Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

 

 

San Jose is a destination that may not be on your bucket list but you should find your way there because it’s definitely a place to explore for good food, wine and lots to do.

I recently was invited to visit San Jose by Team San Jose. I was not financially compensated for my review. All opinions and experiences are my own.

When I first found out I was going to San Jose I couldn’t stop singing the song “Do you know the way to San Jose” by Dionne Warwick. It was an “earworm” that I just couldn’t get out of my mind.

 

I have to admit that as I landed at the San Jose Airport I was still humming the song.  When I told people I was going to San Jose and asked if they “knew the way,” they would just look at me. This is a vintage generational Burt Bacharach song from 1968. Clearly, only people “of a certain age” would be familiar with the song. Arriving in San Jose I was surprised that the airport is only a few minutes from downtown which makes visiting very convenient.

California is such a remarkable state to visit. I’m certain you could spend a year or more exploring all the different climates and beauties of the Golden State. San Jose is a quick 45-minute drive from San Francisco and an hour from Monterey. 300 days of sunshine every year make San Jose a terrific place to visit just about any time.

Go for the Food

San Jose certainly has plenty of choices when it comes to delicious cuisine. A go-to destination for busy Silicon Valley foodies, it’s a sure bet that whether you’re seeking award-winning restaurants or casual market dining San Jose has it all.

Black Olive Caesar at Arcadia
Black Olive Caesar at Arcadia

 

First stop, Chef Michael Mina’s award-winning Arcadia restaurant. The toughest part here is deciding what to order. There are so many terrific appetizer and entree options you just might want to order everything and share it.

Salad Nicoise at the Left Bank in San Jose
Salad Nicoise at the Left Bank in San Jose

 

For a lovely Sunday brunch, you can try out the classic Parisian brasserie  The Left Bank on Santana Row in San Jose. Whether you choose to sit outside sipping an aperitif and people watch on the busy shopping strip or cuddle up inside you’ll find the menu classic French. You can stopping in for lunch, dinner or their busy Sunday brunch.

Brie, Fig and Prosciuto Crostini at Vino Vino Wine Bar
Brie, Fig and Prosciuto Crostini at Vino Vino Wine Bar

 

For something a bit more casual, try Vino Vino. Their motto “wine without attitude” sums it up wonderfully. Saddle up to the wine bar where you’ll find 13 wine “spigots” for tasting. They also have a great local craft beer list as well. Don’t ignore their food, either. The appetizers were original and very good.

San Pedro Square Market in San Jose
San Pedro Square Market in San Jose

 

San Pedro Square Market is a food court on steroids. Although you can get the usual food court tastes like pizza, hot dogs and burgers, don’t expect the food to be predictable. The vendors are vast and offer a wide array of foods and dishes for every palate. Dine inside or outside in the relaxing courtyard that offers live music on the weekends.

Tri Tip Platter from Bray at the San Pedro Public Market
Tri Tip Platter from Bray at the San Pedro Public Market

 

I sampled the Tri-Trip Platter from Bray. The meat was perfectly prepared and seasoned.  The side slaw and Hawaiian rolls were a tasty pairing. There were also plenty of desserts, ice creams and cookies at the market  to conquer every sweet tooth.

 

Don’t forget the Wine

It’s no surprise that San Jose has many wineries and vineyards to visit just a short drive away.  There are lovely small wineries ready and waiting for you to try. They offer tasty wines and most have breathtaking mountain views.

Winery Views
Winery Views

 

There are so many lovely wineries to choose from, plan on spending at least a couple of days exploring different vineyards and learning about the wine. There are several varietals, including Pinotage from Loma Prieta Vineyards, that are unique to the region. You’re bound to discover something you like during your explorations.

Picchetti Brothers Winery
Picchetti Brothers Winery

Save Time for Some Terrific Entertainment

Santana Row
Santana Row

 

Santana Row is the “Rodeo Drive” of San Jose. The busy strip offers luxury shopping and fine dining but there’s plenty of casual dining as well. It’s an easy walking area with plenty going on. From outdoor yoga classes to live concerts this area is residential, retail and entertainment combined.

From Tesla to H&M, the many exciting retailer shops make exploring the latest fashion trends and gourmet goodies easy and fun. You’ll also find plenty of night life with clubs and restaurants serving the Silicon Valley’s latest tech stars.

Hotel Valencia on Santana Row
Hotel Valencia on Santana Row

 

If you’re looking for an ideal location for a hotel stay, the Hotel Valencia on Santana Row, is beautiful and has gorgeous accommodations,a spa, swimming pool, restaurants and bars all at your service for a relaxing stay.

Hotel Valencia lovely appointed rooms.
Hotel Valencia lovely appointed rooms.

 

A courtyard view and a comfy leather chair at the Hotel Valencia made my stay just perfect for my weekend wine getaway.

Winchester Mystery House
Winchester Mystery House

 

A few steps away from Santana Row is the famous Winchester Mystery House. Whether you’re an architecture buff or fascinated by mysteries you’ll want to visit the Winchester House , a 160-room mansion built by Sarah Winchester wife of William Winchester inventor of the Winchester repeating rifle. Many secret rooms, stories of ghosts and odd mysteries are all explored on tours of this one-of-a-kind mansion.

Mountain Winery Concert
Mountain Winery Concert

 

If you love music be sure to check out the Mountain Winery. Live concerts, wine and food are all part of this outdoor music scene. Listening to music under the stars in the mountains just doesn’t get any better than this.

Paper Plane is bustling and fun.
Paper Plane is bustling and fun.

 

San Jose has all the entertainment you’d expect for the tenth largest city in the United States.  Whether it’s opera, ballet, theater, sports, night clubs or comedy clubs – they have them all.

If you want to learn more about San Jose check out the comprehensive website sanjose.org.

THE QUICK BITE: San Jose, in sunny California, is a perfect destination to explore a beautiful wine country, terrific food choices and many cultural and entertainment options.


 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

  1. Great write up, I was just wondering, what are the hotel prices like in the area? I am looking for a few places to visit on the West coast that aren’t overly expensive places to stay in.

    1. At a quick glance of hotel prices on the web, it seems there are many hotels that are reasonably priced in San Jose. Even the Hotel Valencia had reasonable prices for a well located and well appointed hotel. Safe travels!

  2. What a lovely feast to see. Mouthwatering indeed! I am not so adventurist when it comes to haunted houses. I would like to try, really…but I just don’t have enough courage to do it. But that Mystery Mansion wont stop me from going to San Jose. Your photos is so convincing. I’m sure its worth a visit.

    1. Thanks Vanessa! When you visit San Jose don’t write off the Winchester House. During our visit it was quite normal and beautiful. It’s just really different and raises a lot of questions about why Sarah did what she did in the house. It’s worth the experience.

  3. We are in San Francisco right now but sadly don’t have time to make it to San Jose! We will certainly keep it in mind when we are in this neck of the woods again, it looks like a lovely place. I love the Winchester Mystery House, it is incredibly beautiful!

    Ruth

  4. Thank you for the great post on our fair city! San Jose has a lot to offer. There’s lots to do and you can relax too! Great getaway for a weekend almost anytime of the year!

    1. Thanks Evelyn. I hope to return again soon there’s so many things to experience one trip in not enough!

  5. Mmm, I am getting really hungry here! 🙂 Have been to San Jose once, for a computer science conference with my work. It is such a great area, loved it!

  6. I visited Winchester Mystery House years ago. It was fascination. And sad too, when you find out Mrs. Winchester built stairs to nowhere and kept moving around the house to confuse the spirits. At the time, I wasn’t staying in San Jose, but a nearby city, so didn’t take in the San Jose food scene. May be time for another visit.

  7. We have never been to the west coast of the US but have dreams of renting an RV and driving the coast north to south. A stop in San Jose is sure to happen!

  8. I’ve only been through San Jose on the way to somewhere else by car or plane so it was great fun to read your post and add a stop there to the bucket list. Love sampling local foods and your pictures have made me very, very hungry!

  9. Love the Salad Nicoise and crostini – yum! Do you think the Winchester House is haunted? Many people do. Lovely area that is often overlooked.

    1. I’m not sure if it’s haunted or not but there sure seems to be a lot of stories and sightings. Sarah Winchester followed the advice of a psychic during all the building of the house. She believed that all the souls of the people that were killed by Winchester guns were haunting her family and thought that was why her young daughter and husband were taken away from her. It’s a fascinating tour to be sure.

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