Family Travel Guide to San Jose, California

It is not a big deal to find San Jose, the highly energetic, sweet town in the heart of the high-tech Silicon Valley in California. Come here to experience the soothing nature escapes, rich history, and significant cultural scene spiced with a surprisingly good kitchen and a vibrant bar scene. 

Since 1777, this place has gone a long way from the old settlement to the ultimate vacation destination and stimulating capital of culture that is a synonym for good entertainment nowadays. You can get an opportunity to talk with hyper-educated people here while enjoying year-round sunshine.

Unique Family Attractions You Can Experience in San Jose

I am pretty sure that you know that, when you go traveling with your children, you need to occupy their attention all the time. Therefore, San Jose is the right choice for your family vacation. Let’s see why this is so.

Tech Museum of innovation

I’m not a fan of technology, but when I come to San Hose, their Tech Museum is the ‘must see’ place in town. Come here and discover all the surprises they keep for you and your kids of every age. If you want to meet a robot drawing your portrait, explore the Space, or to grow your own jellyfish DNA, this is the magic venue for you.

I highly recommend their galleries with special exhibitions such as BioDesign Studio, Cybercrime forensics, synthetic engineering, and my favorite Exploration Gallery where you can learn almost everything about earthquakes. 

If you are lucky or well organized, you may come here when they host one of the fantastic traveling exhibits. It is a fantastic experience for every child. WOW!

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

Explore Happy Hollow within the San Jose ZOO, my favorite amusement park and playground your child will adore. It is surprising how many fun this complex situated in San Jose’s Kelley Park can offer at respectable sixteen acres (6.5 ha). Your children can hang out with more than 150 animals and even feed birds, monkeys, and reptiles.

After driving in a whimsical carousel, descending the slide, and playing in a crooked playhouse, you can spend quality time by exploring the lemur exhibit or laughing during the puppet theater’s performances. When you get hungry, don’t miss nearby Picnic Basket Restaurant and taste the delicious food they provide for complete enjoyment.

Winchester Mystery House

One of the most beloved tourist attractions in the town is Sara Winchester’s home. She was an entirely unusual and weird woman. After she inherited this mansion, she packed its 160 rooms with secret passageways to confuse spirits of the victims killed by Winchester rifles and to save herself of their revenge.

Come here to explore maze-like halls, upside-down columns, and twisting stairways leading to nowhere or to guess if the numerous windows and doors in the house are real or maybe false! Don’t miss the spooky tours they organize on Friday the 13th and come to feel the real Victorian spirit in the December holiday season.

History Park

This park was built on Louise Kelley’s land and offers you a close look at the turbulent history of the town before it got an image of the tech-giant we admire today. This open-air museum is actually a historic square with thirty-two traditional homes (some of them are original, but a few was reproduced) which will step you back into the good, old times.

Stroll through paved streets, visit rotating art exhibits of Pacific Hotel, admire a replica of the Electric Light Tower, and discover the running trolleys people used to use in the past as the only public transportation in the city. Don’t forget to taste the old-fashioned ice cream as well. You can visit this place for free, and enjoy one of the special events they host throughout the year.

Children’s Discovery Museum

While you explore downtown San Jose, take the time to visit the Children’s Discovery Museum, and you won’t regret it. Just look for the giant yellow duck on the roof of the building with the unique lavender exterior, come inside, and discover the wonders waiting for you and your children.

The primary aim of this fantastic place is to encourage kids to learn about our precious world through active participation, play, and exploration. Let your children make giant bubbles by sending plastic balls throughout numerous waterways, learn about Columbian mammoth named Lupe, serve food and ‘eat a rainbow’ at the Rainbow Market, or create corn husk dolls on their own.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

If you are an ancient Egypt lover, visit this lovely, exotic museum and experience all the beauty of the extensive collection of artifacts from this period of human civilization. Pick up your Expedition Passport before starting the real adventure and get a seal in each gallery. Discover what the members of the mystical order Rosae Crucis who founded this place thought considered an authentic Egyptian style. 

It is the place where you can look at genuine mummies while learning about the process of mummification and the obsession of Egyptians with cats. Complete your visit by enjoying the planetarium, walking through impressive museum’s gardens, and exploring a replica of the hidden tomb of King Tut or more than 2,000 other ancient items. Pass through the huge entrance with ram-headed sphinxes and potted papyrus, and discover the whole new, exciting world here. Welcome!

Useful Tips for International Travelers

Unlike others, you, as a citizen of a Visa Waiver Country, don’t need a visa when decide to travel to the US for 90 days or less regardless of the reason for your visit. Thanks to the ‘Visa Waiver Program’ established by the US government in January 2009, you only need to complete the ESTA application, and to prepare a valid credit card and a digital chipped passport. 

The only thing left before you board the ship or plane is to check ESTA online to avoid any possible troubles with bureaucracy. Plus, you should be prepared to fulfill the required specific security features if needed. Bon voyage!

Victoria Brewood
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Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

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