BY MARIE LODI
When it comes to Northern California, San Jose is usually not the first place that comes to mind, especially compared to the region’s major metropolis, San Francisco. However, just because it’s not as world-famous doesn’t mean you should skip out on what a San Jose vacation has to offer, whether it’s for a quick overnight stint or a more leisurely stay. With tasty restaurants, relaxing resorts, and quirky tourist spots, you’ll find plenty to do in the city.
Plus, the city has a MedMen outpost, so you can stock up on all your favorite cannabis goodies. (If you’re heading there via Monterey, you can also stop by one of MedMen’s newer locations in Seaside).
Forget staying at your typical chain hotel—instead, opt for some digs with character, like the Hayes Mansion. This 100-year-old former private estate is rich in history, and the idyllic setting is perfect for relaxing with an edible or two from MedMen. Rooms feature soaking tubs (so, yes, you should absolutely bring along that CBD bath bomb!) The property also has a heated outdoor pool, dry saunas, an award-winning brunch, and much more, to help you fully relax.
If you’re looking for a Michelin-starred feast and don’t mind blowing your well-earned cash (because your munchies deserve a taste of luxury, after all), book a reservation at Manresa, a luxurious restaurant that really nails thr farm-to-table experience.
Who needs regular ice cream when you can get a puffle cone at Cauldron Ice Cream? This tasty dessert is inspired by egg waffles, a popular Hong Kong street snack, and features liquid nitrogen-churned ice cream that’s artfully formed into the shape of a rose.
One of the strangest stories of our time just might be the unusual tale of Sarah Winchester, the heir to the Winchester rifle and original owner of the Winchester House. She was highly superstitious and built a huge mansion featuring over 160 rooms and 40 bedrooms, doors that lead to nowhere, and staircases that lead into ceilings—all of this to “trick” the ghosts that she believed would haunt her. The house offers different tours, including a “Flashlight Tour” on Friday the 13th. In other words, this is probably the very best (...or worst) place to take an edible before exploring.
If you’ve ever wanted to play a giant version of Monopoly, San Jose is the place to go. This massive iteration of the classic board game, which is located in the city’s Discovery Meadow, was built as part of an exhibition for the San Francisco Landscape and Design Show in 1992. The craziest part? The super-sized game is not just for looks: You can actually rent it to play a game or two. Players are even given oversized playing dice to roll and big token-shape hats to traverse all those properties with...and, per the quirky attraction’s website, can wear jailhouse-inspired outfits for the occasion.