When you think of modern ingenuity, one region instantly comes to mind: The beautiful Silicon Valley. Set just 41 miles south of San Francisco, this picturesque Northern California district is renowned across the world as the hub of hi-tech innovation. Groundbreaking companies like Apple, Google, Netflix and Cisco all call it home, as well as countless “start-ups” hoping to make it big like their tech-forefathers. (Bonus Ditty: You can catch a glimpse of the S.V. start-up world in HBO’s aptly named new comedy, which premiered last night: “Silicon Valley”).

But Silicon Valley is—in actuality—filled with so much more than technology hubs. Beyond the modern structures and endless tech talk is a breathtaking region made up of some of the most desirable and livable neighborhoods in California. Our spotlight is on six golden Silicon Valley towns—Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton and Los Altos Hills—each one captivating in its own right with fabulous restaurants, unforgettable sights and luxurious places to call home. In fact, two of the towns in our spotlight (Woodside and Portola Valley) are listed among the top five luxury real estate markets in the entire country and two others (Atherton and Los Altos Hills) rank in the top 20, according to the Luxury Market Index released by Coldwell Banker Previews International®.

How does that transfer into dollars and cents? Home prices range from around $70 million for a gorgeous nine-bedroom estate in Woodside to $1,995,000 for a charming Los Altos Hills four-bedroom home. Is it worth it? Stop by for a visit and judge for yourself! And while you’re exploring, here are a few can’t-miss stops along the way:

See: Try The Hanna House in Palo Alto—a one-of-a-kind home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1936 or Woodside’s Filoli—a beautiful, historic country estate complete with gardens and a nature preserve. If you have extra time? Make sure to make a stop at the Sunset Magazine Gardens in Menlo Park.

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Filoli, photo courtsey of Wikipedia.

Do: Pay a visit to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford or mountain bike down 34 miles of trails at Woodside’s El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve. For added fun? Learn about organic farming at the Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills.

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Canter Arts Center, photo courtesy of Wikipedia 

Eat: Dig into some gourmet “California Comfort Food” at Portola Valley’s Parkside Grille. If you don’t mind motorcycles, Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside is more than worth a stop. And meat eaters must try the French Dip at Los Altos Grill.

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Los Altos Grill, photo courtesy of Flickr user kennejima.

Stay: Where do the tech entrepreneurs and brightest tech minds stay when they visit the Valley? There’s always the Garden Court Hotel—a Forbes 4-Star Property in Downtown Palo Alto or the Stanford Park Hotel—awarded TripAdvisor.com’s Certificate of Excellence in 2013. And if you want the ultimate splurge? Stay at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel—an ultra-luxury hotel, approximately 3.5 miles from Woodside.

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Photo courtesy of Stanford Park Hotel.

Live: A stunning English Country estate in Woodside that spans 9,005 square feet with five bedrooms, five full baths and two partial baths. This expansive residence features beautiful wood-beam ceilings and wood flooring, walls of windows, a sparkling outdoor pool with a vast stone-tiled deck and plenty of outdoor greenery, manicured to perfection. Priced: $15,000,000.

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Have you explored the Silicon Valley? Let us know about your favorite areas in the region!