlands here.
You can go hiking or biking along the trails, and keen bird watchers should look out for the plethora of wildlife here including an array of local birds that are particularly active if you come here around sunset.
There are also jungle gyms for younger visitors and wonderful views over the city of Sunnyvale and the neighboring San Jose skyline.
7. Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Community Center
Inaugurated in 1993, the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Community Center spans over three acres of land and is a great sight to see if you are visiting the Sunnyvale area.
The temple is made up of artifacts that were sourced directly from India by members of the community, and you can visit and take in the gorgeous architectural and design features here as well as learn about the Hindu faith at the same time.
The community center also runs a range of educational programs and cultural events so make sure to check what is on when you are in town.
8. Open Painting Studio
If you want to have a go at creating your own masterpiece in Sunnyvale then look no further than the Open Painting Studio where you can join a painting class in this spectacular facility that offers inspirational views over neighboring ponds and oak trees.
The studio is open to all levels of ability and there are a variety of classes that you can attend including watercolor, calligraphy, and children’s painting classes.
9. Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum
The Heritage Park Museum is considered by many to be one of the jewels in the crown of the Sunnyvale community and is built as a replica of the famous Murphy family home.
The Murphy family is credited as being some of the founding fathers of Sunnyvale, and so it is was considered only fitting that the museum was built in the style of their former home which was sadly torn down.
The museum is also the place to come if you want to know more about how this city came to be established and is filled with period photographs and memorabilia.
It is also still surrounded by an original orchard that sells apricots in the summer months.
10. Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club
If you are looking for some laughs in Sunnyvale then look no further than the Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club.
The club has a revolving list of comedians who take to the stage, and you can also enjoy food and drinks here as part of the evening.
Due to the revolving line up, you never know who you might see when you visit.
11. Serra Park
Serra Park is known in Sunnyvale for being modeled on the Mark Twain era and stretches over 11 acres.
The park has gorgeous features that make it such a hit in the area such as a quaint babbling brook as well as a clutch of picnic sites where you can stop for a bite to eat in this stunning and tranquil setting.
There are also children’s play areas for little ones to enjoy, as well as tennis courts if you fancy taking in a game.
You will also find fun areas such as a skating rink and there is even a water play area where you can cool off in the summer months.
12. CJ Olson Cherries
The Olson historic family farm has stood in this location in Sunnyvale since 1899, so know that you are visiting a place of high cultural and historical significance in the area.
The farm is known for its cherries and delicious apricots, and if you want to support sustainable local farming then this makes a great day out in Sunnyvale.
The fruit here is known for being some of the best in the region and you can buy fresh, dried, and chocolate dipped cherries and apricots that make great gifts or souvenirs of your time in California.
13. Sunnyvale Bay Trail
The Sunnyvale Bay Trail is a section of the wider Bay Trail itself, and if you are looking to experience the great outdoors here then this is the place to find it.
The trail stretches along the bay and as a result you can expect to find a whole host of water fowl and other animals in residence.
You can choose to hike, run, or bike along the trail, and it is considered one of the best ways to take in the flora and fauna in the Sunnyvale area.
14. Sunnyvale Theater
Sunnyvale Theater is known for having a capacity of 200 spectators and is the perfect venue for anyone who is interested in the arts in Sunnyvale.
There are regular musical concerts held here as well as performing arts showcases and dance recitals.
You can even catch a film screening here or attend a lecture depending on what’s on when you are in town.
15. Three Arches Winery
Nestled close to the downtown area of Sunnyvale, the Three Arches Winery has been in operation for over 15 years, so you had better believe that they know what they are talking about when it comes to wine.
The grapes here are sourced from the local Santa Cruz Mountains, so you will be getting to drink some of the best of the local produce in the area, and you can visit the winery and learn how the wines are made as well as pick up a bottle or two to take home as a souvenir.