Sign In | Join now! It's free!Help |

San Jose Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your San Jose vacation , west coast


lauren
Petroglyph is for Patient Painters 4 stars
If you are looking for a way to fill several hours of a lazy afternoon, head over to Petroglyph on Lincoln Avenue. At this paint-your-own pottery crafts shop, you can pick the mug, plate or ornament of your choice and a few paint colors and sit at a table for as long as you’d like, decorating to please your every fancy. I have some truly spectacular coffee mugs and a cherished dog dish from Petroglyph, and each piece is a source of pride. They also make great personalized gifts. Though the experience can be all-absorbing and can make you a little obsessive about your creation, it’s a nice escape from the everyday and a fun activity for patient kids. Leave your masterpiece to be fired in the kiln and come back a few days later to reclaim it.

More

lauren
People and Dog-Watching at Monsieur Beans 4 stars
This coffee shop steals away Starbucks customers left and right. It has lots of personality, from the art decorating its walls to the friendly baristas. Take a long time to enjoy your coffee here; the deep-cushioned sofas and comforting round coffee tables are the perfect spot for a long conversation or a great book. If you have a dog, take him or her along for some great people-watching as you sit along Lincoln Avenue on the sidewalk tables. The hot chocolate is great, so don’t hesitate to bring kids along and give them a treat. The baked goods are also a nice, sweet accompaniment to your strong coffee.

More

lauren
Goat Cheese, Thin Crust at Pizza Antica 4 stars
This bustling pizzeria takes pride in its thin-crusted pies of deliciousness. It’s always busy, but the noise adds to the feeling of festivity that accompanies a meal. The bruschetta with kale and fresh mozzarella, topped with garlic and lemon, is simply amazing, though the salads are a bit lackluster. My favorite pizza is the number seven, which comes topped with pesto, pancetta, radicchio and goat cheese. All pizzas, of course, are best when enjoyed with wine. A half carafe can come your way for as little as $16.00. The service is good and the pizza prices are quite reasonable. Since it’s located in Santana Row, you can browse shops or take a nice stroll afterward.

More

lauren
La Victoria Taqueria 3 stars
This Mexican haven is one of San Jose’s trademarks. Parking can sometimes be difficult, but if you’re in need of quick, authentic Mexican cuisine, it’s well worth it. La Vic is especially popular with students from San Jose State who can walk there between classes and with late night crowds who stop by after the bars close. Be sure to give the special orange sauce a try; the chipotle-salsa blend has enough of a kick to make you remember it throughout the day. If you are truly hooked, you can buy some to take home. The breakfast burritos are also a filling treat, made successful by the inclusion of seasoned potatoes.

More

lauren
Go Science Wild at The Tech Museum 5 stars
Submerge yourself in the watery home of “Sea Monsters” at the IMAX theater. Admission to the museum is included in the ticket price. Then, plunge into the heart of this gadget collection and become an inventor, a designer and a scientist yourself. At “The Tech”, as it’s affectionately known, you can incubate bacteria and create your own antibodies, win a simulated wheel chair race, put on a pair of “drunk goggles” and attempt to walk the line (it’s hard!) or watch a many-penciled robot sketch the details of your face after snapping a picture. This museum is a must-see for all ages.

More

lauren
La Crema and its Cozy Cups 4 stars
The sturdy brown mugs at La Crema Café make their strong café au lait even stronger. This chic, yet comfortable café provides a relaxing getaway from Alameda Street and the chain coffee shops that border it. It is spacious and bright, decorated with interesting photography and brown leather chairs and couches. There is always a comfortable nook to settle into with a book or a word document, or a cheery table up front warmed by the white lights in the window. A selection of sweet treats beckons from behind the counter, the carrot cake most compellingly. When the weather is nice, sit outside and play the game of chess or backgammon spread out for you on the table while you soak up the sun.

More

lauren
The Witching Hour at The Winchester Mystery House 4 stars
Lady Winchester’s quirky mansion is best for middle school-aged kids, fans of the supernatural and architects. Sprawled up and out in odd directions, the Winchester House is the result of a superstitious woman with lots of money for remodeling, or evading the ghosts that killed her husband, as she believed. Walk up stairways that lead to drop-offs, count the panes in her special-ordered stained glass windows (13 was her lucky number) and check out the lookouts and spying spots she constructed to observe her servants. Some might find the house boring in broad daylight, but the nighttime flashlight tour is truly spooky.

More

lauren
Temples and Tombs at the Rosicrucian Museum 5 stars
Rotund canopic jars, elaborate jewelry, religious figures, carved tools and hieroglyphics on papyrus paint a picture of ancient Egyptian life in these rooms and gardens devoted to its history. Detailed exhibits display artifacts gracefully, and the fine, tomb-like architecture calls for respect when learning about Egyptian culture. The museum is not austere or hands-off, however; you can walk through a life-like replica of a pharaoh’s temple, visit the Planetarium for a star show, or play a larger-than-life ancient Egyptian board game on the patio with enormous blue foam dice. Don’t miss the cat mummies!

More

lauren
Shady Sanctuaries at Almaden Quicksilver Park 5 stars
If you feel like escaping from San Jose’s downtown or suburbs, head for Quicksilver Park and take a relaxing hike through the foothills and forests of southern San Jose. The winding trails take you through valleys and up hills, passing gorgeous views of both the Sierra Azuls and the cityscape below. Gaze up at Mt. Umunhum as you picnic on a meadow next to wild poppies or enjoy a hilly jog past reservoirs and creeks. The park is large enough to make room for bicyclists, equestrians, cross-country runners and bird-watchers alike. It’s also a great place to stumble upon the mercury-mining sites that give the park its name.

More

lauren
The Multi-Cultural Multi-Flavored John's XLNT Foods 4 stars
This Greek-Italian-American diner serves it all, but in my opinion, breakfast is its strongest meal. From egg scrambles with olives, peppers and feta cheese to traditional waffle plates and banana pancakes, John’s XLNT Foods always keeps you covered with hearty coffee and prompt service. Located on Willow Glen’s main drag, this diner has a large group of neighborhood regulars who chat in corner booths for hours and keep up a lively banter with the waiters. Delicious lemon soup accompanies many lunch and dinner entrees, which is even better when enjoyed on the patio out front on a warm summer night.

More

lauren
Dining at Peace in La Foret 4 stars
This fancy French restaurant is nestled beside a creek deep in Almaden Valley. Dark wooden window sills frame the oak and pine forest outside them. The sound of crickets and owls in the background and the restaurant’s luxurious interior create a peaceful dining atmosphere. The wild game sampler plate is particularly delicious, and the vanilla creame brule with berries is artfully presented and not too sweet. The crisply-dressed servers are friendly and sharp, encouraging you to linger over coffee long after you’ve finished eating. This secluded haven of fine food and wine is great for a special treat or an important event.

More

lauren
Chile Relleno and a Familiar Feeling at La Playita 5 stars
This family-run Mexican restaurant has been a family-favorite for years. The friendly service mixed with the steaming plates of delicious, authentic dishes have made it a reliable treat. The chips and salsa, which come for free, are some of the best I’ve ever sampled. The guacamole is seasoned to perfection. Carnitas are another house specialty, and if you like chile relleno, they do it well. On a nice afternoon or evening, sit outside and enjoy the breeze. Otherwise, take in the eclectic paintings and figurines that line the walls and the chatter of happy eaters around you. The place is a neighborhood hot spot and is usually packed for lunch and dinner. Don’t worry if you have to wait in the entryway for awhile; La Playita regulars are usually quick and considerate and chances are you won’t wait long.

More

lauren
Jazz Up Your Wine Sampler at Wine Affairs 4 stars
Assuage your traveling bug by sampling wine from all over the world at Wine Affairs. This colorful, cozy wine bar hosts live jazz bands and other musicians three nights a week and would be a great place to hold an event. I went for New Year’s Eve and loved all that accompanied my glass of Argentine Malbec: a 2009 tiara, a party blower and sultry performers who rung in the New Year with Auld Lang Syne. Wine Affairs also offers delectable tapas and desserts. I enjoyed the very reasonably priced “Toasted Baguette Breads and Marinated Olives” and admired the “Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Torta Gelati” from afar.

More

lauren
Sea Anemone Chandeliers at the San Jose Museum of Art 4 stars
Where else can you make a paper and pipe cleaner butterfly to compliment a Frida Khalo exhibit? This modern art space is interactive and friendly for all ages and artistic perspectives. The museum is a manageable size, leaving time to fully explore each exhibit and settle into the mood of each room. Don’t miss the three brightly-colored blown glass chandeliers hanging over the entrance that somewhat resemble sea anemones. Another of my favorites is “Burnt Patch”, a natural sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy, who had created many site-specific pieces in the Bay Area. After a leisurely stroll, you can browse artsy magazines at the museum café while sipping coffee or sampling a gourmet sandwich.

More

lauren
Plantain Chips and Sangria at Habana Cuba 4 stars
I first visited Habana Cuba (238 Race Street) to sample authentic Cuban cuisine for a school project, but I keep coming back for its delicious slow-cooked entrees and vivid interior. Be sure to sample the plantain chips and salsa ($3) and the excellent sangria (a half pitcher for $12 is four servings). The avocado salad is another favorite of mine, served on a bed of lettuce and topped with red onions, olives, red peppers, capers and a tangy vinaigrette. The waiters are friendly, as are the family-style servings. Make a reservation on Fridays and weekends or take in the candle-lit, laid-back atmosphere of a weekday night.
(408) 998-2822
http://www.998cuba.com/


More



About us | Terms and Conditions | Imprint

Copyright © 2006-2017 Paperball GmbH and their respective owners - All Rights Reserved.