Welcome to Sunnyvale
Dominated by clean suburban neighborhoods and dozens of sparkling parks, Sunnyvale is not what most people expect when they think of the second largest city by landmass in Santa Clara County. The citizenry, in conjunction with the local government, have made a conscious decision to utilize some slightly unusual methods to create a modern city unlike any other place of comparable size. Their high quality of life and the positive national reputation of the city are proof enough of their success.
Lay of the Land
Located northwest of San Jose, Sunnyvale pushes against the borders of the San Francisco Bay and even provides some access to the Bay itself. Its other neighbors include Santa Clara, Mountain View, Cupertino, and the Moffett Federal Airfield. For a city of approximately 148,028, Sunnyvale residents enjoy a relatively high level of affluence. The average median household income for the area is $98,623 and the median home value is $783,700.
Sunnyvale benefits from being intersected by numerous major roads and freeways, including the Central Expressway, the Lawrence Expressway, the West Valley Freeway, U.S. Route 101, and a portion of State Route I-280. This makes ground travel to a variety of location quick and easy. Sunnyvale also benefits from light rail and bus line services provided to the county by the Santa Clara County Transportation Authority.
Residents have the added benefit of transit stations located within the town for these services. The town also features two CalTrain rail stations. CalTrain provides commuter train services into the Bay Area down into southern Santa Clara County.
Finally, Sunnyvale also features a nationally recognized system of bike trails. These feature accommodations such as multiple on street bike lanes, bicycle activated traffic lights, and bicycle accommodations on both the light rail services and the CalTrain lines.
As a cornerstone of Silicone Valley, Sunnyvale is a city built on a foundation of technological development and innovation. Many of the country\’s top technology firms are located within Sunnyvale, including AMD, Yahoo!, and Network Appliance. Though Sunnyvale does not define itself solely based on its technology centers, it is undeniable that the technology industry is a significant part of the city’s past and future.
Sunnyvale honors its natural heritage through an extensive park system. The goal of the local planning committee when designing the Sunnyvale park system was that every neighborhood would be in walking distance of at least one park. They certainly succeeded, with modern Sunnyvale featuring over 476 total acres of parkland. Most of these parks are considered micro-parks, or small local parks with a unique theme or atmosphere. However, the city also has the 172 acre Baylands Park as well as numerous full scale athletic parks dedicated to community sports and activities. In addition, the city also features over 132 multi-purpose sports fields.While Sunnyvale is not a city that attempts to compete with many of its neighbors as a shopping or dining destination it does have numerous locations dedicated to both. There are approximately 52 local shopping centers located within the city limits. These feature an array of major retailers, local specialty shops, and culturally sensitive specialty shops. The city also features a total of 315 restaurants spread out at numerous locations around the city. The most well-known of these is Murphy Avenue, a historic business district that has become synonymous with dining to Sunnyvale residents.
The defining characteristic of Sunnyvale is its dedication to maintaining a safe and culturally rich community. The city places special emphasis on its local theaters, concert halls, art galleries, and museums. Additionally, the local library is a destination within the town, supporting numerous weekend events and activities designed to create community togetherness and enrich the cultural fabric of the community.
Safety and public health within the city is accomplished through a unified department of public safety. This designation means that every employee of the public safety department is trained as an EMT, police officer, and firefighter. This organizational system combined with a dedicated community effort to create a safe environment has led to historically low crime rates for a city the size of Sunnyvale. The city is consistently ranked among the safest cities in the nation according to a variety of organizations.