Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Milpitas, CA

  • Published 2023/02/15

Milpitas is one of the cities that make up the entire Silicon Valley in Santa Clara County, California.

Milpitas has a quaint appeal and laid-back atmosphere compared to most Silicon Valley cities hosting the world’s most famous tech companies.

Despite its reputation, Milpitas has a relatively massive population of about 80,000 within its 30-square-kilometer land area.

If you’re wondering what’s in store in Milpitas, it’s a nice place to explore.

It gives travelers easier access to the rest of Silicon Valley and famous natural areas in the north and south.

Many East Coast travelers travel mainly to Silicon Valley for its pleasant year-round weather, outdoor recreation, leisure, and sightseeing.

For instance, Milpitas is an ideal destination to include whenever you travel to Silicon Valley.

Its parks, natural areas, and other attractions offer free entry, which you and your loved ones can take advantage of.

Here’s a curated list of free things to do in Milpitas, California, and nearby places to give you ideas:

Embrace the Outdoors at Ed R. Levin County Park

Trail at Ed. R Levin County Park

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The Ed R. Levin County Park is one of the community parks you can visit within Milpitas.

You can visit this park along Calaveras Road.

What makes this park a must-visit place upon arriving in Milpitas is its unique appeal.

It’s considered one of Santa Clara County’s most recreational areas, spanning over 1,558 acres.

Ducks on Ed. R Levin County Park waters

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The park offers a perfect combination of urban and traditional features for recreation and leisure.

It has fishing areas, picnic areas, play areas, and a trail system, allowing you to explore the county’s natural areas deeper.

Also, the park is known for its picturesque rolling hills, which makes it an excellent place for sightseeing.

Plenty of exciting activities await you at the Ed R. Levin County Park, making it a recommended attraction to start your Milpitas adventure.

A bird at Ed. R Levin County Park

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Feed the Ducks at Hidden Lake Park

Hidden Lake Park is a peaceful community park known for its scenic views and fishing activities.

You can visit this park along N. Milpitas Boulevard and Escuela Parkway.

The park spans over seven acres.

It’s known for its scenic lake, a popular fishing spot, and home to dozens of ducks that add fun and color to its already gorgeous scenery.

If you want more picnic areas within Milpitas, head to this park by yourself, your family, or your friends.

Like most parks in Milpitas, it also has a picnic area, plenty of shade from the trees, trails, and barbecue grills for a relaxing outdoor activity.

Above all, you can head to Hidden Lake Park’s gorgeous lake to cast your line or feed the ducks with breadcrumbs for a more worthwhile experience.

See the Flora and Fauna of Jose Higuera Adobe Park

The Jose Higuera Adobe Park is home to a historic adobe house and its fascinating flora and fauna collection.

You can visit this place along Wessex Place.

It’s where you can find the 1830s Jose Higuera Adobe House, surrounded by exotic flowers, plants, and trees, which guarantees to excite botanists.

Wandering this place allows you to see the gorgeous natural beauty of the area and a glimpse of Milpitas’ colorful past.

Besides the lush greenery, you’ll also pass interpretive signs telling the history of Jose Higuera Adobe Park.

Marvel at the Shirdi Sai Parivaar Temple

Shirdi Sai Parivaar is like most Hindu spiritual places, with lovely architecture and a solemn atmosphere that draws people to visit.

You can visit this temple run by volunteers along California Circle.

The temple, one of the major religious centers for Indians in Silicon Valley, is home to its patron, Shirdi Sai Baba.

This temple lets you take photos of its intricate and fantastic architecture, artwork, and sections.

At the same time, you can also join worshippers at the Shirdi Sai Parivaar during religious activities and festivals open to everyone.

Play Games at Peter D. Gill Memorial Park

Head to the Peter D. Gill Memorial Park if you’re itching for fun-filled action on the field.

You can visit this park along Paseo Refugio.

This community park is perfect for outdoor activities, especially sports, since it’s home to numerous sports facilities open for everyone.

It has multiple sports fields for baseball, softball, soccer, and frisbee.

At the same time, it has a dedicated pickleball court, barbeque and picnic area, and a playground for kids.

Besides sports, picnicking and unwinding are the two most popular things you can enjoy at the Peter D. Gill Memorial Park.

Browse the Mook Art Gallery

Mook Art Gallery is a small but charming art gallery that features local artists’ works.

You can visit this art gallery inside Milpitas’ Great Mall.

This gallery is home to a collection of exquisite artworks, primarily paintings from the county’s best artists.

It’s one of the go-to places to see local arts in Milpitas, considering it’s been open since 1997.

Mook Art Gallery is the best place in this city to check out gorgeous commissioned and displayed artworks for hours.

Drop by this art gallery for some worthwhile art-related experiences.

Reflect on Life at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is one of Milpitas’ major religious centers.

You can visit this old church along S. Main Street.

Historically, the church has served Catholics in the area since the 1800s.

It was established by a small mission comprising Portuguese immigrants in the area.

The church was initially built with wood frames but was gutted by fire and an earthquake.

Despite the tragic events, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was reconstructed in the 1990s.

Today, the church remains one of the sources of faith for Milpitas Catholics and a nice place to visit for history and worship.

Join the Milpitas International Festival & BBQ

The annual Milpitas International Festival & BBQ allows you to see the fun side of the locals.

You can join this two-day festival every second week of May.

The City of Milpitas and the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce organize this festival which has been happening for years.

It usually highlights fun-filled entertainment, plenty of activities, food, and drinks in a wholesome atmosphere.

Thousands of people flock to Milpitas to join locals in celebrating this unique festival you mustn’t miss celebrating whenever you’re in the city.

The Milpitas International Festival & BBQ is a must-attend festival in the city because of its exciting yearly surprises from the organizers.

Follow the Hetch Hetchy Trail

The Hetch Hetchy Trail is a unique nature trail that follows a diagonal direction.

The trail, a popular hiking and biking destination, runs through Milpitas and several cities and towns.

You can start hiking this trail at the Peter E. Gill Memorial Park and traverse miles of trails that feature natural areas, sceneries, neighborhoods, and parks.

Walking this trail allows you to explore Milpitas deeper and uncover hidden gems.

At the same time, the Hetch Hetchy Trail is a fun way to sweat and enjoy sightseeing, making this a recommended place to visit.

Play Tennis at Pinewood Park

Pinewood Park is another noteworthy community park you can check out.

This park is situated along Starlite Drive and Lone Tree Circuit.

Like most parks in Milpitas, this one has picnic tables, a playground, and barbeque grills for a nice family outing.

However, most parkgoers visit this park to play or watch tennis.

Pinewood Park is home to four tennis courts, allowing you to play with your friends or locals.

At the same time, the park has several lighted basketball courts and soccer fields for other options when you’re itching to play sports.

Bring Your Kids to the Albert Augustine Jr. Memorial Park Playground

The Albert Augustine Jr. Memorial Park Playground is an excellent place to spend your time outdoors, especially for kids.

You can visit this playground along Cortez & Coelho and Roger Streets.

Historically, the park is situated within Milpitas’ first integrated community, home to the city’s diverse population.

Within the park is a gorgeous playground for kids to enjoy.

The playground has giant slides, ladders, swings, seesaws, climbs, and spinning columns, making it a perfect place for kids to have a fantastic time.

Meanwhile, the playground is adjacent to the park’s picnic area, where grownups can watch their kids while relaxing.

So, remember to add Albert Augustine Jr. Memorial Park Playground to your itinerary for a great time with your kids.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Since Milpitas is part of the vast Silicon Valley, exploring the rest of the region or perhaps Santa Clara County is a good idea.

There are plenty of exciting and free things to do nearby Milpitas, so check out some of the recommended places to visit below.

Meet the Japanese Locals at Japantown

A temple at Japantown

Wayne Hsieh78 / Shutterstock.com

Japantown is a famous San Jose, California district, 12 minutes from Milpitas.

This district, situated in San Jose’s downtown area, virtually takes you to mainland Japan because of its authentic Japanese culture, vibes, and activities.

Buildings along Japantown

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The district served as the location for Japanese American migrants to settle back in the day.

From a simple community, Japantown became one of San Jose’s most famous tourist attractions for its shops, food, and unique festivals.

People at Japantown

Meiko21, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hike the Calera Creek Trail

Calera Creek Trail is a six-kilometer looped trail known for its challenging route.

You can hike through this trail by driving four miles northeast of Milpitas near Mission Peak Regional Preserve.

Most hikers reported that they finished hiking through the trail within two hours.

However, you might spend more time at this trail taking photos and appreciating its lovely view of Santa Clara’s rolling hills and natural areas.

Hiking through the Calera Creek Trail also takes you to several outdoor recreation areas and parks, such as the Ed R. Levin County Park in Milpitas.

Spot Birds at Coyote Hills Regional Park

Scenic view of Coyote Hills Regional Park

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Coyote Hills Regional Park is a vast natural area home to some of the most vibrant wildlife habitats in the region.

You can visit this regional park in Fremont, California, 20 minutes from Milpitas.

The park covers over 1,266 acres of rolling hills, grassland, and marshes, home to various wildlife and bird species.

Bench at Coyote Hills Regional Park

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It’s a no-brainer that many birdwatchers and nature lovers love to visit this park.

Besides birdwatching, you can enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking at the Coyote Hills Regional Park.

Boardwalk at Coyote Hills Regional Park

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Explore the Famous Intel Museum

Exterior of the Intel Museum

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Your Silicon Valley journey won’t be complete without touring the world-renowned Intel Museum.

You can visit this famous museum in Santa Clara, California, 12 minutes from Milpitas.

The museum allows you to see inside the headquarters of this world-famous semiconductor manufacturer through its free self and guided tours.

Interior of the Intel Museum

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Inside are exhibits, interactive displays, and plenty of high-tech machinery and tools you can see up close.

Bring your family or friends and explore the history of Intel, its breakthrough technologies, and incredible inventions that changed the world.

The Intel Museum spans over 10,000 square feet of fun interactive experiences you mustn’t miss before returning home.

Exhibit in the Intel Museum

Oleg Alexandrov, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Silicon Valley isn’t just about the giant tech companies operating in this California region.

It’s also a place for charming cities like Milpitas, which offers travelers a one-of-a-kind experience with its charming and laid-back appeal.

Start planning your adventure with this curated list of free things to do in Milpitas, California!

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