The doors opened at 10 a.m., but ardent adventure seekers at the 2014 Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center January 25 and 26, had lined up for admission by 9:30 a.m. Saturday. They wanted to grab one of the 1,000 seats to hear travel guru and author Rick Steves.
And by the start of Steves’ 10:30 a.m. presentation—perhaps a portent of parking challenges to come once Levi’s Stadium is completed—the convention center parking garage was full, and “late-comers” had to walk from offsite parking facilities.
Attendance at the weekend show was expected to surpass the 13,000 attendees in 2013, and the travel speakers drew standing crowds.
In the U.S., “Check out strip malls [for authentic, local ethnic food],” advises presenter Samantha Brown, host of Travel Channel’s “The Trip: 2014, ” adding excitedly, “Santa Clara is all strip malls!”
“The show enlightens you to all these different places that I didn’t even think of going,” says Norman Cheu from Newark, pausing at the Chinese National Tourist Office exhibit.
“Travel is one of the few things we have in our lives that marks a fresh start,” Brown tells her audience.