There is one thing that you can only get in Cupertino: Clothing and merchandise with an Apple logo. With Apple being my favorite brand is probably quite understandable that will want to be wearing the bitten Apple whenever I can… as opposed to Nike which I prefer over other sports brands.
With Nike I like the simplicity of the Swoosh, that only gets beaten bit the Apple because Apple because of the simple fact that I owe my livelihood to the company from Cupertino.
Being in San Francisco naturally triggers the “Pilgrimage Syndrome” where people – similar to birds – seem to need to migrate South to settle at the Apple Company Store in Cupertino to fill the need for spending money on the mentioned merchandise.
There are multiple options to get to there from here, that is from central San Francisco to Cupertino. The most natural – for Americans – would be by car. Though I have to meet a Sanfranciscan who has the luxury of a house and garage. Contrary to other cities SF does have an excellent network of public transportation and so if people need a car for trips outside of the “comfort zone” they usually take the Caltrain, bus or they rent a ZipCar.
When I visited Apple last year it was by ZipCar and this year also I was warming to the idea of taking the train when to Italians from UK offered to get a ZipCar as well. You have to plan for about 2 hours each direction (according to Google) when going by train. Just enter your address in Google Maps and have it show you the route, they have the complete timetable.
The train ride itself only takes around 45 minutes, but it is the changing and getting to the train stations that seems to take up most of the extra time. The closest station to the Apple campus is Sunnyvale and you can wait for up to half an hour for a bus ride for the final leg or take a taxi at around $18.
The second widely used method of transportation is taking on of three organized bus trips. Those are organized by Scott Knaster and usually are filling up really fast. They are exclusively happening on the Sunday before WWDC. But I couldn’t wait. And also I have other plans for Sunday.
So ZipCar it was. The guys from Flubber Media sponsored my trip. Thank you very much!
You drive the freeway for about 45 minutes, then take a lesser freeway for like 15 and then you are there. Most of the area around the Infinite Loop is parking spaces with dedicated spots for visitors.
Normal opening hours of the Apple Company Store are Monday through Friday 10 am until 5:30 pm. Special hours of operation for WWDC so that the Pilgrimage guys (and other fans) get to shop on Sunday too. I guess that this is a concession to the thousands of developers who would otherwise riot in front of the building.
I loaded up on all the different T-Shirts I could find, all medium size. Plus I needed to get an Ethernet-USB adapter for my MacBook Air. I grabbed the Beanie because as past experience has shown queueing for the Monday keynote can be a chilly experience.
If you want a T-Shirt as well, you better ask somebody going there well in advance. It often happens that people discover their longing only when it is already too late and the visitors have returned.
Cupertino is definitely reachable if you plan for it, but if you don’t then it can be just as unreachable. Either way it should be a fixed point in your journey to WWDC.