"The 411 on San Jose" Top 5 Page for this destination San Jose by Anthro

San Jose Travel Guide: 377 reviews and 665 photos

A Local Perspective

I have been born and raised in San Jose, California. I have seen the valley grow from a small suburbia to the thriving capitol of Silicon Valley. There are many nice features in San Jose, but people just need to take the time to look. From an outsider's perspective, San Jose is nothing but a sprawling metropolis of homes and buildings. Since I've seen it change, I have grown accustomed to the several redevelopment and beautification projects that have been going on around town.

What kind of attractions can San Jose possibly offer over the other Bay Area cities? Well, for one thing, we get nearly 300 days of sun throughout the year. Our weather beats San Francisco anyday. Granted we don't have cable cars, but we do have a light rail system that is usually uncrowded and reasonable to use. We are also closer to Santa Cruz where surfers and beach goers hang out. San Jose also has plenty of parks and outdoor restaurants to enjoy the nice evening temperatures as well. San Jose is also home to our own hockey team, The Sharks.

San Jose is a nice place to visit and we have finally beat out San Francisco as the largest city in Northern California. Just do not plan on moving here though. Real Estate prices are still overpriced and the job market is not too good. San Jose has been ranked # 1 as the most overpriced city in the nation. With the dot com bust, Santa Clara county has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. But don't let our financial woes deter you from coming! Many places are offering deep discounts to lure tourists, so come visit us!

Immortalized Through Statues

San Jose has its fair share of statuary that honor legendary figures-even if they had nothing to do with San Jose's historical past. A few such statues are the Augustus Caesar statue in the Rosicrucian Park; the Aztec god, Quetzacoatl (AKA the Plumed Serpent), in Plaza de Cesar Chavez; and finally the newest (and most controversial) statue to be added to the landscape, Thomas Fallon, one of San Jose's earliest mayors.

Although they aren't the greatest landmarks ever seen, they do add a little bit of beauty to an otherwise stark landscape.

What To See

If you decide to come to San Jose, here are some places to check out:

Restaurants:
Pasta Pomodoro (good bruschetta)
Spaghetti Factory (can get crowded)
Tied House (good brewery food)
Rock Bottom Brewery (good beer)
El Burro (lots of food)
BJ's (huge potatoes)

Arts & Museums:
San Jose Museum of Art (FREE!)
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (loads of artifacts)
Winchester Mystery House (not spooky at all)
The Tech Museum of Innovation (good for kids)
The Children's Discovery Museum (good for kids)
San Jose Historical Museum (great for history buffs)

Various Shopping Spots:
Santana Row (expensive designers)
Valley Fair Mall (expansive)
Great Mall of the Bay Area (Outlets)
Farmers Markets Around Town:
Willow Glen (Saturdays 8:30-12:30)
Los Gatos
Campbell (Sundays 9-1)
San Pedro Square (Fri. until 2)

Parks & Recreation:
Municipal Rose Garden (pretty in Spring)
Vasona Lake County Park (Big)
Big Basin State Park (off Hwy 9) (Redwood trees & trails)
Castle Rock State Park (rock climbing)
Lick Observatory (great view)
Great America Theme Park (fun for all ages)
Raging Waters Water Slides (good for hot days)
Hidden Villa in Los Altos (hostel & organic farm)
Lexington Resevoir (good for kayaking)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice weather all year round, plenty of parking, loads of restaurants
  • Cons:There's not a big culture scene here like San Francisco. We need more arts and museums here.
  • In a nutshell:THE official capitol of the famous and elusive Silicon Valley
  • Intro Updated Jul 21, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (27)

  • Mar 1, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    That was a nice review Anthro :) I found this list of businesses and services located in Willow Glen that might prove useful to visitors: www.lincolnavenuewillowglen.com

  • wandeljp's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2007 at 9:46 AM

    To far for us for a weekend... but who knows... one day... Interesthing page and interesthing tips. Weldone, Jean-Pierre

  • Aug 7, 2006 at 11:50 PM

    However, there is an extreme shortage of motorcycle parking in downtown SJ - there is a petition about this at petitiononline.com/sjmoto/pe...

  • Jul 9, 2006 at 10:26 AM

    Hello, I just wanted to let you know that the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is now open daily! and they offer not only free tomb tours but free presentations and workshops as well.

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2006 at 7:05 AM

    When I was a little girl the museum actually had 3 shrunken heads. They're gone now. :-(

  • Djinn76's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2005 at 2:54 PM

    Great page, so cool to promote scooter instead of SUV ;-) Not sure yet I will enjoy the restaurant so much, I hate being pushed!! At least I'm now ready for it...

  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2004 at 1:50 AM

    Seems I missed something when I didn't visit San Jose during my stay in San Francisco in April. But my time was already that limited. Maybe next time. And BTW: have lots of fun at the Expo on Oct 23 :-))

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2004 at 2:34 PM

    Great pics of the Farmer's Market. Jeannette

  • Aug 22, 2004 at 4:15 PM

    More useful than the usual tips. The farmers mkt looks great- not enough of them in UK. Shame we can't rate travelogues! Jem

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2004 at 9:10 PM

    When I spent a year in Davis, I went to San Jose but did not see one hundredth of what you show. Your San jose sounds really attractive, organic and all ! Thank you for sharing !

Anthro

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