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NYgirl Oct 28th, 2004 06:28 AM

San Jose help
My husband and I have the opportunity to fly to Sann Jose on a 2-for-1. I don't know much about it except that it's somewhat close to San Francisco.

Is it worth seeing San Jose itself or would it be a starting point to see San Francisco. I have never been to CA.


janis Oct 28th, 2004 08:05 AM

There is really nothing wrong w. San Jose as a town. But since you have never been to CA before I would not base a vacation there.

Take advantage of the 2-for-1 and then go to either San Francisco and maybe the Napa/Sonoma wine region; OR down to the Monterey Bay/Carmel area.

depending on how long you are planning and when, you might be able to squeeze in all three (SF/Napa/Carmel)

Alisa Oct 28th, 2004 08:44 AM

I would head to San Francisco. I am from San Jose and while there is a lot to do, you would have more fun in SF. How long do you have in town?

J_Correa Oct 28th, 2004 09:34 AM

Another vote for flying into SJ and then heading out. SJ is a nice city, but doesn't offer much for tourists, esspecially when so many incredible places are so close by.

NYgirl Oct 28th, 2004 10:47 AM

Thanks everyone. That's what I think we'll do. We've got about 3-4 days so maybe San Fran and wine country.

sandiegojoe Oct 28th, 2004 10:52 AM

Here's a tip, when driving 101 to san francisco stop at "Taqueria La Bamba" in mountain view, about 15 mins from san jose (take the old middlefield road exit and it's on your right hand side when you get to the first stoplight)

Another nice trip is to take hwy 17 to santa cruz (leave early if you go on a weekend) check out santa cruz, drive up hwy 1 tthrough halfmoon bay all the way up to San Francisco. (It'll take 2-3 hours, but it's beautiful.)

get a super burrito (any meat but chicken is the best)

This place has the best burritos of anywhere in California or Mexico. (Yes, I have eaten every other burrito)

J_Correa Oct 28th, 2004 11:09 AM

Taqueria La Bamba is great.

TxTravelPro Oct 28th, 2004 11:27 AM

I don't live in CA BUT I have been in the same situation.
I think your decision REALLY depends on what y'all like to do.
We LOVE the B&B's in Carmel and driving down the PCH. We just saoked in everything!
I like San Francisco, too but only go there when I am traveling alone or with my daughter. My husband is more of the golf/resort set and totally prefers the beauty of the areas outside of San Francisco. We also love Sausalito.
Damn, you just can't go wrong, really... no matter where you go!
Just let us know what floats your boat and maybe that will help narrow the choices.

kimamom Oct 28th, 2004 12:29 PM

Another vote for Carmel! Check out Pt. Lobos State Park, it's gorgeous. Lots of great places to eat in the area. Stay at the Highland's Inn or the Tickle Pink Inn for breath-taking views of the coastline. ***kim*** (~~)

TripleSecDelay Oct 28th, 2004 12:45 PM

I was born in a city adjacent to SJ.
San Jose was formerly the capital of CA, before Sacramento.
Old Almaden was the world's leading producer of Cinnabar & Quicksilver, important for extracting gold from ore - during the Gold Rush of the 1840s.

Over the years, several territories have been annexed to SJ and this has made the area built "out" not "up". For this reason, a nice, clean, light rail transit system is receiving yet another line to reach more residents of the valley floor.

The general area once supported farming and has, within the last 50 years, supported mostly high tech businesses and tract homes.

San Jose Jazz Festival is the largest free such event. What time of year will you arrive?

In San Jose, a person could visit the CA Theatre on First Street, which was recently remodeled and reopened.

The (hands-on) Tech Museum of Innovation and IMAX theatre on Market Street are interesting.
San Jose Museum of Art and St. Joseph's church across the street.
All within walking distance of the Fairmont Hotel.

Grandview restaurant on Mt. Hamilton / 130 is a nice place for a sunset dinner.
Upscale Shopping/restaurants in Santana Row on Stevens Creek Blvd. have a newer quasi-euro village feel to them.

What's the difference between San Jose and yogurt?
Yogurt has an active culture.
San Jose has always lived in the shadow of San Francisco.
Take this perspective : every major seaport in the world is steeped in history and culture that is more attractive than it's younger sister cities.

San Jose isn't really a destination for tourism. Use it as a starting point to see SF - if SF is your goal. Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, etc. are great areas to the South. SF, Sausalito, Marin, etc. are great areas to the North.

Let us all know if you have specific questions.

NYgirl Oct 29th, 2004 11:03 AM

Thanks so much for the help!

I didn't realize Carmel was so close. Would anyone be able to recommend a moderate, but decent hotel/Inn in the area. At least we wouldn't have to deal with th SF hotel strike.


SAB Oct 29th, 2004 11:16 AM

There are hundreds of hotels in SF that are not involved in any labor dispute-only 14 hotels are. Unless you have your heart set at staying in one of these 14, there is no "hotel strike" to "deal with". These are the 14 hotels: Argent Hotel, the Crowne Plaza Union Square, the Hilton, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins,Fairmont, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Holiday Inn Civic Center, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fisherman's Wharf, Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf, Palace, Hyatt Regency, Omni and Westin St. Francis. BTW except for the Argent, these are all large, non boutique hotels.

TripleSecDelay Oct 29th, 2004 11:17 AM

My first recommendation is to post a separate question for this...

My second is the Carmel Valley Ranch. However, I must say that it has been 4 years since we were there last, and I wouldn't feel comfortable with this recommendation.

NYgirl Oct 29th, 2004 11:32 AM

Ok, that's good. Didn't realize the strike wasn't city-wide. The strike in the Atlantic City hotels is messing everything up, and I didn't want the hassle that they seem to be having.

I'll repost the Carmel question. Thanks again.

Bob1 Nov 1st, 2004 03:59 PM

NYGirl: I live in the Bay Area.

I would fly into San Jose and drive to the Monterey Peninsula...Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove. You will have a great time! The drive from the SJ airport to the Monterey Peninsula is about 1 hour and 30 minutes...probably less than that. Take 880 south from the airport till it changes to HWY 1 and head south to the peninsula.

Check out for a list of hotel and bed and breakfast places in Pacific Grove. The GREEN GABLE INN or the SEVEN GABLES are both old Victorian homes that overlook Monterey Bay.

SAN JOSE is not a small town. We are almost 1 million people and the #10 largest city in the US...slightly ahead of Detroit, Michigan. There is plenty to see, but I think a first time visitor would be better served going to Monterey or San Francisco.

kimamom Nov 1st, 2004 04:42 PM

If you go to PG, try to have dinner at either the Old Bath House or the White House. Passionfish is passe, IMO. Not much of anything interesting in San Jose. Explore our gorgeous coast! ***kim***

TripleSecDelay Nov 1st, 2004 09:13 PM

kimamom - another reckless statement by a reprobate hirsute simian.

If you don't know the area intimately, sure, a person could say with ignorance, what you did. However, there's an inside view to be had when considering San Jose itself and the surrounding territories including, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, etc.

Where do you call "home"?

kimamom Nov 2nd, 2004 09:01 AM

NYgirl, I go to Carmel several times a year and was just there last month, we may be going again this week. Check out the website and you will see lots of suggestions for lodging in the area. You simply must visit Carmel, it's such a quaint, unique place. Enjoy CA! ***kim***

KathrynT Nov 5th, 2004 11:28 PM

jsuri - no need to see SF??

Sorry, but there is a reason San Francisco is known worldwide for being a tourist destination. San Jose, while having its amenities, in no way compares with San Francisco.

kimamom Nov 6th, 2004 08:01 AM

Nicely put, Kathryn! ***kim*** :)

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