Few locations are as stunning as California. We love street tripping via California as a result of we all the time discover someplace new to discover. The state has among the greatest seashores, cities, and hikes in the complete United States. Located in Northern California only one hour south of San Francisco, San Jose is likely one of the greatest cities on the west coast.
San Jose is a vacationer sizzling spot. There are many issues to do in San Jose, from heritage points of interest to pure surroundings and climbing trails. It can be identified for its cutting-edge tech motion and academic alternatives. It is residence to San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, and even Silicon Valley, the house of the tech business.
Top issues to do in San Jose, California
Visiting San Jose is certainly a type of locations to go to if you’re street tripping via this a part of the United States. The metropolis is fast-paced and all the time maintaining with the newest tendencies and developments. However, it additionally has a robust sense of historical past and heritage. Get prepared as a result of these are the twenty-five greatest issues to do in San Jose, California.
You’ll discover enjoyable actions throughout this cool metropolis. Whatever you select, we have now little doubt that you’ll have a good time. But be certain that to try our recommendations of issues to do in San Jose to get you began.
An effective way to get round California is by automobile. This makes doing day journeys to locations like Monterey, Silicon Valley, and wineries a lot simpler to discover. Check automobile rental costs for San Jose right here.
1. Shop on Santana Row
San Jose’s Silicon Valley is fairly darn well-known. It’s identified for the most important assortment of tech corporations and is all the time concerned in the newest and biggest initiatives. But, if you need to choose up a brand new gadget as a memento, purchasing on Santana Row is likely one of the greatest issues to do in San Jose.
Santana Row is the place you possibly can choose the fruits of Silicon Valley labor. It is a business district, booming with life and flooded with eating places, retailers, and plazas. Shopping lovers and tech fanatics alike will take pleasure in strolling the streets.
There is sufficient to see (and purchase) on Santana Row to preserve you occupied for at the very least half a day. However, if you happen to embrace a visit to the Santana Row cinema, permit a full day to respect the district.
2. San Jose Improv
Fancy amusing? San Jose Improv has been a dependable venue for a giggle because it opened in 2002. The venue hosts movie star comedians and newcomers, appearing as a ladder for up-and-coming west coast artists and a venue for in-demand performers.
The NYC-born chain opened in the 60s and branched out to San Jose on the flip of the century. Catching a comedy present is a enjoyable approach to spend a night. We advocate checking the schedule for occasions that coincide along with your go to to San Jose.
The San Jose Improv theater is lavishly adorned, with comfy seats and each seat in the home presents good views of the stage. Don’t fear an excessive amount of about last-minute tickets having insufficient seating – in spite of everything, sitting additional again simply means you might be much less probably to get known as upon if you don’t need to be.
3. Institute of Contemporary Art
If you might be an artwork lover then you will have to spend a while in Downtown San Jose at one of many many artwork galleries. The Institute of Contemporary Art is the proper spot for looking and admiring and is break up into three totally different gallery areas. Some items are everlasting, however most are non permanent, that means the San Jose Institute is all the time recent and thrilling.
The Institute has a large proportion of native and lesser-known artists. We’d advocate a go to to anybody who needs a thought-provoking and recent outlook on artwork, San Jose, and society. Some items are extra summary than others; the Institute has even offered video video games and LED lights exhibitions.
Just to utterly seal the deal, the Institute of Contemporary Art can be free to enter. Interesting, budget-friendly, and appropriate to take pleasure in in all climate, the Institute is certainly an attraction to your itinerary.
4. California Theatre
The California Theatre is one other venue to your night itineraries. The Twenties-built image home is gorgeous and hosts performs, concert events, and stay occasions. It has that elegant and intimate really feel, with seats curved round a stage you are feeling that you can nearly contact if you happen to tried.
For a basic theatre expertise, an evening at this venue ticks all of the packing containers. You can test the upcoming schedule to see what occasions align along with your go to dates. The theatre has hosted the West Side Story play, Die Fledermaus opera, and even lectures by physicists and different business consultants.
There are occasions most nights, so there’s a excessive probability that you will see that one thing of curiosity. For an additional deal with, you should buy foods and drinks on the venue earlier than or after the present.
5. Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Sometimes you need to escape to nature with out having to ‘escape’ too far. Almaden Quicksilver County Park in San Jose’s greatest reply to this conundrum.
The Mockingbird Hill Entrance to the nation park is only a twenty-minute drive south of San Jose City Center. You could be transported from San Jose’s streets to a gorgeous, hilly panorama in lower than half an hour. Almaden Quicksilver County Park is nice for climbing to scenic viewpoints and has a lot of mining historical past. You can incorporate visiting previous mining infrastructure into your walks. The park is greatest for many who need hills and historical past.
Almaden Quicksilver County Park has almost forty miles of climbing trails and thirty miles of bridleways. You can discover the nation park on foot or arrange a path experience with native stables. Either approach, the park is definitely a full-day exercise. You ought to permit at the very least a morning to respect the flora and enjoyable, pure setting.
6. Lexington Reservoir County Park
Speaking of areas of pure magnificence, Lexington Reservoir County Park is one other glorious place to go to simply exterior the San Jose heart.
The 950-acre park will get its namesake from the large synthetic lake in its heart. While swimming is prohibited, you possibly can take pleasure in a stroll across the reservoir – stopping at picnic areas and fishing spots. The reservoir itself is 338 acres and totally stocked with trout and black bass, amongst different fish.
This county park is a good place to spend a day by the water. Fishing lovers and households will notably respect the lake entry. It can be properly mixed with a go to to Testarossa Winery, situated simply ten minutes up the street.
7. Tech Interactive
You can’t go to the house of Silicon Valley with out visiting the Tech Interactive Museum. Tech is an integral a part of San Jose’s historical past and future, so the place higher to be taught extra about this contemporary world we stay in.
Tech Interactive is about in the midst of all of the Downtown San Jose motion. The museum has every little thing from experimental labs to design problem experiences – deliberate to make you assume and uncover for your self, reasonably than feeding secondhand data via uninteresting exhibitions.
Tech Interactive is family-friendly however not at all excludes adults with out youngsters. Guests of all ages will benefit from the museum, so mark it down as a robust possibility when visiting San Jose.
Where to Stay in San Jose
Recommended accommodations to get you began. If you might be questioning the place to keep in San Jose, first-timers will take pleasure in making a base downtown.
8. Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph
The Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph is undoubtedly one of many prettiest buildings in San Jose. The Catholic cathedral is stuffed with all that attribute extravagance, lined from ground to ceiling in gorgeous architectural options and non secular significance.
The Odell Organ is especially spectacular and was constructed in 1886 – not that you simply’d guess that from its excellently maintained situation. The ceiling is gold-plated and options elaborate domes and ornament. Between the stained glass home windows, non secular statues, and calming environment, the cathedral is sufficient to impress you no matter your non secular beliefs.
A tour is the easiest way to expertise the great thing about the Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph. Tours run on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 1 pm and three pm.
9. Guadalupe River Park
Guadalupe River Park is barely totally different from the parks we’ve lined. Guadalupe is an inner-city park situated smack bang in the center of Downtown San Jose. Behind the treetops, you possibly can nonetheless see town’s skyscrapers, and the park has a pure solace in a metropolis really feel, reasonably than feeling utterly reduce off from civilization.
Guadalupe has 2.6 miles of climbing and biking trails, which is ideal for these wanting a stretch of their legs. It is frequent to see morning joggers or professionals taking lunch breaks in the park. But, as a vacationer, it’s good to be a part of them.
This park is a good place to expertise the city neighborhood and respect inside metropolis greenspace. Thanks to its downtown location, it’s simply added to even essentially the most packed itineraries.
10. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo wears many belts. The park is an amusement park, petting zoo, and unique zoo all in one.
Happy Hollow Park is situated in Kelley Park, a 250-acre inexperienced house close to town heart. While the zoo is comparatively small, it homes over 150 animals – a lot of whom are rescued or endangered members of a conservation breeding program.
Visitors can become involved with dealing with animals, come face-to-face with unique animals, or let unfastened on the amusement park rides. You may attend particular workshops, with academic and sensible alternatives to deepen your information of the animal kingdom.
11. Plaza de Cesar Chavez
Did we point out how superb Downtown San Jose is? Just to reiterate, Downtown San Jose is likely one of the greatest locations to discover in town. And, if you need a selected spot to respect this space of San Jose, Plaza de Cesar Chavez is our prime suggestion.
Plaza de Cesar Chavez is likely one of the hottest out of doors areas in town. In the middle is a statue of the Mayan god Quetzalcoatl and an space of water jets that spurt up from floor degree in a reasonably show.
Plaza de Cesar Chavez is a must-visit if you happen to go to San Jose in summer time or close to Christmas. In summer time, the water fountains and greenspace make the park a beautiful, cool house to loosen up outside. Near Christmas, the entire space is decked out with festive pop-up buildings and actions. Watch out for the ice skating rink, a spotlight attraction of the 12 months.
12. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is unimaginable; there isn’t a denying that. The museum is devoted to historic Egypt, displaying the most important assortment on historic Egyptian artifacts in Western North America. It contains exhibitions on burial processes and different notable traditions.
Some of essentially the most useful artifacts are mummies, together with a mummy from Usermontu’s coffin. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum isn’t one for the squeamish or demise averse, because it dives straight into all of the gory, sensible particulars about burials.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an interesting exercise if you happen to like historic historical past. However, it is an interesting sufficient museum to preserve the common customer as properly. Even Rosicrucian Park, the place the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is about, is adorned in Egyptian model, with Egyptian buildings and palm bushes to set the scene.
13. San Jose Museum of Art
Are modern art work shows not your factor? Or do you simply desire a bigger venue than that of San Jose’s Institute? The San Jose Museum of Art is a perfect place to indulge additional in your love of artwork.
The San Jose Museum of Art has every little thing, from modern to fashionable artwork. It has over 2,500 items in its everlasting assortment and extra non permanent exhibitions which might be continually shifting and altering. It is well-worth permitting at the very least a number of hours to see all of it, plus longer if you need to take it in as an fanatic or skilled.
The San Jose Museum of Art is a good wet day exercise or only a place to broaden your inventive consciousness and information. It has one of many largest collections of artwork in town, and it’s certainly one of our prime suggestions on issues to do in San Jose.
14. Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden is a small, walled, six-acre backyard in Kelley Park. If you haven’t visited a standard Japanese backyard earlier than, you actually ought to. The Japanese Friendship Garden in Kelley Park is an ideal instance, with streams, bridges, and ponds interconnected in a meticulous backyard.
The backyard is designed to symbolize peace and friendship, and it has a particular environment of serenity. The little bridges are good to stroll in firm or alone, deep in thought. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a good possibility if you need a soothing factor to do in San Jose.
San Jose’s Japanese Friendship Garden is so stunning that it’s usually used for out of doors marriage ceremony ceremonies. Take a stroll via and respect it your self – you solely want a spare hour.
15. A day journey to the Santa Cruz Mountains
A day in the mountains is difficult to resist. The Santa Cruz Mountains break up Santa Clara Valley from San Francisco Bay and are solely an hour’s drive from San Jose Center.
The mountain vary is coastal, and lots of of its climbing trails have ocean views overlooking San Francisco Bay. The Santa Cruz Mountains are additionally well-known for his or her redwood bushes – the tallest tree species on the planet. While Santa Cruz doesn’t have any redwoods of record-breaking top, they’re nonetheless imposing.
You may hike the tallest mountain, Loma Prieta. You may go mountain biking via steep forest trails. Or, you can loosen up and spend a day wine tasting in one of many area’s many wineries – simply be sure to’ve received a secure experience again to town.
This South Bay Wineries Tour takes you on a VIP journey to 4 wineries from San Francisco together with in the foothills of the San Cruz Mountains together with Cupertino and Saratoga. Learn about wine making course of and pattern the perfect wines in the San Francisco Bay space. It features a picnic lunch. Details right here.
16. Japanese American Museum
The Japanese Friendship Gardens are fairly. But the Japanese American Museum is a wonderful place to be taught extra about Japanese American tradition and historical past.
The museum follows the story of Japanese immigration – from the most well-liked early roles taken in American society to the affect of World War Two on the neighborhood. The Japanese American Museum tackles heavy matters like discrimination whereas questioning the essence of the American identification.
Add this museum to your itinerary for a thought-provoking and insightful factor to do in San Jose.
17. Alum Rock Park
Alum Rock Park is an oldie however goldie. The public park is the oldest municipal park in California and a preferred afternoon journey from San Jose.
The park sits on the foothills of the Diablo Mountains and is roughly 720 acres in dimension. There are climbing, biking, horseback driving trails, and mineral springs to bathe in. The park is lengthy established as a pure well being spa getaway and an amazing spot to go wild swimming.
In quick, this park is implausible. You can spot wildlife like red-tailed hawks and inexperienced herons. You can get lively on foot or on a motorbike. Or you possibly can simply loosen up and funky off in pure mineral water – which is all the time refreshing in Californian summers.
18. Yosemite National Park
A vacation in San Jose doesn’t imply proscribing your self to spending the entire time in the San Jose space. The metropolis is ideally situated to discover California’s nationwide parks – so why not spend the day additional afield? You can simply hire a automobile in San Jose or buy a guided tour like this on GetYourInformation.
Tunnel View, Olmsted Point, Washburn Point, and Vernal Falls are viewpoints you need to prioritize on a flying go to to the nationwide park. If you spend various hours in Yosemite, you can additionally deal with one of many shorter trails like Cook Meadow’s Loop, Sentinel Dome, or Mirror Lake.
Yosemite National Park is likely one of the most well-known parks in the United States, by no means thoughts simply California. The park is a four-hour drive away, so that you’ll want to set off early in the morning and should desire to have a number of drivers to make driving the space in sooner or later possible. Alternatively, simply keep in Yosemite in a single day and add on the journey as a detour from San Jose.
You can e book day excursions from San Jose to Yosemite National Park. This extremely rated tour
19. SAP Center
The SAP Center is a big area in the middle of San Jose. The area incessantly hosts worldwide artists and is understood for its larger-than-life occasions. It has a capability of over 17,000 individuals and, on a superb day, you possibly can wager that it fills it. When visiting you need to positively preserve an eye fixed out for San Jose Shark video games on the SAP Center.
The San Jose Sharks are town’s ice hockey group, and the SAP Center is their revered residence floor. The SAP heart even has the nickname ‘the shark tank’. You’ll be rewarded with an electrical environment and a superb area expertise if you happen to can catch a house recreation. The pleasure is infectious even if you happen to haven’t watched ice hockey earlier than.
You can test the schedule on the San Jose Shark’s and SAP Center’s web sites. It’s greatest to e book tickets in advance to keep away from disappointment, as loyal followers rapidly snatch up out there tickets.
20. Vasona Lake County Park
Vasona Lake Country Park is the cherry on the highest of San Jose’s nation parks. The park is situated in the residential space of Los Gatos. It spans a scenic 45 acres of trails, picnic areas, and inexperienced house.
In the middle of the park, very similar to Lexington Park, there’s a massive reservoir that’s appropriate and stocked for fishing. The reservoir is recognizable by many distinctive options, together with Goose Island (a tiny pure island on the lake) and the Vasona Lake Dam. Walking the lake perimeter is a gorgeous approach to respect the park and the good outside.
While Vasona Lake Country Park is way smaller than Lexington Country Park, it’s the only option if you need a brief lakeside expertise. A go to to Vasona simply matches into half a day, and you can see the perfect components in simply a few hours. If you might be quick on time, it’s a implausible possibility to take pleasure in suburban nature.
21. Winchester Mystery House
Visiting Winchester Mystery House is likely one of the most weird and creepy issues in San Jose. And if that isn’t sufficient to tempt you in for a go to, hear to this. Book this Winchester Mystery Tour
Winchester Mansion belonged to Sarah Winchester, a rich heiress of the Winchester Repeating Arms. With her fortune, Sarah commissioned the development of Winchester Mansion. However, the method was tormented by supernatural incidents. It quickly grew to become obvious that Winchester rifle victims had been haunting the home.
The development course of took a grand complete of 38 years. Even for a 160-room mansion, you’d be proper to assume that this timescale was on the excessively lengthy facet. Your go to will make it extra comprehensible although, as Sarah commissioned many weird options to deter the hauntings. The mansion is sort of a real-life maze – with color-coded rooms and misleading routes like staircases main nowhere.
We advocate reserving a tour as, whereas a bit of costly, you’ll get essentially the most informative expertise this manner. Winchester Mystery House is partly a San Jose heritage attraction and considerably a supernatural expertise. Either approach, although, it is likely one of the greatest issues to do in town.
22. San Jose Flea Market
San Jose Flea Market is as a lot a cultural spot as it’s a market. Yes, you’ll discover all of the stalls with a various vary of products to purchase. But you’ll additionally discover free dance classes, trivia occasions, and a beer backyard.
The metropolis’s flea market has been in full swing because it opened its doorways in the Nineteen Sixties. You’ll discover over 800 sellers attending each weekend. However, there are additionally designated weekday market days, so don’t fret if you’re visiting San Jose through the week.
San Jose Flea Market has every little thing – even stay music. The market has a stage that native performers can select to carry out to consumers on, and, as a rule, this stage attracts a bit of gathering. Visiting the market is a enjoyable factor to do in San Jose, whether or not you need to store or simply benefit from the environment.
23. San Pedro Square Market
San Pedro Square market has a barely totally different vibe. This market specializes in meals and appears like a casual meals courtroom.
You may very well be sampling a banh mi from On A Roll, a craft beer from Market Beer Co., or tucking into hand-rolled sushi at Hyland House of Sushi. San Pedro Square Market has the perfect multi-cultural delicacies in all of San Jose, which is saying one thing, as San Jose has a number of scrumptious meals.
We advocate visiting San Pedro Market for lunch. Numerous the meals is kind of snack-like reasonably than sit-down meal dishes. Plus, you possibly can all the time come again for dinner if you happen to can’t resolve between two choices.
24. Los Gatos Creek Trail
Do you like a health problem? You ought to contemplate strolling Los Gatos Creek Trail. The 11.2-mile path begins in Downtown San Jose and ends simply previous Lexington Reservoir. You’ll cross Los Gatos County Park and Vasona Lake County Park – combining visiting a number of parks in sooner or later.
After climbing in distant, pure areas, it’s good to combine issues up and take a suburban stroll. The trailhead can be remarkably simple to entry, which is useful if you’re quick on time or not hiring a automobile in San Jose.
As you will have guessed, Los Gatos Creek Trail follows Los Gatos Creek, a small river working south of San Jose. The path itself is tarmacked and bike-friendly, so you possibly can all the time cycle it if you need to full the route faster. Otherwise, permit up to 5 hours to full Los Gatos Creek Trail on foot.
25. Children’s Discovery Museum
If you might be touring with younger companions, the Children’s Discovery Museum is a implausible, age-appropriate factor to do in San Jose.
The Children’s Discovery Museum goals to present simply that, with Montessori-style studying alternatives and specialised academic areas. The museum is designed so mother and father can take the backseat and let their youngsters direct the household across the exhibitions. There are interactive theater performances, a water play zone, and a mammoth discovery exhibit.
How to Get to San Jose
The simplest way to get to San Jose is to fly. San Jose Airport is simply 3 miles from Downtown San Jose, so it’s fast and handy to switch from the airport to town heart.
Of course, if you’re street tripping the west coast or one other widespread American street journey route, you could want to drive to San Jose. Driving to San Jose is an effective possibility if you need to cease at locations en route, as town is surrounded by points of interest and pure surroundings. Make positive that your lodging presents parking; in any other case, parking could be problematic in town.
San Jose is extraordinarily well-connected by the VTA Light Rail and Bus system. While there isn’t a subway system, you don’t discover it and most positively aren’t inconvenienced with out one. The mild rail or bus is the most suitable choice for a low-cost approach to get round San Jose.
If you keep centrally, you’ll give you the chance to discover many widespread points of interest on foot. In Downtown San Jose, there are vacationer points of interest virtually in your lodge’s doorstep.
Driving is nice for day journeys and reaching points of interest on town outskirts. Avoid driving in town heart although, as visitors is terrible and generally strolling could be faster than driving.
Best Time to Visit
In quick, spring or fall are the perfect occasions to go to San Jose. Summer is heat however far too busy, and in winter, you miss out on having fun with the out of doors actions. Spring and fall are the perfect of each worlds – not too busy however nonetheless well-suited to being outside.
To slender it down additional, May and October are the shoulder seasons and most cost-effective months to go to San Jose. Overall, May is a bit of hotter, so we advocate visiting then if you happen to can.
San Jose is stuffed with unimaginable issues to do and see. The metropolis is likely one of the greatest locations in Northern California. It is a wonderful various to the well-trodden streets of San Francisco.
You’ll be overwhelmed with leisure choices from the second you permit San Jose Airport – which, we expect, is essentially the most thrilling place to be in.