15 Best Things To Do in San Jose, California

San Jose or The city of San Jose is famous for its thriving tech industry and it has also earned the nickname of “Capital of Silicon Valley”. Living in San Jose is quite expensive and only rich and affluent people can think of purchasing a property in this city.

The city of San Jose is the third largest in California and tenth in the USA when it comes to the population of the city. San Jose’s history is not just rich but vibrant too as it includes Mexicans and Spanish also. You can explore lots ofSan Jose tourist attractions as it has beautiful parks, museums, markets and many other attractions.

Here's the list of San Jose points of interest and 15 best things to do in San Jose:

1. Get inspired by the Tech Museum of Innovation

Started in a garage, the Tech Museum of Innovation turned to be very popular among the youth and 8 years later, it has been shifted to a 132000 square foot premises. The main purpose of the museum is to inspire the youth so that they can work for making the world a better place to live. It is a good place to be visited by the whole family as there is something for everyone.

2. Take your child to the Children’s Discovery Museum

Places to visit in San Jose - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

This museum was opened in 1990 and the Child magazine has listed it as one of the top ten children museums in USA while the London Observer has listed it in one of the top 5 science centers of the world. The museum which has been visited by more than 7 million people addresses all the various needs of the children and that too, in an interactive manner. They keep on researching on the new methods to make sure that children get to learn the maximum when they make a visit in the museum.

3. Dedicate some time to the ancient Egyptians at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

This museum can easily be called a tribute to the ancient Egyptians as this museum has the highest number of items from ancient Egypt in the Western USA. The museum also has a planetarium which is quite impressive. The architecture of the museum also gives a feeling as if you are in ancient Egypt and not in USA.

4. You should take a walk in the Alum Rock Park and meet various animals

Situated in the foot of the Diablo Mountain Range, it is one of the oldest municipal parks of California. The park spans in the area of 740 acres where you can take a jog, walk or cycle or you can also have a picnic planned with your family. However, there are good chances that you may also get to see wild animals in the park such as deer, bobcats, mountain lions and others.

5. Enjoy quality time with family at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happy hollow park & zoo - ImageImage source: wikimedia.org

A pretty good place to enjoy some quality time with the family, it is a small amusement part which stretches in the area of 16 acres and has nearly 150 animals in its zoo. It also has some amusement rides such as roller coaster, carousel, etc., and visitors can also enjoy a puppet show.

6. Buy whatever you want at the San Jose Flea Market

The origin of the San Jose Flea Market dates back to 1960 and here you can find stalls of almost every item of your need. After shopping you can dine at any of the eating joints and take a ride of mini-ferris or carousel. In 1960, it started with just 20 sellers but now there are 1000-2000 sellers who do business here on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the market opens on these days only. As per an estimate, nearly more than 4 million visitors come to the market every year.

7. Get the feel of Japan in San Jose by visiting Japantown

Earlier, the Japantown was situated next to the Chinatown but during the World War II, the residents of Japantown were shifted in the camps. After the war, many Japanese settled in different area of the city but the ethnicity of the Japantown is still being maintained by the locals who are running the restaurants and businesses as per Japanese taste and traditions.

8. Study the history of Vietnamese Americans at Viet Museum

The Viet Museum which is also known as the Museum of the Boar People and the Republic of Vietnam gives an insight of the history of Vietnamese Americans. Three permanent exhibitions are displayed in this non-profit museum, the first one (1950-75), the second one (1975-96) and the third one takes into consideration the Vietnamese Americans of today.

9. Get surrounded by roses at the Municipal Rose Garden

This is definitely one of the best places for giving rest to your senses as it is home to huge number of roses – more than 4000 of 189 varieties planted in five and half acres of land, and they are spreading their fragrance since 1927. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest rose gardens of the world and the varieties will increase further as the rose cultivators are trying to develop the new hybrids on a regular basis. Its extraordinary beauty has made it a popular choice for wedding venue and all these properties make it a must visit attraction.

10. Get everything fresh at the San Pedro Square Market, San Jose, CA

This is one market which is very popular not only among the locals but also among the tourists and the reason being the freshness of the food items. It feels as if all the food is coming on the table straight from the farm and it can’t get fresher than this. The market also offers the option of buying arts and crafts, bakery items and coffee.

11. Learn about the Portuguese history at the Portuguese Historical Museum

This is also one of the most important points of the history of San Jose and it imparts knowledge about how the life used to be in 20th century in Santa Clara Valley. The first imperio was built in 1915 to honor the Holy Spirit and soon it became a religious hub and this historical museum is replica of the former.

12. Play Golf At Shoreline Park or indulge in water sports

The Shoreline Park was bought by the city of Mountview in 1968 and used for the landfill purposes till 1983, when it was thought of to develop the land for the recreational purposes. Along with other facilities, the park has a 18-hole golf course and it also has artificial lake which is spanned in an area of 50 acres and visitors can enjoy various activities here such as kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and various other sports. Long trail is also available for the jogging or walking purposes.

13. Unleash the artist at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art which was founded in 1980 has three art galleries and visitors of all age groups can visit here and enjoy the artwork and appreciate it. The exhibitions can be organized for both the individuals as well as the groups. Visiting the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art is something the art lovers can’t miss as lectures of artists, exhibition tours, art auctions, musical performances and many other activities are also organized.

14. Visit a different kind of museum - San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Aan jose museum of quilts & textiles - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

It is a museum of different kind as it is the first museum which is working for exhibiting the complicated art of quilts and textiles. The museum which was set up in 1977, showcases the collection of over 550 quilts, garments and textiles and all of these have been created by the artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. There is also a library in the museum which contains around 500 books which talk about the origin, history and techniques of this art form. Not only this, classes and lectures are also organized by the museum for the adults as well as children and tours are also organized quite a good times in a month.

15. Shopping at Santana Row is something you can’t miss

Travelling is almost incomplete without shopping and the city of San Jose offers many options for the shopping lovers and Santana Row is one of them. There are quite good number of branded shops along with small local ones as well and twenty restaurants to dig your teeth in tasty delicacies. If you want more entertainment, you can watch a movie in the movie theatre or if you want to relax your senses than you have the option of choosing any spa from the 9 spas available at Santana Row. This place has already earned many awards for its beautiful and remarkable design and it has to be on your list of places to visit whenever you go to the city of San Jose.

Author
Author: Meghana Agashe
Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for a...

Must see places in San Jose ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in San Jose and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 5225 times in trip plans
    Cathedral Basilica Of St. Joseph

    Tags: Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Architecture

    Address: 80 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

    Timings: 07:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This stunning and historic site is worth a visit while in San Jose. The name of the church and its patron saint also happen to be the name of the city making it a very important landmark there. The si...Read more

  2. # 2 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 4933 times in trip plans
    Winchester Mystery House

    Tags: Art And Culture, Museum, History Museum, Educational Site

    Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, UnitedStates

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Winchester Mystery House is a weird and wonderful place in San Jose. This spooky attraction is a definite must visit if you are looking for something quite unique to do on your trip. It was said t...Read more

  3. # 3 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 1136 times in trip plans
    The Peralta Adobe

    Tags: Art And Culture, History Museum, Historical Site, Heritage Building

    Address: 180 W St John St San Jose, CA 95110, USA

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    This old house, which is the oldest building in San Jose, once belonged to a soldier in the Spanish Army, Luiz Maria Peralta. This beautiful, rustic, charming home has been perfectly preserved for peo...Read more

  4. # 4 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 3116 times in trip plans
    Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    Tags: Art And Culture, Museum, History Museum, Educational Site

    Address: 1660 Park Avenue San jose, CA-95195, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    If you are looking for some culture and history in San Jose, you will not be disappointed by its Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. This stunning museum has great displays and a lot to see and do. Whether i...Read more

  5. # 5 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 4873 times in trip plans
    The Tech Museum Of Innovation

    Tags: Museum, Children Museum, Educational Site, Specialty Museum

    Address: 201 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    A very unique museum, the Tech Museum of Innovation is a fascinating place to visit in the city of San Jose. This new and fresh experience is a must have for anyone who loves technology. There is a wi...Read more

  6. # 6 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 1619 times in trip plans
    Children's Discovery Museum Of San Jose

    Tags: Museum, Science Museum, Children Museum, Educational Site

    Address: 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA-95110, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The little ones will love this lovely treat in San Jose. Museums all over the world are turning interactive to aid learning and the Children’s Discovery Museum opitimizes this exact thought proc...Read more

  7. # 7 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 2030 times in trip plans
    Guadalupe River Park And Gardens

    Tags: Outdoors, Garden, Park, Play Ground

    Address: 438, Coleman Avenue, SanJose, CA-95110,USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    San Jose is that gorgeous city with its extraordinary number of parks and gardens. This lovely park and garden area is another addition to the many amazing, verdant places to see in the city. This par...Read more

  8. # 8 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 1282 times in trip plans
    Happy Hollow Park And Zoo

    Tags: Amusement Park, Ranch, Garden, Park

    Address: 1300 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is another great family entertainment place in the city of San Jose. It is a zoo and an amusement park in one enormous complex. If you are travelling with kids, this mult...Read more

  9. # 9 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 1090 times in trip plans
    Cinnabar Hills Golf Club

    Tags: Sport, Golf Course

    Address: 23600 McKean Rd, San Jose, CA-95141

    Timings: 06:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    If you are in San Jose for a business meeting or just want to try your hand at this fascinating sport, the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club is a great public golf club worth trying out. The location and the c...Read more

  10. # 10 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 706 times in trip plans
    Almaden Quicksilver County Park

    Tags: Art And Culture, Outdoors, Forest, Mine

    Address: 21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:45 pm Details

    You will find the Almaden Quicksilver County Park in South San Jose, overlooking the Silicon Valley. The park covers 4157 acres of the steep hills, cool forests, deep valleys and open meadows which ma...Read more

  11. # 11 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose
    Gen Korean Bbq House

    Tags: Restaurant

    Address: 1628 Hostetter Rd, San Jose, CA 95131, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    You can come here to enjoy a fantastic meal in his BBQ restaurants where you will be greeted in a traditional manner by the waiters. There is a long chain of Korean preparations here. The seating arra...Read more

  12. # 12 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose
    Baan Thai

    Address: Morelos s/n Comonfort, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Serves one of the most authentic and best Thai dishes in town.the hotel is close to the must see destinations also.The ambeince is good.

  13. # 13 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose
    Jazmins

    Address: Morelos e/ Zaragoza y Obregon, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Visit this place for one of the best Mexican and Seafood in town. Has good options for vegetarians as well.The food is served in very good colourful manner which looks very delicious and also the ambi...Read more

  14. # 14 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 16 times in trip plans
    Google Visitor Center

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 1911 Landings Dr, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

    For someone who is tech-savvy or internet-savvy, what can be more enjoyable than paying a visit to the Google Visitor Center located in Googleplex? Although the main building is off-limits to the tour...Read more

  15. # 15 of 1604 Things To Do in San Jose | Added 3 times in trip plans
    Five Guys Burgers And Fries Image
    ©

    Tags: Restaurant

    Address: 1085 E Brokaw Rd, San Jose, CA 95131, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    This is a great stop to have some quality burgers during the busy hours as you don’t have to wait for long. The staff is super quick and you will always be on the receiving end of great customer...Read more

Explore the best things to do in San Jose. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site

    175 W Saint John St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Bayside Canning

    1200 Hope St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Roberto - Sunol Adobe

    770 Lincoln Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Dia De Portugal Festival

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Rengstorff House

    3070 N Shoreline Blvd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Mission San Jose

    43300 Mission Blvd

    Historic and Protected Sites
View On Map
  • Almaden Lake Park

    6099 Winfield Blvd

    Lakes
  • Calero Lake Park

    23205 McKean Rd

    Lakes
  • Evergreen Lake

    Lakes
  • South Lake Tahoe

    Lakes
  • Cottonwood Lake

    Lakes
  • Los Alamitos Percolation Ponds

    Lakes
View On Map
  • Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    180 Woz Way

    Museums
  • Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

    21350 Almaden Rd

    Museums
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    1660 Park Ave

    Museums
  • San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

    520 S 1st St

    Museums
  • Youth Science Institute

    16260 Penitencia Creek Rd

    Museums
  • Lace Museum

    552 S Murphy Ave

    Museums
View On Map
  • Pump It Up of San Jose

    1830 Hillsdale Ave

    Amusement Parks
  • Dead Time Dreams Haunted House

    2501 Tully Rd

    Amusement Parks
  • Raging Waters

    2333 S White Rd

    Amusement Parks
  • Jungle Island

    5401 Camden Ave

    Amusement Parks
  • Nickel City

    1711 Branham Ln

    Arcades Amusement Parks
  • Shoot Zombies Now

    2542 Monterey Hwy

    Amusement Parks
View On Map
  • Hookah Castle

    1920 Camden Ave

    Bars Restaurants
  • Red Room Hookah Lounge

    2902 Almaden Expy

    Bars
  • Splash Video Dance Bar

    65 Post St

    Bars Night Clubs
  • Cuetopia Billiard Cafe

    4700 Almaden Expy

    Bars Billiard and Pool Restaurants
  • Red Stag Lounge

    1711 W San Carlos St

    Bars Mexican Night Clubs
  • Freddie J's Bar & Lounge

    97 E Santa Clara St

    Bars Restaurants Music and Show Venues
View On Map
  • Bay 101

    1801 Bering Dr

    Casinos and Gaming Chinese
  • Fairgrounds Bingo

    344 Tully Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casino M8trix

    360 Saratoga Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Bay Area Casino Parties

    1524 Branham Ln

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Lets Play Party Casino

    68 Roseview Court

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Garden City

    1887 Matrix Blvd

    Casinos and Gaming
View On Map
  • Kelley Park

    1300 Senter Rd

    Natural Parks
  • New Almaden Quicksilver Mine Trail

    Natural Parks
  • Sanborn County Park

    16055 Sanborn Rd

    Natural Parks
  • Baylands Park

    999 E Caribbean Dr

    Natural Parks
  • Castle Rock State Park

    15000 Skyline Blvd

    Natural Parks
  • Mariposa Park

    301 Mariposa Ave

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • Watson Park

    N 22ND St

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Roy M Butcher Dog Park

    3950 Camden Ave

    Dog Parks
  • William Street Park

    E William St

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Discovery Dog Park

    400 Park Ave

    Dog Parks
  • Jeffrey Fontana Park

    Golden Oak Way

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Raleigh Linear Dog Park

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Pfeiffer Beach

    Beaches
  • Monterey Mushrooms

    Beaches
View On Map
  • Los Alamitos Creek Trail

    6602 Camden Ave

    Hiking
  • Guadalupe River Trail

    438 Coleman Ave

    Hiking
  • Thompson Creek Trail

    2980 E Capitol Expy

    Hiking
  • Muddy Buddy

    Hiking
  • Calero Creek Trail

    Camden Ave

    Hiking
  • Coyote Creek Trail, Silver Creek Entrance

    6039 Silver Creek Valley Rd

    Hiking
View On Map
Show More