Yes, Silicon Valley transitions into a winter wonderland, too, with quite a few of our traditional activities through the local town communities for people to enjoy with families and friends. You may get a list of things to do from my Silicon Valley Tourist Information article to keep handy.
If you live in surrounding regions, remember it is an inexpensive train ride into downtown San Jose (Capital Corridor) and stay at one of the hotels located along the light rail in Santa Clara and San Jose. Many of our hotels and motels have shuttles - ask them if they pick up from the train station. Your weekend plans might include one day of riding the train into San Francisco to window shop on Union Square and then on the second day ~ explore favorite local places in the south bay.
All things new in Silicon Valley this year, or are they old?
If you are looking for something a bit different to add to this winter wonderland, drive out to San Jose’s village – New Almaden – and see the historical 150 year old Casa Grande and Mining Museum – newly renovated mansion and museum AND the
French restaurant, La Foret.
Will these places be added to the Silicon Valley Concierge 2011 Best Awards at their annual Hospitality Event, let’s see possibly, Best Kept Secret, Best Restaurant, or Best (Historical) Attraction?
Casa Grande and Mining Museum
Our Silicon Valley hikers already know this area because of Almaden Quicksilver County Park. There are many historcal remnants along these trails to discover. We are so fortunate and a huge thank you goes to the to the Santa Clara County Parks – this region has been saved with their efforts.
I saw the announcement of the grand re-opening November 13, 2010 Event for Casa Grande in the Mercury News – and of course, what did I do? Yes, I went to see it. New Almaden has a historical presence from the Quicksilver Mines (Cinnabar) and was valuable during the Gold Rush Days because the element is used to extract gold and silver.
I cannot begin to tell you all of the amazing local history stories in this short article - I suggest that you call one of our active local tour guides for a walking tour for more in depth information.
December is perfect time to visit from 12:00 to 4:00 pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – December 10 – January 2, 2011. (except on Christmas Day – Dec 25) because you may sip hot spiced cider, munch on delicious cookies, and enjoy the holiday décor in this exquisite historic building.
Casa Grande and Mining Museum
21350 Almaden Road
La Foret Restaurant
Next, I found this extraordinary french restaurant to have dinner or Sunday Brunch right down the street from Casa Grande. It used to be a 1848 creek side boarding house - now La Foret Restaurant, a historic building which sits on the banks of flowing stream – the setting reminds me of a European restaurant in the Tuscan hills that I went to on one of my trips.
Oh, and it is open for lunch now, December 1 – 24 and of course it is a haven for meeting planners – to make that extra special event for groups. The restaurant is listed with the 50 best French restaurants in United States and open for dinner on Christmas eve and day.
When do you want to meet me for lunch?
San Jose CA 95120
Every week I venture out, there is always something new on street corners of this area. Or, are these old places?
Happy Holidays ~ to everyone! The Fun Tour Guru