Cassie Kifer

Cassie Kifer is a San Jose-based digital communications consultant, urban planner, and explorer. Her work has been featured in Delta Sky magazine, National Geographic Travel, Fodor’s Travel, Thrillist, and the website of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. When she is home, you can find her seeking out interesting food and cultural experiences and hiking the South Bay’s many parks and open spaces with her husband and rescued shelter dog, Riley. Connect with Cassie at

Let’s see what you decided to pack your San Jose-themed care package with.

Where can you discover an unexplained Medieval fortification, towering South Pacific totem poles, quirky final resting places, an orchard featuring rare fruit and Sarah Winchester's other house?

• Four women who continued to tell the story of the Santa Clara Valley in books this year. Robin Chapman’s The Valley of Heart’s Delight and Anne Marie Todd’s Valley of Heart’s Delight took a historic look at the way