My native/home state of California has many wonderful and scenic drives. The most famous of these is probably the drive along the 1 highway from southern California to Northern California, or vice-versa. Another lesser known, but equally lovely drive is from San Jose up to San Francisco. On the way, you can stop at some amazing gems before finishing up in San Francisco. So let’s have a look at some of the places you can go!
Starting in this beautiful place, the first place you should visit is the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. The five and a half acres of 189 varieties of rose means that this little paradise is a wonderful place to stop and smell the roses (literally). For a place to sit back, relax, enjoy the sunshine and take in the beauty of flowers in their prettiest form this is a great place to go. From there, to keep the rustic nature theme you could head to the San Pedro Square market where all the food comes straight from nearby farms. And if you’re after some delectable dishes, there are plenty of eateries available as well as plenty of live music to make sure that you lap up the ambiance (while you lap up the remnants of your delicious local wine).
Not just a hot bed for Silicon Valley technical geeks, Palo Alto is one of the most cultured places in California, and while you can see Google, Facebook and Stanford University up close, there are also plenty of sites to feast your eyes on, such as St Thomas Aquinas Church. The Baylands Nature Preserve is a great place to go hiking and observe marine life and wildlife in its natural habitat in the San Francisco region. Palo Alto also boasts plenty of luxurious accommodation which offers these great views of the whole of the city of Palo Alto, as well as excellent access to Stanford University. Have a look at nestpaloalto.com for a bit more information on the hotels as well as the wonderful views. The Nest Palo Alto hotel is also not far from the Stanford shopping center which boasts over 140 stores.
Once you’ve made your trip up from San Jose stopping over in Palo Alto, you can make your way to the final stop in this mini road trip, into the wide-ranging culture that San Francisco offers. If you’re a food buff, there is tons of delicious food like dumplings from Yank Sing (enjoy the experience of ordering dim sum in a bustling restaurant environment!) Of course, we couldn’t mention San Francisco without the cable cars, and if you’ve never been to San Francisco before you need to experience the streets of San Francisco while hanging from the side of these historical relics of the pre-automotive age! If you are feeling especially brave you can take a tour of the prison Alcatraz at night and learn about the notorious inmates like George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Robert “The Birdman” Stroud, and, of course, Al Capone, which you can find on alcatrazcruises.com. While Alcatraz can evoke eerie feelings at any time of day, it’s at night where you get the full effect, which is bolstered by an audio tour narrated by former prisoners and guards.
San Jose to San Francisco is merely part of the story of California, so take some time to enjoy the wonderful sunshine state while you can!