Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
Solo travelers often have San Jose has a destination - after all, San Jose is the tech capital of the world, and tech companies are rife with solo travelers - men and women alike. And while you can satisfy your inner-geek with a visit to the Intel Museum, there are five other places in San Jose that the intrepid solo traveler can experience with the cost of a cheap ticket and a little creative booking for hotels - and have a blast of a time doing it.
First stop - downtown - Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. Regardless of your particular religious leanings, the Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph is a beautiful example of architecture, artwork, and inspiration. Get your inside look here: Photo Gallery. Plan for 30 minutes to an hour, depending if you head into the gift shop.
Second stop - right across the street from the Basilica - the San Jose Museum of Art. If you love 20th and 21st century art - this is the museum of choice in San Jose. The staff is helpful, friendly, and chatty! Plan an hour or two here - depending on your love of art.
Third stop - also walking distance - the The Tech Museum. Currently, there is a Genghis Khan exhibit that walks you through the beginning, end, and legacy of the man and his empire - if you're a history buff, it's worth the price of admission. If you want to dive into the Tech Museum, be prepared for tons of kids and their parents - but it's worth the trip through. Hands on, original exhibits permeate every level - and the gift shop has some of the most unique finds ever.
Fourth stop - you may want to save this for the next day after all the fun in downtown! Head to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. Well worth the price of admission to get to dive into the ancient past of Egypt, the Museum features four galleries, rich with history, artifacts and moments of awe. Don't miss the mummified baboon, cats, and the afterlife exhibit - including the model tomb that takes you into the depths of an ancient Egyptian burial spot.
Fifth stop - last, but certainly not least, the Winchester Mystery House. The Grand Estate Tour gives you the overview and a little more in-depth information about the mansion and its eccentric creator - Sarah Winchester. After having been told by a psychic to never cease building on the house, the heiress ensured that her 24-hour crew of carpenters and builders did just that. They built, and in some cases, re-built 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens - I suppose that's what's you do when you have unlimited funds, a fear of the spirit world, and mourn the losses of your family for most of your life. The mansion itself is a beautiful wonder, apart from its eccentricities. Be prepared for a 2-mile walk as you cover the house and grounds with your tour guide. Take your camera, and make sure to get photos of the amazing grounds - including a grapefruit tree that's over 100 years old and still producing fruit.
So that's my five stops in San Jose this time around. Tell everyone about your favorites in the forums!