Best Places to Visit in San Jose
240 years later, the first city in California founded by the Spanish became a diverse, futuristic and prosperous “Silicon Valley capital”. While tech giants like PayPal, Cisco Systems, eBay, and Acer are all part of the landscape, companies like Apple, Intel, Microsoft and Amazon are not far off.
San Jose’s purchasing power is not to be missed, with soaring rents, luxury shopping malls, gyms, dining options and thriving cultural offerings. In the South Bay, you can also set a course for the Diablo and Santa Cruz Mountains, stargaze at the Lick Observatory, and watch a sea of twinkling lights at sunset in the Santa Clara Valley.
Life in San Jose is teeming with technology, with the ultra-modern VTA light rail, interactive museums, campuses of tech giants, and even Cinequest, the city’s film festival, which all supports virtual reality.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in San Jose and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in San Jose
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in San Jose:
1. Intel Museum
Of all the tech giants in Silicon Valley, this leading semiconductor chip maker offers the best visiting experience. This is a must if you want to know what’s going on under the hood of your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop. On a self-guided tour of the futuristic visitor center, you’ll discover technologies that give us new ways to communicate, work, learn and play.
You’ll see how Intel’s chips are made in an ultra-clean and fully automated silicon factory and learn about the evolution of semiconductors and how the technology works. Rich interactive exhibits let you type your name in binary and try coding, and there are many early components and chip displays to show you how far we’ve come.
2. Municipal Rose Garden
San Jose’s award-winning rose garden was established in 1937 and was once a plum garden. If you’re wondering how beautiful this place is, it’s a prime location for many graduation or wedding shoots. In the formal arrangement around the circular fountain and basin, there are approximately 3,500 individual shrubs of nearly 200 different species.
The spring colors are exquisite and if you come here during the warmer months, there are tall sequoias around the edges for shade. This is an All American Rose Selection (AARS) test garden that is the only test garden of its kind in North America that receives award-winning roses from the organization before making them available to the public.
3. Alum Rock Park
Alum Rock Canyon at the base of the Diablo Mountains is California’s oldest municipal park, established in 1872. Alum Rock Park covers 720 acres with lush vegetation on the steep slopes of the valley. The cool north side is home to Bay laurels and coastal live oaks, while white alder, western sycamores and largeleaf maples grow on the moist valley floor, while fragrant sage grows on the south-facing sun-facing slopes.
The terrain can be traversed by foot, bike or horseback for breathtaking views of northern Silicon Valley. The valley is filled with sulfur and magnesium-rich mineral springs (27 in total), which attracted many health tourists from the late 1800s to the 1930s. Today’s visitors come here for the rugged terrain, seasonal streams, remote views, bird watching, picnic spots, and barbecues.
4. Levi’s Stadium
Known as Jeans Field, Levi’s Stadium has hosted the San Francisco 49ers since its inaugural season in 2014. Costing nearly $1.3 billion, the 68,500-seat stadium replaced the hazy 49’s Candlestick Park and became the site of Super Bowl 50 when the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers.
In keeping with its Silicon Valley location, Levi’s Stadium is the first new stadium to earn a Gold Sustainability LEED certification, and even the wooden accessories in its luxury suites are made from responsibly sourced bamboo. There’s free Wi-Fi in every seat and must-have world-travel opportunities, from curries to top-notch steaks and fine cocktails. If you want to get behind the scenes, you can take a public tour, while the 49ers Museum is open all day Friday through Sunday.
5. Winchester Mystery House
When gun magnate William Wirt Winchester died in 1881, he left a fortune to his widow, Sarah Winchester (1839-1922). In the late Victorian and Queen Anne style, the Winchester Mystery House is an ornate tile-clad gable, chimney, conical tower and tower with no logical plan. This sense of chaos and the countless deaths in the barrel of the Winchester Repeating Rifle may be the source of ghost stories dating back to the early days of construction.
When Sarah died, work stopped forever, but the Winchester Mystery House had 40 bedrooms, two ballrooms, and 161 rooms with more than 10,000 individual glass panels. In the Escher-style interior, doors open to walls and stairs to closed ceilings. Open to tourism since 1923, the property amazes visitors with its blend of beauty and unpretentiousness.
6. Children’s Discovery Museum
Technology also plays a role in this appeal to children under the age of 10. The Children’s Discovery Museum opened in 1990 and is partially funded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and renamed the Wozniak Way. The exhibits and programs here help children learn about the world through experience, interaction and inquiry.
They will dig up mammoth fossils, create giant bubbles, solve engineering problems with circles, portray healthy lifestyles at Rainbow Market, and examine the textures, sights and sounds of urban environments in the “Streets” exhibit. Bill’s Backyard is a new outdoor playground for kids to climb, build and dig while learning about the natural world and food sources.
7. California’s Great America
Open from late March to December, California’s Great America has been since 1976, blending thrilling rides with the slides and pools of Boomerang Bay Water Park. As of 2019, there are nine roller coasters in the park called the wooden Gold Striker, which opened in 2013. It accelerates to over 50 miles per hour on the first 31.5-metre descent, throwing you into a tunnel more than 50 meters long.
Meanwhile, the flight deck has zero-gravity roller barrels, and since the park opened, the hard-demon four-inverted steel roller coaster. Catering to younger visitors, the park’s Peanuts-themed Planet Snoopy opened in 2010 and includes a carousel, carousel, dodgers, and a light-duty Woodstock Express train.
8. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo offer children a full day with enclosures for animals, toys, a puppet theater and a fully equipped animal hospital. The attraction dates back to 1961, but it was modernized more than a decade ago. Space is limited, so the zoo mostly houses smaller animals such as meerkats, inspies, capybaras, guinea pigs, lemurs, macaws, owls, and turtles.
A lot of research has been done on the zoo’s habitats to make them as humane and stimulating as possible, providing spaces where animals can “go out of exhibit” if needed. Younger children will be excited about the puppet show, and there are several rides and attractions to choose from, such as the Pacific Fruit Express roller coaster and Mini Putt-Putt. As for the food, picnic baskets offer healthy options using local and sustainable materials and eco-friendly utensils.
9. Almaden Quicksilver County Park
This rough terrain south of San Jose is home to the New Almaden Mine, where mercury was mined from the early days of the gold rush in 1847 until 1976. Mercury was used to process the gold ore, and over the next 130 years, about 37,388 tons of metal were extracted from the soil. Once home to more than 1,800 miners and their families, the town is now a 4,163-acre hilltop 500 meters above sea level, blooming with wildflowers in early spring.
The county park is also sprinkled with subtle clues about its industrial past, such as crumbling houses and closed streets. The scenic area has 37 miles of hiking trails and picnic tables. Fishing is permitted in the Almaden and Guadalupe reservoirs, but given the land’s history of mercury mining, the fish is not edible.
10. Japan Town
One of three surviving Japanese towns in the United States is located just north of downtown San Jose. This dates back to the 1880s near a hostel for Japanese immigrant men. By the early 20th century, they had joined “picture brides” (chosen by matchmakers) and opened dozens of businesses to serve the growing community.
Japantown, II. It was resettled after being detained during World War II, and in the 21st century, about a quarter of the people within a 3-mile radius of the community have Asian heritage. Check out places like the Shuei-Do Manju Shop, which sold manju (sweet pastries) to Emperor Akihito in 1994. The Japanese American Museum chronicles the dark days of Japanese immigration and incarceration to the United States, and San Jose has delicious homemade tofu, The Tofu Company.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in San Jose. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in San Jose, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.