In this tip I am collecting ideas of what I can do when returning to San Jose soon. Surfing the net I found some ideas:
Historic Parc ind owntown:
Almaden Quicksilver Park, with Mining site:
Historical Silicon Valley:
Bay Area Hiking:
Japanese Friendship Garden:
Emma Prusch Farn parc:
For further travelling in CA:
4 Columbia SHP: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/552/files/columbia2.pdf
4 Bodie Ghosttown: http://www.bodie.com/listings.asp
4 Death Valley: http://www.stovepipewells.com/accommodations-1238.html
4 sacramento: http://www.sacmuseums.org/findamuseum.html
4 Joshua Tree: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/
4 Joshua Tree: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/jotrmap.pdf
4 Joshua Tree: http://www.29chamber.com/Lodging.265.0.html
4 Joshua Tree: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/things2know.htm
4 Columbia SHP: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=552
Located in south San Jose not far from Spartan Stadium, the Happy Hollow Zoo is a nice place to take the kids. It's been around for a while, and is a well run facility. It is part of the area known as Kelley Park, which also contains a very nice Japanese Friendship Garden and a historical park featuring many old buildings laid out in a car-free setting that's great for a stroll.
Happy Hollow is in two parts - a compact zoo, and a nice park with some kiddie rides. The zoo contains mostly small primates (lemurs, monkeys, etc.), a few small cats (jaguar, leopard), some other small mammals (meerkats, guinea pigs, and a couple of cucaburas), and a few exotic birds. Nothing larger than a St. Bernard here. It also has a petting zoo with a few burros, many goats and a zebu (which my niece Claire says looks like a cow but sounds like Chewbacca).
One real nice feature of the zoo is that many of the enclosures have a little cave-like area under the viewing glass where the kids can climb into and see the animals at ground level (behind glass, of course).
The park section has some small kiddie rides and a nice carousel. It is also famous for its' puppet shows. We were there at closing time, so we didn't get to make too much use of it. There were also at least 2 snack bars that we saw that were both closed, but keep in mind we were there on a Thursday pretty close to closing time.
Ticket prices were $6 for adults, and, unfortunately, an adult is anyone over 2. They probably have some sort of family pass or something like that. Parking is also $6 per car, but you should go online and check out the schedule; on selected weekdays parking is free, and they have $1 Tuesdays the 2nd Tuesday of each month (though you do have to pay for parking).
Santana Row in San Jose is where you can linger while having a massage, mingle while swigging mojitos or ogle at the eyecandy stores.
Parking is easy. The pathways are wide enough to accomodate your own private space.
The Roberto Adobe is one of the areas oldest standing buildings, dating to 1836. In 1965, the proposed Highway 280 would demolished the Adobe. Thankfully preservationists lobbied to save the building, and design plans for Highway 280 was re-routed to the north by 15 feet.
The adobe was built by Roberto Bellarmino, an Indian from nearby Mission Santa Clara. the Mexican Governor granted 2219 acres of land in this area to Bellarmino and gave him citizenship rights. A Spaniard by the name of Suñol who worked here acquired the property from a debt and built a house attached to the Roberto Adobe with the Adobe serving as the kitchen. During the later 1800s this building was expanded and now dominates the scene. It is a nice building in itself.
In the 1970s the owner of the property, who ran an exterminator company, learned of the significance of the property and restored it. In 1977 it was designated California State Historical Landmark #898. The building in front now serves as law offices.
You have to look for this building to find it. I had passed it dozens of times before seeing it.
For a truly unique Bay Area experience, get a bird's eye view from a zeppelin. After decades without seeing zeppelins in the are (well, the Goodyear Blimp has been around, but technically it isn't a zeppelin) you can now take tourist rides in these great airships.
They have several tours, leaving from Moffit Field in the south bay near San Jose, or Oakland across the bay from San Francisco. They also have wine country tours north of the SF area. This is the only zeppelin ride available in the western hemisphere (they also have tours in Germany & Japan)
While I haven't been on the tours, (the $500 price is a little above my budget right now), it really looks like a fantastic way to see the beauty of this region.
California's Great America (formerly Paramount Great America) is Northern California's most thrilling theme park with more than 50 rides, roller coasters and attractions plus Nickelodeon (I've watched Nickelodean before and my favorite was Rugrats and Pete & pete) experience. This 100-acre theme park is located on Great America Parkway between highways 101 and 237, in Santa Clara (near the famous Santa Cruz boardwalk) and is open from March to October. The drive from San Francisco is about an hour via US 101 South. You can then proceed to Gilroy, about 40 minutes away to have some factory outlet shopping.
Adult: ages 3 -61 AND 48" and taller $51.99
ages 62+ $34.99
After 4pm $29.99
Opens: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily (from march to October)
This small but interesting museum, located on the university campus, has a good collection of artifacts on California and also has special exhibits going on throughout the year.
In the permanent collection there is Native American art and artifacts from before the Europeans came here, Spanish Colonial art (primarily religious artifacts from the mission), along with items about California and university history.
Check out the University web site below to see what the temporary exhibits are.
This mission church is located on the campus of Santa Clara University, neighboring San Jose. Santa Clara Mission is the site of the oldest continuously used established college in California, which was founded right when the California gold rush was in full swing around 1851. It was the eighth of 22 missions that lined California from north to south. The first church was built 1777 by banks of Guadalupe River in what is now downtown San Jose, and the present replica was constructed in 1928-29 after the previous one burnt down.
The mission is named for St. Clare of Assisi, founder of the order of nuns called the Poor Clares. The Franciscans transferred ownership to the Jesuits in 1851, who founded Santa Clara University.
Even though it is a relatively new church building, it is beautiful to see. The grounds of the university campus surrounding the church make it a nice, quiet place to visit, with little road noise and green spaces around it. Their web site has a lot of historical information.
So something I haven't seen much about is a so called "Geek Tour". The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some of the greatest innovations ever seen in the history of mankind. If you are looking for something a little different to do, you can travel to San Jose and see some of the big name companies that shape the way that we all see the world. Courtesy of the fine folks at Google, I made up a little travel map below that dictates a good way to get there and see some of the leading edge technological companies. I decided to keep the list short and stay in and around the city of San Jose(sorry ILM/Pixar).
Most companies will not just let you walk around their campuses willy-nilly, but some buildings(like Intel) have a small museum in their lobby that you can walk through at your leisure.
There are two well known rose gardens in San Jose, the Municipal Rose Garden (my next tip), and this, the Heritage Rose Garden. This garden is exceptional as a display of many varieties of specialty roses, a garden that can be appreciated by gardening experts or just the casual visitor.
The garden has a self-guided tour that takes you through different sections and rings where you can find Old Garden Roses (Gallicas, Albas, Damasks, Centifolias, Mosses, and other old European, mostly once blooming roses); crosses of the once blooming Old Garden Roses with Chinas, Teas, Musk and Autumn Damask roses; hardy rugosas; Portlands, Bourbons, and Hybrid Perpetuals; exotic Chinas and Teas; Floribundas and Hybrid Teas; Shrub Roses and more. That is a lot to take in for one garden.
They also have docent led tours.
This large plaza is right in the center of downtown, ringed by the Art Museum, The Tech Museum, The Fairmont and St. Claire Hotels, and several other notable buildings. Throughout the year the plaza is used for civic events and outdoor music shows, such as the San Jose Jazz Festival in August. During the winter holiday season the park takes on a festive atmosphere with "Christmas in the Park," which includes an ice skating rink set up between the palms next to the Fairmont - a beautiful setting for a family outing.
This is the oldest continuously used public open space in the city, dating back to the late 1700s when this was a Spanish settlement. It's been used as a parade ground, cock-pit, race-track and public hangings.
In 1993 the park was named in honor of Cesar E. Chavez (1927-1993), the community organizer and founder of the United Farm Workers Union, who was a resident of San Jose.
The Peralta Adobe and Fallon House Historic Site are located in downtown, under the shadow of tall, modern buildings.
The Adobe is San José’s oldest standing building, built in 1797. It is the sole structure left from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, founded by Spain, but has survived over 200 years of a rapidly changing area. The interior furnishings and grounds show what life was like in this area during its Spanish and Mexican era.
The Peralta Adobe along with the Fallon House (across the street) are open for tours from 11.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m, Thursday-Sunday.
Mission City Coffee Roasting
With so many coffee shops in the area, sometimes it is nice to find one with a little local flavor. Mission City does that. It's located in a pretty big, older building that defies the trend toward the tech or modern look. Most of the tables and chairs are old, providing character if not a somewhat wobbly seating.
This place can get busy at times, with college students and locals hanging out, taking advantage of the wireless internet available, or just stopping by. A few evenings a week they have local musical talent or an open mike, and on Sunday afternoons there is live jazz. From time to time fairly popular regional groups even make it here: The Hot Club of SF is scheduled for a night in May, 2008.
Breakfasts and lunches are served here, along with the usual array of coffees, teas and snacks.
On the San Jose State University campus there is a monument/statue recognizing the most popular medal ceremony of all time: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two black American sprinters standing on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised at the Mexico City Games in 1968. They were teammates at San Jose State University.
This event was a milestone in America's civil rights movement. The two sprinters planned a non-violent protest in the manner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Smith won the gold medal and Carlos the bronze In the 200-meter race, and as the American flag rose and the Star-Spangled Banner played, the two closed their eyes and bowed their heads in protest.They were subsequently suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic Village.
While the event was very controversial - many think that political statements have no place in the Olympic Games. Many, however, were moved by their actions, seen as a part of the impacting 1960s Civil Rights movement.
The 200m silver medallist in 1968, a white Austrailian participated in the protest that evening by wearing a OPHR badge. His place on the monument is empty.
Schurra's Candy Factory is the best place to buy chocolate in the south bay area. It has been a local favorite for several generations. While See's Chocolates are well known and distributed in many places (airports, etc.) you have to go to the store to find Schurra's items, which are bound to be more fresh. They specialize in chocolates that are molded into different shapes, but have a good selection of bon bons, etc.
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