… well I do! Now I have been there and got the tee-shirt with Visit California on their travel agent Super Fam Trip! San Jose is in the heart of Silicon Valley, an excellent hub to explore the surrounding areas. I started at The Tech Interactive – it’s a science and technology museum and a great place for families – lots of hands-on activities which challenge your creativity and your problem solving ability. Another great place is Winchester Mystery House – one of America’s most haunted houses and well worth a visit if you’re not too scared! Widowed Sarah Winchester moved here after the death of her baby and husband. The house is full of bizarre designs, weird staircases which lead to nowhere and doorways that open to several storey drops!

 

I would recommend hiring a car to enjoy this holiday. Just a 3 hour drive from the city is the stunning scenery of South Lake Tahoe. I’d also recommend the Rainbow Trail – a short half mile walk and lots of fresh air. Whilst I was there it was the Fall Fish Festival where the migration of the Kokanee salmon had just started. You cannot fish here but there are plenty of other places you can fish, if you buy a permit. I continued to Emerald Bay and another half a mile hike to the lake with stunning views all around me. I tried my hand at sport fishing. First I tried ‘trolling’ a method of fixing lines to the back of a slow moving boat, then I tried ‘drifting’ you simply drop the line to the bottom of the lake with weights – and let your boat drift! We achieved team success, and my one salmon was later cooked and served as a starter at dinner. Another unique experience I tried on the lake and would thoroughly recommend was in a transparent kayak exploring the shoreline and coves with views up to 75feet below the surface. The kayak is totally see through so you have clear views of the water and life beneath you.

105 miles from Lake Tahoe is the city of Sacramento, known as the Farm to Fork capital – this is all about using local farms and produce to supply local restaurants. They are passionate about their agricultural surroundings and all their dishes reflect this. Sacramento is interesting too, the State Capitol Building, where state laws are passed, is an architectural delight, with its galleries showcasing governors of California including Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was very pleasant to wander through the grounds filled with trees donated from around the world. I also visited the State Railroad Museum and enjoyed exploring the quirky shops after a quick coffee stop here.

En-route to my final stop of San Francisco, I visited the Vacaville Premium Outlets for some retail therapy! And then a fun tour of the Jelly Belly Factory, colourful and aromatic, but, would you like to try flavours like bacon, stinky socks, lawn clippings and dead fish?! More popular are buttered popcorn, cherry and Dr Pepper (much more my style).

San Francisco Oracle Park is the home of baseball team San Francisco Giants. Take a look at the tribute to the players on the Wall of Fame and tour the grounds. I did a novel sightseeing tour of the city by ‘road cable car’, which is simply a cable car on wheels! I saw the city sights and the city neighbourhoods with a guide providing the narrative. Don’t miss Golden Gate Bridge, add an extra day to your stay here if you can as the view is often shrouded in fog!

I would recommend at least 2 weeks to explore and relax for an itinerary similar to mine, no rush at all!

Meet me in the gallery and I’ll tell you lots more!