Travel to Silicon Valley, California – Episode 808

categories: USA Travel

Travel to Silicon Valley, California (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the Silicon Valley (Santa Clara Valley) of California and San Jose as the Amateur Traveler talks about his hometown of 38 years.

The Amateur Traveler podcast has been in production for 17 years and I have never done a show on San Jose and the Silicon Valley, even though I have known it was a great place to live for some time. Many people, especially fans of high tech or those who work in high tech already are traveling to Silicon Valley. Here are some of my favorite things to do in and near Santa Clara Valley / The Valley of Hearts Delight / Silicon Valley.

We start in downtown San Jose which has some live theatre options, and two of the best museums in the area: the Tech Interactive Museum and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Other museums of note in the area are the Rosicrucian Museum of Egyptology and the Computer History Museum. 

We can’t talk about visiting San Jose without at least mentioning the quirky and spooky Winchester Mystery House. This house is what you get when you have a lot of superstitions and a lot of money. It has stairways that go nowhere and a sprawling floor plan as the owner was told that she would not die as long as there was the sound of hammers in her house. They lied. She died.

For nightlife, I recommend Santana Row which has a great indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant scene. Also, the smaller downtowns of Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Mountain View have good restaurant scenes. 

This area is known for its variety when it comes to food. It has large Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Vietnamese populations. You could stay for a week and eat a different cuisine for every meal. There is also a growing brewery scene and numerous wineries close by.

The valley is surrounded by mountains and the San Francisco Bay and there are great hikes in every direction. I recommend hikes by the bay at Shoreline Park and Alviso Marina County Park. I also recommend some hikes with views like Fremont Older, Sierra Vista, and Windy Hill Open Space Preserves.

You can take in a football game with the 49ers in Santa Clara or a hockey game with the Sharks in San Jose, but I also recommend a minor league baseball game at the San Jose Giants for affordable family fun. While you are down by the Giant’s stadium you can take the kids to Happy Hollow theme park and zoo or the Japanese Friendship Garden. 

Take a tech tour to visit some of the sites or companies that make this area one of the world-recognized centers of high tech. 

I then lay out a day trip to Santa Cruz to see big redwood trees, beaches, or the Santa Cruz Boardwalk or to Livermore to do some more wine tasting.

With 300 sunny days a year, there is seldom a bad time to visit Silicon Valley.

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Show Notes

Silicon Valley
The Tech Interactive
Children’s Discovery Museum
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Winchester Mystery House
San Jose Sharks
San Francisco 49ers
San Jose Giants
Nightlife in San Jose: Santana Row and the Hotel Valencia
San Pedero Square Market
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Uproar Brewing
Happy Hollow
Japanese Friendship Garden
Santa Clara Mission
Missions of California (with Map) – All 21 California Missions from South to North
Little Kabul Fremont
Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton
Things to do in Milpitas and North San Jose
Big Dog Vineyards
Great America
Raging Waters
Castro Street Mountain View
Saravanaa Bhavan Indian restaurant (Sunnyvale)
Shoreline at Mountain View
Alviso Marina County Park
Computer History Museum
Fremont Older Preserve
Cooper-Garrod Vineyards
Mountain Winery Concerts
8 San Jose Wineries – The Best Wineries in the South Bay
Things to do in Santa Cruz, CA – “Coney Island of the West”
Henry Cowell State Park
Roaring Camp
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
Livermore Valley


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Randy on Travel to Death Valley National Park – Episode 803

Another great episode. A few years ago I spent a week in Death Valley in December which was a great time of year to be there. Pleasant temperatures and very few people. I particularly enjoyed the hike to Darwin Falls (which is actually outside the park).

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Winchester Mystery House photo by Egor Shitikov from Pixabay

Apple “Spaceship” Headquarters Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to Silicon Valley, California – Episode 808”



Hey Chris!
I’ve been listening to AT for 14-15 years or so, very on and off as motherhood and life have gotten in the way, but I just really loved this episode! I feel like I’ve gotten to know you so much better through it and it really makes me want to come check out this area.
I was surprised when I saw the episode title because I was just thinking of the business side of the area, but I guess there is a lot more than meets the eye!
Thanks for hundreds of episodes that I’ve enjoyed!



thanks for info



Love these self-hosted episodes. Please do these more often. 🙂

Chris Christensen


Alex, thanks. I always wonder about these.

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