California, also known as The Golden State, is well known for long beaches, Hollywood, home of many celebrities, artistic streets, the Golden Gate Bridge and its range of some beautiful and amazing cities. Santa Clara is quite underrated but this city, named after saint Clare of Assisi, gives everything what a tourist desires. It has beautiful locations, affordable accommodation, supportive people and delicious cuisine. Santa Clara, located in Santa Clara County and just 45 miles from San Francisco, is the ninth most populous city of the state. Santa Clara was incorporated as a city in 1852 and the economy was dependent on agriculture at that time but by 20th century, hospitals, schools, colleges were established in the city. The Agnews State Hospital, which used to be a mental health facility, is quite famous here and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Santa Clara has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with almost 260 sunny days during the year. July is the warmest month with maximum temperature of 82 degrees and coldest month is January with 39 degrees. The city gets an average of 25 inches of snow every year and 14 inches of rain. The best time to visit Santa Clara is between March and July.
How to get here?
Santa Clara does not have its own international airport but there are three international airports within the range of 37 miles from the city. The nearest one is Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, located just 4 miles from the city and receives all domestic and international flights. Other airports are San Francisco International Airport, 33 miles from Santa Clara and Oakland International Airport which is 37 miles away. All the airports have cabs, rental cars, shuttles, train and bus services to reach Santa Clara comfortably. Sacramento International Airport, 124 miles, is also available as an option but it is not very much preferred by travelers.
Accommodation and Food
There is a long range of luxury hotels, cheap motels, bed & breakfasts, resorts, villas, apartments, boutiques around Santa Clara and you can easily find one which fits your budget. One of the best is Avatar Hotel located at Great America Parkway, offering luxury suites with private spa, free internet, LED TV, an outdoor pool, health club, bar and restaurant. Other good options include Mariani’s Inn and Bella Vista Inn at El Camino Real, Marriott at Mission College Boulevard, Biltmore Hotel & Suites at Laurelwood Road, St.Francis Motel at The Alameda, Embassy Suites at Lakeside Drive, Hyatt House at Rivermark Plaza and Woodcrest Hotel at Stevens Creek Boulevard.
Santa Clara offers some of the finest dining restaurants and cafes with some famous chefs of the state. Whether you like American or Chinese, fast food or seafood, French or Italian, Indian or Mexican, Irish or Japanese, Mediterranean or Mongolian, you are going to find every type of international tastes here. Some of the most famous places to eat in Santa Clara are, American food at Andy’s BBQ, Armadillo Willy’s, Birk’s Restaurant, Ice Creams at Mission City Creamery and Pinkberry, Indian food at Aachi Aappakadai and Mayuri Indian Cuisine and Italian at Mio Vicino, Fiorillo’s Restaurant and Piatti Restaurant.
Great America Theme Park
The Great America Park is a theme park owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. It is located at Great America Parkway in Santa Clara and features some thrilling rides and special events for families and children. Main attractions of the park are Boomerang Bay Water Park, Planet Snoopy, KidzWille, Fast Lane and more. You can get a Gold Season Pass for only $14 and enjoy over 70 rides, shows along with new Gold Striker Coaster. You will get unlimited admission and free parking during entire season.
Mission Santa Clara De Asis
Mission Santa Clara is a Spanish Mission located at El Camino Real in Santa Clara. The whole campus of Santa Clara University includes the Mission Garden, the Center for Performing Arts and the de Saisset Museum apart of the Mission Santa Clara. It was founded in 1777 in the land of Ohlone people. The famous Church of Mission Santa Clara was built in 1825 and features a glimpse of amazingly unique architecture.
The Intel Museum is located at Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara, and exhibits Intel’s products and historical artifacts along with semiconductor technology information. The museum covers a total area of 10000 square feet and welcomes the students and youth groups regularly to explore the complex and understand the silicon technology, the chip design and chip fabrication. A lot of interactive exhibits are also conducted for students from time to time. You can also become a part of the group tours and guided tours only with advance reservation.
Our Lady of Peace Shrine
Our Lady of Peace Shrine is a Roman Catholic Church located at Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara. The iconic attraction of the Church is the 32 foot statue of Our Lady also known as Queen of Peace, located in front of the church. The Church was founded in 1961 and the people often come here for the communion and confessions. There is also a large gift shop near the church featuring books, tapes, movies, statues and icons and some other religious goods. The church also holds some events for children like High School Catechetical Program from time to time. The church remains open daily and admission is free.