Attending this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience? Well lucky for you, it’s located in San Jose, California – a city full of many great places to eat, things to do, and places to see! As a native of the Bay Area, I thought I’d share a few of my top picks in the San Jose/Santa Clara area, so you can make the most of your trip. It’s hard to imagine finding downtime during the jam-packed agenda, but if you manage some breathing room, here are the best ways to spend it. And because MSCE is during Valentine’s Day this year, I’ll throw in some ideas to enjoy with your loved ones if they’ll be coming along as well.
Places to Eat
- The Boiling Crab: If you love seafood, you’ll love The Boiling Crab. The restaurant is part of a small, casual chain offering boiled-in-bag Cajun-spiced crawfish, oysters, shrimp & other shellfish. It is hands-on eating, and quite messy, but it’s very good seafood and worth the mess/work (just don’t wear your favorite shirt or suit).
- La Foret: If you’re looking for romance and class, this is where you want to be for your Valentine’s Day dinner. This is THE French restaurant in San Jose. It’s pricey, but totally worth it!
- Freshly Baked Eatery: If you’re looking for a good sandwich in San Jose, look no further. There’s a reason this place has long lines, but I’m telling you their bread makes it worth the wait. As a sandwich connoisseur, this place has my stamp of approval.
- B2 Coffee: B2 Coffee is one of the most popular places to get coffee in San Jose. It’s got a cool atmosphere and people rave about their coffee and espresso beverages. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, I’d suggest checking it out.
Things to Do/Places to See
- Santana Row: Santana Row is a great place to go if you want to do some shopping or get something to eat. It has over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, and 9 spas and salons, so there’s something for everyone.
- San Jose Sharks: As a HUGE Sharks fan, I wasn’t going to leave this off of the list. I’ve taken many people to their first hockey game at the Shark Tank, and have yet to disappoint. Sharks games are a lot of fun and are a great event to take your family or loved one to (although I can’t exactly say that hockey is the most romantic sport to go see). Get tickets here to see the Sharks play the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, February 15, at 7:30pm. Go Sharks!
- The Winchester Mystery House: This place is definitely worth checking out if you have the time. The Winchester Mystery House is an “extravagant maze of Victorian craftsmanship – marvelous, baffling, and eerily eccentric, to say the least.” It’s honestly hard for me to describe this attraction, so you’ll really just have to see it for yourself.
- Municipal Rose Garden: Looking for a relaxing afternoon? San Jose's five-and-a-half–acre Municipal Rose Garden is one of the best places in town to relax, recoup, and literally smell the roses – more than 4,000 of them. This garden is one of the biggest in the world, and is one of San Jose’s top attractions. And flowers? How much more romantic can it get for Valentine’s Day?
- Wine tasting: If you plan to get in over the weekend before MSCE kicks off, you may have time to tour the exquisite wineries of the South Bay. Check out South Bay Wine Tours for schedules and wineries to visit. If you don’t have time for a tour, stop by Vino Vino Wine Bar in downtown San Jose instead.
- Craft beers: Feb 11 kicks of SF Beer Week! Get in on the tasty action right here in San Jose at the Original Gravity Pub House, just a few blocks for the San Jose Convention Center.
Hopefully you’ll find some time to mix a little pleasure with business while visiting the San Jose/Santa Clara area. Safe travels and enjoy your time in the Bay Area!
Now back to the conference.
Kemper Ray is a marketing student at Santa Clara University. Connect with him on LinkedIn.