Ask A Local About Sunnyvale
How long have you lived in Sunnyvale? I’ve been living in Sunnyvale for three years.
What do you like best about it? I fell in love with this city because of the closeness of its community. For example, the community center offers something for everyone with its walking grounds, creative arts center, theater, indoor sports center, arboretum, recreation center, and senior center. It’s really an affordable way to sign up for every activity you could imagine, that are all taught by high quality instructors.
What do you like least? I’m not a fan of how expensive it has gotten to live in Sunnyvale, but that’s the Bay Area.
How has it changed since you’ve been living there? I haven’t been living here long enough for it to change drastically, but with the numerous giant tech companies nearby more and more techies are moving into the area.
What's the neighborhood housing stock like? It is similar to the housing stock found throughout South Bay. There’s a variety including older homes built around mid-century up to new homes that have been built recently. Sunnyvale is actually home to some of Joseph Eichler’s original tracts of homes!
Better for buyers or renters? There are more opportunities for renters than buyers.
What’s the public transportation situation like? Sunnyvale has a really good and widely used public transportation system, though I have a car and ride my bike pretty often. The National League of American Bicyclists has designated Sunnyvale a Bicycle Friendly Communities, so even the buses have bike racks. There’s also 2 airports and 9 Amtrak train stations within 30 miles of Sunnyvale’s city center, so it’s pretty easy to get around.
Tell us something we don’t know about your neighborhood: Sunnyvale is also one of the few cities in the country that has a unified department of public safety, which means every public safety employee in the city is trained as a firefighter, police officer and EMT. Partly because of this, Sunnyvale has continually ranked in the top safest cities in California and U.S.
Any hidden gems? I absolutely love Middle Eastern food and in Sunnyvale you can eat it both the Israeli and Palestinian way. There is nowhere better in the Bay Area to get an authentic Israeli-style falafel than at Falafel STOP. This order-at-the-counter falafel stand is jam-packed during prime lunch and dinner hours. Their falafels are fresh, pita is fluffy, and portions are huge! The Palestinian style is just also just as delicious. DishDash serves fantastic food and sophisticated cocktails. I would definitely suggest making a reservation as it tends to fill up pretty fast, but it’s a great spot for a night out with friends or family.
Nearest grocery store? I live down the street from Sprouts. I’m a big fan of the quality of their produce and prices. Though there are a number of grocery stores off El Camino that I’d suggest as well. Depending on what you’re cooking, Sunnyvale has a number of Indian, Middle Eastern, Korean, and Filipino stores that offer remarkable products!
Good for kids? Sunnyvale has at many times ranked within the top ten American cities for raising kids. Not only because of its location, low crime rates, and highly rated schools; but also because there are a number fun activities for children to do.
Notable Residents: Sunnyvale has been home to the animator and voice of Donald Duck, Tony Anselmo; filmmakers Arthur Davis, Timothy Bui, Tony Bui, and Steve Sloves; along with writers including Martin Ford, Jeff Goodell, and Amy Tan. In addition to such athletes as Tully Banta-Cain, Brian Boitano, Bill Green, and Peter Ueberroth. As well as Andrew Fire, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in medicine, and Landon Noll, a famous astronomer, cryptographer, and mathematician. Oh, and Yahoo!
Best place to get a coffee? I’m a huge fan of Coffee & More Cafe. They offer great food and coffee at a great price. The service is prompt and they offer plenty of seating for those who like to stick around for a while and work on their laptop. As far as recommendations go, I would say my favorite picks are the Sumatra coffee, iced latte, Garden burger, and breakfast burrito.
Best park? For me it’s a toss up between Ortega, Las Palmas, and Baylands. Ortega is a peaceful park that is a great place to run, picnic, and bring your children to the playground. It’s also perfect for playing basketball, baseball, tennis, and horseshoes. Las Palmas is more for family events and functions. There’s plenty of tables and barbeque pits, a large open space to play a variety of sports or fly kites, tennis courts, a dog park, and playground. And the last time I was there, there was a large flock of parrots that were roosting in the Palm trees. Baylands, on the other hand, offers something different than the other two parks. It’s a 70-acre park located within a preserve of protected wetlands. The park features several picnic areas, open grassy space, playground, hiking trails, and observation points.
What is your favorite Sunnyvale celebration? Every summer, the city hosts a summer series music event that features live performances on Wednesdays and Jazz on Saturdays. It’s really a wonderful time. One of my favorite celebrations though, is the Magic and Wine Stroll. Magicians roam the event, surprising you with amazing tricks as you sip on your glass and enjoy some tasty treats. But it’s not just an adult affair, children can be found running around or marveling at the magic. It’s truly a memorable night.
How would you describe Sunnyvale to an outsider? It’s the home of the techies.