25 Best Things to do in San Jose, California
Sitting right in the midst of Silicon Valley, San Jose is it’s political, economic and cultural centre. It is situated in the Bay area of Northern California and is the biggest city in the area with being a home to lots of tech companies. It is surrounded all around by rolling hills that encompass all kinds of beauty that are seemingly plausible. But living in this city isn’t much of an inexpensive feat as buying a house can easily cost over a million dollars. But, being the epicentre of the Silicon Valley, happens to be a centre of economy and affluence. Major global tech giants like PayPal, Cisco, Adobe, Samsung, Acer, eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, headquarter themselves in the city.
Unveil the Mystery at the Winchester Mystery House
Constructed by Sarah Winchester shortly after her husband’s death, this architectural wonder is spread over 24,000 square feet, has 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors and 160 rooms. The current valuation of the house stands at $71 million today. The mansion has also been reported for paranormal activities and almost 12 million guests have come to visit this place since 1923 to understand the mystery that resides within this sprawling mansion.
Walk through the halls of San Jose Museum of Art
Situated in downtown San Jose, this museum is a great place to hang out for art lovers. The museum is small but has wonderful pieces and displays. Most of the focus in the museum is on modern art and the intricacies behind it. The museum is home to some picture and video displays about Vietnam too.
Hike south to the Santa Cruz Mountains
About 15 miles south to San Jose city, are the Santa Cruz mountains which is home to the it’s tallest peak: Loma Prieta. You can hike up this mountain range that stands 3806 feet high and look upon the view stretching up to a distance.
Promenade through the lanes of Santana Row
Deriving its name from Frank M. Santana, a man who served on San Jose’s planning commission in the mid 1900s, Santana Row is a luxurious commercial and residential district in the west of San Jose city. It offers a line of restaurants, boutiques, brand shops, spas and hotels. There are bars that serve good music along with great alcohol and a cinema at the end of the row.
Explore a different culture at Japantown
Japantown is situated on downtown San Jose and is home to Japanese American and Chinese American communities. Boarding houses for japanese men were constructed here initially but with time local businesses bloomed and the cultures and festivals have taken over and created a beautiful environment for anyone who passes this neighbourhood in San Jose. Tourists can also experience traditional Japanese restaurants along with traditional Japanese food.
Think and rethink at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
On Woz Way, located in downtown San Jose, this museum is basically the product of childish curiosity. Woz Way, on which this museum is constructed is named after the co-founder of Apple computers, Steve Wozniack who is also one of the donors that funded the construction of this museum. It is a great place to bring your kids on a weekend as they learn more about water, fossils, diverse cultures, different food habits, arts and crafts and much more. But the best part is everything is fun, safe and educational, all at the same time.
Resonate with history at the The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Located in Rosicrucian park in the Rose garden neighbourhood of San Jose, this museum is dedicated entirely to Ancient Egypt and claims to behold the largest exhibition of Egyptian artefacts. The museum is a treat for curious kids and adults. The notable exhibits that one can find at the museum are the child and animal mummies. The museum is also home to a 1.5 million year old stone axe but visitors are not allowed to look at it. One can easily get access to the museum as a visitor, volunteer and much more.
Get a Pawsome experience at the Pup Plaza
One of the newest and most innovative of all ideas in the city, the Pup Plaza is the perfect place for dog lovers. It provides one with the mission of helping the dogs in need and rehabilitate them to for further adoption. One can come for free workshops on dog behaviour, engage in adoption parties or dog birthday celebrations. One can easily run up to this beautiful centre on a really stressful day and just have some good ol’ dog love.
Take a stroll down Kelley Park
Formally a farmland, owned by Mrs. Louise Kelley was sold off to the city of San Jose in 1951. One can have a picnic here on a weekend with their family or just have a good peace of mind, reading your favourite book under the shade of the aesthetically lined-up trees. The park is also a famous place for weddings.
Work your brain cells out at the Tech Interactive
Previously known as the Tech Museum of Innovation, this museum essentially exhibits to all the gadgets and gizmos that are developed by the Silicon Valley companies. The museum offers an interactive learning experience and houses a tech studio, social robots and has a virtual test zone gallery.
Run amok at the Los Gatos Creek Trail in San Jose
Stretching over 11.2 miles, this trail is where one can jog, run, cycle or can just hike around. The trail passes through a lot of little cities between San Jose and Lexington Reservoir. The trail throughout stays strewn with little riparian undergrowth. On Sundays, you can find young people cycling past you or families just bringing their dogs for a good walk on the weekend.
Stop and smell the roses at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
Who doesn’t love roses? And what is better than roses all scattered in colourful unison in a park? Established in the year 1937, this park houses 189 different types of roses. One can easily find a group of photo enthusiasts, hanging around, clicking aesthetically pleasing shots of the roses. One can easily find couples holding hands and walking in the park, families resting in a low-lying shade in the park and children having fun running around.
Humour your artsy side at the Museum of Quilts & Textiles
One cannot think of a museum dedicated to quilts and textiles out of all things possible. One can look at almost impossible pieces of art at the museum as it is lined with textiles that are used in different and variant cultures. The things that we do not usually think about, textiles are something that humans in various cultures use to voice their cultural significance. The museum also showcases the use of modern technology in the basic traditions of fiber art. Getting a tour of this innovative museum is just for $8 per person.
Gape at the beauty of Montalvo Arts Centre
Almost 15 miles downtown San Jose city, in Saratoga, California, the Montalvo Arts centre stays located. Open to the public, the historic Villa Montalvo is also a part of it. The estate around the villa boasts of nature that stays untouched and large structures that enhances its beauty. There amidst the huge estate, there is also a 137-acre botanical garden in it.
Learn about Portuguese history at the Portuguese Historical Museum
Opened to the public in the middle of 1997, this museum is one of the most enriching of all historical museums in the whole of San Jose. The museum talks volumes about the way life was before Santa Clara Valley( now known as Silicon Valley) got hit with modernisation with the touchdown of the 20th century. The museum exhibits the different discoveries of Portuguese and the position they held at that time. The museum exhibits to the public about the stories of Portuguese migration and settlements in the United States.
Experience articulate architecture at the Hayes Mansion
Being one of the best examples of Mediterranian Revival architecture, this mansion is situated in Edenvale neighbourhood in San Jose. The mansion now is taken over and operates as a hotel which changed its name to “Hayes Mansion Hotel”. The property when it was first constructed for the Hayes family, was absolutely self-sufficient as it had its own railroad station, chapel, post office and its own power plant. Everyone who stayed at this mansion turned hotel have always enjoyed their stay.
Golf your time away at the Shoreline Lake Park
Right in the midst of Silicon Valley but around 15 miles from San Jose city, Shoreline Park in Mountain View features an 18-hole links-style golf course. It also has one 50 acre artificial lake. This challenging golf course also provides golfers with equal parts of beauty. One can easily golf at this golflink at a mere amount of $40. They also have a driving range close by which makes it even easier. One can also catch a great view of fireworks each year from here on 4th of July.
Get a bit of space at the NASA Ames Exploration Center
At the entrance of the Nasa Ames Research Centre, stands a museum that holds exhibits that are some absolute groundbreaking findings in the field of space and astronomy. The museum exhibits a Moon rock that was found by Apollo 15, a model of the SOFIA aircraft, a model exhibit of the Kepler Mission and the Mercury-Redstone 1A capsule.
Learn to shop like the locals at the San Jose Flea Market
Located on the north-east end of San Jose, this market is a home to buy everything cheap from clothes, cologne, vegetables, meat and also if you need some good cheap beer. In the middle of the flea market, one can catch a Mexican band play some songs to cheer you up. The flea market also has lots of rides for the kids and great food trucks too.
Run free at the Alum Rock Park
Standing on the east front of San Jose city, this municipality park is situated on the foothills of the Diablo Range.The park has switchbacks from ridges to trails and back to ridges. Along with picnic and play areas, this lush green park also has mineral springs, camping areas and volleyball pits. Bikers have limited access to the park as it is mostly for hikers. One can also find themselves gaping at a deer or gray foxes on one of the trails in the park.
Educate yourselves with Vietnamese history at the Viet Museum
Situated in San Jose city, this museum is a remembrance of the boat people of Vietnam and to all those Vietnamese people who shifted out from their country to come and settle in the United States. This is the first of all Vietnamese museums that are constructed out of Vietnam. The museum also honours all the Vietnamese soldiers who lost their lives serving their people at the war front. This museum is definitely going to give you chills all through your body.
Pray at the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
One cannot really find out a Roman catholic church in the midst of an American street. But, Downtown San Jose begs to differ as this cathedral stands tall with its intricate and eye catching architecture. The interior of this church is staggeringly beautiful as it is architectured with plaques and stained glass windows. The church is not at all crowded at any time of the day so one can easily catch a quiet corner and adore its beauty.
Attend a convention at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center
One can attend different conventions at this convention centre in the midst of San Jose. It is the largest convention centre in Silicon Valley with an area of 51,000 square metres. Adjoining the convention centre are the hotels of Marriott and Hilton. Some of the events that take place at this convention centre are Facebook F8, Silicon Valley International Auto Show, Comic Fests, Furcon, the NHL Fan fair and Fanimecon.
Connect with the nature at the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Originally opening its gates in the year 1961, this zoo in the midst of the San Jose city is home to various different animals and birds. The zoo is famous for its petting zoo space, carousel and roller coasters. One can find meerkats, goats, jaguars, lemurs, red panda and anteaters roaming around in the zoo. The emphasis of this zoo is on educating people about wildlife preservation. The zoo gives the young and adults a vibrant atmosphere to bask in.
Take a peaceful stroll down the Japanese Friendship Garden
Sitting on one walled corner of the Kelley Park, this garden is constructed after Japan’s Korakuen Garden in Okayama. The ponds are filled with koi that was sent from Japan in the year 1966. The garden gives a good breathing space in the middle of the bustle bustle that the city is. One can easily pick one corner overlooking one of the ponds and read their favourite Murakami book.
Bike your worries away at the Guadalupe River Trail
Running along the river for over 9 miles, this trail consists of two different segments. The surrounding grounds are full of daffodils, irises and California golden poppies. The trail provides the bikers with scenic views with the river flowing right beside and the distant hills that show in between the twists and turns in the trail.
Take a hike through the Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Considered a landmark in California history, this park is situated in south San Jose. There are a lot of trails for the hiker to choose from and that is what makes this park unique. One can have a good look at San Jose city up from the top too. The park is full of native wildlife, and an old mining historical place right within it called the Buena Vista. Some of the trails in the park are pretty hard to hike and others are good for a family hike on a Sunday morning.