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5 Stops: Santa Clara

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California’s oldest operating institution of higher education was founded in 1851 at Santa Clara College, now Santa Clara University.

The city’s heritage can be experienced with a visit to Mission Santa Clara de Asís, located on Santa Clara University’s campus. It’s the eighth of California’s 21 missions, and is adjacent to de Saisset Art Museum, which features an early California history display.

The city’s abundance of sunshine makes it an ideal location for California’s Great America theme park, which includes a water park, Boomerang Bay.

Students who love sports will want to stop at Levi’s Stadium for a selfie in front of the playing field and a visit to several premium club spaces, as well as access to the Verizon Press Level, NRG Solar Terrace and the field level.

“The combination of a theme park, high-tech museum, world-class stadium and California mission make Santa Clara both a fun and educational destination for student groups,” said David Andre, vice president of marketing and communications at Visit Santa Clara.

The following five stops, suggested by Visit Santa Clara, highlight some of the city’s most exciting student-friendly attractions.


1. California’s Great America

California’s Great America, Santa Clara, Calif.

Photo: Visit Santa Clara California’s Great America, Santa Clara, Calif.

Performance opportunities for bands, choirs and dance groups are available at California’s Great America on any operating day. Students become the center of attention as they march down the midways or perform below the iconic two-story Carousel Columbia. The park also offers Physics, Science & Math Days, when students and teachers can enjoy hands-on learning that brings classroom concepts to life. Visitors experience kinetic energy and the science of G forces firsthand.

 


2. Intel Museum

Intel Museum, Santa Clara, Calif.

Photo: Visit Santa Clara Intel Museum, Santa Clara, Calif.

Students are introduced to the world of micro-miniature computer chips at Intel Museum. Interactive exhibits and hands-on labs let students explore concepts and conduct their own experiments. A group visit typically lasts two hours, and includes a guided tour and an interactive lab led by a museum instructor. For groups of 35 or more, the museum provides self-guided tours and activity books that guide students through exhibits and engaging exercises.

 


3. Levi’s Stadium Tours

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Photo: Visit Santa Clara Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Students can go on a 90-minute guided tour of Levi’s Stadium to learn about how the stadium is a showcase for technological innovation and environmental sustainability. Groups also may tour the 49ers Museum presented by Sony, which connects, inspires and engages students through interactive experiences. Its education program uses football as a platform for teaching content-rich lessons in STEAM and invaluable life skills. Educators may choose from an array of lesson options.

 


4. Mission Santa Clara de Asís

Mission Santa Clara de Asís, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.

Photo: Visit Santa Clara Mission Santa Clara de Asís, Santa Clara, Calif.

Founded in 1777, Mission Santa Clara de Asís is the eighth of the 21 California missions and is often considered the spiritual heart of Santa Clara University. After a tour, groups can see the surrounding gardens. The pale yellow barksia rose and purple wisteria date to the 1800s, as do the olive trees. Visit the adjacent de Saisset Art Museum to see a California history collection displaying relics from the early mission days.

 


5. Westfield Valley Fair

Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara, Calif.

Photo: Westfield Valley Fair Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara, Calif.

Students can shop or eat at several locations in Santa Clara, including Westfield Valley Fair. Westfield is one of northern California’s largest indoor shopping malls and is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar enhancement. Over 200 stores are open during construction. Students can have lunch at Westfield’s international food court, featuring a wide variety of choices. More than a dozen restaurants and upscale shops at Santana Row are located directly across the street.

 

ASK
Visit Santa Clara
408-454-1254
santaclara.org

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About Author

Cortney Erndt, Associate Editor

Cortney Erndt oversees Student Group Tour magazine and contributes to all Group Tour Media publications, online and in print. She has an affinity for adventure travel; find her on a sky ledge — maybe sky diving — and reporting on it. Her favorite destinations connect cityscapes with captivating culture and good coffee.

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