We have entered the season of giving thanks, and despite all the turmoil—natural, economic, political—that's brewing out there, there's still a lot to be thankful for. Not only can we be thankful for family and friends, we can be thankful that we live in this wonderful place called Silicon Valley. Here are ten reasons why:
California isn't called the Golden State for nothing! Silicon Valley enjoys all the warm weather that California is famous for with just enough of the chilly days and nights to give us a chance to enjoy the occasional roaring fire and cup of hot cocoa. What's more, our sunny, mild weather means there's hardly a day in the year when we cannot go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.
The Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay bring a wealth of opportunities for splashy fun. Families can frolic in the sand at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, go windsurfing and sailing on the San Francisco Bay, surf in Pacifica, go tidepooling on the rocky shores of Monterey Bay, watch for whales of Point Reyes or just sit and enjoy the breathtaking views in Big Sur.
If anyone finds themselves tiring of the warm weather, longing for a White Christmas, or seeking the chance to play in the snow, the Sierra Mountains and Lake Tahoe region are just a few hours drive away.
California's fertile soil, combined with the mild climate and ever-present sun, means we can raise our children on fresh, local produce year-round.
Living in the heart of the high-tech industry makes it easy for parents to raise little citizens of the future. What's more, the presence of two top universities (Stanford and Berkeley) plus places like The Tech Museum, NASA Ames Research Center, California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Chabot Space and Science Center, and the Intel Museum ensures that all of our scientific knowledge is shared with the next generation.
Living in Silicon Valley is a feast for the eyes. Whether you prefer man-made structures or natural wonders, there's always a stunning photograph to be taken. Take your pick, from the tree-lined streets of Palo Alto to the beautiful buildings at Stanford to the rolling Oakland Hills to the colorful Victorian Ladies in San Francisco to the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to miles and miles of the some of the most beautiful coastline on earth.
The performing arts are alive and well in Silicon Valley with nearly every city in the area boasting a symphony, theater group, ballet company, and more. There's something for everyone; even families can enjoy music, dance and drama tailored just for little kids from famous groups like Octopretzel, the Fratello Marionettes, and Andy Z.
With several major sports teams in the area—including our very own 2012 World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants!—fans have a variety of opportunities to enjoy their favorite sport, and young athletes have an abundance of local heroes to inspire them.
Living in Silicon Valley gives us an unparalleled opportunity to meet people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life. From the different languages spoken at every elementary school to the string of ethnic restaurants in a single strip mall, to the variety of festivals celebrated all year, the rich cultural diversity is a big help in bringing up little global citizens who can understand and appreciate other points of view.
Perhaps the best reason to love living in Silicon Valley is that it's so much fun! There are so many things to do and places to go for kids of all ages—museums, amusement parks, parks, playgrounds—that parents never have to look far. In Silicon Valley, a fun, enriching experience is always around the corner. Now that's something to be thankful for.
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