This will be the fourth Game Developer's Conference that Rob and I have attended. While we generally soak up a lot of information and geek out about the conference, we also end up having a great time in the California Silicon Valley area (usually 3-4 days, including a Saturday). This year we'll be going for a longer duration than usual, almost 9 days and we're going to need things to do between conference events.

The Strawman Plan

At the moment, we're planning to fly into LA and drive up the coast to the San Jose area where we'll be staying. This is one of the things that my Road Atlas tells me I should do when travelling in the United States, and I'm excited about it. We'll be able to snap some pictures, blog about it, maybe do an audiocast, whatever. After that, we'll be staying in the San Jose area for a week (Sunday to Sunday), we'll be busy with conference goings-on for the most part during the day with only a couple evening events that we could blow off.

The Request

Anyway, now it's time to put it all out there and call on any readers who might be from the San Francisco/San Jose Bay Area to let me know what are the best places to visit. Are there any techie blogger gatherings that we should crash? What are some great things to see and do in that area? Where are some great places to eat and drink? Where do the bass be pumpin' and the dance floor jumpin'?

I'm hoping for a variety of choices, so anything and everything is welcome, though I'll be thoroughly researching any suggestions, so don't bother suggesting the "Blue Oyster Bar". I've seen "Police Academy" 😉

Kidding aside, Rob and I are pretty good at researching things on the internet, but the problem is in trying to find the quality sites that talk about genuine places and not ending up at the website equivalent of a tourist trap. City guide websites can often be severely out-of-date and sometimes particular places have user reviews that vary so dramatically it makes you wonder about their integrity (like maybe some of the comments are from the owners or the competitors). I'm surprised that the Big Three (Yahoo!, MSN and Google) haven't come up with a really effective solution for this yet. That's why the blogosphere is great, for the most part, there are live human beings behind those keyboards.

Some Notes

  • Rob and I both enjoy an occasional single malt scotch, so if you know any choice pubs/bars/clubs that offer more than Dewar's or Johnnie Walker's that would be great.
  • Rob is a vegetarian. I'm not, but I really do enjoy an ecclectic vegetarian meal so feel free to suggest some good restaurants in that vein (ouch, bad choice of words there).
  • Music-wise, I'm into all sorts of things. My interests range from classic rock to blues and soul to alternative/eclectic rock to swing to classical.
  • We've been to Fisherman's Wharf and Muir Wood a couple times now. I think Yosemite is out of our reach again this year (too much driving)...
  • If you've read either of our blogs, you know we're into the latest in web development technologies and events too, so any geek events along those lines that we might be able to attend would also be fantastic (assuming it doesn't conflict with the conference we're paying for).

We have a few things planned already, since we already know we like some clubs and restaurants and there are places we'd still like to see. I'm also going to harass my cousin Scott again, who moved out to San Jose area almost a year ago, which means he's had plenty of time to nestle quite nicely into the Land of Silken Honeys.

§204 · January 9, 2006 · GDC, Life · · [Print]

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