Things To Do In CA. : Winchester Mystery House & Victorian Gardens

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When we landed back in CA after our long travel NYC trip we flew into San Jose CA. I thought it would be a great idea to get up, eat breakfast and go to visit the Winchester Mystery House a California Historical California Landmark (#868). There is such a huge history and mystery to how the Winchester House was built. We hadn’t taken Sammie there since she was a 4 year old when we visited with other family members. Which at the time was a complete challenge to keep her quite and on par with the tour. But, she made it. Today I wanted to share with you why we love the tour so much and give you some information about it. This is the perfect activity to do over any holiday breaks you may have. 

If you planning touring with a group there are group tours and other group options available. I only have a few iPhone photos to share of outside the Winchester Mystery House but, see information below to see more images along with videos on their home site! 

Winchester Mystery House_© 2014 Theresa Huse _

Winchester Mystery House San Jose, CA; 

There are several Winchester Mystery House tour options to choose from; 

  • Grand Estate Tour *see it all Mansion 65 min. +, Behind the Scenes 45 min.+ & self guided Victorian Garden tours
  • Mansion Tour a guided tour of 110 of the 160 rooms  65 min. and self guided Victorian Garden tour. 
  • Behind the Scenes Tour shows what makes the estate self sustaining. *The Winchester estate had over 160 acres of farm and orchard land. Children 5 and under not prohibited on this tour and hardhats are worn.
  • Spirit of Christmas 50 min. guided holiday tour
  • Friday the 13th flashlight tours 
  • If you live locally you can upgrade your ticket to an annual pass which includes unlimited tours, discounts for special events along with discounts for your guests for one year

There is a small museum area in the gift shop, along with a Winchester gun exhibit in a nearby building on the premises and food options available on site. But, since we stayed at a local hotel we ate prior to our visit. San Jose has lots of places to stay, eat and visit. Not to mention you are not far from driving to San Francisco or Oakland for other activities. If traveling pre plan your trip to get the most out of it. 

Back of one of the sides of Winchester Mystery House _© 2014 Theresa Huse

Find out more about Winchester Mystery House; 

The Winchester Mystery House® is a California State Historical Landmark (#868) and was designed and built by Winchester rifle heiress, Sarah Winchester. For more information or if you would like to do a little pre visit research you can find articles on Wikipedia on the Winchester Mystery House and visit the official Winchester Mystery House site for all information including tickets. 

Discounts and Pricing for Winchester Mystery House; 

If you need you can research coupon options. We didn’t and if I remember right they don’t give Triple AAA discounts the day of but, I do believe you can purchase your tickets with a Triple AAA discount in advance. It’s always nice to save where you can so you can visit more places. I am not quoting exact ticket prices as they are always subject to change but, roughly run $25-$40 dollars each ticket with children’s tickets around $30 or less than the specific tour option. NO refunds on tickets but, you can contact them to possibly work out different dates? See site for more details regarding all ticket options.

arbor walkway at Winchester Mystery House San Jose CA_© 2014 Theresa Huse

Our thoughts on the tour and visit;

We had a great tour although it was hot upstairs in the summer! (and no air conditioning) This time of year, would be perfect! I recommend scheduling an early tour if possible in the summer or warm weather months. We give the tour a big thumbs up. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and facilities clean throughout. Sammie loved the tour. Which was a big thing after traveling, being tired and not sure if she even wanted to go. I was extremely happy that she got to visit again and enjoyed the tour, gardens and museum. We took our time after the guided tour in the Victorian gardens and then headed back down to our home just shy of 3 hours south. We’d love to visit again and take another tour. We did the Mansion Tour with free garden and gun museum. This is not a sponsored post we just loved our tour and thought we’d share it as something to do when your near the area of San Jose, CA. 

Have you ever visited the Winchester Mystery House? 

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