Things To Do In Downtown San Jose

Play Monopoly in the Park

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The largest permanent Monopoly board makes one of the longest games even bigger. Located in San Jose, California’s Discovery Meadow, near a children’s museum is the Monopoly in the Park board, the largest permanent version of the game in the world, which should be perfect for anyone who thought the regular size version didn’t cause enough conflict.

Perhaps most surprising of all, is that the game is entirely playable. The board can be rented via its website, and players are given giant playing dice, and hats shaped like the various pieces. It’s like that final scene in Harry Potter where they have to play chess for their lives except it’s, y’know, Monopoly. And lest players take a million years to complete the giant game, or tear each other apart after a bad deal, a banker, coordinator, and announcer help keep the game on the rails.

Olympic Black Power Statue

A statue commemorating Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ brave protest at the 1968 Olympics, a watershed moment for civil rights. Perhaps no image from the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City is more recognizable than the silent protest of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the Olympic medalist podium. During the award ceremony, Smith and Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter track event, raised their black-gloved fists in a black power salute, and removed their shoes to symbolize black poverty.

Visit Drawbridge – The Bay Area’s Ghost Town.

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Formerly Saline City, Drawbridge is a California ghost town that is centered around an abandoned railroad station at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay on Station Island.

Created by the narrow-gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad on Station Island in 1876, Drawbridge has been abandoned for over three decades and is slowly sinking into the marshlands it was built on. When the town was founded, it consisted of only one small cabin for the operator of the railroad’s two drawbridges that crossed Mud Creek Slough and Coyote Creek Slough.

Even though the only path leading into Drawbridge was the Union Pacific Railroad Track, several passenger trains stopped in the town daily, bringing nearly 1,000 people into the area on weekends in the 1880s.

The Winchester Mystery House

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A strange mansion built by the strange heir to the Winchester gun fortune.

In 1886 an eccentric woman named Sarah Winchester travelled from New Haven, Connecticut, to San Jose, California, to start a new life. She purchased a small eight-room farmhouse and started a small renovation project that would take 36 years and $5.5 million (in the money of the time), only stopping when she passed away in 1922.

By the time she was done, the Winchester Mansion was a modern marvel with indoor plumbing, multiple elevators, a hot shower, and central heating. It had over 160 rooms and 40 bedrooms, 10,000 windows, and even 2 basements. Of course, that’s not all that’s unique about the house. Not all 2,000 doors can be walked through—one leads to an eight-foot drop to a kitchen sink, another to a 15-foot drop into bushes in the garden below. Staircases lead straight to ceilings, expensive Tiffany stained-glass windows were installed in places where they would get no light, and there are more secret passages than Narnia. A particularly odd delight is a cabinet that, when opened, extends through thirty rooms of the house.

And of course when visiting, start your travel by booking your stay at the Best Downtown San Jose Hotel, – The Arena Hotel.