Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Milpitas, CA

  • Published 2023/05/14

Milpitas, which means “little milpas” in Spanish, is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Known as the “Crossroads of Silicon Valley,” it has become a thriving hub for high-tech businesses as part of the larger Silicon Valley community since it was incorporated in 1954.

The city, however, traces its roots back to Rancho Milpitas, a land grant given to José María Alviso, a California rancher, in 1835.

Major employers in Milpitas include Lifescan, Inc. and Cisco Systems, LSI Logic Corporation, Linear Technology, Seagate Technology, and SanDisk.

Several of these companies use the city as their corporate headquarters.

Residents and visitors of Milpitas can indulge in a rich array of athletic and educational recreational activities, entertainment, and shopping experiences, among others.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant lifestyle of this city in the global epicenter of innovation and technology.

Check out this list of the best things to do in Milpitas, California!

Spend Time Outdoors at Ed R. Levin County Park

Landscape of Ed R. Levin County Park

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Ed R. Levin County Park is a distinctive recreation area and regional park spanning 1,558 acres.

It offers a harmonious blend of urban park features and an extensive trail system similar to wilderness parks.

The park’s expansive lawns are perfect for family outings, while the undulating oak woodlands and grasslands provide a serene nature experience for visitors.

For breathtaking panoramic views of the valley and San Francisco Bay, head to Monument Peak, a prominent vantage point within the park.

Children can play frisbee or fly kites on one of the three spacious lawns.

Duck swimming in the lake at Ed R. Levin County Park

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Dog owners can take their furry friends to the dog park for playtime, while anglers can cast their lines at Sandy Wool Lake.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the park’s extensive 20.6-mile trail system on foot, bike, or horse.

Ed R. Levin County Park is also home to a hang gliding club, where visitors can try hang gliding or paragliding for the first time.

They can also marvel at the sight of gliders flying above the skies.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular, Ed R. Levin County Park offers many unique experiences.

Nature trail at Ed R. Levin County Park

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Ride a Horse at Chaparral Ranch

Chaparral Ranch is in the scenic Ed R. Levin County Park.

It has been a haven for horses in California, notably the San Francisco Bay Area, since 2009.

Founded by master horseman Shawn Mott, Chaparral Ranch in Milpitas is just one of its four regional locations.

Whether a beginner or an intermediate rider, Chaparral Ranch offers lessons for ages six and above to master the basics of western riding.

Explore the picturesque rolling hills of the East Bay on a memorable horseback trail ride.

No prior riding experience is required!

Young pony lovers ages three to six can also revel in the joy of horses with safe and interactive riding experiences in a nurturing environment.

With various programs tailored to different group sizes and ages, Chaparral Ranch is committed to helping you develop your horse skills and build memories for a lifetime.

Hike up Dragon Mountain (Thien Long Son)

The Dragon Mountain, known as Thien Long Son, spans 360 acres of private land.

Established in 2014, the mountain allows people to explore Vietnamese culture while picnicking, hiking, and admiring the breathtaking views of Silicon Valley.

The park contains various sculptures that represent Vietnamese faiths and history.

After renovations, Dragon Mountain has become a private monastery.

However, it is not an ordinary Buddhist monastery; it is an interfaith sanctuary where many faiths converge, creating a serene environment for prayer and reflection.

Arrange a Get-Together at Cardoza Park

Cardoza Park is located next to the Milpitas Sports Center Complex.

It is a bustling community park that spans 10 acres, making it one of the largest parks in Milpitas.

This park offers a variety of amenities for visitors of all ages, including a lighted ball diamond and volleyball poles for sports enthusiasts.

It also has two horse-shoe units for friendly competitions and an outdoor amphitheater for outdoor performances and events.

As one of the city’s premier locations for special events, Cardoza Park is a popular destination for post-game gatherings and other social activities.

Eight barbeque units and 19 tables provide ample space for picnics and barbeques, making it an ideal spot for gatherings and functions.

The park also features play equipment for children, restrooms, and convenient parking space for up to 133 vehicles.

Visit the Hindu Temple of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Milpitas is a Hindu place of worship.

It symbolizes the earthly abode of Bhagwan, where one can find solace, tranquility, and spiritual connection.

BAPS promotes the establishment of mandirs (Hindu temples) to foster peace within communities and connect people to Bhagwan (deities).

This place is one of the major centers of the Hindu organization BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in North America.

Likewise, the organization has a global presence of over 1100 mandirs and 3800 centers.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Milpitas is a hub of Northern California’s spiritual and community activities.

Devotees and visitors come to offer prayers to the murtis (sacred images), attend sabhas (religious services), and join cultural classes.

Furthermore, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir endeavors to preserve and promote Hindu heritage through arts, music, language, and philosophy.

It also actively engages in charitable efforts, including blood drives, health fairs, walkathons, and other initiatives.

Regardless of faith, all are welcome to visit any BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir center and experience its spiritual and cultural richness.

Book a Wine Tasting Reservation at Big Dog Vineyards

Big Dog Vineyards is a local boutique winery that takes pride in handcrafted, small-batch wines in the scenic Milpitas Hills, with a breathtaking view of Silicon Valley.

The Winery & Tasting Room opened in 2009 and is conveniently located next to the estate vineyard, planted in 1997.

With over 20 years of winemaking expertise, Big Dog Vineyards employs traditional techniques and maintains small production to ensure that their wines are of high quality.

Register in one of their Weekly Tastings and select among their tasting menus from all white to all red to a classic mix of both.

Indulge in these unique flavors while enjoying live music every weekend.

Big Dog Vineyards caters to public and private events, making it the perfect venue for any gathering.

Let them take care of the details while you and your guests savor the moment with their exquisite wines, exceptional services, and warm hospitality.

Enjoy a Picnic at Higuera Adobe Park

Nestled against the foothills in a serene and scenic location, Higuera Adobe Park is a beloved destination for special occasions.

This park dates back to the 1830s and is a testament to Milpitas’ rich history, with its cactus plants, wildflowers, and tree-lined creek.

Informative signage inside and outside the park provides insight into the area’s past.

The park features a paved path, a spacious lawn, and playgrounds for older and younger children.

Additionally, the park boasts a historic 700-foot building that hosts social gatherings and meetings, accommodating up to 50 people.

Picnic tables and a BBQ pit behind the building offer a convenient outdoor dining and recreation spot.

Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature, learn about local history, or enjoy a leisurely outdoor gathering, Higuera Adobe Park is a serene oasis with a scenic and memorable experience.

Go Shopping at Great Mall

People strolling around the Great Mall

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Great Mall is also known as the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

It is Northern California’s largest indoor retail shopping, dining, and entertainment attraction.

Just minutes from Levi’s Stadium and the San Jose International Airport, Great Mall was a former Ford San Jose Assembly Plant built in 1955.

This plant produced Ford Mustangs; they built Mustangs with the name San Jose on the logo here.

Shops at Great Mall

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Great Mall was constructed by Petrie Dierman Kughn and Ford Motor Land Development in 1994 after the plant shut down in 1983 due to increasing Japanese competition.

With approximately 1.4 million square feet of gross leasable area, this mall offers the ultimate consumer experience for locals and tourists to the Bay Area.

Great Mall boasts over 200 outlet and retail stores, including popular brands such as Saks OFF 5th, H&M, UNIQLO, Levi’s, Tumi, Coach, Michael Kors, and many more!

Starbucks at Great Mall

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Experience Family Entertainment at Milpitas Golfland

With some of the newest and most thrilling games in the Bay Area, Milpitas Golfland offers a wide variety of options for fun and entertainment.

Play miniature golf at Milpitas Golfland, where you can challenge yourself on one of its exciting courses.

Drive a racecar, compete against Kung Fu masters, or destroy aliens and robots at the Arcade!

For an action-packed adventure with your group, have a blast at Lazer Knights with an exhilarating game of laser tag!

Put your skill and agility to the test at the Lazer Maze as you navigate around, over, under, and between laser beams, adding excitement to your visit.

When it’s time to refuel, Milpitas Golfland has delicious food options, including homemade pizzas, juicy burgers, tasty hotdogs, and refreshing shakes!

Play Sports at the Milpitas Sports Center

The Milpitas Sports Center is a comprehensive fitness facility offering affordable exercise programs and sports for teens and adults.

Built in 2001, Milpitas Sports Center boasts an array of amenities, including a spacious gym, three heated outdoor pools, two aerobics studios, locker rooms, showers, and sufficient parking for your convenience.

Milpitas Sports Center also features baseball and soccer fields, a football field, and a concession stand.

Their programs encompass many options, including fitness classes, league and drop-in sports, lap swimming, water exercises, swim lessons, and more.

A Sports Center Membership or a drop-in fee is needed to access the facilities, ensuring their offerings are accessible to everyone.

Practice Golf at Spring Valley Golf Course

Spring Valley Golf Course is an 18-hole golf course offering a challenging round of golf for players of all levels.

With a length of 6,140 yards and four tee locations, golfers can test their skills on doglegs, scenic par 3’s, challenging par 4’s, and tricky par 5’s with water and sand bunkers strategically placed to enhance the golfing experience.

In addition to the 18-hole course, Spring Valley Golf Course also offers two practice greens, a 22-stall driving range, and a short bunker game practice area for golfers who want to warm up or polish their short game skills.

Their well-stocked Pro Shop offers a variety of equipment and apparel for golf, including balls, clubs, hats, gloves, shoes, and more, all at affordable pricing.

Conveniently located ten miles from the San Jose Airport, Spring Valley Golf Course serves the communities of Milpitas, San Jose, Fremont, Mt. View, and Sunnyvale.

It also attracts Gilroy, Hayward, Redwood City, and San Leandro golfers.

Roll a Strike at Bowlero Milpitas

Bowlero Milpitas is part of the esteemed Bowlero Corp global media company, the world’s largest operator and owner of bowling centers.

It offers an unparalleled immersive entertainment experience that allows you to escape from the daily grind and fully enjoy the moment.

With over 8,000 team members, an impressive 12,000 lanes across their locations, and an astounding 28 million guests visiting each year, Bowlero Corp is a leading force in the entertainment industry.

Bowlero Milpitas is not just your average bowling alley; it’s a one-of-a-kind blacklight bowling, retro-inspired hangout that offers much more.

You can indulge in various activities, including bowling on blacklight lanes, exploring the interactive arcade, engaging in thrilling laser tag battles, or savoring creative culinary delicacies from their unique menus.

Bowlero Milpitas is a hub of excitement and nostalgia, creating a unique bowling, dining, and nightlife experience that delights customers.

Play Tennis at Pinewood Park

Pinewood Park is a family-friendly park next to Zanker Elementary School, providing a fun and safe environment for children and families.

The park boasts three playgrounds suitable for all ages, with benches conveniently placed for parents and guardians to relax and supervise their kids.

The park features a spacious central lawn often used for impromptu frisbee and soccer games, providing ample space for outdoor activities.

Pinewood Park is a popular place to play tennis with its four lighted tennis courts.

Also, it provides other recreational amenities like a lighted basketball court and walking paths, all accessible to the public.

Pinewood Park has three sizeable covered picnic areas that can be rented for group and social gatherings.

Overall, Pinewood Park is a welcoming neighborhood park that caters to locals and visitors alike.

Hang Out at the IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

If you’re a beer enthusiast looking to introduce someone to the world of craft beer, the IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop is a must-visit!

Located in a cozy indoor space with ample seating, the IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop offers an impressive selection of craft beers on tap and in cans.

With a whopping 50 beers on tap and an endless variety of cans and bottles, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

If you’re hungry, grab a pizza from Stuft Pizza next door and enjoy it with your beer selections!

IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop’s relaxed and inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect spot to unwind with friends.

Otherwise, catch a game on one of their flat-screen TVs that often broadcast early evening games.

Volunteer at the Humane Society Silicon Valley

The Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is a world-renowned animal shelter that sets animal care and welfare standards.

Founded in 1929, the Human Society Silicon Valley adheres to the guidelines set forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, making it the first model shelter.

At HSSV, various services promote responsible pet ownership and strengthen human and animal bonds.

These services include quality adoptions, inexpensive spaying and neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, pet care services, and awareness programs.

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded HSSV a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The award recognizes its dedication to eco-friendly practices, making them the country’s first animal community center to receive such an award.

With operations running 24/7, 365 days a year, HSSV welcomes visitors interested in adopting, donating, or volunteering any day.

Final Thoughts

Milpitas is a vibrant and progressive community that embraces diversity.

It takes pride in its well-maintained neighborhood parks, conveniently located shopping centers, fun entertainment venues, and more that offer many recreational activities for all ages.

Make the most of this charming and energetic city with this list of the best things to do in Milpitas, California!

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