(BPT) – When winter descends and days become darker, travel to a sun-filled destination can keep your spirits high and ward off winter’s chill. One of the sunniest states in the U.S., California, has long been a beacon to travelers seeking an escape, and perhaps one of its most hidden gems is San Jose.
Located in the Bay Area of California, San Jose may be more renowned as the tech Capital of Silicon Valley — but it’s so much more! Under a blanket of blue skies and incredible weather year-round, San Jose is a city filled with cultural diversity and endless opportunities for adventure and fun. Whether you enjoy hiking picturesque trails, sampling craft brews or learning about California’s rich history, you’ll find something for everyone in San Jose.
Ready to pack your bags for a winter getaway in one of California’s most inventive cities? Check out these five unique attractions, activities and experiences you can have when you book a trip to San Jose.
1. Explore the outdoors
Located in a valley surrounded by picturesque mountains, outdoor lovers will find an array of trails, expansive parks and awe-inspiring vistas just ripe for outdoor adventure. Hike 13 miles of trails at Alum Rock Park, one of California’s oldest municipal parks, and uncover a canyon in the foothills of the Diablo Range. If you’re looking for higher altitude adventures, head over to Castle Rock State Park, located along the Santa Cruz Mountains, just 20 minutes outside San Jose. Here, the famous California Coastal Redwoods, some of the oldest and tallest living trees in the world, will tower above you on a journey that will have you feeling far removed from city life.
2. Immerse in the Bay Area’s history and culture
Founded as the first civic settlement in California in 1777, San Jose originated as a pueblo town and has grown into a modern and technological hotbed as home to more than 6,600 technology companies. Delve into the area’s culture and history by visiting its vast museums, from the San Jose Museum of Art around the corner from Signia by Hilton San Jose, to the contemporary art center Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), and The Computer History Museum to The Tech Interactive. More than two dozen museums invite guests and locals alike to experience the city’s art, culture and influence firsthand.
3. Uncover San Jose’s quirky side
San Jose is also home to the bewildering Winchester Mystery House, where visitors can tour and unlock the secrets of the beautiful but bizarre estate. Under construction 24 hours a day for 36 years to ward off the spirits said to haunt the Winchester family, the home features staircases and doors that lead to nowhere. From the haunts of Winchester, visit the nearby ghost town of Drawbridge, which was incorporated in 1876 but abandoned once it began sinking into the bay’s marshland. And who would have thought San Jose is home to a massive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. (Yes; it even has mummies!)
4. Grab a pint or fancy a flight
After a day of hiking and shopping, you can take in San Jose’s craft beer scene and unwind with a pint or two. Visitors will find several local craft breweries, such as Umunhum Brewing, California’s first co-op brewery that offers several styles of beers, from pale ales to stouts.
San Jose also boasts several vineyards and wineries that have produced award-winning wines. While you enjoy sampling wines, you can also take in stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, home to more than 150 unique wineries, including award-winning Ridge Vineyards, the delightful Testarossa Winery and the historic Mountain Winery.
5. Mix and mingle with locals
Enjoy a comfortable place to see and be seen between adventures at the centrally located Signia by Hilton San Jose, nestled in between the redwood-covered Santa Cruz Mountains and eastern Diablo Range. Here, locals and visitors alike converge at the neighborhood hotel’s AJI Bar and Robata, a destination bar at the heart of the hotel that combines Japanese techniques with Peruvian flavors. The innovative cuisine pairs perfectly with the beverage program featuring creative, unexpected pairings and an expansive Japanese whisky, sake and pisco selection.
A part of the local culture of San Jose, guests can also rest and relax after exciting days exploring with comfortable and quiet accommodations and premium wellness services, including a sauna, fitness classes and facilities.