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Know Your Way in San Jose

Rent a Passenger Van in San Jose to See the Sights

San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley, providing the world with the latest innovations in technology. The home of Apple, Google and other tech giants, San Jose is a cutting edge city in Californias Bay Area. But San Jose is more than just the tech industry. With rich history, a beautiful natural landscape, and artisanal dining options, San Jose is a gem of a vacation destination.

Lets Get Logistical

Part of the larger Bay Area, San Jose is known for its mild weather. Nice and temperate, San Joses winters hover in the mid fifties, with its summers averaging a pleasant 70 degrees. No matter the season, San Jose provides a respite from the more extreme temperatures of other parts of the country. Though it occasionally rains, San Jose is known for being less dreary than its northern neighbor, San Francisco.

But where to stay? Downtown San Jose is a popular choice for its central location and easy access to Little Italy, Japan Town and other cool neighborhoods. Those wanting to stay closer to the water might want to consider booking a hotel a little further out of town, just north of Santa Clarita.

San Jose is one of the many of cities that make up the metropolitan area known as The Bay, so a passenger van rental in San Jose from Airport Van Rental might be your best bet to fully explore the surrounding cities.

The Eerie and the Bizarre

The top tourist attraction in San Jose is the Winchester Mystery House. Sara Winchester, the eccentric heir to the Winchester Rifle Company, infamously built the sprawling 1800s style mansion. With 160 rooms, staircases that go down seven steps, then up eleven, and secret passageways, the Winchester House is a baffling and fascinating place to visit.

When her husband and daughter died, Sara Winchester fell into a deep depression and turned to a spiritual medium for guidance. The medium told her that she was being haunted by all of the ghosts of the people who had been killed by her familys rifles, and instructed her to build an enormous house to appease them.

Winchester used her millions to build the Winchester House, whose bizarre architectural features were designed to confuse any spirits seeking to harm her. Construction of the house continued until her death. Situated on a 161-acre estate, the Winchester Mystery House continues to befuddle and delight visitors to this day.

The house is rumored to still be haunted, but both believers and non-believers will enjoy the fascinating and strange choices of the reclusive millionaire. Learn about the house and its mysterious creator with a guided tour of the Winchester House, but be careful to stick with your tour group, wandering visitors may find themselves hopelessly lost in Sara Winchesters labyrinth.

Mansion hours vary seasonally, check online to reserve your tickets.

Flower Power

Another great tourist attraction in San Jose is the Municipal Rose Garden. Located west of downtown, load your party into your passenger van rental in San Jose and take a short drive to see the rare and unusual selection of flowers at the Municipal Rose Garden. At five and a half acres, the garden is a stunning sight when the roses are in bloom from April to November.

The garden features over 4,000 shrubs of 189 different varieties of roses. Visitors can see the wealth of diversity that exists within the rose family, and enjoy the luscious scents and spectacular colors of the blooming flowers. These arent just your average roses; the All-American Rose Selections, an independent national organization, sends new hybrid varieties to the Municipal Rose Garden for testing before the released into the public.

The park is open to the public from 8 a.m. to an hour past sunset.

A Trip Down The Nile

San Jose hosts an impressive collection of ancient relics at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. Home to the largest collection of Egyptian relics in western North America, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum showcases objects dating back to pre-dynastic times. Visitors love the mummies, sarcophaguses, and hieroglyphic exhibits of the Rosicrucian. Guests can learn more by downloading an mp3 audio tour and taking a self guided tour of the museum.

Besides the exhibitions, the Rosicrucian has a planetarium that presents dazzling star shows daily. Tourists looking for a more hands-on experience will enjoy the museums tomb tours and artifact handling workshops.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends.

Kid Heaven

A great tourist attraction in San Jose for families is the Childrens Discover Museum. This hands-on, interactive museum excels in sparking childrens curiousity. The museum has three stories of engaging play-based exhibitions that let children learn about the world in a fun, creative way. Kids can splash and squirt until their hearts are content in the water room, make giant bubbles in the bubble area, and climb aboard a fire truck.

Junior archeologists can try their hand at excavation at the museums fossil dig pits. With child friendly engineering activities, craft areas, and elaborate pretend play spaces, the Childrens Discover Museum is a utopia for kids.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Inspire to Innovate

Explore what makes Silicon Valley famous with the Tech Museum of Innovation. The museums official mission is to inspire the innovator in everyone; their interactive exhibits are engaging for visitors of all ages.

Visit the BioDesign Lab and tinker with the building blocks of life in order to demystify biotechnology. The Cyber Detectives exhibit teaches visitors the importance of internet security. Tourists can try their hand at building their own robot at the Social Robots Gallery. At the Tech Museum of Innovation, guests experience technological innovations in a hands-on way that is both fun and educational for the whole family. The museum also has an IMAX theater that plays a rotating array of movies.

The Tech Museum of Innovation is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Animal Kingdom

Animal lovers have to make a trip to the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. Families will enjoy seeing classic zoo animals such as jaguars and lemurs, as well as discovering new ones like fossas and capybaras. For visitors that want to get a little closer to the animals, the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo also offers a petting zoo where kids can meet farm animals up close.

Besides the animal attractions, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo also has a theme park component. Featuring a carousel, frog hopper, small roller coaster and other rides, the park is a lot of fun for the under 10 crowd. Families may also want to check out the puppet theater the park offers, which changes shows seasonally.

Zoo hours vary by season; check out their website to plan your visit.

The Great Outdoors

Tourists craving a taste of nature should check out the Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Thirty-three miles outside of the city, pack your hiking gear into your passenger van rental in San Jose and head south to the park.

The Almaden Quicksilver County Park encompasses over 4000 acres of stunning wilderness, and is full of both natural beauty and history. The area was actively mined for 135 years, and was home to 1,800 miners and their families. Traces of this mining history are still visible for curious visitors.

The park covers the majority of the Capitancillos Ridge and has a spectacular wildflower display in the summer months. The park has multiple entry points and can be explored in many different ways. With 37 miles of hiking trails, many visitors venture the park on foot. Horse lovers can take trot along 30 miles of equestrian trails. And with 16 miles of bike trails, Almaden is a great spot for cyclists as well, so be sure to pop some bikes in your passenger van rental in San Jose so you can go for a ride.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

A Zen Setting

Another tourist attraction in San Jose is the Japanese Friendship Garden. Built in 1965, the garden was constructed as symbol of friendship between San Jose, and its sister city, Okayama in Japan. The beautifully groomed garden was modeled after the world famous Korakuen Garden in Okayama.

Take a stroll along the gardens immaculate path and admire the teahouse, painted bridges, and well-groomed plants. A tranquil setting, the Japanese Friendship Garden provides a moment of peace for frazzled tourists rushing from sight to sight. Children and adults alike will enjoy feeding the koi in the pond.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore Wine Country

Taste the famous grapes of Northern California with a tour of one of the wineries in the surrounding area. Get a passenger van rental in San Jose and drive south to visit the notable vineyards just outside of the city. Go to a tasting at Byington Vineyard to sample their Chardonnays and Sauvignons.

People who prefer red wines can try David Bruce Winerys Pinot Noirs. Fine wine and entertainment come together at the historic Mountain Winery, which lets you take in an open-air concert while sampling their Chardonnay.

Treasure Hunting at the Flea Market

Antique lovers will be able to fill their passenger van rental at The San Jose Flea Market. Hunt for treasures amid the hundreds of stalls. The market is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, though it has a more extensive selection of vendors on the weekend. From vintage comic books, to unique jewelry, you never quite know what you will find at the San Jose Flea Market. Food vendors will whip up a tasty meal or snack for shoppers.

Besides the shopping, the market also offers a miniature Ferris wheel, vintage carousel and other rides for families. The farmers market next door is the perfect place to sample farm fresh produce from Californias central valley.

Californias third largest city, there are many tourists attractions in San Jose to entertain the whole family. From flea markets, to gardens, to wineries, to Silicon Valley, San Jose offers something for everyone. Book a passenger van rental in San Jose with Airport Van Rental to begin planning your itinerary for an activity packed vacation.

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