The only place in North America dedicated solely to the works of Ludwig himself, this museum contains a wealth of material, including the much-heralded lock of Beethoven's hair. Original manuscripts, books, recordings, autographed materials, masks, sculptures, stamps, films and all sorts of things are here. The center sponsors many concerts and lectures throughout the year and several things are for sale, like coffee mugs, scores and a bibliography database. This is an excellent place for scholarly research.
Children's Discovery Museum has two floors worth of exhibits and activities, including a history of bubbles, face painting and all sorts of things to keep children busy and thinking. The museum is a giant structure straddling the Guadalupe River Park, so picnics are common for visitors. It is located right on the light rail station, which makes public transportation a snap. The museum offers facilities for birthday parties and special events for all sizes of groups, from small gatherings of 10 to large groups of 1000.
Tombs, mummies and all sorts of ancient Egyptian artifacts await you at Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium, one of the tourist favorites of San Jose. This place is located in the beautiful Rosicrucian Park, with palm trees and Egyptian-style buildings everywhere. The museum itself contains an extensive array of artifacts, jewelry and displays of Egyptian antiquity. The tour in the cavernous tomb below the museum is especially replete with information and entertainment. Through the displays, you will get an in-depth look at the nature of life in ancient Egypt.
With over 200 interactive, hi-tech exhibits, The Tech Museum of Innovation is unlike any other museum in the country. It is housed in a huge complex that stands out from all the other buildings in the heart of Downtown San Jose. Its unique Silicon Valley location is fitting given its technological nature and hands-on displays. Learn about communication networks, new frontiers in science, lasers, Silicon Valley inventions, biotechnology, and other cutting edge technologies that influence the world. The museum also includes a 360-degree IMAX theater.
There is something for everyone at San Jose Museum of Art: contemporary art, lectures, concerts, tours, book signings, special events and even programs for children. The museum has been host to many outstanding traveling shows and has been a champion of local artists. The museum bookstore offers a nice selection of usual museum merchandise, such as books, tote bags and greeting cards. The museum cafe offers a wonderful rotating menu of seasonal delights.
Located on the Stanford University campus, Hoover Tower offers a small museum at its base and excellent views of the Bay Area at the top at an extremely reasonable price. Visit the museum and then take an elevator ride to the top while a guide tells tidbits of trivia about the tower's history. At 285 feet (87 meters) tall, the tower is a must-visit attraction. Be sure to check out the carillon of 48 bells housed at the top of the tower. Stanford students get in free with ID!
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is one of the world's oldest quilt museums and features revolving exhibitions from all over the world. It looks small from the outside, but once you get in, there is plenty of wonderful things to see. Exhibits have included exquisite examples of Amish, Shaker and Hawaiian quilting as well as striking works by contemporary craftsmen. Their staff is well versed in quilt lore and can answer any of your questions or recommend books for any further research you might want to do.
The ICA is a non-profit, innovative visual arts space located in downtown San Jose. For more than 20 years, they have presented cutting edge exhibitions featuring emerging and mid-career artists and provided the public a chance to see "what's new" in contemporary art. Exhibitions are accompanied by workshops and lectures to further engage the viewer. In addition to gallery programming, the ICA presents "Night Moves," new media installations in the front and rear windows that are visible only after dark. Admission is free.