10 Fun Things to Do in and Around Santa Clara Before the Big Game

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Image via Dvortygirl/Wikimedia

Super Bowl 50 is descending on Levi’s Stadium in the heart of the Silicon Valley. A lot of attention is being paid to the Bay Area’s biggest city, San Francisco, where more than one million people are expected to attend Super Bowl events!

We could go on and on about the all the festivities happening in San Francisco, but many folks have already done that. Instead, being the neighborhood experts we are at Redfin, we’ve compiled a list of 10 totally awesome things to do in and around Santa Clara if you’re in town for the big game. Whether you’re rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers, we think you’ll have a blast checking out all that Santa Clara and its surroundings has to offer.

1. C&J’s Sports Bar

We’ve got to start the list with this local institution. C&J’s is located just five minutes away from Levi’s Stadium, so if you’re in town and don’t have a ticket to the game, you can drop into what promises to be a raucous viewing party and root for your favorite team alongside the locals. They promise to have great drink specials and boast nine big screen TVs!

2. The Intel Museum

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A great family-friendly option to check out if you’re in town and want to learn more about why Silicon Valley is the high tech capital of the world is the Intel Museum. One of the most iconic images for Intel is of their workers wearing the famous “bunny suit” in order to protect the microchips from any microscopic particles that may be present on their bodies. You can try one yourself if you visit the museum — sounds like a great instagram opp to us!

3. Philz Coffee

Since you’ll likely need a pick-me-up the day after the game, be sure to stop by one of the Bay Area’s most treasured local coffee chains, Philz Coffee. Every cup of joe is brewed to order so you’re guaranteed the freshest cup possible. Each cup of coffee is garnished with a sprig of mint, which we think is a delightful touch!

4. San Pedro Square Market

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Foodies rejoice! You do not have to venture into San Francisco to enjoy some of the Bay Area’s best cuisine. Located in San Jose, just about 10 minutes from Santa Clara, is the San Pedro Square Market. The market “is a foodie’s paradise with lots of small stall restaurants as well as full sit down places,” says local Redfin real estate agent Kalena Masching. “Right next door, in San Pedro Square, is O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub (more commonly known as O’Flat’s). They boast 54 beers on tap at all times.”

5. Santana Row

If you’re in the mood for a little upscale shopping while you’re in town, make sure to visit Santana Row. “Just seven miles from the stadium, five miles from downtown San Jose and 50 miles from San Francisco, Santana Row is a one-stop cosmopolitan district of more than 20 restaurants, 70 stores, nine spas and salons, a Tesla showroom and an upscale, boutique hotel,” according to the destination’s website. Many of the shops and restaurants on the row will also be hosting Super Bowl events, so this is another great spot to spend your Sunday if you weren’t lucky enough to snag tickets to the game.

6. The Winchester Mystery House

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Image via Gentgeen/Wikimedia

Another great family-friendly attraction that should not be missed is the Winchester Mystery House. As the legend goes, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle went mad and started adding crazy additions to this mansion, including stairways that lead to nowhere and windows that open onto other walls. Apparently the house is haunted, so check it out for a spooky taste of the South Bay’s architectural history.

7. Hiking, Shopping and Wine Tasting in Los Gatos

Los Gatos is a quaint, historical community that is adjacent to Santa Clara. There are tons of unique, locally-owned shops, some fancy restaurants, a network of hiking trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains and some really standout wineries. Check out the Los Gatos chamber of commerce to plan your visit.

8. Lohr Winery

If you’re over the canned beer and all you want is a fine glass of wine, visit J. Lohr. They are located just minutes from Downtown San Jose and are offering extended hours and specials for Super Bowl weekend.

9. Stan’s Donut Shop

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Who doesn’t love carbs deep fried in fat and coated with sugar!? A good donut is hard to find, but this local donut shop located in the heart of Santa Clara is a must-visit if you have a Homer Simpson devotion to donuts. Locally-owned, world famous!

10. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Just about a 30 minute drive over the picturesque Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains is the quaint and fun-filled beach town of Santa Cruz. You can ride the coasters at the boardwalk or stroll the downtown area on Pacific Ave. While you’re in town, visiting Santa Cruz is a great way to get a sense of the true NorCal lifestyle.

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Jeffery writes about the L.A. real estate market for Redfin Real Time and works with journalists covering real estate throughout Southern California. He previously worked as an editor and researcher for a leading real estate publishing firm. Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses modern technology to make clients smarter and faster. For more information about working with a Redfin real estate agent to buy or sell a home, visit our "Why Redfin?," page.

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