Our next stop takes us to the southern part of the Bay area. The history of San Jose dates back to the settlement of the Ohlone Indians. In 1797, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen established Mission San Jose, located in Fremont. San Jose also houses California’s first capital, Circle of Palms Plaza, before it was moved to Sacramento.
Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose has a mixture of technology and history—the best of both worlds. With two hours you can visit ancient Egyptian artifacts before stepping in the HP Pavilion. Your brain will thank you for all the new knowledge you didn’t know before.
Winchester Mystery House: The beautiful yet haunting mansion has a dark history that dates back to 1884. The story goes that William Winchester built the first Winchester riffles and after his death, the ghosts of his victims began to haunt his house. His wife, Sarah Winchester, believed the only way to keep the ghosts from haunting her was to endlessly add on to the house. Today, you can visit windows that look into other parts of the house, staircases that lead to the ceiling, and doors that open to walls. On Halloween they even let you roam the grounds at night…if you dare.
Japanese Friend Garden: Modeled after the Korakuen Park in Okayama, this gem hosts sparkling ponds, unique bridges, and fine art. These botanical gardens are just the place to take a book and enjoy the beauty and peace of your surroundings. You can also feed the koi fish as they swim in an endless circle in the water.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: If you can’t get The Mummy out of your head, then head over to this Egyptian museum and feed your thirst. The Rosicrucian has the largest artifacts of ancient Egypt in the Western US and if your plane ticket for Cairo hasn’t arrived, this is the next best thing.
San Jose Institution of Contemporary Art: This museum of modern art not only hosts art from local artists in the area, it also showcases “what’s new” in art. Take a leisurely stroll down the hallways and find those pieces of works that speak to our soul, or the ones you want to throw darts at (just don’t actually throw them). The best part: admission is free. Now you don’t have an excuse not to go.
San Jose Flea Market: Cheap things, check. Get your shopping on at one of the biggest flea markets in Northern Cali. Spanning over 2,000 stalls, finding what you need will be the hard part. Walk pass clothing, art, antiques, tires, and that one item you didn’t know you needed. Bring cash and your inner bargain hunter.