Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to San Jose

September 29, 2012 6:00 AM

Where else can you find the largest concentration of technology expertise in the nation, more than 400 regional wineries and the oldest California state park? Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose is California’s third largest city just 50 minutes south of San Francisco. Discover an emerging arts movement in the SoFA district, catch a fall concert under the stars in a vineyard, camp in a redwood forest or indulge with one of the world’s best hotels.

Getting There

From Los Angeles, San Jose is about a six-hour drive. The most straightforward route is to take 5-North. Depending on which part of San Jose you plan to visit first, adjust the navigation accordingly.


Rosewood Sand Hill Resort
2825 Sand Hill Road

Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 561-1500

Rosewood Hotels are the definition of extraordinary attention to detail. With “see before you die” luxury resorts scattered throughout the globe, see for yourself what it means to set the bar high. Rosewood Sand Hill Resort serves as the gateway to Silicon Valley, just 14 miles north of San Jose and 35 miles south of San Francisco. Think California ranch architecture meets Santa Cruz mountains amongst 16 stunning acres of sweet-smelling gardens. Travel with your pooch and enjoy its Pampered Pet Program for the best in doggie delights. Don’t miss its signature Sense Spa – try the 90-minute Forest Sanctuary treatment inspired by the grounding vigor of the nearby coastal giant redwoods.

Related: Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Half Moon Bay


Billy’s Boston Chowder House
29 E. Main St.

Los Gatos, CA 95030

Just a few minutes from the hustle of the Silicon Valley lies the prestigious, likable town of Los Gatos. Surrounded by lush redwoods, head to downtown Los Gatos for the best dining in a small-town atmosphere. For a taste of traditional Yankee fare, try Billy’s Boston Chowder House for “wicked” New England chowder or English fish & chips. Considered a local favorite, it’s not about sophistication here. The true flair is in the quality and craft.


43 W. San Salvador St.
San Jose, CA
(408) 792-7356

Singlebarrel makes for the perfect excuse to break to San Jose’s urban chic downtown SoFA district while sipping a cocktail – speakeasy style. Forget the soda gun and instead think hand-squeezed juices muddled and stirred as part of the classic cocktail renaissance. Expect notes of jazz, fine cigars and a Prohibition-era vibe. Known as San Jose’s visual arts and entertainment district, don’t miss South First Fridays Art Walk happening every first Friday of the month.

What To Do

The Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Road
Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 741-2822

Nominated as the best small outdoor concert venue in the United States, it’s easy to see why The Mountain Winery should be a bucket list item. Cushioned in the Santa Cruz mountains, just a short 15 miles west of San Jose, picture an historic 12th-century, ivy-covered, Spanish architecture backdrop for an amphitheater under the stars with a famous Concert Summer Series to bring it all to life. Through October 26, sip wine from the source while listening to classic bands like Lynyrd Skynrd, The Go-Gos, George Thorogood & The Destroyers and more. As for the wine, indulge in some of the best estate and reserve varieties crafted in Sonoma County.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
21600 Big Basin Way
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
(831) 338 – 8860

As the oldest state park in California and the largest continuous stand of ancient redwoods south of San Francisco, this park is for both true campers and cozy cabin lovers. Hike one of the 80 trails while admiring the vastness and beauty of 18,000 acres of redwood, mixed conifer and oak forest. For those not equipped with camping gear, check out the Total Camping Package and arrive with four sleeping bags, pots and pans, forks and knives, a cook stove, a lantern, cooler, wood and a bag of ice waiting for you.

Related: Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Bodega Bay

Jessica Blotter has 10 years experience in the advertising industry and is founder of Publicly Loved – at the heart of brands, causes and events. As an author of two regional travel blogs with CBS Local and, she has produced more than 30 published articles covering regional getaway destinations and charitable events. Follow her onTwitter @publiclyloved.

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