by Michael C. Lowe | July 01, 2014
Why Here?
With recent upgrades at the San Jose Convention Center, visitors to this tech-focused city will find fast, free Wi-Fi at the airport, downtown and throughout the convention facility. Other draws are new hotels and restaurants, plus a new home for San Francisco's 49ers.

Downtown Summer Fun 
Silicon Valley Beer Week is an annual celebration of craft beer that will take place July 25-Aug. 3 this year. The event features live music, industry speakers and tastings, plus an open-air festival.

The San Jose Summer Jazz Fest will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a variety of performances taking place on 11 live music stages Aug. 8-10. 

Wine Time 
The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to a number of wineries with tasting rooms available to groups, including the 100-acre Byington Winery, 30 minutes south of downtown San Jose.

So Many Choices 
Over the past 18 months, downtown San Jose has added 43 new restaurants, all within walking distance of the area's hotels, nightlife and cultural venues. For a list of eateries:

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Local Update

 The San Jose Convention Center now offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The $1.5 million technology investment involves high-speed service designed to support multiple devices per attendee. For groups with special Internet needs, the center's in-house IT department offers tech packages for more customized wireless solutions. This upgrade comes on the heels of a $130 million expansion and renovation of the center's meeting space that resulted in an additional 169,000 square feet and a new facilitywide total of 550,000 square feet.

 The San Jose City Council unanimously approved Team San Jose to lead the city's convention management and marketing efforts for the next 15 years. In addition to the convention center, the destination management organization manages Parkside Hall, South Hall, the City

National Civic, the Center for the Performing Arts, the Montgomery Theater and the California Theater.

 The Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Airport, formerly a Radisson property, is undergoing a $4.5 million renovation that includes a makeover of all 195 guest rooms and lobby areas. The property has 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

 On Santana Row, the trendy Hotel Valencia recently upgraded its 212 guest rooms, meeting spaces, public areas and Vbar lounge. A mix of Old World European and sleek modern design, the hotel has nearly 4,000 square feet of meeting space, including a rooftop venue with views of the Santa Cruz Mountains for up to 100 guests.

 In March, the 123-room Aloft Cupertino opened. Just 15 minutes east of downtown San Jose, the property features a bar, a 24-hour fitness center and 1,350 square feet of function space. The LEED Silver-certified hotel also offers free Wi-Fi throughout.

 The 86-room Epiphany Hotel, a Joie de Vivre property, opened earlier this year in Palo Alto, 18 miles north of downtown. The hotel caters to the tech-startup crowd and has a 250-square-foot boardroom and a 400-square-foot meeting space.