Silicon Valley Emerges as Tourism Draw

SAN FRANCISCO -- Silicon Valley, the heart of the nation's high-tech industry, now is a tourist destination.

For the first time, Gray Line is operating a day tour from San Francisco to the valley, which lies to the south. The tour, called "Bizarre, Bytes and Bargains," aims to reflect the area's history of invention, innovation and technology and the emerging role of San Jose -- the centerpiece of Silicon Valley -- as a modern, cosmopolitan city.

The excursion, which costs $35 for adults and $17.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 11, highlights the valley's past and future. It includes a 65-minute guided tour of Winchester Mystery House, the beautiful but bizarre mansion built by the firearms heiress Sarah Winchester, and a visit to the Tech Museum of Innovation, with its hands-on technology and science exhibits, ranging from surfing the Internet to flying over the Martian landscape.

A second San Jose tour, for shoppers, departs San Francisco for a day of bargain hunting at the Great Mall of the Bay Area, Northern California's largest, with almost 200 outlet and speciality stores under one roof. It costs $25 for adults and $12.50 for children ages 5 to 11.

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