Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cool deals in San Jose

Is the recession turning your vacation into a 'staycation'? No prob-the Bay Area has so much to offer that staying in the area is no hardship. But to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, look south: San Jose is rolling out the welcome mat with a raft of bargains (some are even free), from deals at local restaurants to the San Jose Giants plus a range of great hotel packages. Plan a daytrip or a weekend getaway in San Jose and you'll discover a world of fun in the South Bay.

Family fun stuff

Free fun: History San Jose at Kelley Park is a fond reconstruction of what San Jose looked like a century ago. Stroll amongst the Victorian architecture, then spread a picnic. There is no admission charge Tuesday through Friday, but there is a summer parking fee (or try around the corner on Phelan). The history park also sponsors free Family Sunday events. Tue-Sun noon-5; call 408/287-2290, or check www.historysanjose.org.

Free movies at the Starlight Cinemas: June 10-August 26, 2009. This traveling cinema series lets you take advantage of San Jose's warm, summer nights and enjoy a movie under the star-studded sky with good company. Movies begin at dusk so come early for the best seat. BYOCB: Bring your own chair or blanket. Explore one of three downtown neighborhoods each week and meet the people and businesses that give downtown its character:San Pedro Square:
Every second Wednesday; Historic District: every third Wednesday; SoFA District: every fourth Wednesday of the month. For a full schedule, go to www.sanjose.org.

For really affordable family entertainment, the San Jose Giants hit a grand slam. You can't get much closer to players than you can at historic Municipal Stadium; and who knows, you could be watching the next Barry Bonds (word has it that the San Jose Giants should have one of the strongest teams in their history for the 2009 season). Tickets start at just $10 a seat. Plus, the best BBQ in baseball is right here at the newly renovated Turkey Mike’s BBQ. For more, call (408) 297-1435 or visit www.sjgiants.com.

DINE DOWNTOWN Restaurant Week: June 3-13. For the first time ever, more than 25 downtown restaurants invite you to dine in Downtown San Jose over the course of 11 days. It begins June 3 with $3-or-less sampler plates at the City Bites Kick Off Sampler Event. Three-course dinners range from $20, $30 to $40 at more than 25 Downtown restaurants, from A.P. Stumps, Billy Berks, Il Fornaio, Morton's The Steakhouse and more. Reservations recommended. For the full list, please visit www.sjdowntown.com/dinedowntown.html.


Spend your holidays in style this Memorial Day and Independence Day with “stay two nights and get the third night free” packages at Hotel Valencia Santana Row. Includes: a stylish guest room for two, deluxe continental breakfast at Citrus and two complimentary Vbar cocktail coupons. Rates: from $189. Complimentary night can be applied to current stay or can be used for a future reservation (gift certificate to be provided by hotel at check-out). For reservations, click on Hotel Valencia and enter the promotional ID: PROHOL, or call toll free 866/842-0100 and ask for the Holiday Promotion Package. Holidays include: Memorial Day Package Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25 Promo Code: PROHOL; Independence Day Package Friday, July 3 – Sunday, July 5 Promo Code: PROHOL. (Rates for double occupancy, exclusive of tax and subject to availability.)

More hotel deals: Click on the Doubletree Hotel San Jose’s “Winchester Mystery House Package” and book a deluxe overnight stay, starting at $119 per night, and two admission tickets to the fab mystery manse.

The Dolce Hayes Mansion is making it easier to go green and help the environment during these upcoming summer months with the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” package from $169.

Or craft your own percs at the Sainte Claire Hotel; starting at $159, the Design Your Stay package comes with nice amenities and any two added features: early check-in (10 a.m.), late check-out (4 p.m.), in-room dining certificate ($25 value), a gift certificate to Il Fornaio restaurant ($25 value), a $25 gift card to the Westfield Mall, valet parking or a $25 gas card. For more information, call 408/295-2000 or visit www.thesainteclaire.com.

Details: check out the complete list of fairs, festivals, and free fun when you get a copy of the Official Visitors Guide; contact the The San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800/SAN-JOSE (800/726-5673) or visit http://www.sanjose.org.

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COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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