Despite its proximity to San Francisco, the city of San Jose is generally passed over in favour of the Bay Area’s other major attraction. San Jose is the largest city in Northern California and is known as the “Capital of Silicon Valley” due to its prominence as a cultural, commercial, and political hub.


Top 10 Places to Visit in San José

The Spanish founded the city in 1777, and it has since been famous for its pleasant climate, breathtaking scenery, and abundance of attractive parks and gardens.

Top 10 Places to Visit in San José

Very multiethnic, the city’s many distinct districts are studded with notable cultural institutions and architectural masterpieces. San Jose, California, is a great destination since it has a wide variety of attractions, from amusement parks and outdoor activities to major sporting and cultural events.

1. Santana Row

Santana Row is one of San Jose’s most stylish and popular destinations for shopping, dining, and people-watching. Silicon Valley moguls flock to this charming neighbourhood just west of downtown, which can be reached in ten minutes by car.

Before being transformed into a “village inside a city” in the early 2000s, the region was a typical quiet neighbourhood. Chic shops and hotels joined the previously existing hip hangouts and fine dining establishments to form the current luxury real estate sector.

The streets are well landscaped with fountains and flowerbeds, and they are a joy to wander through thanks to the abundance of outdoor patios and public places. Santana Row is usually bustling with activity, thanks to its excellent street singers, abundance of cultural events, and art theatres.

2. Municipal Rose Garden

The wonderful Municipal Rose Garden is a really tranquil and picturesque location to wander, and it’s only a short distance from the museum. The beautiful landscape and heady aromas of the award-winning garden make it a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

The beautiful garden, which was formerly a prune orchard, now features more than 3,500 of the amazing flowers and serpentine walks through the rows of roses. Over 200 species are represented overall, with more flowers, shrubs, and trees tucked into various nooks and crannies.

The garden, which first opened in 1927, is accessible every day of the year, but May is peak viewing season due to the abundance of blooming flowers.

3. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an interesting location to visit because it houses the biggest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the Western United States. This massive complex may be found in San Jose’s Rose Garden area, which is only five minutes from the downtown core by car.

It was established in 1928, and since then it has grown to house more than four thousand relics from antiquity. You can find anything from linens and utensils to monumental stone statues, scrolls, and sarcophagi among its countless displays.

A reproduction of an ancient tomb can also be found within the museum, with one of the structures having been inspired by the Temple of Amun in Karnak. There’s also a planetarium and a temple to the Rosicrucians there.

4. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, in the centre of downtown San Jose, is another of the city’s architectural highlights. It is a fantastic structure that can be found on the highest point of the Plaza de Cesaz Chavez, in close proximity to other major tourist destinations in the area.

The current cathedral was constructed in 1877, expanding on an earlier adobe structure. It features beautiful Renaissance Revival architecture. The cathedral’s massive dome is its most distinctive feature, but its attractive front also features two graceful towers and innumerable stained-glass windows.

Its interior is just as beautiful, with a gorgeous altar and the only remaining Odell pipe organ in the United States amidst fine religious artworks and fantastic friezes.

5. Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most extraordinary and out-of-the-ordinary structures you would ever see. It’s an incredible site to explore because it’s full of hidden rooms, deceptive entrances, and other oddities.

Sarah Winchester, the widow of the weapons mogul, made numerous alterations to the home’s design and layout throughout its construction, which began in 1886 but was not finished for another 38 years. She thought this was the only way to ward off the ghosts of those shot with a Winchester.

The outcome is a bizarrely lovely National Historic Landmark Victorian home in the superb Queen Anne style. If you can find your way around the maze of fake corridors and stairwells, there are 160 rooms waiting for you within.

6. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

In addition to the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo may be found within the massive Kelley Park. It’s a great spot to take the kids because there are rides and animal displays, making it a great place to spend the day.

Since its opening in 1961, the park’s roller coasters, thrills, and hospitable inhabitants have brought smiles to the faces of visitors of all ages. This zoo primarily houses smaller creatures, although visitors can also see jaguars and gigantic anteaters roaming their large cages, in addition to capybara, lemurs, and fossa.

You can pet goats and rabbits at the petting zoo, but there’s also mini golf, a weird home, and a puppet performance.

7. SAP Center

Check out the SAP Center’s lineup of hockey games, concerts, and sporting events if you’re looking for a memorable and thrilling San Jose experience.

The massive indoor arena, a short walk west of downtown, opened in 1993 and is best known as the home of the San Jose Sharks. The city’s wildly popular professional hockey club makes an impressive entrance out of a massive shark head, adding to the spectacle of the game.

The SAP Center is home to many other high-profile events besides its quick and frenetic hockey games, such as MMA and figure skating championships and major concerts by Harry Styles and Justin Bieber.

8. Los Gatos Creek Trail

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is a little over 9 miles long and connects the outskirts of town to the Lexington Reservoir in the Santa Cruz Mountain foothills. The path is a delight to walk, run, or ride a bike along, and it winds primarily along the picturesque tiny rill of the same name.

The picturesque trail is loved by both inhabitants and visitors since it links together a wide variety of parks, open areas, and neighbourhoods. Hence, there are many wonderful destinations to visit, such as the massive Pruneyard Shopping Mall and the upmarket establishments of Willow Glen.

In addition to taking in the breathtaking vistas, visitors to Vasona Lake County Park can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, from kayaking and paddleboarding to hiking and mountain biking.

9. Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a tranquil and beautiful destination that can be reached in less than ten minutes by car from the city’s epicentre. The beautiful walks, lakes, and pagoda in this garden were inspired by the famed Korakuen Garden in Okayama, San Jose’s twin city in Japan.

The beautiful garden, which has been welcoming visitors since 1965, serves as a symbol of the longstanding relationship between the two cities. Its koi ponds, cherry trees, and traditional Japanese tea house have been enjoyed by innumerable visitors throughout the years.

Amble through its tiny wooden bridges and stepping stones and take in the stunning vistas of the surrounding natural beauty. The Japanese Friendship Garden in Kelley Park is a favourite spot for outdoor weddings and engagement photos.

10. San Jose Museum of Art

The San Jose Museum of Art, located in the heart of the city, houses an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art. Its galleries are stuffed with stunning works by local and international artists, including paintings, photographs, video installations, and graphic art.

The museum is housed in the former main post office of the city, which is conveniently located close to both Circle of Palms Plaza and Plaza de Cesar Chavez. While the rest of the building is elegant in its Richardsonian Romanesque style, the ‘New Wing’ is shockingly contemporary.

It was established in 1969, and since then its collection has grown to include over 2,600 individual works of art. In addition to well-known artists from the West Coast like Andrea Bowers and Russell Crotty, the exhibition also features outstanding pieces by artists from other parts of the world including Mona Hatoum and George Grosz.