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Silicon Valley tech company tours growing in popularity

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More and more people are looking for a real life experience with the companies they only see in a virtual world. (KGO-TV)

Forget Hollywood star tours - how about Silicon Valley tech tours?

The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Lombard Street and Fisherman's Wharf are some of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco, but now the City by the Bay is getting some competition from the south.

More and more people are looking for a real life experience with the companies they only see in a virtual world.

Silicon Valley has become a hot spot for visitors. Bay Area tour companies are offering up close views of tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple.

"They're curious. They deal with these companies almost all day, every day at home and they're curious about where these products originate," A Friend In Town Tour Company's Jesse Warr said.

Warr has been doing Silicon Valley tours for about a decade and says they've increased in popularity.

Another company says the views from Mountain View, Menlo Park and Cupertino have become more popular than the San Francisco tours for at least one of their guides.

Warr's top recommendations for visitors are the Stanford campus tour and the Computer History Museum.

But he admits people are most interested in getting a picture at the tech company campuses.

The Android Garden, filled with characters and even a giant donut, gives people with a camera something to post on social media.

But don't expect to sit down in any board rooms.

As our expert guide told ABC7 News, the tech companies are more protective of their privacy than of yours.

"We're not going to get into some special room at Apple or Google. Most of these companies are not open to the public," Warr said.

Apple is planning a visitor center at their Apple 2 campus. That will give tourists a place to go when they visit.

Facebook and Google have not yet commented on where tourists should go when they visit their campuses.

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technologybusinesstourismtraveltouristfacebookgoogleappleteslaMenlo ParkMountain View
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