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Fun Things to do in San Jose


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city guide

San Jose, California, is known for being a technological hub and the largest city in Silicon Valley. It is also known for being the home of the Winchester Mystery House and for its multiple flower gardens. Additionally, it is famous for having the most expensive housing market in the United States.


Best time to go

The best time to visit San Jose is from the dry months of May to September. San Jose generally experiences Mediterranean climates with dry summers and wet winters. However, the temperatures rarely, if ever, drop below freezing. The busiest months for the city are in July and August.


Fun city facts and activities

    The best things to do in San Jose deserve a spot on your Bay Area bucket list. No longer the mousy step-sister to San Francisco, San Jose is finally moving into a spotlight of its own as the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley. Just like its diverse population whose roots stretch from Latin America to Asia, San Jose is a diverse collection of historic places, outdoor adventures, scientific innovation, great restaurants (the Mexican restaurants in San Jose are especially great) and oddball institutions. Downtown San Jose and the South of First (SoFa) districts are the fastest growing neighborhoods for eateries, bars and breweries and also the center of San Joses arts scene. Elsewhere in town youll find cant miss gems like the famous Winchester Mystery House, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and the NASA Ames Research Center. Staying for awhile? Book a room in one of these San Jose hotels.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Willow Glen
    West San Jose
    Los Gatos
    Silver Creek

Food Specialties

    News flash: The South Bay is bursting with delicious and trendy restaurants. And San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to an impressive and exciting food scene. In the diverse city, you'll find stellar taquerias, family-run Greek spots, and even a Michelin star or two. In fact, the best restaurants in San Jose run the gamut from Mexican eateries to Asian noodle houses to Portuguese and Austrian fine dining.

    If you want to explore the area, head to Downtown San Jose or the South of First (SoFa) districtthe fastest growing neighborhoods for restaurants, bars and breweries and a thriving arts sceneto find some of the best eats and things to do in San Jose. All that walking is sure to make you hungry.

San Jose Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Visit the Winchester Mystery House: Explore the mysterious and eccentric Winchester Mystery House, a sprawling, 160-room mansion built by the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune.

2. Take a stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden: Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the San Jose Japanese Friendship Garden, which features a central pond, a Japanese tea house and a collection of Japanese plants and trees.

3. Explore the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: Discover the mysteries of ancient Egypt at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts and mummies.

4. Visit the Tech Museum of Innovation: Learn about the latest advances in science, technology and innovation at the Tech Museum of Innovation.

5. Go wine tasting at the Clos LaChance Winery: Sample the award-winning wines produced at the Clos LaChance Winery, located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

6. Visit

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, spanning 16 acres, is a zoo and amusement park.
It is well-maintained and one of the top places to take kids in San Jose.

2. The Tech Interactive
The Tech Interactive, found in downtown San Jose, is a technology and science museum.

3. Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House is a historic landmark and a gorgeous architectural wonder.
It is a popular tourist attraction featuring a variety of tour options.

4. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds hosts the iconic Santa Clara County Fair, normally occurring around the last week of July or the first week of August.

5. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is a phenomenal museum dedicated to the grandeur of Ancient Egypt.

6. Monopoly in the Park
Monopoly in the Park is an award-winning urban park and garden.
It is home to a life-size monopoly game board.

7. Raging Waters
Raging Waters, spanning 23 acres, is a brilliant water park in San Jose.
It features attractions suited for the entire family.

8. Childrens Discovery Museum of San Jose
The Childrens Discovery Museum of San Jose is a family-oriented museum featuring interactive galleries and hands-on activities.

9. Emma Prusch Farm Park
Emma Prusch Farm Park is a charming farm within the city.
It is a well-known attraction for those looking for cheap family-fun.

10. Municipal Rose Garden
The Municipal Rose Garden, roughly 37 acres in size, is home to more than 3,500 roses of every color.

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City data and FAQ 

What is San Jose most known for?

Silicon Valley and the start of the computer industry. Although much of the work of inventing Apple computers and others happened near San Jose, it was in San Jose that most of the companies really took off. Silicon Valley encompasses the Santa Clara Valley but when people are asked where Silicon Valley is located, they will most often refer to San Jose.
Mike Azevedo Lives in California

In my view, as a long-time citizen of San Jose. As the southmost point of Silicon valley and the Bay Area; Home of the San Jose Airport, one of 3 main airports to visit the Bay Area (SFO and Oakland are the other two); Home of Santana Row, 5 blocks of real estate with more action and fun than the whole downtown; The Valley Fair mall (across from Santana Row); Home of San Jose State and Santa Clara University; The San Jose Arena, home of the SJ Sharks and a main concert venue; Good affordable housing for first-time residents of Silicon Valley.
Konstantinos Konstantinides Lives in San Francisco Bay Area

San Jose is a good place to live and to raise a family with good schools and good overall government. Good neighborhoods with ready access to whatever one needs including good medical care, to support a nice contemporary American lifestyle. To day nothing of the excellent warm sunny year round weather with no humidity. San Jose is the future of America with her diverse population, hi tech industries.
People talk about lack of culture, what the hell they are talking about. How often does one goes to the long hair concerts, opera etc. museums, once every other year? However San Jose for whatever reason can not support small mom and pop type unique restaurants.
The people of San Jose are mobile and auto based. These people can access whatever they desire within one hour drive, the beach, the river delta, the Santa Cruz mountains, San Francisco if they want t go there, three plus hours to the mountains for skiing during the winter.
Glenn Lee Lives in Northern California

Are two days enough to visit San Jose?

You could stay 6 months and not see it all_ I was born and raised in San Jose I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jose.
Edwin Wilkerson

Now, I havent been to San Jose as a tourist in a long time, but Id say It depends on what you want to do. In a city the size of San Jose there are a thousand things to do and see. Two days hardly seems like enough time if youre going to enjoy yourself.
Greg Ellis - Lives in Tulsa, OK

Do you need a car to visit San Jose?

Not really. you can get there by plane train and bus. once youre there, downtown is very pleasant and quite walkable. moreover theres excellent train service up the peninsula to san francisco, which has incredible public transportation.
Jim Forbes

Not absolutely, but San Jose is a big city and a car is going to make everything from going to the store to driving across town to see friends or family a whole lot easier. There is no absolute legal requirement for you to have a car or a drivers license, but it makes getting around faster a whole lot easier.
Greg Ellis - Lives in Tulsa, OK

It depends on what part of San Jose you want to visit. It is a big sprawling city. If you are going downtown you can take Caltrain. BART goes to the northern and eastern part of the city. There is also light rail and bus service.
Tom Taber Lives in San Francisco Bay Area (1950 Present)

The area is a bit like Orange County. They are both suburb regions of larger communities. The region was designed for cars. But there are other good options. Bart runs from San Francisco to San Jose and costs $7 to $10. VTA is a regional Transit Authority. So you do have options.
San Jose has an Airport. You could fly into San Jose. Where you start from and where you are going makes a difference. Flying is a good option. From the San Jose Airport you could take a Taxi, transit, or or VTA-depending on your destination. I hope this information helps.
The Bay Area has very good public transportation compared to most of California. So plan a route and you should be fine.
Remy Martin

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