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What to do in SJ for 3 days?

San Antonio, Texas
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162 posts
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What to do in SJ for 3 days?

Hello. We're planning to rent a car and drive from Oakland airport to SJ for 3 days in Jan (Fri - Sun). Any suggestions on interesting towns or scenic roads that we should take to SJ? We reserved hotel in SJ.

If our flight departs from Oakland airport at noon on Monday, should we plan to drive back to Oakland on the Sunday's night instead of Monday's morning?

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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1. Re: What to do in SJ for 3 days?

Its about a 2 hour drive from San Jose to Monterey. You can drive Highway 101 stopping first at the Gilroy Premium Outlets; then continue down Highway 101 to Monterey and to Carmel. Pt. Lobos is a great place to go for a scenic ocean park.

In San Jose itself, some of the things you might want to think about doing are The Tech Museum (downtown San Jose); visit Santana Row (trendy shopping/restaurant area a few miles from downtown San Jose); and perhaps wine tasting at J. Lohr Winery.

http://www.thetech.org/

http://www.santanarow.com/

http://www.jlohr.com/tasting_main.html

Its fun to visit Palo Alto and Stanford University area (about 45 minute drive from San Jose to Palo Alto.) In addition, you might want to see some of the redwoods areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains. For example, you might want to go to one of the state parks there or go to Roaring Camp.

http://www.roaringcamp.com/

To save the pack/unpack time I'd probably just drive to Oakland Monday morning. Only exception to this would be if you plan to spend Sunday night in San Francisco for the evening and then drive (reverse commute) to Oakland Airport.

In terms of driving from Oakland to San Jose itself, you might want to take about a 2 hour drive and first go out to Livermore Valley for wine tasting if you want to do some local wine tasting while in the area.

http://www.livermorewine.com/

Let us know what specific things you like to do as these suggestions are based on some general things to do....if you have some special things you like to go to such as historic homes; enjoy some local clubs; fine restaurants (lots of good Chinese restaurants for dim sum in San Jose area as well as other fine dining restaurants); it will help us suggest other possibilities.

There are fun things to do....

Have a good trip!

San Antonio, Texas
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162 posts
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2. Re: What to do in SJ for 3 days?

We're interested in scenic drives, beaches, parks, victorian houses, ...

but not museums, churchs, local pubs. Thanks in advance.

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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3. Re: What to do in SJ for 3 days?

If you decide to visit Monterey, I'd suggest that you take 880 S out of San Jose. This becomes 17 S, a lovely scenic (and somewhat winding) road that goes through the redwoods to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz, you'll pick up Highway 1 South to Monterey. This will take you about 1.5 hours. If you take 101, as Mini suggested, it'll take only an hour and a quarter--it's about 70 miles from San Jose to Monterey. From 101, take 156 West (not 156 East, which you come to about 5 miles before 156 West) to the Monterey Peninsula. After about 5 miles, 156 West feeds directly into 1 South. The Monterey Aquarium is wonderful.

You might also enjoy visiting Los Gatos, which is just south of San Jose (again, take 880 S/17 S) and follow the signs for Los Gatos. It's a charming little village with shops and restaurants set in the foothills.

Working backward from your noon flight--you'll probably want to be at the airport by, say, 10:45. The drive from San Jose on 880 N, without traffic, should take no more than an hour, probably less. If you leave San Jose by 9:30, you should be fine, especially since you'll have missed most of the morning traffic. However, you should plan for the unexpected--unusually heavy traffic, an accident slowing things down, etc. If you're like me and can't stand the thought of being late, then leaving San Jose by 9 or 9:15 would make sense. Either way, you'll still have time for breakfast in San Jose and shouldn't feel rushed.