Sports and Recreation
With all the space in the south of Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise that San Jose’s got the best amusement parks in the area. For a straight-up, thrill-ride-heavy amusement park that’s perfect for older kids and grownups who want to spend a day pretending to be kids, go to California’s Great America (4701 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, 408/988-1776 x8858, www.cagreatamerica.com, daily June–Aug., Sun.–Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–10 p.m., hours sometimes vary, $54/day, parking $10).
With roller coasters from classic to legs-dangling, a vertical drop, water rides and a full-fledged water park, a slime-filled kid’s zone, and much more, Great America makes for an energetic, often hot, all-day romp.
To cool down, head to Raging Waters (2333 S. White Rd., 408/238-9900, www.rwsplash.com, June–Aug., Mon.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m., see website for exact dates and times, adults $30, children $22). This sprawling water park features up-to-date slides and rides, plus plenty of serene pools for relaxing on a hot, sunny summer San Jose day.
San Jose may be mocked by its cousins in the City and the East Bay, but we’ve got some great and different professional sports worth seeing. The big dog in the area is the San Jose Sharks (http://sharks.nhl.com) NHL hockey team. They don’t have a Cup yet, but everyone gets into the games at the downtown HP Pavilion (525 W. Santa Clara St.), making The Shark Tank one of the loudest and liveliest places to watch a game in the league.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition