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Free Wheelin': Touring Gilroy's Indian Motorcycle Factory doesn't cost a dime, but may lead to a more expensive hobby.

Free Your Mind

More than 200 things to do in the Santa Clara Valley that cost nada


Free Guides:
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
San Jose
Santa Clara
Museums and Services for Nada


WHEN WE set out to do a free guide to Silicon Valley cities, we were stunned to discover the truth: there are tons of free things left to do in this high-cost-of-living valley, even outside of reading this paper. In fact, there may be more things now than ever before, as museums toss out their fees, cities sponsor free outdoor cinemas and a festival springs up somewhere every weekend. There's a renaissance going on, and cheapskates never had it so good.

Granted, some things that used to be free aren't anymore (they actually charge to reserve tables at some city parks). And many a parking lot routinely commits robbery, requiring the thrifty to hoof it (Euro-butts are in style anyway)--or pack a picnic basket instead of running into the nearest fast-food joint.

But from free music, free dancing, free food and free wine to Shakespeare, fine art, fantastic vistas and driving exotic cars, a valley-dweller armed with this guide should have enough activities to cruise around with a sly little smile all year.

In this time of money conservation, it's a relief to know that free is more than a word politicians throw around when they want to make Americans misty-eyed. Actually, we get misty-eyed when our bank statements arrive.

So, here's to all things free: Free will. Free spirits. Free elections. Fat-free everything. And the land of the free.

We tried to keep our lists compact, but if we've missed something that you, as a dedicated freebie hunter and resident extraordinaire, know about, we are counting on you to enlighten us by writing to letters@metronews.com.

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From the July 24-30, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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