Showing posts with label san jose tourism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose tourism. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2020

New San Jose Landmark Proposals!

After years of planning, we finally have an opportunity to make an internationally recognized landmark for San Jose! Urban Confluence Silicon Valley has collected hundreds of idea submissions from around the globe for an iconic landmark that incorporates modern technology, history, art, architecture, engineering, and place-making. These came from architects, artists, urban planners, and development enthusiasts from 72 different countries across 6 continents.

The next step is to choose three finalists that will each receive $150,000 to refine and re-develop their concept. After that a single winner will be chosen around April 2021 and fundraising would begin for what could be a $100 million+ project next to the SAP Center on the Arena Green.

I've gone through all 960 submissions, and some are truly epic. Below are images of my personal favorites. I love so many of these, but my vote would go to the Infinity Ring at the end (check out the video). It looks amazing despite the 200ft height restriction, you can walk inside it to cross the river while getting a view of San Jose, and it can do some impressive lighting effects than amplify it's coolness. Which is your favorite?

List of Top Submissions
List of all Submissions

The Ring

Ode To Nature

The Statue of Innovation

The Bulb

Urban Spiral

The Caterpillar

Super Natural Skypark

San Jose

Kinetic Obelisk

Land Lux

The Guadaloop

The Infinity Ring

Monday, April 13, 2020

San Jose needs to rethink tourism strategy

Let's be honest: if someone flies into the Bay Area from out of the country for leisure purposes, they're probably not dying to check out San Jose. They're much more likely to spend their time in San Francisco, or maybe spend the weekend up in Napa. Next stop is probably LA. Each of these areas has a little different to offer, but one thing they all share is that there is an established history that tourists find fascinating. San Jose, on the other hand, makes most of its tourism money from hosting large-scale events, not organic local attractions.

San Jose has a fair amount of history, but very little tourist attention. In fact, I'd wager that the average San Jose doesn't even find local history interesting. They're probably familiar with the Winchester Mystery House, and some may even mention the tower on Mt. Umunhum. Would they take a visiting friend to either of these places? They'd probably take the friend to SF.

Meanwhile, organizations like PAC*SJ have fought to preserve potential historical landmarks around the city. Why aren't we seeing any changes to how these buildings fit into people's mindshare, local or otherwise? I think it's because it's the wrong approach, at least in isolation.

Preservation alone will not promote city history. People need a story

If you've heard locals complain about how boring San Jose is, or how there's a lack of culture, chances are they're referring to a way of life and customs. The same locals would look at some of the historical buildings around St. James Park, for example, and their opinion would remain unchanged. That's because the existence of the landmark can only go so far; there needs to be stories that function as a vehicle into people's minds and hearts before there is any semblance of meaning. 

This is why, although I strongly value history myself (and it's one of my most fulfilling parts of international travel), I find the city's general approach a bit lacking. I'm not specifically calling out any department at the city, just the holistic approach I observe as a local. There are plenty old buildings around, but unless there is meaning behind them, I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that they need to be preserved in place. 

History Park - untapped potential

One thing the city has done right is move historical buildings into History Park. These buildings form a small town within the park, and at first sight is fairly interesting to look at. There's a trolley that runs through it, which is pretty cool.

History Park At Kelley Park (Peter Bennett)
The problem is that most folks only visit the park when there's another event hosted there--food festivals, conventions, and galleries. There is very little standalone appeal, but it looks like it's basically San Jose Disneyland. I think this park needs to be leveraged as the the place to go to experience history in the south bay. Every school should be organizing field trips here, if not already. It should be a good way to spend a day with the family. 

Replica light tower at History Park (
Here are some ideas:
  • Don't keep the park free. Charge an entrance fee if that's what it'll take to fund a better experience.
  • Group buildings either by neighborhood or by era, complete with roads and lamp posts to match. This makes the town feel more cohesive rather than a random assortment of buildings.
  • Each interior is treated as a stationary gallery, complete with historical furnishing (for viewing purposes only). This is already happening to an extent, but I think you need a tour to experience them. I might be wrong.
  • There should be some permanent references to historically significant moments related to San Jose. For example, there should at least be mention of Tommie Smith and John Carlos' Olympic moment.
  • Ideally, some national brands and franchises that started locally could lend a hand. I'd love to see how Chuck E Cheeses started, or what inspired Eggo waffles.
  • There should be a major festival every year on April 08 (4.08) complete with performances near the electric tower.
I'd actually prefer to leave Silicon Valley history out of History Park, since that story is still evolving and may be a better fit elsewhere. That's a post for another time.

Iconic neon business signs: better together

I love neon signs. When done right, they are so easily recognizable from a distance. They add color to our streets. Over time, they creation an emotional connection with locals who see the businesses (or at least the designs) as a part of daily life. Unfortunately we're past the glory days of neon signs, but San Jose has a cluster of these from past decades. A lot of the time, the business no longer exists. Nonetheless, there needs to be some purpose designed for these signs after they are properly restored.

San Jose's iconic Dancing Pig sign restored to neon glory
Dancing Pig sign (Mercury News)

In one example, the community pitched in to save and restore the Dancing Pig sign on Montgomery Street. It was a celebratory moment when the campaign succeeded, but what happens next? What's the purpose of preserving the sign in-place if the business no longer exists, and the entire surrounding area is prime for redevelopment? One approach is to use it as a way to protest redevelopment. A much better approach, in my opinion, is to use the sign to bring joy to many more people via a new city-maintained public gallery of neon signs.

Similar to how History Park has accumulated historical buildings, I think there's an opportunity to create a memorable visual experience if San Jose can bring signs like the Dancing Pig, Western Appliance, Orchard Supply Hardware, into a central location where can all be maintained and enjoyed together. Locals can visit the signs to reminisce or for a recognizable local photo opportunity. Tourists can get a glimpse at what downtown/midtown used to feel like. 

Where might we put these? 
  • Again, History Park is a candidate as a go-to spot for revisiting the past of our city. 
  • Another option is to use them to bring character and design to a public gathering space, such as a vibrant alleyway or a plaza. 
  • Even an existing popular destination like the San Pedro Square garage could use them to boost the existent history elements of the venue. In fact the block still has a few active neon signs, so it might be a perfect it.
  • The signs can be distributed to give blander sections of downtown a bit more personality. For example, each downtown parking garage can be adorned with one of the signs. Imagine parking in the "Dancing Pigs parking garage" instead of the 3rd St. parking garage".
  • An upcoming development can incorporate the signs in their ceiling, similar to how The Pierce adopted the Voxel Cloud.

Create new local tourism destinations for the modern age

History is not the only way to attract local and broader tourism. There's a lot that San Jose can do in order to create new destinations. That's not exactly a revolutionary idea, so let's start with what I think is working.

What's working


Over the last five years or so, the city has really stepped up to encourage public facing art. Participation in Pow Wow has added a lot of color throughout the city. Meanwhile, collaborations with local art collectives such as Local Color has turned some downtown eyesores into sources of joy and inspiration. From experience I see plenty of locals lauding the increase in local murals, so this is a great, relatively recent movement that has shown great success.

Guest urban installations

Two very prominent projects made their way to downtown San Jose in the past few years, and they both demonstrated how hungry local crowds were for unifying projects that enhanced place making efforts.

2016 8-4 Musical Swings Opening-4-low-res.jpg
The Swings in San Jose (

The first example is from 2016. The Swings was an interactive art piece by a Canadian art studio that consisted of swings that were each assigned an instrument. As people swung, their swings' "instruments" played, creating a full musical experience as more folks joined in. The gallery was so popular that the month-long installation ended up being extended. Locals also observed that it turned Plaza de Cesar Chavez into a truly family-oriented space. Every kid wanted to be a part of it, and parents could enjoy the results of the piece as their kids played.

Sonic Runway Unveiling Draws Big Crowds to San Jose City Hall ...
Sonic Runway in front of City Hall (San Jose Inside)

Another popular art piece was brought over from Burning Man - the Sonic Runway. The project consisted of a tunnel built out of LED rings that created different patterns depending on the music fed into it. It was a major hit, as folks from all ages, backgrounds, music preferences all came out to experience it. A few events were coordinated adjacent to it, temporarily turning City Hall into the best gathering spot over the span of a couple of months.

Even better, it enabled the community to create their own artwork. One that pops in mind is the corgi photo that reappears now and then on Reddit and Twitter. That's the kind of inspiration that the city needs to focus on, as that's what turns something from just artwork in itself into a phenomenon that locals can feel like they own, even if the project was imported. 

Can you imagine if the project was created locally and it inspired locals? That's how you create the culture that folks so desperately yearn.

What we need

Social media friendly museums

This part is going to be more controversial. I am a fan of our existing downtown museums, from the San Jose Museum of Art to the Tech Museum (which will hopefully be expanded in the near future). We also have a list of local art galleries that provide great experiences, especially during arts-focused events such as South First Fridays. We don't need to change these at all; they tend to be though provoking, quality experiences.

What I'm referring to specifically is the type of museum that can double as a casual date or family outing. Places like Color Factory or Happy Place are not cheap, but they are tightly controlled environments that provide a very obvious escape from the "real world". Most would take this to mean a photo opportunity for Instagram, but it's also something that anyone can really go and enjoy if they need a change in scenery.

Misty bubbles gallery (New Spring)

Today, anyone looking for this category of casual entertainment would need to go to San Francisco, which is another example of leaked local tourism. It's not exactly the city's decision to open these locations, but it should take a hard look at why San Jose is not considered a desirable landing spot for them. 

An iconic San Jose public art piece

This one is sort of in progress, as Urban Confluence has launched an international design competition for a landmark to be located on Arena Green. Since we have nothing material to go on, however, it's important to consider what we'd like to see.

Iconic public art work does not necessarily need to fulfill a specific purpose. In this case, the uniqueness in itself is supposed to be the story. In other words, even with minimal context, it should still be something that folks can appreciate. 
  • Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) in Chicago: result of a design competition
  • Urban Light in Los Angeles: started as a personal project, eventually purchased by Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Charging Bull in New York: Another personal artwork that ended up becoming a symbol of Wall Street

We'll need to see what the design competition yields. Ideally it can draw inspiration from its surroundings or the city in general; it won't hurt to add layers to the project.

Focus on locals first, and be forward-thinking

Becoming a destination will take time. One mistake I'd hate to see the city make is to focus too much on international and out-of-state travelers, rather than spend time analyzing leakage of local tourism. How can San Jose convince south bay residents and other Bay Area locals to visit San Jose over the weekend with purpose? 

Until the city can figure out how to shed the "San Jose is boring" label by locals, there is going to be very little hope for broader appeal. Once this local leakage has been addressed, and locals know where to take visitors on any random weekend, then the tourism appeal will slowly grow from there. 

We don't have the picturesque historical structures other cities have which  provide natural tourist appeal. That doesn't mean tourism appeal is doomed, but we can build up from here. San Jose will need to think about where it wants to be in ten years or twenty years. 

After all, everything historical needs a starting point, and what's been built in the past half century has not worked. It's time to rethink how to build for the future.

-Lawrence Lui

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The 7 Wonders of the San Jose World

Searchlight San Jose has a great post about the most interesting "wonders" of San Jose. Number one is obvious and pictured below, I have yet to visit number two, there is a great movie about number three, number four is surrounded by delicious food stalls, number five is the only place in San Jose where you can find snow each year, number six is our most colorful park, number seven is a famous museum, and there is a bonus eight that will make you laugh (or cry).

Click here to find out what the 7 Wonders of the San Jose World are.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

San Jose has fastest growth in international visitors to US cities

Of the 40 US cities attracting the most overseas visitors, San Jose was the fastest growing. We had 611,000 international visitors in 2017, which is a 25% increase from 2016. Note that these do not include visitors from Canada and Mexico. This compares to a nationwide increase of only 0.7% over the same period. That makes us the 19th metro in the US for international tourism.

San Francisco comes in 5th nationally with 3.4 million international visitors, but they actually saw a decline of 3.6% in the same period.

International visitors have a major impact on the economy measured in the thousands of dollars per single visitor. In fact, one full international flight can contribute a million dollars to the San Jose economy. While we do not rank very highly overall right now in terms of international visitors, the fact that the number is growing rapidly is a good sign.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

More info on the new San Jose Light Tower

The campaign to build a new iconic Light Tower in San Jose is still going strong. This would be a re-imagining of the innovative 237 foot-tall Light Tower that was built Downtown in 1881 and some believe inspired the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The team behind the tower is now raising $1.25 million to fund site selection and host a design competition later this year.

The location was original targeted for Plaza de Cesar Chavez, but there are now several other possible locations including:

  • St. James Park
  • Guadalupe River Park - Discovery Meadow
  • Guadalupe River Park - Arena Green
  • Diridon Station

Plaza de Cesar Chavez actually offers the least amount of space for the tower, which could include all sorts of tourist amenities ranging from cafes and gift shops to an observation deck. If everything goes according to plan, it could open as soon as 2022.

The best part is that the tower will not burden San Jose tax payers--it would be the single largest gift the city of San Jose has ever received.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Team San Jose hits refresh with a new website and logo

Partnership with SVCREATES Provides Silicon Valley Arts Organizations and Local Businesses One Event Resource

SAN JOSÉ, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2018) – Team San Jose recently launched a new website in partnership with SVCREATES leading as an event based platform focused on promoting the City of San José to locals and visitors. As part of the website launch, Team San Jose has also announced that it will move ahead with a new consumer brand as Visit San José.

In addition to promoting the McEnery Convention Center to potential clients, the website will serve as an outlet where local storytellers can share their favorite aspects of San José. The new platform includes refreshed content and images, custom engagement and increased focus on mobile users seeking up to the minute information.

“Our new website has been improved to capture moment-in-time searches by leading with a mobile friendly platform,” said Karolyn Kirchgesler, Team San Jose CEO. “As stewards of the convention center, four historic theaters and representatives of our community partners, Team San José is committed to driving economic development for San José and we’re proud to represent the destination with a new look and feel.”

As part of the new website, Team San Jose partnered with SVCREATES to develop a unified events calendar where arts organizations can promote their events to local and visiting audiences.

“SVCREATES is pleased to merge our LIVESV event platform with the new to provide a more robust calendar for arts groups and potential arts audiences,” said Alexandra Urbanowski, SVCREATES Director of Strategic Initiatives.  The new will fill an important role in our community. Our thanks to Team San Jose for recognizing the importance of our creative community to visitors and residents alike, and for spearheading this critical platform update.”

In addition to the new website, Team San Jose has unveiled a new consumer brand, an adaptation of the City of San José’s Office of Economic Development ‘San José’ identity project. Visit San José now becomes Team San Jose’s official consumer facing brand, which will be used to promote the destination at convention functions, client events and throughout the travel industry.

“The Office of Economic Development and Team San Jose share the goal of improving the look, feel, and voice of communications from our city,” said San José Director of Economic Development Kim Walesh. “Our identity initiative is being shared with partners so that our communications consistently reflect our authentic, amazing city.”


About Team San Jose
Team San José (TSJ) is an innovative partnership unifying the San José Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience. TSJ manages the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, California Theatre, Center for the Performing Arts, City National Civic, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, and South Hall. For more information, visit

SVCreates is a network of leaders who care about the cultural and aesthetic quality of life in Silicon Valley. We are conveners, promoters, incubators, and investors in Silicon Valley’s creative ecosystem. Our mission is to accelerate Silicon Valley’s creative culture. We build the creative sector’s capacity, raise the value and visibility of the creative sector, and increase access to arts and creativity.

About San José Office of Economic Development
The San José Office of Economic Development is committed to a vital, competitive San José economy that increases prosperity for people and companies. OED guides the city's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, connects employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, go to

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


As San Jose's prestige continues to rise, so does the quality of our promotional videos. Visit San Jose has produced what I think is the best promo video of our city to date. Click here for the full resolution version.

Huge thanks to Vianka Villanueva for sending this in!

Friday, July 7, 2017

San Jose Beer & Wine Tours

It is amazing how many great wineries and breweries we have within a 30 mile radius of San Jose. One of the best ways to experience these places right in our backyard is with a tour led by a knowledgeable designated driver. I just came across Tommy John's which specializes in both wine and beer tours.

The beer tours caught my eye since most of them are located in San Jose proper. Potential tour stops include Hermitage Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Strike Brewing Co. and Warehouse Tap Room, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Rabbits Foot Meadery, Golden State Brewery, Taplands, and JP Das Brew Tasting Room. Each tour features four different stops with multiple tastings at each one, behind-the-scenes tours, a picnic boxed lunch, snacks, refreshments on the bus, and discounts for "souvenirs" to take home and drink later. The epic 5.5 hour tour runs Wednesday through Sunday and costs $139 per person. It isn't cheap, but sounds like a worthy excursion for beer lovers.

Their wine tours are similar four-stop excursions that last 5 to 6.5 hours and feature as many as 23 (!) varietals to try. The wineries are mostly centered around Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, providing scenic drives to compliment the tastings. The wine tours range from $149-189 per person and include the tastings, lunch, and snacks.

For more information and to see all of their tours, head over to the Tommy John's website.

Monday, September 19, 2016

San Jose Brew Bike

With so many great beer options in Downtown San Jose, it's surprising we didn't get one of these sooner. San Jose Brew Bike is essentially a giant bike that takes you and up to 14 friends on a tour of San Jose's top beer hotspots. Don't worry, the person steering does not partake in the tastings.

The standard two hour tour will stop at three different establishments and stay for 30 minutes at each stop. The extended tours allow for a fourth or even a fifth stop. Tours begin and end at 286 West San Fernando Street (next to Adobe).

The cost is $25/person from Sunday-Thursday and $30/person on Friday-Saturday. This includes a designated tour guide, bottles of water, and discounts at each stop. You do have to be 21 and over.

For more info and to book a tour, head over to the San Jose Brew Bike website.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Skinny Towers

Towers do not always have to consist of residential, offices, or hotel rooms. Many cities around the world have towers that exist solely as a landmark or tourist attraction. They do not always require a lot of space and can have a minimal (and usually beneficial) impact on the skyline.

Brighton (UK) is building a 531 foot-tall "skinny tower" that is only 13 feet wide called the Brighton i360. Once completed later this summer it will be the world's tallest moving observation tower. Given the tiny footprint of a tower like this, it could be located pretty much anywhere.

Since Downtown San Jose is burdened by height limitations, it would make sense to locate something like this just outside of Downtown. Somewhere in the Santana Row / Winchester Mystery House area or in Kelly Park would be ideal since tourists are already visiting those locations and they would provide amazing 360 degree views of the valley.

A tower like this looks extremely expensive but the cost is around $60 million at 531 feet. Levi's Stadium was more expensive than 20 of these and a shorter tower would be even less expensive to build. The cost is actually not that much for a landmark attraction that would help define our skyline.

Source: inhabitat

Saturday, February 20, 2016

San Jose Getaway

Mark Haney from Think Bigger San Jose found a great article that highlights San Jose as a nice getaway destination. You don't see too many of these unfortunately. The Press Democrat article highlights various areas of Downtown San Jose, local museums, cultural institutions, and Santana Row. Read it over here and then forward it to any visitors coming into town!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Downtown San Jose is Getting a Fire Museum!

A few weeks ago the San Jose City Council unanimously approved the sale of the old Fire Station No. 1 at 201 N. Market Street to the San Jose Fire Museum. The museum's backers hope to open the museum by 2020 and show off one of the largest collections of antique fire vehicles and equipment in the country. Currently the collections are in a city warehouse which is not accessible to the public.

The museum officials are now in the process of raising $14 million to renovate, retrofit, and expand the building. If it ends up looking anything like the drawing below, it will be a huge asset to both Downtown and the San Jose Metro. More info in the source link below.

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

23 Things People From San Jose Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Movoto Insider has put together a fun list of San Jose cultural references that locals needs to explain to visitors. Below I put a few of my favorites, but you should really head over to their site and check out the full list.

Let us know how accurate you think the list is as well as any additional San Jose references that should have been included!

1. This Is Sharks Territory

23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: San Jose Sharks Facebook
And if you don’t think so, you might as well just leave San Jose.

11. Yes, The Weather Is Actually That Perfect
23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user jganderson
When your average summer high is 80 degrees, and a January day is 60, it’s hard to complain about the weather.

12. But Somehow They Manage To Find Something To Complain About

23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Tumblr user imabitloony
It doesn’t matter how perfect the weather is, a 60-degree day will still have everyone pulling out their winter coats.

14. The Single Barrel Is The Best Way To Get Drinks In Style
23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: singlebarrel Facebook/Chris Loves Photo
Ever wanted to drink at a speakeasy-style saloon where all the bartenders have on their best 1920s garb? So does everyone from San Jose.

15. The Winchester Mystery House Is Actually As Awesome As Everyone Says

23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Source: Flickr user nerdcoregirl
If you’ve ever wondered what the most haphazard construction in the world looked like, you’ll find the answer in this historic house. The still unfinished mansion is full of strange hallways, hidden rooms, and supposedly various ghosts.

23. Don’t You Dare Call It A Suburb

23 Things People From San Jose Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners
Unless you really really want to annoy a San Jose local. Come on! It’s the third largest city in California!

Check out the rest of the list here: Movoto Insider

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bringing and International Design Competition to San Jose

I've been meaning to plug this article for quite some time. Mark has a great suggestion over at Think Bigger San Jose on bringing an international design competition to San Jose. We need to encourage less generic/bland architectural designs and try to acquire landmark pieces that will make the city more unique and inspire others to do even better. I especially like the idea of having the competition in St. James Park as a way to help revitalize it. Read the article over here and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Think Bigger San Jose Moved + Mixed-Use Hotel Condo Proposal

One of my favorite blogs is getting a face-lift and a new URL. Think Bigger San Jose is moving from to

The first post on the new site is a suggestion for Sobrato to build a mixed-use hotel condo on the giant parking lot he owns at the corner of Market and San Carlos. This is a high-potential Downtown development space across the street from the Convention Center, Plaza de Cesar Chavez, and the burgeoning SoFA district.

A hotel condo allows people to purchase rooms and suites, and rent them out as hotel rooms when not in use. It's an ownership models that simply does not exist in Silicon Valley, but is popular in tourist destinations such as Las Vegas. These are often used as vacation homes or secondary homes, which would make a lot of sense for business travelers that live in tech centers around the globe but have to spend quite a bit of time in Silicon Valley each year. Typically these are built by luxury hotel operators--and having another Fairmont-caliber hotel would go a long way Downtown.

Anyway, its a great blog post and you should check it out right over here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Silicon Valley Roots & Shoots

I just learned about a great app called Silicon Valley Roots & Shoots. It's an insider's guide to Silicon Valley and lets you create your own Silicon Valley tour focused around the people and places that made this region the tech epicenter it is today. The app was created by David A. Laws, a 40-year veteran o Silicon Valley that has worked his way up from being a junior engineer to an executive at semiconductor companies such as Fairchild, AMD, and Altera. Currently he is a consultant and semiconductor curator at the Computer History Museum.

Some of the key attractions featured in the app are the birthplaces of:

  • Computer Chips
  • Video Games
  • Disk Drives
  • Video Recorders
  • Ethernet
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • HP

It also has a comprehensive list of local landmarks, museums, companies, educational institutions and restaurants that comprise the historical fabric of Silicon Valley. I even found a few places that I had no idea existed. Everything is very well organized and the app makes it easy to hit up multiple places in a single area or city.

The Silicon Valley Roots & Shoots app is available for both Android and iOS, and only costs $2-3. You can find more information about it over here.

Silicon Valley Roots & Shoots - screenshot

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Downtown San Jose Walking Tours!

One more step has been taken towards making Downtown a legitimate tourist destination. A group of students have come together under the guidance of Greg Adler--a high school teacher at Santa Teresa--to provide walking tours of Downtown San Jose. The group is called San Jose Walks & Talks and we should do everything we can to support them.

Their signature tour is aptly named Adobe to Adobe. It starts at the Peralta Adobe in the San Pedro Square Market and then goes all the way to the Adobe headquarters and back. The tour takes about an hour and the suggested donation is only $5. The next walk is Saturday, February 16th at 11:30am.

Downtown San Jose is filled with such a rich history that I think you will be surprised at how much you'll learn on these tours.

For more information, check out their website over here or email

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

San Jose Silicon Valley Tours

During my vacation to Europe over the summer, my wife and I would always start out each new city with a double-decker bus tour. This was a great way to familiarize ourselves with the city, learn a little history, and plan out which touristy attractions we wanted to do during our stay. I couldn't help but think to myself that San Jose should have some sort of bus tour highlighting our museums and attractions. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who had this idea.

San Jose Silicon Valley Tours is a new company that will provide 3 different kinds of tours right here in our backyard:

  • The San Jose Tour
    • Narrated three and a half hour trip
    • Stops at Japantown, Peralta Adobe, Fallon Hours, Rosicrucian Museum, Rose Garden, Kelley Park
    • As part of the tour, they'll stop for photo opps and visit at least two museums.
    • $79 per person
  • The Silicon Valley Tour
    • Narrated five and a half hour tour
    • Stops at the headquarters of Google, Facebook, eBay; Stanford, the Palo Alto Garage, Apple company store
    • Tour of the Intel Museum and the Computer History Museum
    • $99 per person
  • Custom Tours

Needless to say, this is a HUGE step towards promoting tourism in San Jose and Silicon Valley. To help support them, here is a link to their tours.

San Jose Silicon Valley Tours