If you're the type who finds San Francisco to be too chilly pretty much every day of the year, you'll be the type who rejoices at the chance to visit San Jose. While it's just a few dozen miles south of North California's most well-known city, San Jose has a vibe all its own – not to mention a temperature that's routinely warmer. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the heart of Silicon Valley, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
If you're in a hurry, or just looking to harken back to the good ol' days, it's worth it to stop by Peggy Sue's. It's widely known for having one of the best burgers in the area, and milkshake aficionados should find themselves satisfied as well. It's reasonably close to the McEnery Convention Center, but not too close; after all, you'll need to walk off whatever you indulge in.
Pizz'a Chicago ranks pretty highly in the area, and while you may wonder why I'd recommend a place that specializes in a dish that's served in the midwest, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation: Chicago's own deep-dish-builders generally stick close to home, making it tough to find similar pies elsewhere in the U.S. (but this gets as close to the real-deal as you can outside of of the Windy City). The atmosphere here is ideal for blowing off steam after a long day of work, and let's be honest: Who doesn't enjoy a good pizza?
Unbeknownst to many, San Jose is actually shockingly close to a section of California that showcases the world's most beautiful trees. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is only a half-hour drive west of downtown, making it well worth your while to grab a rental car. Even if you only have a few extra hours to spare, the drive through is jaw-dropping. Be sure to bring your camera, and perhaps a friend; you'll want a shot of you standing beside some of these earthly giants.
A decade ago, I would've said that only geeks should apply to my next recommendation, but today, both Google and Apple are mainstream enough that I'm pretty sure everyone could appreciate a visit to either headquarters. Both Apple (Cupertino) and Google (Mountain View) have headquarters within a half-hour of San Jose, and if you're interested in getting close to the hive-mind that builds Google Glass and your iPhone, plot a route to visit both. Apple has a company store that's open to the public, offering up merchandise that cannot be purchased anywhere else. Go on, you know you want to visit the mothership!
When there's a place called A Perfect Finish, how could you go wrong? Just a few blocks from the convention hall sits this wine and dessert bar, which has an enjoyably quiet atmosphere and actually offers quite a few food menu items for those in your party who aren't drinking.
This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?