With its Mediterranean climate and long sunny days, San Jose has lots to tempt both the traveler and more permanent inhabitants. It is the largest northern California city, but its relationship with the high tech world also means that it is a truly global city. San Jose is considered by many to be the heart of Silicon Valley, and you don’t get much more high tech than that.
There is more to this city than just its computer industry, however. It offers plenty in the way of culture as well as some things that are just downright fun. Where else can you visit an Egyptian Museum, a renowned rose garden and be ferried around on a cycle bar, all on the same day?
Despite the temptations that are on offer in San Jose, it would be a mistake not to hit the road and explore some of the other delights that California has on offer. For the lone traveler wishing to sample some unusual cultural surprises, the one-day road trip to Redding is a journey that really deserves your consideration.
The drive to Sacramento is going to take around two hours and if you grab a solid brunch you might not need to eat again until you reach your destination. With this in mind, you might like to try out Element. This restaurant combines polished concrete floors and crisp décor with delicious home-cooked food.
Whether you fancy Asian, Latin, Vegan or just good old American, Element will have something to set you up for the rest of the day. For something a little unusual, why not try their summer banana split? This consists of a banana topped with Greek yogurt, granola, cashew butter, berries, and hemp seed.
Having satisfied your food cravings, now would be a good time to feed your cultural ones and you are not far from the State Indian Museum. Opened in 1940, this museum aims to expand understanding of the rich Native American culture that so often gets overlooked.
The museum is based around three themes: Nature, Spirit, and Family. You will be able to view many cultural items, as well as ceremonial outfits, beadwork, and tools, some of which date back nearly two and a half thousand years.
One important exhibit centers around the last surviving member of the Ishi tribe and demonstrates how native culture was impacted by the arrival of foreigners.
After a ninety mile drive to Chico you can take in another historical point of interest, but this time of a very different nature. Bidwell Mansion State Park is a three-story Italian villa-themed mansion house. It was constructed by John and Annie Bidwell and provides a window into another bygone era. John was an early pioneer, farmer, soldier, and statesman, while his wife was passionate about the suffragette movement.
Together they created a home that is still of interest today. At the time of its construction, it included gas lighting and plumbing that would have been regarded as cutting edge at the time. Today you can opt for the hour-long guided tour that starts every hour and explains in detail both the house’s history and that of the era in which it saw its heyday.
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The final drive to Redding will take around one hour and twenty minutes. Rich in both sunshine and natural attractions, this small city offers plenty to explore and enjoy. The Sundial Bridge straddling the Sacramento River is very impressive and worth a visit. For a bit more history, you might take in the Shasta State Historic Park or you may prefer to wander about the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and its arboretum.