Apple’s annual WWDC conference kicks off June 4, and to the collective dread of the developer community and press, the event is once again being held in San Jose, California. Yes, just like last year when the company ceased its 12-year run in San Francisco, Apple is forcing thousands against their will to descend upon this great giant suburb.
Little do people know, however, that San Jose (aka: My hometown) is the best city in the world*. San Francisco natives in particular have a whole complex about hating it for some reason. Something about it being boring or being populated with too many strip malls or having a hockey team that chokes. Also it’s really expensive to live there despite its rising crime rate (who told you about that anyway? I WILL SHANK THEM).
But one should be so honored to visit the third-biggest city in California (and 10th in the US) because it’s really poppin’. I would know because I use words like poppin’. Silicon Valley Comic Con and Facebook’s F8 were held there; we’re home to supersexy tech companies that make headlines every day, like Cisco Systems and Western Digital; and legendary punk rock band No Use For a Name is from there (RIP, Tony Sly).
So if you’re one of the lucky ones to have to visit San Jose because your job depends on it, or you didn’t realize that was where you were going before you applied for the ticket lottery, here’s CNET’s guide to WWDC as it rises again in downtown San Jose.
*I’ve been told that this is “debatable.”
Editors’ Note: This piece was originally published on May 31, 2017 and has been updated with further information.
Haters responding to last year’s WWDC announcement.
Lynn La/CNET Places to geek out
The Tech Museum: Bright orange with a purple dome up top, you can’t miss the museum. (Visually you can’t miss it. But you can miss out on it if you want, I’m not your boss.) In addition to exhibitions about tech and robots, there’s an earthquake simulator that is so scary it can make a young child (not me) burst into tears (again, not me) during her elementary school trip (definitely not me). Fun!
This is a piece of tech history.
De Anza College: Yes, De Anza is technically in Cupertino, but it’s still close enough for Apple fans to visit for its place in tech history. Steve Wozniak went here after getting kicked out of another university for hacking its computers. In 1984, Steve Jobs unveiled the original Apple Macintosh at De Anza. And I can personally attest that the school’s outdoor benches are especially comfortable for napping between classes.
Lick Observatory: Located on top of Mount Hamilton, it featured the world’s largest telescope back in its heyday. Make sure you visit during operating hours though, because you will get stopped for trespassing by that one cop who’s up there on Mt. Ham. Don’t ask me how I know.
Places to go
Winchester Mystery House: As an SJ native, I am contractually obligated to shoehorn the Mystery House into any conversation about San Jose. It’s a Victorian mansion built for widowed gun heiress Sarah Winchester. You’ve probably heard about it recently because of “Winchester,” a recent movie/documentary that is 100 percent accurate and stars Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke and some kid that walks around with a bag over his head (I’m serious). Convinced that she was haunted by ghosts and lowkey annoyed by bag-head walker, she continuously built out the house to confuse the ghosts. That meant stairs that went nowhere, hidden rooms and decoy bathrooms so the