San Jose is the third largest city in California and the largest city in the high-tech mecca of Silicon Valley. This clean, modern city is home to cutting edges museums and near perfect weather. San Jose California also was once the first capital of the state of California, and it exceeds San Francisco in population. While it may not be home to major attractions when you compare it to cities like Los Angeles, San Jose California offers a great deal, including some excellent museums, making it worthy of a trip if you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Discovery Children’s Museum of San Jose is a fun, interactive museum where kids and adults alike can learn in a fun way. Over three million visitors have visited this museum since it first opened in 1990. The novelty of visiting this San Jose CA museum never wears off, because new interactive exhibits are introduced every year. The museum was expanded in 1997, and today, more visitors than ever come to visit this interesting purple building.
The San Jose Tech Museum has been around about the same length of time as the Children's Museum. The idea for this high-tech learning center was first born in 1978. You can see technological innovations that are now an everyday part of life, and the latest software gadgets showcased in engaging interactive exhibits. There is an annual Tech Challenge that more than 8,000 children have participated in since the museum was established.
Winchester Mystery House
There is also a fascinating and unique piece of history alive just outside of the downtown San Jose CA area. This is the Winchester Mystery House, built by Winchester Rifle Heiress, Sarah Winchester. She actually never stopped building it, thinking that constant expansion of the house would keep away the ghosts of those killed by her late husband’s firearms. Construction continued from its start in 1884 until her death in 1922. It is a fantastic Victorian mansion with secret rooms, stairways that go nowhere, and reputed ghosts.
Other sights and attractions of note include the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, built in 1803, and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, filled with Egyptian antiquities. You can visit Japantown San Jose for some great shopping and ethnic dining. More shopping can be found in the huge San Jose CA Flea Market. For something with a little more excitment, you can spend a day at one of the three California Raging Waters theme parks.
San Jose Hotels
While San Jose CA is not a major location for California vacations, there are numerous hotels and other lodging options available because the city is such a hub of high-tech industry. One of the best of the luxury San Jose hotels, located right in the downtown area, is the elegant Hotel De Anza. This art nouveau landmark boasts an award-winning gourmet restaurant, a more casual dining spot, and a bar and lounge. Guests are also invited to “Raid the Pantry” (in their bathrobes if desired) in the wee hours of the night to prepare their own deli sandwiches and other snacks. Special pantry areas are open from 10:00 pm to 5:00am. The opulent Mediterranean Revival Hayes Mansion, built as a private home in 1903, is also a prestigious hotel with more than 200 rooms and a private park. Or you can choose from a wide variety of familiar names, including Hilton, DoubleTree, Quality Inn, Marriott, and Fairmont.