From San Jose to Los Angeles: Adventure with a Touch of Mystery – Road.Travel

From San Jose to Los Angeles: Adventure with a Touch of Mystery

Road Trip Route. Visit the Winchester Mystery House, Take a walk through amazing natural landscapes, Discover legends and myths of Los Angeles, Visit California's most sinister museum.

A trip that is perfect for friends who are passionate about urban legends and outdoor activities. There are several places in the route, shrouded in legends and ominous rumors, however, this is not the heart of the trip. Moving from San Jose to Los Angeles, we will visit the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, known as a the Winchester Mystery House, and in the City of Angels we will hunt for ghosts in Hollywood. And between these cities we will visit places that look mesmerizing and breathtaking even without supernatural stuff. We will be on wide sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs, walk along forest trails and observe sea lions, as well as visit inexpensive, but very worthy restaurants.

History and Culture, Active Leisure. From: San Jose

Grace Hartman. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Your trip starts now

We arrive in San Jose, walk in the park, have dinner at a Japanese grill restaurant and... go to sleep. The day comes to an end and it's time to relax, tomorrow we go hunt the ancient ghosts down.

Central Park

San Jose Central Park, of course, is not as big as the New York park of the same name, but this place is definitely suitable for an evening walk with friends. That's where we've started our exploration of San Jose, wandered through the alleys, fed the birds and just rested after the flight.

Sumiya Japanese Charcoal Grill

And not far from the park, we've found a cool Japanese cafe serving delicious fish and grilled meat. You can take rice, noodles or vegetables on the side. And if you want soup, try ramen, it is really tasty.

Day 2: Mystery House and Nature Reserve

Today, we are going to meet with mysticism in an old house that once belonged to the widow of firearms magnate Sarah Winchester. Inside, the house looks like a maze, and it is quite possible we will see ghosts here. And in the afternoon we will enjoy beautiful views in the nature reserve.

The Breakfast Club at Midtown

The first rule of Breakfast Club is: You tell everyone about Breakfast Club! In fact, I recommend this restaurant to all my friends as a place where you can eat tasty food even in the early morning. They have food for anybody taste here, whether you are a sweet tooth or prefer a healthy diet, the menu will surprise you.

Winchester Mystery House

According to one of the city legends, it was foretold Sarah Winchester would live forever as long as construction on her house was never completed, according to another legend, a complex labyrinth of more than one hundred and sixty rooms was built to confuse the ghosts that wandered around the house. Alas, we haven't seen these ghosts (maybe they just don’t really like the guests), but the tour through the maze of the rooms is very unusual and interesting. We'd better buy tickets for the tour on-line not to wait in line.

Pizza Antica

You are going to hike up the mountains, so you need to have a good meal. We chose a pizzeria located near the Winchester’s house, serving simple and tasty Italian dishes. Many kinds of pizza, pasta, or potatoes with pesto sauce and salads classic for such institution are all that a big group needs for a tasty and inexpensive lunch.

PG&E Trail Summit

When traveling, my friends and I do not focus only on walking around the city, therefore, we couldn't ignore the San Antonio Nature Reserve. The very top offers a stunning view of the surroundings and, if it's not sunny out, plenty of clouds or fog underfoot.

Taqueria La Espuela

The area is full of restaurants - Vietnamese, Thai, chain and local. And we've chosen a small and inexpensive Mexican cafe and not regretted. They cook very tasty tacos with different fillings. Try it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Day 3: Along the coastline

In fact, we could drive from San Jose to Los Angeles in a day. But should we? After all, we can stop on rocky beaches, wander along hiking trails, ride along winding roads and just enjoy every moment.

City Diner

It's time for breakfast. Diner is open in the early morning. There is a retro atmosphere here, it's like to go back in time. As it should be, they prepare delicious milkshakes and excellent sandwiches and burgers here.

Pleasure Point

We go to Santa Cruz. Pleasure Point is a wide sandy beach surrounded by rocks, it looks very beautiful and unusual. Swimming, sunbathing, surfing - what else is needed to have a good time?

Phil's Fish Market & Eatery

Fish, sell, cook. There is a simple little restaurant with delicious seafood in the fish market. I really liked the soup with shrimp, mussels and crab, a very rich taste and a very large portion. Another good thing you should taste is hot smoked fish, I mean, that's impressive.

Sea Lion Cove

Moving along the coast, we've driven past picturesque national parks and other places looking awesome. And this bay is interesting not only for its cliffs and turquoise water, but also for the fact that here you can often see lazy sea lions basking on the surface. When visiting the bay, we've met a local wildlife lover who told us, besides sea lions and gulls, one can see whales here from the shore.

Yama Sushi

In a small building are several crowded and rowdy restaurants, and each of them is worth a visit from what we've seen so far. But we've chosen an inexpensive sushi restaurant and not regretted. Classic Japanese cuisine is served here, including sushi, rolls, soups and noodles, everything is tasty and fresh.

Day 4: Going on the sea lions adventure

Wespend today outdoors, first we visit a rocky national park, and then have a walk along the beach and watch the sea lions, otters and groundhogs. And for lunch and dinner, we check out colorful Mexican restaurants.

Parker-Lusseau Pastries

We get up early and go to breakfast at the local pastry shop. There is all you need to have a delicious breakfast and get some food for the road. The pastries are fresh from the oven in the morning, the crispy croissants are just perfect with coffee.

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is a very beautiful natural park with quarries, cliffs and caves. If you like sports tourism, here you can go hiking and climbing. The caves are open most of the year, however, they can be closed depending on the presence of a bat colony in them. You can also watch rare wildlife here, the park even organizes birdwatching tours.


And on the way we stop by for lunch. There are many other cafes nearby, but this small Mexican restaurant has attracted us with its funny decor, including fish on the walls, bright chairs, and colorful paintings. The food here is also quite tasty, I would say home-made.

Morro Strand State Beach

You can't fail to stop at Morro Strand State Beach on your way to Los Angeles! Here you can go surfing or kayaking, or just take a walk along the beach to the cliff. During the walk you can meet sea lions, otters, gulls, herons and groundhogs. There is also a large parking lot near the beach to leave your car.

Rancho Nipomo Deli and BBQ

Restaurant with simple and tasty food. You should try the grilled meat dishes, they are very tasty, and the portions here are very large. And for a snack you can take tacos or nachos with different toppings and sauce.

Day 5: City of Angels and Ghosts

Today we drive through picturesque natural parks, and spend the evening in Los Angeles, going through the places mentioned in the mysterious city legends.

Arroyo Burro Beach

Clean and wide sandy beach with palm trees, suitable for swimming and surfing. An interesting feature of the place is a narrow, winding bay that goes to the Douglas Family Preserve, in the summer the area looks like a blooming oasis with interesting plants, small animals and birds.

Wildwood Trails & Open Space

Leave your car at the entrance and go to explore the hiking trails. The landscapes here are very beautiful: small caves, waterfalls, mountain streams. We've visited this place in warm, but not yet arid weather and found flowering meadows at the foot of the hills, it's looked very cool.

Mendocino Farms

Bright and cozy place with salads and sandwiches. All food here is very tasty and organic, because it is prepared from fresh farm products. The portion size, by the way, is simply gigantic for me personally! The cafe is so cozy that I want to stay here longer, but we've ordered some takeout to get to LA as soon as possible.

The Witch's House

Alas, it is impossible to visit the house out of a fairy tale. It's our understanding that now it is a residential private property. But it’s worth stopping by, at least for the sake of a cool photo shoot, the place looks just wonderful not only thanks to the fun and unique architecture, but also because of the wonderful little rose garden.

Beverly Hills Sign

Beverly Hills is usually associated with luxury and movie stars, however, there is a sinister place called the Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle. According to city legends, here you can meet the ghosts of Hollywood stars who died under tragic and mysterious circumstances.

Hollywood Wax Museum®

The Hollywood Wax Museum, according to city legends, is visited not only by curious tourists, but also by ghosts. Seekers of mysticism note that near the figure of Jesus with the apostles you can see a translucent figure of a praying woman, and a ghostly teenager from the seventies is wandering around the chamber of horrors.

Sari Sari Store LA

Pretty crowded place with philippine yummies. Most side dishes here are based on rice with various sauces and additives. As the main dish, I've ordered grilled ribs, my friend's ordered rice with vegetables and mushrooms, we've both liked it. The selection of desserts is small, but they are very tasty, especially coconut pie. On Friday and Saturday, the institution is open until 9:00 pm, and until 8:00 pm on the rest of the week.

Day 6: Final day of the trip

It's time to go home, but we've decided to check out the Los Angeles Museum of Death to tickle our nerves a bit, I should warn you, this place is significantly different from, for example, the Winchester Mystery House, and you should visit it only if you are ready to see really scary stuff.

Porto's Bakery & Cafe

An excellent bakery, serving plenty of delicious pastries, we've ordered quite a lot of takeout puff pastry rolls to eat before the flight. Once here, be sure to try the mango cheesecake, or brulee cream, they are just perfect.

Museum of Death

As I have already written, the place is really frightening, and if you are an impressionable person, or travell with children, you'd better spend time in classic city museums, or hang out on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you are not afraid of the atmosphere of the sinister morgue, or the abundance of skeletons, a visit to this place would be quite an interesting and memorable experience.