Consonance, The San Francisco Bay Area Filk Convention, March 22 to March 24, 2024 - at Hilton Santa Clara, 4949 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara CA

Area Resources

The area is rich in resources, from extremely tasty mochi to purveyors of fine orbital satellites.

Our new hotel, the Hilton Santa Clara, has an award-winning restaurant, La Fontana, open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel also includes a coffee bar, featuring Starbucks. Alcohol is served in the La Fontana Lounge.

Consonance 2024 Restaurant Guide (aka Fooooood!!!)

Since this is our first time at this hotel, and since there are no obvious places to eat within walking distance (other than the hotel restaurant, which may or may not be open when you want to eat), here’s a list of nearby places to eat. Note also that many of these places deliver.

If you’re looking for a specific cuisine not shown here, ask me. I live here.
Bon appetit, —Lynn

Major Plazas

It's hard to list all the local places as the hotel is nestled amongst three large shopping centers supporting a ridiculous number of restaurants. The major players are:

Closest “Strip Mall” to the Hotel
4300 Great America Pkwy (at Mission College Blvd), Santa Clara, CA 95054
just before the entry loop to the college campus
If you head from the hotel towards Hwy 101, there’s a strip mall on the right as you approach Mission College Blvd.
8 food locations, some are chains while others are family owned and operated.
further along Great America Parkway
Starbucks and 3 quality restaurants.
The Mercado
In the loop for the local community college campus
If you head from the hotel to Hwy 101, turn right at Mission College Blvd, and then turn left at the stoplight, you’ll find this shopping center. In addition to restaurants, there’s a FedEx business center, a movie theatre, a TJ Maxx/Home Goods store, and a Walmart Neighborhood Grocer (the nearest supermarket to our hotel).
2 drinks-with-snacks places, 11 fooderies of veried style, and a grocery store.
Santa Clara Square Marketplace
2762 Augustine Dr (at Bowers Ave), Santa Clara, CA 95050
This is a strip mall on the other side of Hwy 101 from the hotel. After you cross the highway, it’s on your left. Note that Great America Parkway changes its name to Bowers Ave when you cross 101.
Another Starbucks, the fancy grocery Whole Foods, and a mix of upscale and chain restaurants.
across Bowers Avenue from the Santa Clara Square Marketplace
2 fast food and 1 sit-down chain restaurant.
A Little Further Out
Some places along Lawrence Expressway (one stop north on Hwy 101)
...Either because they’re unique to the area or favorites of some of the concom. It's not everything (why go to the McDonald’s on Lawrence when you can go to the 24 hour one that’s closer?) but should be good to share and enjoy.

If you haven't got yourself a physical copy of the Consonance Restaurant Guide for 2024 grab this PDF and plan on some great food.

Music Shops

There are many music shops in the region but here are some we've tried ourselves:

Guitar Center
They don't always put prices on their merchandise, but they claim they'll beat anyone's price. They do sell strings, and they're open Sundays.
There are also stores in nearby cities.
Guitar Showcase
These folks are a lot of fun and don't bite. I often wind up making the extra drive to go here, and I'm always treated with first-class service. I've done repeat business here; ask me about the day I spent there trying out fuzz pedals for my ukulele. They're open Sundays, and they have a small consignment shop in the next building that's fun to browse through.
The Starving Musician
It's also a fun place to visit; you never know what you'll find for sale, as they mix their current inventory with their consignment stuff. I've seen a guitarron (the big six-string bass guitar they use in Mariachi bands), regular and guitar lutes, and many international instruments. They sell strings 2-for-1, and their prices are very good. They are open Sundays, just not so late as the other shops. They also have two other shops in the broader region (Santa Cruz & Berkeley).
Gryphon Stringed Instruments
This is a first-rate shop for anything with strings. They not only sell guitars, but harps, dulcimers, banjos, ukuleles, and violins. They try to save their customers money; when I went in looking for a guitar tuner, they showed me the least expensive one first. They're not open Sundays.
Sylvan Music
This isn't really local - it's down in Santa Cruz, but their selection of guitars/ukes/other strings is extensive and their staff extremely helpful. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 11-6, and curbside pickups are available - set up by phone call or email.