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Occupying the bay shore south of San Francisco, "Silicon Valley" was dominated by orchards until the post-WWII years, when the electronics industry became established and computer giants such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Apple lent Silicon Valley world-wide recognition. At the base of the bay is sprawling San Jose, California's third-largest city and center of the high-tech industry. For a hands-on feel of the latest inventions, head to the Tech Museum of Innovation. Two other popular attractions are the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, boasting the world's largest private collection of ancient Egyptian items; and the Winchester Mystery House, a ...

Occupying the bay shore south of San Francisco, "Silicon Valley" was dominated by orchards until the post-WWII years, when the electronics industry became established and computer giants such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Apple lent Silicon Valley world-wide recognition. At the base of the bay is sprawling San Jose, California's third-largest city and center of the high-tech industry. For a hands-on feel of the latest inventions, head to the Tech Museum of Innovation. Two other popular attractions are the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, boasting the world's largest private collection of ancient Egyptian items; and the Winchester Mystery House, a labyrinthine mansion. Snug against the foothills of the Coast Range, Stanford University is a major center of learning - climb the Hoover Tower for 360-degree views. Skyline Boulevard follows the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with trails for biking and hiking. The dozens of wineries include Paul Masson's Mountain Winery - a venue for open-air concerts. Culture vultures should also visit Villa Montalvo, a cultural center hosting live-in writers and artists. And San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts is world-renowned.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring is best for the mild climate.