Silicon Valley — Where Is It? What Is It?

Silicon Valley is not an actual valley, but rather the nickname for the southern half of Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The region received its name from the thousands of technology companies settling there. Many of the earliest companies to open their headquarters in the area were silicon chip manufacturers and innovators using the chips in their products.

Luxury at the Historic Dolce Hayes Mansion

In 1903, Mary Hayes Chynoweth commissioned the building of a 41,000-square-foot Mediterranean villa to replace her family’s home, which had burned down four years earlier. The family sold the property to the City of San Jose in the 1950s. The Dolce Hotels and Resorts Group purchased the property from the city, creating a luxurious hotel, conference center, spa, and resort. Referred to as both the Hayes Mansion and the Dolce Hayes Mansion, the venue appears on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Winchester Mystery House — Haunted or Hoax?

Winchester Mystery House was the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of William Winchester, the creator of the Winchester Rifle. Building of the 160-room mansion began in 1884 and continued 24 hours per day until Mrs. Winchester’s death in 1922. Some windows in the house overlook other rooms and some staircases lead to nowhere. Many sources state the mansion plays host to ghosts. Others say this is a hoax based upon the owner’s belief in the supernatural. There are an array of articles detailing the comprehensive history of the Winchester Mystery House for those wanting to learn more about the mansion.

California designated Winchester Mystery House as California Registered Historical Landmark #868. The United States federal government added the property to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

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Best Things to Do in San Jose

There are a variety of great things to do and see in San Jose. One of the recommended places, primarily enjoyed by school-age children, is the Tech Museum of Innovation. There are many hands-on exhibits that teach children scientific principles in a way that is easy for them to understand.
Santana Row is an upscale development near downtown San Jose containing designer shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. The shops are at ground-level, with the Hotel Valencia and apartments situated above.

The San Jose Museum of Art’s permanent collection focuses on 20th and 21st century paintings, photography, and videos. Temporary exhibits feature works by local Northern California artists.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum boasts the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian art on the West Coast of the US. Visitors especially like seeing the mummies and sarcophagi.

Share Your San Jose Anecdotes

Please share your stories with others considering traveling to San Jose. What did you like best about your visit to the city? Did you go on a tour of the Winchester Mystery House? What sightseeing venues would you recommend?

Bio: Daisy Mariposa is a freelance travel writer who has worked with clients such as Hipmunk. She has Occupational Certificates in both Travel Management and International Business and has worked as a travel agent. Daisy has traveled to half the states in the United States and more than 33 countries, island nations, and island dependencies. She has certifications as both a Specialty Travel Writer and Travel Copy Writer from one organization and Industry Elite status in Travel from another.