Discovering San Jose

On days two and three of my visit to San Jose, Calif. (click here if you missed day one), we discovered first-hand more of the city’s great (and ever-expanding) offerings.

Our morning started out at NASA’s Moffett Field where we rode a Zepplin (now this is German engineering) with Airship Ventures, a new Zepplin tour company.

On the left is the airship landing and to the right is a view from the rear window. This lighter-than-air craft offers tours all over the Bay Area as well as custom charters and group programs.

Following our “flight-seeing tour,” we cruised around San Jose on Segways provided by Segway of Oakland. It’s a great option for groups as it provides an eco-friendly way to discover the city with the flexibility to stop and take a closer look around at the city’s various destinations. If you haven’t tried it, it’s fun and easy—if this accident prone editor can ride one, you can.

We stopped by the San Jose Jazz Fest and it was packed with Jazz enthusiasts of all stripes. We grooved to the soulful beats of the Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Sunday, we took a mysterious tour of the Winchester Mystery House. It is a must see when in San Jose. The curious mansion offers group tours (a whole mile trek through the house and its history) as well as private event space after hours—if you can stand to be in Sarah Winchester’s ever-expanding abode after dark.

We ended our San Jose trip across the street at Santana Row, San Jose’s splashy, pedestrian shopping center. In addition to offering many wearable works of art, the center features several, unique art installations. Above are panels illustrating the phases of the moon on the ceiling of a shopping corridor, and below is a lizard from the fountain in the central plaza. Make their art walk a team-building activity, and combine shopping with a little culture.

Stay tuned to the November issue of Smart Meetings for more info on Silicon Valley.