Rebecca Reyes has a terrific tip for keeping track of all the great places you want to check out: Look up any recommendations that sound good in the Yelp app. If you like it, bookmark it. Then when you’re at the conference, look at your bookmarks to see all these awesome places at a glance. Sort your bookmarks by distance to see if you’d be able to walk to it from wherever you are. For easy navigation, Robert Weiner has used the Moovit app all over the country to map transit routes and times. Lyft and Uber are also good options for getting around the Bay Area. You can usually get a discount if you have a friend refer you!
Some of South Bay area native, Marcia Silva‘s favorite places to get coffee in downtown San Jose include B2 Coffee in San Pedro Square (a sort of upscale food court), where you can get a strong cup of joe. Bonus points: there are *plenty* of places to sit and catch up on all things NTC with friends and colleagues. Marcia also advocates for Philz Coffee. The wait might be long (each cup of coffee is individually brewed), but it’s worth it!. Sue Anne Reed recommends checking out their wide section of teas. Philz also has a number of locations around the bay area, including San Francisco.
The J. Lorh Winery tasting room is only 10 minutes from the convention center, and NTEN Conference Manager, Andrea Post, definitely plans to stop in to sample some wine while she’s in town. Or Cingilli‘s favorite place Downtown San Jose for beers and great food is The Farmers Union. And if you’re in town Tuesday night, join in the unofficial #NTCbeer event at the Original Gravity House. It’s a great way to meet up with your fellow attendees before the conference (don’t worry if you’re not a beer drinker – there’s non-beer drinks and tasty eats there too!)
NTEN’s Bethany Lister recommends Firehouse No. 1 for its drool-worthy the burger and mac and cheese, while Or Cingilli is partial to the Spice Crusted Chicken Wings. Dustin Alexander suggests San Pedro Market Square, which has a plethora of food stands also open at night. Fuji Sushi is a favorite of a local Second Harvest Food Bank staffer. For a quick, tasty dinner to go, Bethany vouches for the nearby HOM Korean Kitchen.
Stacy Clinton siting the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and the nearby Municipal Rose Garden. Robert also loves the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, but his top recommendation is the Winchester Mystery House, one of the rare tourist attractions that’s really worth seeing. The garden tour is great, but the house tour is a must. Library fans should pop into San Jose University Public Library, a hybrid university library and public library housed in a beautiful building downtown. For those looking for other museum options, BJ Wishinsky endorses The Tech Museum of Innovation, home of The Tech Awards, as well as the San Jose Museum of Art which, among other exhibits, currently has a Maker Space exhibit.
If you’re a hockey fan or, like Andrea, are just attempting to, “understand why people play soccer on skates on ice with sticks”, check out a San Jose Sharks game. Mary Beth Harrington might check out them play her beloved Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon, while Colin Boyle mentions the St. Louis game on Tuesday or the Edmonton game on Thursday evening.
The South bay is home to the the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. BJ suggests visiting nearby restoration sites on your own or check out one of their guided events. Music lovers can check out Cafe Stritch, the Hedley Club Lounge at Hotel de Anza, and San Jose Jazz (a nonprofit!).
If you’re in town for awhile and want to head further afield, Vertigo fans may enjoy San Juan Bautista. Andrea plans to close her trip with a ride on The Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, while delighting in salt water taffy from Marini’s. And as a penguin lover, I have to recommend the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is amazing on its own, and the penguins there bring it up to a new level of spectacular. Try timing it so you catch one of the penguin feeding times!
See you soon in San Jose!