In the heart of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale offers a blend of historical charm, modern innovation and a high quality of life. This vibrant city is steeped in tech culture, influenced by its proximity to tech hubs like Mountain View and Palo Alto.

Once a fruit-processing centre, Sunnyvale evolved through industrial growth in the mid-20th century to become a key player in the global tech industry. Today, it boasts a dynamic workforce, a thriving community and numerous tech companies, making it a hotspot for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cost of living in Sunnyvale

Living in Sunnyvale has a high price tag, typical of Silicon Valley. Housing costs are among the highest in the region, with home prices and rents significantly above the national average. Essential costs in Sunnyvale, like groceries, healthcare and transport expenses, exceed national and state averages.

Despite these high costs, the city’s residents benefit from higher average incomes. Sunnyvale’s high living costs are also balanced by its exceptional quality of life.

For more on the cost of living in the area, see Cost of Living in San Jose.

Getting around in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale residents have several transport options. Public transport is popular, with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) providing buses and light rail services. Caltrain offers a convenient commuter rail service, connecting Sunnyvale to key locations like San Jose, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Sunnyvale traffic conditions can be challenging, especially during peak hours. Congestion is common on major roads like El Camino Real and Mathilda Avenue during morning and evening rush hours. Cycling is common, thanks to bike-friendly paths and bike-sharing programmes.

Getting to other parts of Silicon Valley is straightforward. Caltrain is efficient for travel between major cities, and VTA light rail and buses connect Sunnyvale to San Jose, Santa Clara and other nearby areas.

Useful links

Healthcare in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale offers a range of healthcare facilities to meet your needs. Notable hospitals include El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Specialty Services is also available in the city for specialised paediatric care.

For more advanced treatments, residents may visit regional facilities in Silicon Valley, such as Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, which offers a broader range of specialised services. Even for complex medical needs, top-tier care is within reach for Sunnyvale residents.

Make sure to check out our guide to Understanding Health Insurance in the USA.

Useful links

Schools in Sunnyvale

The Sunnyvale School District operates ten public schools serving Grades K-8. For high school, students transition to the Fremont Union High School District, which includes seven high schools. Top-rated public schools in Sunnyvale include West Valley Elementary, Louis E. Stocklmeir Elementary and Cherry Chase Elementary.

Private schooling is also prominent in Sunnyvale, with around 20 private schools serving over 4,500 students from Nursery/Pre-K through Grade 8. Notable private institutions include The King’s Academy, Stratford Schools, Presbyterian Early Learning Center and Rainbow Montessori. Interestingly, 27 percent of K-12 students in Sunnyvale attend private schools, a significantly higher percentage than the California state average.

Sunnyvale does not have charter or magnet schools, but it is well-served by international schools in the broader Silicon Valley area. Options include Silicon Valley International School in Palo Alto, German International School in Mountain View and Lycée Français de San Francisco. These schools offer immersion programmes in languages like Chinese, German, French and Italian, along with global curricula like the International Baccalaureate.

Useful links

Weather in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale enjoys a prime location in the San Francisco Bay Area, 130 feet above sea level. The city has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by mild, moist winters and warm, arid summers.

Summer temperatures typically hover in the high 70s° F (around 25°C), providing warm but not overly hot conditions ideal for outdoor recreation. Winters are mild, with daytime highs rarely dropping below 50°F (10°C). Snowfall is a rare occurrence. The city receives an average annual precipitation of around 16 inches (400mm), mostly during winter.

Useful links

Working in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale is in the heart of Silicon Valley, a renowned hub for technology and innovation. Major tech companies, including Google and Apple, have significant operations here, making it a central location for cutting-edge tech careers. Sunnyvale is well-represented in the aerospace and defence sectors, with Lockheed Martin playing a key role.

Sunnyvale’s workforce is known for its high productivity, reflecting its reputation as one of America’s hardest-working cities. Remote work is widely embraced in Sunnyvale, with approximately 22 percent of the workforce telecommuting. The work culture here prioritises efficiency and productivity, with residents striving to balance their professional and personal lives.

Accommodation in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale offers property rentals to suit various needs. Single-family homes are available, from smaller one-bedroom houses to larger four-bedroom residences. For those seeking apartment living, numerous options feature amenities like swimming pools and in-unit laundry. Additionally, there are luxury and pet-friendly rentals catering to specific preferences.

Renting in Sunnyvale is highly competitive, reflecting its prime location within Silicon Valley. Finding and securing a rental property in Sunnyvale involves several steps. Prospective renters can browse available properties on online platforms, and property management services can assist landlords and tenants by handling property maintenance, marketing and tenant screening.

Sunnyvale's neighbourhoods each have their own unique charm. Cherry Chase is known for excellent schools and a family-friendly atmosphere with tree-lined streets and parks. The Heritage District, with its mix of historic bungalows and modern condos, boasts a vibrant downtown area filled with shops, restaurants, and community events.

Ponderosa Park and Sunnyvale West are favoured by families for their top-rated schools and spacious homes. Both areas offer well-maintained parks and easy access to tech companies. Sunnyvale West is particularly vibrant and diverse, making it a top choice for commuters and families.

Birdland and Lakewood Village provide tranquil living environments. Birdland features streets named after birds and community amenities like a library and community centre. Lakewood Village is peaceful with well-maintained homes and convenient access to shopping and dining.

Cherryhill and De Anza are quiet, family-friendly areas. Cherryhill, known for its cherry trees, attracts a variety of birds and wildlife. De Anza offers several parks and recreational facilities.

Neighbourhoods like East Murphy and Expressions are culturally vibrant. East Murphy has a diverse population and lively shops and restaurants. Expressions, known for its arts scene, features galleries, museums, and theatres.

Fairbrae and The Grove cater to families seeking a suburban lifestyle. Fairbrae, with its quiet streets and parks, is popular among tech workers. The Grove offers tree-lined streets and numerous schools and parks.

Useful links

Lifestyle in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale offers various leisure activities, shopping, dining and cultural opportunities that cater to diverse tastes and interests. Shopping in Sunnyvale is diverse, with options ranging from the Cherry Orchard Shopping Center, which offers premier restaurants and speciality shops, to the historic downtown area centred on Murphy Avenue. This vibrant hub is perfect for dining and entertainment.

Sunnyvale is home to several must-visit parks and outdoor attractions. Baylands Park is a favourite, offering trails, picnic areas and scenic views of the bay. For a unique outdoor experience, The Rings, an art installation featuring large metal rings, provides a captivating visit. Another peaceful spot nearby is Baylands Grove, known for its serene environment.

The city’s cultural and historical attractions include the Municipal Rose Garden in nearby San Jose, a stunning garden with a wide variety of roses. Historical markers throughout Sunnyvale, such as Hendy Ironworks and Martin Murphy Jr. House, highlight the city’s rich industrial and agricultural history.

Entertainment in Sunnyvale is diverse and vibrant. The Shoreline Amphitheatre hosts major acts and events just a short drive away. Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara offers rides and entertainment for all ages, while Levi’s Stadium is home to the San Francisco 49ers and hosts concerts and other major events.

Seasonal events like Shortboxed LIVE and community activities such as the Volunteer Bag Stuffing Party for Bike to Work Day provide additional opportunities for engagement and fun.

Downtown Sunnyvale is the primary area for nightlife, featuring a mix of bars, lounges and nightclubs. This bustling district is perfect for those looking to enjoy a lively evening out, with venues offering everything from craft beers to dance floors with DJs. For those seeking a more relaxed vibe, several lounges and casual bars are scattered throughout the city.

Residents of Sunnyvale avidly support nearby professional sports teams, such as the San Francisco 49ers (NFL), San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), San Jose Giants (MiLB) and San Jose Barracuda (AHL). The Twin Creeks Sports Complex is a popular venue, hosting various tournaments, including travel baseball, youth soccer and fast-pitch softball. Notable events like the Stanford Taekwondo Spring Open and the Emmanuel Golf Classic also draw significant attention.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!