San Jose

For other places with the same name, see San Jose (disambiguation).
An aerial view of downtown San Jose

Often called "the Capital of Silicon Valley", San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area, 3rd largest in California, and the 10th largest city in the United States. It was named the 6th safest big city in the US in 2015. This clean, sprawling metropolis has sports, beautiful vistas, and ethnic enclaves and bleeds into the greater Bay Area for travelers who want to take their time in Northern California.


El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe (literally, the Town of Saint Joseph of Guadalupe) was founded by José Joaquín Moraga in 1777 near the present day intersection of Guadalupe Parkway and West Taylor Street. In 1797, the pueblo was moved to the Plaza Pueblo (now Plaza de César Chávez), around which San Jose grew.

True to its location in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is now home to the headquarters of many tech companies such as Cisco Systems, eBay, and Adobe Systems. The population is approximately 980,000 in 2022.

There are so many different neighborhoods in the large geographic area of San Jose that, depending on where you are, you might not know if you're still in the same city. Like most Bay Area towns and cities, San Jose is an expensive place to live (many basic houses easily top $1M in price). Some of the hip areas to live these days are in San Jose's downtown area, for those who prefer urban living, or Santana Row for a mixed living, shopping and dining community. You can find vintage California charm in the neighborhoods of Willow Glen and Rose Garden. The woodsy area of Almaden Valley is known for its excellent schools, and Silver Creek is known for its subdivisions of sprawling "McMansions." Evergreen is in East San Jose, right at the foothills of the city. Evergreen has some more affordable housing and is very residential. Since it is at the foothills, east San Jose is not as accessible as the other neighborhoods. Evergreen has excellent views of the foothills and many parks and recreational areas. Groseprick Park is right in the heart of Evergreen and offers a mile long loop, basketball courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, and hiking trails.

Get in[edit]

Map of San Jose (California)

People who ask, "Do you know the way to San Jose?" (in reference to the 1968 hit song recorded by Dionne Warwick) will be glared at.

By plane[edit]

San Jose is home to one of the Bay Area's three international airports.

  • 1 Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC  IATA), 1701 Airport Blvd (about 4 mi (6.4 km) northwest of the downtown area; west of the junction between US Hwy 101 (Bayshore Freeway) & I-880; from either highway the terminals can be accessed via SR-87 (Guadalupe Freeway)). Non-stop air service is available from all regions of the United States including intrastate flights from all major airports in Southern California; from Canada, Japan, Mexico, El Salvador, and the United Kingdom. The main carriers are Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The following airlines serve SJC:
  • Terminal A (Gates 1-16): Air Canada/Air Canada Express, American/American Eagle, Delta/Delta Connection, Southwest, Spirit, Hawaiian, JetBlue, United/United Express, Volaris
  • Terminal B (Gates 17-30): Alaska/Horizon Air, British Airways, Southwest, ZipAir. San Jose International Airport (Q1257392) on Wikidata San_Jose_International_Airport on Wikipedia

There are two terminals at the airport, Terminal A and Terminal B, which are connected airside. Terminal A includes the international arrivals building, which houses departure gates 15 and 16 (for foreign airlines), U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection facilities and a public arrivals zone for non-travelers to meet & greet international arrivals. International arrivals disembark through Gates 15-18 where passengers proceed downstairs for U.S. immigration and customs inspection. Passengers come out into the public areas (non-secured areas) to meet local contacts or proceed to the adjacent Terminal A or B to check in for the next flight. Passengers will have to go through security screening to access connecting flights.

The next nearest airports are San Francisco International Airport (SFO IATA), 33 mi (53 km) northwest of San Jose along US Route 101 on the peninsula, or Oakland International Airport (OAK IATA), which is 34 mi (55 km) north off I-880 in the East Bay. Below are directions on getting into downtown San Jose from the three bay area airports without a (rental) car:

From SJC to Downtown[edit]

  • Taxicab. A cab to downtown San Jose will cost you $15-20 and take 10 minutes. Other neighborhoods will cost up to $50 and take up to 15 minutes.
  • Public transportation. Take the VTA route 60 bus in either direction, to the 2 Metro/Airport light rail station Metro/Airport station on Wikipedia or the 3 Santa Clara Transit Center Santa Clara Transit Center on Wikipedia. The Route 60 bus is free for travel in either direction if you board at the airport.
  • From the Metro/Airport light rail station, take a southbound Green Line or Blue Line train (towards Winchester or Santa Teresa respectively). Both go downtown, but only the Green Line goes to Diridon Station.
  • From the Santa Clara Transit Center, take a route 22 (local) bus or a Rapid 522 bus to Downtown San Jose. Alternatively, take Caltrain southbound to Diridon Station. From Diridon station, you can transfer to a multitude of VTA and other buses to your final destination.

From SFO to Downtown or SJC Airport[edit]

  • Taxicab. A cab to downtown San Jose will cost you up to $150 and take 1 hour on average and up to 2 hours in rush hour traffic.
  • Public Transportation. Take a Purple Line or Yellow Line BART train down to Millbrae. At Millbrae, take Caltrain south to Diridon station. From Diridon Station, there are multiple bus routes as well as the light rail to get to downtown. To get to the SJC Airport, get off at the Santa Clara Caltrain station and transfer to a VTA route 60 bus (towards Milpitas BART).
  • Depending on the time of day and your intended destination, it may be quicker to take BART down the East Bay, rather than Caltrain down the Peninsula. If that is indeed the case, when at SFO, take a northbound Yellow Line train (towards Antioch) and transfer to a southbound Green Line or Orange Line train (towards Berryessa).

If traveling between both airports, a direct alternative is the Groome Transportation / Monterey Airbus, which goes from SFO to SJC and then on to Monterey, Marina and Prunedale, surrounding Monterey Bay south of San Jose. Their northbound buses, coming from around Monterey Bay, do provide a direct shuttle from SJC to SFO.

From OAK to Downtown or SJC Airport[edit]

  • Taxicab. A cab from Oakland Airport to downtown San Jose will cost you up to $120 and take 40 minutes on average, or up to 1 hr 15 min in rush hour traffic.
  • Public Transportation. Take the BART connector train to the "Coliseum/Oakland Airport" BART station. Transfer to a southbound Orange or Green Line train towards "Berryessa/North San José".
  • If going to the SJC Airport, get off at Milpitas Station and transfer to a VTA route 60 bus, which will take you to the airport.
  • If going downtown, get off at Berryessa/North San José Station (the end of the line) and transfer to a VTA Rapid 500 bus, which goes to Downtown San Jose as well as Diridon Station.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States
  • BART Orange Line and Green Line serve 4 Berryessa/North San José Station Berryessa/North San José station on Wikipedia, which is in San Jose. There is also 5 Milpitas Station Milpitas station on Wikipedia in the neighboring city of Milpitas. Both stations are connected to various parts of the city through VTA buses. The VTA Express Bus 500 provides service between the Berryessa/North San José Station and Diridon Station, making several stops in downtown San José.
  • 6 Diridon station, 65 Cahill Street. Most train services (with the exception of BART) stop this station, which is San Jose's central train station. It is near downtown just across West Santa Clara Street from the SAP Center (also known as the Shark Tank). San Jose Diridon station (Q3096377) on Wikidata San Jose Diridon station on Wikipedia Train operators serving Diridon station:
    • Amtrak, +1 215-856-7924, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. Operates train service around the United States of America. Amtrak (Q23239) on Wikidata Amtrak on Wikipedia Routes stopping in San Jose:
    • Caltrain, +1-510-817-1717 operates a regional rail service from San Jose to its San Francisco terminal at Fourth and King in SoMa. The service also runs between San Jose and Gilroy during rush hour. Caltrain is very useful for travel between San Francisco and communities on the Peninsula, Silicon Valley or South Bay. On weekdays Caltrain provides two trains per hour for most of the day but run more during commute hours, including "Baby Bullet" limited services that cruise between San Francisco and San Jose in 57 minutes; on weekends and public holidays trains run hourly, except that after 10PM only one train runs, leaving at midnight. The Diridon Station is the nearest station to downtown San Jose which is a shared facility with VTA (local bus and light rail), Greyhound and other intercity bus lines (see below under 'By bus'). Fares vary depending on how far you go. Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train from ticket vending machines at any of the stations or from ticket clerks at staffed stations. Tickets are checked on the trains and anyone found without a ticket is liable to a substantial fine. Cyclists should use the designated car at the northern end of the train, and be aware that bike space is often limited during commute hours.
    • Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) runs from Stockton, Livermore, and Pleasanton into San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley in the morning and then returns in the late afternoon and evening. Passengers can also transfer to the San Joaquins Train from Stockton as well. Check the schedules beforehand, as there are only a handful of trains per day.
      • There are free connecting shuttles at certain ACE stations, timed to match trains coming from/going to the north. From Santa Clara station, there is a shuttle to/from the San Jose airport. From San Jose Diridon station, there is a shuttle into downtown San Jose.

By bus[edit]

See also: Long-distance bus travel in the United States

Most of the intercity bus lines connect San Jose to the Los Angeles Metro area and to the San Joaquin Valley (Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, etc.), though some buses also go further south to San Ysidro and Tijuana. With the exception of Greyhound, Flixbus, Amtrak & Caltrain, other bus lines generally do NOT sell tickets for travel between San Jose, San Francisco and/or Oakland, or anywhere in-between in the Bay Area. Northbound buses continuing to San Francisco and Oakland will only drop off in San Jose, and southbound buses will only pick up.

At Diridon Station, the buses for VTA, Santa Cruz METRO Highway 17 Express and Amtrak Thruway are all located in the bus hub north of the station building. The Greyhound bus stop is along 7 Stover St between Cahill and Montgomery in front of the Diridon Station building while the taxi stands are on Crandall St, on the opposite side of the grassy divider from Stover St. Other long-distance bus carriers such as Intercalifornias, Hoang Express, Flixbus & Tufesa pick-up and drop-off passengers in different locations. See below:

  • Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach operates a bus to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara from San Jose and another bus from San Jose to Oakland. A ticket/connection with an actual train is required to board Amtrak Thruway buses. The Amtrak route to Santa Cruz is operated by Santa Cruz Metro Rt #17 (Amtrak Thruway Rt #35) and to Monterey is operated by Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST Rt #55)(See below under 'By bus') which are available without connections to/from Amtrak trains.
  • Flixbus (Operated by American Star Tours and Greyhound), toll-free: +1-855-626-8585. Connects San Jose to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and anywhere in between.
    • 8 Downtown San Jose Flixbus stop, 143-205 W San Carlos (Bus will load at red curb in front of Bowers Institute. Stop will be 200 feet west on San Carlos St from prior stop. Do not wait in front of the Civic Theater.). STOP LOCATION CHANGE: Effective from 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM PST on November 11th, stop will move to Auzerais Ave between Woz Way and Delmas Ave. Bus will board at the westbound curb marked with ‘buses only’ signs. They also have an additional stop over at the Diridon Station. Check tickets.
  • Greyhound Lines, Diridon Station @ 65 Cahill St (ticket desk inside the building, bus stop along Stover St in front of the Diridon Station building.), +1-408-295-4153, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Greyhound travels to the Bay Area primarily on US Hwy 101/I-280 (Arcata-San Francisco and Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-San Jose-San Francisco on two routes); Interstate 80 (San Francisco-Sacramento-Reno); I-580/CA Hwy 99 (San Francisco-Modesto-Bakersfield-Los Angeles); and Interstate 5 (San Francisco-San Jose-Gilroy-Coalinga Jctl-Los Angeles). Passengers can transfer to other buses in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Stockton and Los Angeles to get to other cities and towns. The bus station at 70 Almaden St in downtown San Jose is closed.
  • Highway 17 Express (Santa Cruz Metro Rt #17), Bus stop at the VTA bus transit center north of the Diridon Station building. Santa Cruz Metro operates the Amtrak Thruway Route and as a partner with Greyhound for onward connections to Santa Cruz from San Jose on their #17 bus (via I-280 & CA-Hwy 17).
  • Hoang Express, bus stop at Lee's Sandwich Shop, 2525 S King Rd (small strip mall at S King Rd & Burdette), +1-408-729-7885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and San Jose. $60-65 to Bay Area from Los Angeles.
  • International Bus Lines (formerly Intercalifornias), (bus stop) Joyeria Vanessa @ 1642 Story Rd (La Placita Tropicana Mall at Story Rd & S King. Behind La K-Bana in the same small building.), +1 213 629-4885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Buses from Tijuana to San Jose via Watsonville, Salinas, Los Banos, Madera, San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and San Ysidro.
  • Grooome Transportation (formerly Monterey Airbus), +1-831-373-7777. Operates a regularly scheduled shuttle from the airports in SFO and SJC to Monterey, Marina and Prunedale around Monterey Bay to the south. Northbound buses continue contiguously from SJC to SFO.
  • Early Bird Airport Shuttle, Inc. (formerly Santa Cruz Airport Flyer), +1 831 462-3933. Operates a direct shuttle from the airport (SJC) to Santa Cruz.
  • Tufesa, bus stop at Joyeria Store Vanessa, 1642 Story Rd (La Placita Tropicana Mall at Story Rd & S King. Behind La K-Bana in the same small building), +1-702-254-6899. Connects San Jose to southern California and Tijuana. Prices vary depending on your destination.
  • Valley Transit Authority (VTA). The VTA bus transit center for #64A, 64B, 68, Rapid 500 & 568; SVCM Shuttle and Santa Cruz Metro 17 is north of the building. The light rail station is in the opposite of the tracks from the building.
  • Public service site with transportation information in the nine-county SF Bay Area (including San Jose). The site includes a trip planner to help users plan a transit trip from 'A' to 'B' across the greater SF Bay Area, as well as up-to-date traffic information for those driving. Site includes information and links to Valley Transport Authority (VTA) which operates city buses and light rail in San Jose and the surrounding municipalities of Santa Clara County.

By car[edit]

San Jose is connected to San Francisco by two major freeways, US-101 and Interstate 280. From Los Angeles, take Interstate 5 North to CA-152 West to US-101 North. From the East Bay, use either I-880 or I-680 South.

Travel time from San Francisco and Oakland is about an hour, but the trip is much longer during rush hour on US-101 and Interstate 880. Taking Interstate 280 from San Francisco is a scenic alternative, and consider a detour westward on Highway 92 to Half Moon Bay and the coastal Highway 1, which leads north to San Francisco and south to Santa Cruz. From Santa Cruz, take Highway 17 through the mountains.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

The downtown area is compact and rather easy to get around on foot. Most of the streets are arranged in a grid, but the grid is not strictly aligned with north (more like north–northwest). Street address numbers increase (by 100 every 2 or 3 blocks) radiating from Santa Clara Street (an east/west street) or First Street (a north/south street). Furthermore, Santa Clara Street (and other east/west streets) carry the prefix East or West radiating from First Street; and First Street (and other north/south streets) carry the prefix North or South radiating from Santa Clara Street. This makes it somewhat easy to locate a downtown facility given its street address.

Downtown Willow Glen, Campbell and Japantown are also easy to navigate on foot. Going from one neighborhood to the other on foot is not easily feasible except for some neighborhoods directly adjacent to Downtown (such as Japantown and the Alameda area).

By car[edit]

Outside downtown, things are spread out in San Jose, so a car is the most convenient mode of transportation. Interstate 280 is the fastest route East–West, for example from the Valley Fair Mall or Santana Row, to the West, to Downtown, or from Downtown to Alum Rock Park. California 87 (to and from the airport) and Interstate 280/California 17 (from Rose Garden to Campbell and vice versa) offers fast North-South travel.

Public transit[edit]

The Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA), does offer serviceable transit around town. The frequency and hours of buses vary depending on the route and your location, so it's best to check a schedule beforehand. The Light Rail system also provides quick service to, from, and around downtown and Diridon Station.

It's a trolley, it's a train... it's Light Rail!

A single fare of $2.50 is valid for 2 hours of travel if using a Clipper Card or the EZFare mobile app. A VTA day pass lets you use buses and light rail all day, costing $7.50 for an adult, and $3.75 for a youth aged 5-18. Express routes cost double, but these are primarily commuter routes and not what most tourists would take.

The Transit app is an app for trip planning endorsed by VTA, but it can also be used for scooters and e-bikes, and in more places than just the Bay Area. The website is also a great resource, whether by car or public transit (or a combination of both). Its Trip Planner spans all Bay Area transit systems. Alternatively, you can call VTA Customer Service at +1-408-321-2300 and listen to bus schedules on their automated system.

By bike[edit]

Many roads in San Jose have designated bike lanes and/or wide shoulders. A map of the city's bikeways is available on VTA's website. This, along with typically favorable local weather, makes biking a viable means of transportation within the city. Bus lines, light rail and Caltrain all accommodate bikes, making mixed-mode travel a simple affair.

There is a growing number of Bay Wheels Bike Share stations around Downtown which allow anyone to rent city bikes for 30 minutes at a time (time above that costs extra). A single ride costs $3.49, if you will be staying longer, then a $29 month pass or $169 annual pass might make financial sense.



Downtown San Jose is a mix of offices, shopping, hotels, numerous restaurants as well as a convention center and the SoFA (South of First Area) nightclub district. Check out the San Pedro Square Farmer's Market on Fridays for local and organic produce, or visit the new City Hall (2005) and the nearby San Jose State University campus. The new main library (2003) is a prestigious, award-winning, joint-use library combining resources of the city and San Jose State University. Get outdoors and take advantage of San Jose's invariably sunny weather on the Guadalupe River Trail or in one of the many city parks. You'll always find a wealth of cultural events at theaters, art galleries, and museums.

  • 1 The Tech Museum of Innovation (Museum of Science and Technology), 201 S Market St (near Park Ave), +1-408-294-8324, . 10AM-3PM weekdays, 10AM-5PM Saturdays, 11AM-3PM Sundays. A great interactive experience for all ages and backgrounds. The Tech Museum allows visitors to see how technology affects their daily lives through 130,000 square feet of hands-on activities, exploratory labs and design challenge experiences. Permanent exhibits focus on the Internet, the human body, and innovation. You'll also find an IMAX Theater, a cafe, and a retail store featuring merchandise unique to the Silicon Valley. $34 (museum and IMAX). The Tech Interactive (Q7768226) on Wikidata The Tech Museum of Innovation on Wikipedia
Check out contemporary West Coast artists at the San Jose Museum of Art
  • 2 San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S Market St (at W San Fernando St), +1-408-271-6840. Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. Recognized for its contemporary collection of modern art, which highlights movements on the West Coast as well as national and international pieces. The museum started as a small civic art gallery in 1969 and has grown in step with its city. $8 general admission, $5 seniors/students. San Jose Museum of Art (Q7414466) on Wikidata San Jose Museum of Art on Wikipedia
  • 3 San Jose City Hall, 200 E Santa Clara St (near S 4th St), +1-408-535-3500. Designed by architects Richard Meier & Partners, the new City Hall, opened in 2005, consists of a free standing glass rotunda at the center, a council chambers wing to the south, and a separate tower to the east. Tours are available. San José City Hall (Q1109555) on Wikidata San Jose City Hall on Wikipedia
  • 4 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 150 E San Fernando St (at S 4th St), +1-408-808-2000. M–F 8AM–6PM, Sa 9AM–6PM, Su 1–5PM. Expanded hours during SJSU semesters.. A partnership between the City of San Jose and San Jose State University, the King Library opened in 2003 as the largest new library west of the Mississippi, with 475,000 ft² (44,100 m2) and 1.5 million items. No ID is needed to use materials within the library, but if you want to check them out, or use public-access computers or WiFi, you must apply for a free library card (available to residents and non-residents alike, but you need a photo ID). Special non-circulating collections on the 5th floor (with limited hours, M–Sa) include, among others: Beethoven Center, housing historical keyboard instruments and the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside Europe; Center for Steinbeck Studies, with more than 40,000 items—manuscripts, letters, films, photos, etc.— of writer John Steinbeck. Free. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (Q5304276) on Wikidata Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Wikipedia
This self-cleaning automatic toilet, at the corner of S Market & W Santa Clara Streets, is free and a welcome convenience for pedestrians.
  • 5 San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 520 S 1st St (near E William St), +1-408-971-0323. Thursday–Sunday 11AM-5PM, First Fridays 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. The first museum in the US to focus on quilts and textiles, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles has an outstanding collection on a rotating display. Exhibitions change quarterly at this exciting and modern museum. $10 general admission, $8 seniors/teachers/students with ID (free for everyone on the first Friday of the month). San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (Q7414467) on Wikidata San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles on Wikipedia
  • 6 Paseo de San Antonio (between SJSU and Plaza de Cesar Chavez). A four-block pedestrian-only space, lined with shops, hotels, casual and fast-food restaurants, and the Camera 12 Cinemas. At the Market Street end, an oversized bronze table features memories and writings of Mexican immigrant, activist, and SJSU professor Ernesto Galarza. Paseo de San Antonio (Q7141911) on Wikidata Paseo de San Antonio (VTA) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Quetzalcoatl statue, south end of Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park. Robert Graham's 1994 sculpture of the Mesoamerican feathered-serpent deity was criticized for its $500,000 price tag, its composite-cement construction, its unimpressive 8-foot height, its religious significance, and its resemblance to coiled excrement.

Outside Downtown[edit]

  • 8 Winchester Mystery House, 525 S Winchester Blvd, +1-408-247-2101. Tours daily 9AM-7PM. Check their website for a current schedule. The legend is that Sarah Winchester, Winchester Rifle heiress, was afraid of being cursed by the ghosts of those who had been killed by Winchester guns. She thought that as long as construction continued, the ghosts would be kept at bay. Construction did continue (for 38 years!), resulting in a fantastic house full of mazes, stairs that go nowhere and other odd architecture. Two tours are available: the Mansion Tour, which takes you through most of the mansion and discusses the different theories about Sarah Winchester (fanatical spiritualist, self-taught architect, or both?), and the Explore More Tour, which goes to some of the unfinished rooms and parts of the house that were closed to the public for decades. Each tour takes about an hour, and a single ticket for either one is $39 for adults (13–64), $20 for children 6–12, and $32 for seniors, military, firefighters, and EMTs. A combined ticket is available at a discount for $54. There's a $3 fee for booking online, but it's a good idea to book in advance in case the tours fill up. Winchester Mystery House (Q608039) on Wikidata Winchester Mystery House on Wikipedia
  • 9 Santana Row, 368 Santana Row (near S Winchester Rd), +1-408-551-4611. A "European-style" village of shops, restaurants, and high-priced condos, with hotels and great nightlife. There's a year-round farmer's market on Sundays, and during the summer bands play free outdoor music every weekend. Santana row has become a hang-out spot for San Jose's residents. Has numerous restaurants, bakeries, cafes and central garden. Stores include Anthropologie, J. Crew, and surf shops. Its development has had a huge impact on the San Jose landscape and economy. Santana Row (Q7420053) on Wikidata Santana Row on Wikipedia
  • 10 Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium, 1664 Park Ave, +1-408-947-3636, . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa-Su 11AM-6PM. This museum of Ancient Egypt features exhibits funded by the Rosicrucian Order, who have secured artifacts from archaeologists working in the area since the 1920s. Take a tour through a detailed replica of an Egyptian tomb and browse their collection of mummies and artifacts. $9 general admission, $7 seniors/students, $5 children 5-10, free for children under 5. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (Q3354610) on Wikidata Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum on Wikipedia
  • Japantown, Between Jackson and Taylor on 1st-5th Sts (VTA Light Rail Station Japantown/Ayer). The neighborhood surrounding Fifth and Jackson streets (a mile from Downtown) has some good restaurants, retail shops, and cultural facilities. Festivals are held several times a year, and there is a year-round farmer's market on Sundays.
  • 11 Willow Glen, Lincoln Ave between Willow St and Minnesota St. This charming shopping district was once the center of a town separate from San Jose. Has a variety of small shops and restaurants, as well as a farmer's market and a handful of community festivals and events throughout the year. Willow Glen (Q14684269) on Wikidata Willow Glen, San Jose on Wikipedia
  • 12 San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, Naglee Ave between Dana Ave and Garden Dr, +1-408-277-2757. 8AM to half hour past sunset. San Jose's 5½–acre Municipal Rose Garden, once a prune orchard, draws thousands of visitors each year. The Garden is exclusively devoted to shrubs of the rose family and features over 4,000 rose shrubs with 189 varieties represented. Hybrid–teas comprise 75 percent of the plantings. free. San Jose Municipal Rose Garden (Q3442578) on Wikidata San Jose Municipal Rose Garden on Wikipedia
  • 13 Heritage Rose Garden, Spring St and Taylor St. half an hour before dawn to half an hour after dusk. This garden was planted by volunteers in 1995. It has a collection of almost 4,000 plants of more than 3,000 rose varieties. free.
  • 14 Alum Rock Park, 15350 Penitencia Creek Rd. half an hour before dawn to half an hour after dusk. Amazing park nestled in the Eastern foothills of Silicon Valley. Great for picnics, hiking, biking, and exploring. Great scenic trails, and 1800s-era natural spring baths. free. Alum Rock Park (Q4737339) on Wikidata Alum Rock Park on Wikipedia
  • 15 Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton Rd, +1-408-274-5761. Lick Observatory can be found on the highest point of Mount Hamilton. It can be seen on a clear day in San Jose. It has a paved road climbing up to it which was originally a horse track, which it is a steady incline with steep slopes to the side. There are three telescopes on the mountain, including a newer one within walking distance of the observatory. There are tours of one of the telescopes and a gift shop. Sometimes gets snow in winter and on a cloudy day it is above the clouds. Lick Observatory (Q461613) on Wikidata Lick Observatory on Wikipedia
  • 16 Japanese Friendship Garden, 1300 Senter Rd, +1-408-794-7275. Six-acre open, park-style garden designed to resemble the famous Korakuen in Okayama, Japan. Japanese Friendship Garden (Q633365) on Wikidata Japanese Friendship Garden (Kelley Park) on Wikipedia
  • 17 Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 535 N 5th St, +1-408-294-3138. Th-Su noon-4PM. Documents the history of Japanese Americans in the San Jose area. Highlights are a collection of farm equipment used on Japanese-American-owned farms and a recreation of a barracks from the internment during World War II. $5. Japanese American Museum of San Jose (Q6158083) on Wikidata Japanese American Museum of San Jose on Wikipedia
  • 18 Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, 1375 E Santa Clara Street (VTA bus routes 22, 522), +1-408-292-2123. Located at the edge of the Little Portugal neighborhood and built in 1916–19 with materials from the Portuguese pavilion of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, this parish church of the Roman Catholic Latin Rite, with its Neo-Manueline archictecture, is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in San Jose. Five Wounds Portuguese National Parish (Q5456192) on Wikidata Five Wounds Portuguese National Church on Wikipedia


San Jose has two major professional sports teams, some fantastic amusement parks and a variety of theater and comedy venues to entertain you throughout the year. The city also hosts a colorful array of festivals and conventions and offers plenty of shopping options.

You're on their ice when the San Jose sharkhead is lowered from the ceiling of the arena, affectionately known as "The Shark Tank."


  • 1 San Jose Sharks. The SAP Center, formerly known as HP Pavilion (aka "The Shark Tank"), hosts this National Hockey League team, which has enjoyed success since their inception in 1991. Watch one of the more famous traditions as the team enters the rink out of a 17-foot high shark head.
  • 2 San Jose Earthquakes, PayPal Park, 1123 Coleman Ave, +1-408-556-7700. The Bay Area's Major League Soccer team. The "Quakes" opened their new stadium, now known as PayPal Park, for the 2015 season.
  • Bay FC, PayPal Park, +1-833-GOBAYFC (4622932), . Joining the National Women's Soccer League in 2024, sharing PayPal Park with the Quakes.
  • 3 San Jose Giants. San Jose's single-A minor-league baseball team (affiliated with the San Francisco Giants) plays in the California League from April to September. Games are held at historic San Jose Municipal Stadium. The BBQ area next to left field is a hit with fans before the game.
  • 4 San Jose State Spartans, +1-408-924-SJTX (7589). M-F 9AM-5PM. The Spartans represent San Jose State University in NCAA Division I sports. Most of the school's six men's and 13 women's teams compete in the Mountain West Conference.
  • 5 Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, +1-408-323-5200. 27-hole course ranked among the top ten in Northern California.
  • 6 Silicon Valley Skydiving, toll-free: +1-800-386-5867. Offer fun jumps, coaching, tandems and AFF at San Martin Airport.

Amusement parks[edit]

  • 7 California's Great America, 4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, +1-408-988-1776. Mostly 10AM–10PM from June to August; weekend hours vary seasonally. With roller coasters, thrill rides, children's attractions, the Boomerang Bay water park, and Vegas-style live shows. Parking costs $20. $40+. California's Great America (Q987756) on Wikidata California's Great America on Wikipedia
  • 8 Raging Waters, 2333 S White Rd, +1-408-238-9900. Jun–Aug daily, May and Sep weekends only. A favorite local spot to cool off in the summer, this water park features slides, rides and a 350,000 gallon wave pool. $37 at the gate.
  • 9 Golfland, 976 Blossom Hill Rd, +1-408-225-1533. M-F 10AM-midnight, Sa 9AM–midnight, Su 10AM-10PM. Classic miniature golf course, plus water slides (in the summer) and a great arcade. $9-24.
  • 10 Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, 748 Story Road, +1-408-794-6400. 10AM–4PM most of the year, and 10AM–5PM on weekends and during the summer. A small, child-friendly amusement park with some animal exhibits. The carousel, train, miniature roller coaster and other rides are all included in the admission price, but bring a few quarters if you want to feed the goats in the petting zoo. Try VTA buses #73 and #25 to save $10 per vehicle on parking. $14.25 per person. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (Q5652828) on Wikidata Happy Hollow Park & Zoo on Wikipedia


  • 11 Improv Comedy Club, 62 S 2nd St, +1-408-280-7475. A downtown venue showcasing well-known comedy acts, they have a full restaurant and bar. The club is also great for group outings for 10-400 people.
  • 12 ComedySportz San Jose, 288 S 2nd St (at the Camera 3 Cinemas), +1-408-985-LAFF (5233). F 9PM, 11PM; Sa 7PM, 9PM. Named "Best Local Theatre" by the Metro's "Best of the Silicon Valley", ComedySportz is an interactive improv comedy show where two teams of "act-letes" compete in various comedic games, with the audience as the judge. $10-15.

Performing arts[edit]

  • 13 Opera San Jose, 2149 Paragon Dr (California Theatre), +1-408-437-4450. Sep-May. San Jose's resident opera company performs on a restored 1920s vaudeville stage and features some of the most accomplished young voices in the country. $50-100.
  • 14 Children's Musical Theater San Jose, 271 S Market St (Montgomery Theater), +1-408-288-5437. This children's theater puts on productions the whole family can enjoy, from 'Peter Pan' to The Who's 'Tommy'. $15–25.
  • 15 Teatro Visión, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, Suite 265, +1-408-272-9926. Known for putting on high-quality Chicano/Latino plays in San Jose since the late 1980s, Teatro Visión celebrates community, culture, and the vision of a better world.


  • Cinequest, +1-408-295-QUEST (78378). One week every March. A film festival emphasizing digital production, with screenings and guest speakers at venues throughout San Jose. Named one of the Top 10 Film Festivals in the world by the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide.
  • San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose Jazz Summerfest), +1-408-288-7557, . every August. A weekend of jazz as well as blues, salsa, and big bands, playing on a dozen mostly outdoor stages.
  • San Jose Metro Fountain Blues Festival (San Carlos Plaza at San Jose State University). Every May. This day-long concert has been around since 1980. Around 8,000 blues enthusiasts show up yearly for an impressive lineup of blues musicians. It all happens in the open air on the university campus downtown. $5.
  • Starlight Cinemas, San Pedro Square/ Historic District/ SoFA District. Most Wednesdays, June–August, dusk. Outdoor movie screenings all summer long, held in a different neighborhood each week. Bring some lawn chairs and a picnic, or check out the nearby cafes and eateries. Films range from true Hollywood classics to newer hits. Once a month, Post Street Summertime Blues joins Starlight Cinemas with a live blues performances before the show. free.
  • Downtown Ice, 120 S. Market St (between the Fairmont Hotel and the San Jose Museum of Art). November–January. It doesn't get more California than an outdoor ice skating rink surrounded by a circle of palm trees. The admission price includes rental skates and ice time. $15 general admission, $13 children 12 and under.
  • 5 de Mayo (Cinco de Mayo). First Sunday of May. The Sunday right before or after May 5th is the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Bay Area. A parade takes place downtown early in the morning, followed by music and cultural events held in Guadalupe Park and the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in the afternoon.
  • Nikkei Matsuri, Japantown. Held in spring each year around late April/early May. Features Japanese-American arts, crafts and food.
  • Sake San Jose, Japantown. Held in spring each year. Combines sake tasting with a walk through historic Japantown.
  • Christmas in the Park, Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Features Christmas scene dioramas and decorated trees sponsored by local businesses and civic organizations; carnival rides; and fair food. Displays free, carnival priced per ride.


  • 16 Further Confusion. January. One of the world's largest conventions for fans of furry (anthropomorphic animals or creatures) art, writing, comics, and costuming. If you like walking around in a dog costume, this 5-day event is for you. $35–40 one day, $70 full weekend. Further Confusion (Q5509751) on Wikidata Further Confusion on Wikipedia
  • Consonance. March. A mid-sized convention devoted to fans of filk, a subgenre of folk music inspired by science fiction and fantasy themes. $20–35 one day, $60 full weekend.
  • BayCon. May. A long-running regional science fiction convention. $60, price increases closer to the convention. BayCon (Q4873895) on Wikidata BayCon on Wikipedia
  • 17 FanimeCon. May. The largest anime convention in Northern California. $75, price increases closer to the convention. FanimeCon (Q5433877) on Wikidata FanimeCon on Wikipedia
  • California Extreme. July or August. An all-you-can-play exhibition of classic pinball machines and arcade games. All games are free for attendees, so you can leave your quarters at home! $30–40 one day, $60 full weekend. (Q2933974) on Wikidata
  • 18 SiliCon. October. A pop-culture and technology convention, formerly known as Silicon Valley Comic Con. $50 one day, $99 full weekend. Silicon Valley Comic Con (Q21593096) on Wikidata SiliCon on Wikipedia
  • Pacificon. October. Amateur-radio convention of the Pacific Division of the American Radio Relay League. $30 at the door, discount for pre-registration, free to youth 17 and under.


  • 1 Valley Fair, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd, +1-408-248-4450. One of the largest shopping malls in Northern California, Valley Fair has over 250 stores and several restaurants. Valley fair has gone under tremendous renovations within the last few years making it bigger and more modern. Westfield Valley Fair (Q1027438) on Wikidata Westfield Valley Fair on Wikipedia
  • 2 Santana Row, 368 Santana Row (off of Stevens Creek), +1-408-551-4611. Across from Valley Fair is a "European-style" village of high-end and specialty shops, restaurants, and high-priced condos. There is also a giant chess board where you can battle using pawns that are half your size. Santana Row (Q7420053) on Wikidata Santana Row on Wikipedia
  • 3 Oakridge Mall, 925 Blossom Hill Rd, +1-408-578-2912. All the Westfield mall basics for those that are addicted to malls. Since its renovation, seems to largely be a clone of Valley Fair Westfield Oakridge (Q7988720) on Wikidata Westfield Oakridge on Wikipedia
  • 4 Berryessa Flea Market, 1590 Berryessa Rd (directly adjacent to the Berryessa BART Station), toll-free: +1-800-BIG-FLEA (244-3532). A huge outdoor flea market including California's largest farmer's market. Everything from furniture and stereos to haircut salons and massages can be found here, if you look hard enough. Spanish is the lingua franca, but you can get by using English. Open on Wednesday and Friday to Sunday although Wednesday and Friday only few vendors open their stalls.
  • 5 Moon Zooom, 1630 W San Carlos St, +1-408-287-5876. Stashed inside a converted home, this is San Jose's one-stop shop for your vintage clothing and costume desires. Explore racks and racks of retro styles from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.



  • 1 Henry's Hi-Life, 301 W St John St, +1-408-295-5414. Lunch: Tu-F 11:30AM-2PM. Dinner: M-Th 5PM-9PM, F Sa 4-9:30PM, Su 4-9PM. Special hours during NFL and NHL seasons. A brick BBQ and steakhouse popular with local guys on their way to or from a Sharks game. Located close to the Shark Tank as well as the Guadalupe River, the restaurant has survived floods of both hockey fans and water. $15-30.
  • 2 Amato's Restaurant, 1162 Saratoga Ave (in Maple Leaf Plaza), +1-408-246-4007. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. This tiny shop in West San Jose specializes in cheese steaks and hoagies. 35 sandwiches on the menu and sizes from 7 to 24 inches. $6-30.
  • 3 A Slice of New York, 3443 Stevens Creek Blvd, +1-408-247-5423. Tu-Sa 11AM-midnight. This establishment specializes in New York pizzas/slices, Calzones and Strombolis. $3.25-30.
  • Ike's. The California sandwich chain has half a dozen San Jose locations. Lots of tasty vegetarian and vegan options.
  • 4 In-N-Out Burger, 550 Newhall Drive (On Coleman, W of I-880), toll-free: +1-800-786-1000. 2 other San Jose locations. $5–10.
  • 5 Bill's Cafe, 1115 Willow St (and 4 other San Jose locations), +1-408-294-1125. 7AM–PM daily. For a weekend (or weekday) brunch, Bill's can get pretty packed, and for good reason. They offer an overwhelming selection of breakfast crowdpleasers like omelettes, Belgian waffles and a dozen different styles of eggs Benedict. For lunch, they serve homemade soups, meal-size salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps. There's also a full bar, low-carb menu options and outdoor patio seating. $10–30.
  • 6 The Loft, 90 S 2nd St (downtown, less than 1 block from VTA Santa Clara Street Light Rail stop), +1-408-291-0677. M–W 11AM–10PM, Th–Sa 11AM–1:30AM, Su 11AM–11PM. Meat, seafood, vegetarian. The salmon pasta with capers in a white sauce and the sun-dried tomato and garlic soup are delicious. They also have a Campbell location, called Capers. $100 gift cards are sold for $70 (rarely $50) at local Costco stores. $12–29.
  • 7 Morton's Steakhouse, 170 S Market St, +1 408-947-7000. 5–10PM daily. Expensive steakhouse chain with huge portions; expect to spend $100 for a steak and a single side dish, plus $20 for each glass of house wine and another $20 for dessert. The menu is dominated by beef and shellfish, with one chicken option and one pork option. Vegetarians will need to invent a meal out of side dishes. Not recommended for children or vegans. Business suits or smart casual clothing. Reservations recommended. $150. Morton's The Steakhouse on Wikipedia
  • 8 Naglee Park Garage, 505 E San Carlos St, +1-408-286-1100. Tu–Th 4–8PM, F–Sa 4–9PM, closed Su M. A neighborhood eatery featuring contemporary and traditional American dishes. Locals congregate here for patio dining and weekly live music during summer months. $25 for hamburger and fries; $50 steak and salad.


  • 9 Scott's Seafood Grill and Bar, 200 S 1st St, +1 408-971-1700. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-5PM; dinner: M-Sa 5PM, Su 4:30PM. A classic selection of seafood, as well as pasta and steaks from the grill and a full bar. Dress is business casual during the day, and a little dressier at night. Is on the 6th floor and has a fantastic view of downtown and Silicon Valley. Reservations recommended. $20-40.


  • 10 Original Joe's, 301 S 1st St, +1-408-292-7030. 11AM-1AM daily. A San Jose classic, in business for over 50 years. Hearty American and Italian food and 1970s diner decor. Always, always busy and one of the few places open late in the downtown core. Be prepared to wait for a table and leave with a full belly. $20-40.
  • 11 Il Fornaio, 302 S Market St, +1-408-271-3366. M-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM. At the Sainte Claire Hotel, near Original Joe's. Regional dishes of chicken, veal, fish, steak, pasta, salad, prepared by chefs imported from different parts of Italy: Bakery with specialty coffees, desserts, and Italian artisan breads. $15-30.


One of many taquerias on First Street in San Jose
  • 12 Aqui Cal-Mex Grill, 1145 Lincoln Ave, +1-408-995-0381. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM- 9:30PM, Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Su 10AM-9PM. This place serves Mexican food as if it passed through a fun-house mirror. One of the first places to use gourmet burrito wraps. Inside the wraps you'll find fish and fillings from anywhere on the Pacific Rim: salmon, yellow-fin tuna, or plantains. Satisfying, fresh and creative. $7-10.
  • 13 Taqueria Corona, 601 N 4th St, +1-408-925-9336. This bright taqueria in Japantown is a traditional, leisurely, sit-down Mexican restaurant. Choose from seafood plates, chimichangas, al pastor and more. Their tortillas are homemade, and there's a nice selection of domestic and Mexican beers. $10–20.
  • 14 La Victoria Taqueria, 140 E San Carlos St (and 2 other locations), +1-408-298-5335. 7AM-3AM daily. La Victoria stays open late to cater to the local late-night revelers. You can buy a burrito anywhere, but this is the only place to get their famous Orange Sauce, a very spicy creamy concoction featured on a Metro Silicon Valley cover. $5-10.
  • 15 Iguana's Burritozilla, 330 S 3rd St. 10:30AM-11PM daily. You can choose several different burrito styles, 8 types of meat and 3 types of beans. Try the "Burritozilla" if you dare—it's 17 inches long and weighs in at a whopping 5 pounds. $5-10.
  • 16 Dia de Pesca, 55 N Bascom Ave (A short block north of W San Carlos St and the VTA 23, 61, and 62 bus stop), +1-408-287-3722. Su–Th 10:30AM–8PM, F–Sa 10:30AM–8:30PM. Mexican-style seafood with a few meat dishes. Casual: you order at the cash register and then sit inside or outside. The Caldo de Mares (Seven Seas Bouillabaisse) is delicious, though you may need a friend to help you eat it. It is served with the kind of tortillas that you can buy at a supermarket. The seafood tacos and burritos are also quite good. $3–21.
  • 17 Mezcal, 25 W San Fernando St, +1-408-283-9595. Specializes in regional cuisine from Oaxaca.


With the second-largest Vietnamese-American community living in San Jose, Vietnamese restaurants have proliferated here in the past few decades. Vietnamese cuisine features fresh herbs, often added to the meal at the table. The signature dish of Vietnamese cuisine is phở, a beef soup with rice noodles, usually with a choice of cuts of meat available. Bánh mì (sandwiches), noodle bowls, and rice plates are also common choices.

  • Lee's Sandwiches (7 locations in San Jose). San Jose's home-grown chain of Vietnamese Sandwich shops started with a catering truck and now has dozens of locations around the country. Lee's offers Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, European-style sandwiches, smoothies and bakery items at low prices with fast service.
    • 18 Lee's Sandwiches, 260 E Santa Clara St. 6AM-9PM daily. Under $10.
  • 19 Thiên Long Restaurant, 3005 Silver Creek Rd #138, +1-408-223-6188, . 9AM-10PM daily. This very informal restaurant (a waitress will take your order and bring your food but not your check: you pay at the counter) has few non-Asian customers and puts out a varied menu of very tasty food. You'll notice the good smell as you enter. Many photographs of their food are on their site.


Try some sushi in San Jose's Japantown.
  • 20 Kaita Restaurant, 215 Jackson St (Japantown), +1-408-287-5551. M-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, 5-9:30PM. Cosy, quaint restaurant on Japantown's main strip. Authentic Japanese cuisine. Very good combo meals and whiteboard specials. $11-30.
  • 21 Kazoo Restaurant, 250 Jackson St (Japantown), +1-408-288-9611. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2PM, Sa Su noon-2PM; dinner: M-Th Sa 5PM-9:30PM, F 5PM-10PM, Su 4-9PM. Friendly service and a large selection of fresh sushi. Try sitting at their sushi boat bar, which can be a lot of fun and remove some of the mystery of ordering sushi for the uninitiated. The menu ranges from traditional to very Californian. $10-30.
  • 22 Gombei, 193 Jackson St (Japantown), +1-408-279-4311. Tu-Th 11AM-1:30PM & 5PM-8PM, F-Sa 11AM-1:30PM & 5PM-8:30PM. An inexpensive homestyle Japanese restaurant. The udon and teishoku lunches are very popular, so try to schedule your lunch a little early or late to beat the crowd. $6-14.
  • 23 Minato Japanese Cuisine, 617 N 6th St (north of Jackson St in Japantown), +1-408-998-9711. Lunch: Tu-Sa 11:15AM-1:45PM; dinner: Tu-Th 5-8:30PM, F Sa 5-9PM. Good inexpensive traditional Japanese food; favorite among locals and visitors. Closed Sundays and Mondays. $6-16.
  • 24 Okayama Sushi, 565 N 6th St, Suite A (Japantown), +1-408-289-9508. M-Th 11AM-2PM & 5PM-10PM, F 11AM-2PM & 5-10:30PM, Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM. The oldest sushi restaurant and a local favorite. Fantastic food at very reasonable prices. $10-20.
  • 25 Shuei-Do Manju Shop, 217 Jackson St (Japantown), +1-408-294-4148. Tu 11AM–5PM, W–Sa 9AM–5PM, Su 10AM–4PM. Fresh, handmade Japanese treats, called manju. They also sell mochi and, during the summer, snow cones. Go earlier in the day for the best selection. $7 for a box of four.


In addition to the several Korean restaurants in San Jose, numerous Korean restaurants are concentrated in the "Koreatown" neighborhood on El Camino Real in neighboring Santa Clara.


  • 27 Rangoli, 3695 Union Ave, +1-408-377-2222. Upscale Indian, long on flavor if occasionally a little short on mouth-burning spice. Extensive lunch buffet, excellent wine list, and a quiet, romantic atmosphere. $12-22.


  • 28 The Original Krung Thai, 642 S Winchester Blvd, +1-408-260-8224. In spite of the building's nondescript exterior, it's some of the most loved Thai food in the area. If you tell them to make it spicy (or even medium spicy), be prepared to eat some VERY spicy food. The newer New Krung Thai Restaurant is managed by the same family, has the same menu, and is less than a mile away at 580 N Winchester Blvd. $10–30.


  • 29 Hunan Taste, 998 N 4th St, +1-408-295-1186. M-Sa 11AM-8:30PM. An offshoot of Henry Chung's original Hunan Restaurant on Kearny Street in San Francisco (the one with eight tables and a counter space which was once hailed by New Yorker magazine as "The Best Chinese Restaurant in the World"). A quintessential hole-in-the-wall, but the service could not be nicer, as is the hot, garlicky cuisine, if you're so inclined. Beer and wine are available. $10-20.
  • 30 King Eggroll, 1221 Story Rd, +1 408-999-0798. 7AM-8PM daily. Often dubbed "The Asian McDonalds", King Eggroll offers a variety of fast-food style Asian dishes, dim sum, sandwiches and combination plates. As the name would imply, though, most come here for their famous egg rolls!. $5-10.
  • 31 Taiwan Restaurant, 1306 Lincoln Ave (Willow Glen), +1-408-289-8800. A neighborhood favorite for many years, the food is not 100% traditional but still flavorful. most entrees $10-20.

Vegetarian and vegan[edit]

  • 32 Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, 37 S 1st St (between Post & Santa Clara, downtown), +1-408-294-2694. M closed, Tu-F 11:30AM-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, Su noon-8PM. Even local carnivores find something to love at this hipster vegan café and craft beer bar. Good Karma hosts occasional DJ nights, has multiple beers on tap, curates its own custom music playlists, and offers free internet access. Staple dishes on the menu include rice or quinoa plates with curries and other globally-inspired vegan mains, but the café also often has rotating specials. For non-beer drinkers, a selection of kombucha and other craft soft drinks is available. $10-15.
  • 33 Vegetarian House, 520 E Santa Clara St, +1-408-292-3798, . M-F 11AM-2PM, 5-9PM; Sa Su 11AM-9PM. A friendly, funky place with bright decor and cheerful servers. Menu selections take inspiration from around the globe, including western, Chinese, and Indian styles. most mains $10-15.
  • 34 Tofoo Com Chay, 388 E Santa Clara St, +1-408-286-6335. M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Sun closed. A tiny lunch counter specializing in Vietnamese vegetarian dishes, including bánh mì, noodle soups, and rice plates. Cash only, unless a $15 minimum is met. under $10.

East African and Middle Eastern[edit]

  • 35 Falafel's Drive-in, 2301 Steven's Creek Blvd, +1-408-294-7886. A family-run local favorite, there is always a line at the drive-in. They offer authentic Middle Eastern cuisine including falafel, hummos and gyros as well as hamburgers, fries and homemade milkshakes. $5–10.
  • 36 Zeni, 1320 Saratoga Ave (at Payne), +1-408-615-8282. Tu-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-10PM. An Ethiopian restaurant that knows how to show off the complex flavors of the cuisine. Meals are served Ethiopian style, on injera bread. A full Ethiopian coffee ceremony is available, but they ask that you request it an hour in advance. Many options for vegetarians, as well as a full bar. $10-20.
  • LeYou, 1100 N. First St., +1 408-320-2620, . M–Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM & 5:30PM-9PM, Su 11AM-2:30PM & 5:30PM-9PM. An eco-friendly contemporary restaurant, with a variety of Ethiopian dishes.


Nightlife in the Downtown area is a mix of lounges, clubs, and bars which, according to locals, have either greatly improved the scene or marked the beginning of its decline. Santana Row has a number of upscale clubs and bars and has been the new hotspot since 2005.

  • 1 Goosetown Lounge, 1172 Lincoln Ave, +1-408-292-4835. 9PM-2AM daily. Willow Glen's neighborhood bar and cocktail lounge; if you're into a late night pops and enthusiastic renditions of 'YMCA', this karaoke hotspot may be for you. $5-10.
Think outside the olive! Choose from oodles of creative martinis at the Fairmont's Lobby Lounge.
  • 2 San Jose Bar & Grill, 85 S 2nd St, +1-408-286-2397. M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa 1PM-2AM, Su 5PM-2AM. Since one Happy Hour just isn't enough, the Grill offers all kinds of specials on wings, burgers and drinks throughout the week. It's a good place to watch sports, especially Sundays during football season. Weekly karaoke and DJs on weekend nights. $5-10.
  • 3 Splash, 65 Post St, +1-408-993-0861. Th-Sa 9PM-2AM. San Jose's downtown gay video bar, nightclub and lounge is friendly to people of all persuasions. $5-10.


Hotels in Downtown[edit]

If you arrive by train, there are no hotels adjacent to the train station, but there are a few that are less than a mile's walk away. Alternatively, from the train station's bus loop, you can take the local bus one or two stops along The Alameda to save your feet.

  • 1 Hyatt Place San Jose, 282 Almaden Blvd (at W San Carlos), +1-408-998-0400. Ultra-modern decor, event facilities, and a fitness center are available in downtown San Jose, near the west end of the Convention Center.
  • 2 Hotel De Anza, 233 W Santa Clara St (near San Pedro Square), +1-408-286-1000, toll-free: +1-800-843-3700. A restored historic hotel set in the midst of all the dining and entertainment of the downtown area near San Pedro Square.
  • 3 Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown, 211 S 1st St (at pedestrian only Paseo de San Antonio), +1-408-282-8800. One of the more intimate Four Points in a classic 1911 building, with a lounge, outdoor patio, bocce ball courts, business and fitness centers. Near the east end of the Convention Center.
  • 4 Hilton San Jose, 300 Almaden Blvd (at W San Carlos), +1-408-947-4450. Attached to the west end of the Convention Center, this non-smoking hotel is very convenient for convention attendees. It's on the Light Rail route. Pool and jacuzzi, high-speed internet and fitness room. Smaller pets allowed.
  • 5 Westin San Jose, 302 S Market St (at W San Carlos), +1-408-295-2000. Stately hotel in the heart of downtown San Jose, near the east end of the Convention Center. Member of the Historic Hotels of America.
  • 6 San Jose Marriott, 301 S Market St (at W San Carlos), +1-408-280-1300, toll-free: +1-800-314-0928. Attached to the east end of the Convention Center. The Marriott is a AAA Four-Diamond hotel in the heart of Downtown San Jose that offers facilities and technology for meetings and presentations, high-speed internet, a pool, a fitness center and a smoke-free environment.

Hotels outside Downtown[edit]

  • 7 Wyndham Garden San Jose Airport, 1355 N 4th St (1 mile east of San Jose International Airport), +1-408-453-5500. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Resort-style hotel with complimentary hot breakfast buffet, business and meeting amenities, specials and packages, plus proximity to museums, golf courses and theme parks. $87-107 per night.
  • 8 Hayes Mansion, 200 Edenvale Ave, +1 408 226-3200, toll-free: +1-866-981-3300. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $114-197 per night.
  • 9 Doubletree by Hilton, 2050 Gateway Pl (less than half a mile from the San Jose Airport), +1-408-453-4000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A popular location for meetings and conventions. Heated outdoor pool and spa, 24-hour fitness center, and plenty of dining options.
  • 10 Homewood Suites by Hilton, 10 W Trimble Rd, +1-408-428-9900. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. An all-suite hotel with fully-equipped kitchens. Complimentary hot breakfast daily, dinner with beer and wine M-Th, and high-speed Internet.
  • 11 Hotel Elan San Jose, 1215 S 1st St (a mile south of downtown), toll-free: +1-800-509-7666. Free high-speed and wireless internet, newspapers, breakfast, fax and copy services.
  • 12 Motel 6 San Jose South, 2560 Fontaine Rd, +1-408-270-3131, fax: +1-408-270-6235. Kids stay free, pets are allowed. Minutes away from the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Outdoor pool, Wi-Fi is available for a small fee.
  • 13 San Jose Airport Inn, 1440 N 1st St (near San Jose Airport), +1-408-453-7750. 24-hour service.
  • 14 Residence Inn San Jose South, 6111 San Ignacio Ave, +1-408-226-7676, fax: +1-408-226-9916. Smoke-free hotel has studios and spacious extended-stay suites. Outdoor pool, fitness center, free high-speed internet and breakfast.
  • 15 Sleep Inn Silicon Valley, 2390 Harris Way (3 miles from the airport), +1-408-434-9330. Free high-speed internet, a large desk workspace and ergonomic office chairs. Fitness center, free continental breakfast, microwaves and refrigerators in every room. Very close to the Paramount's Great America amusement park.
  • 16 TownePlace Suites San Jose Cupertino, 440 Saratoga Ave, +1-408-984-5903, fax: +1-408-984-5904. Very close to the Winchester Mystery House and the shopping and entertainment of Santana Row. Smoke-free hotel with outdoor pool, jacuzzi and barbecue area for its guests. Free wired and Wi-Fi internet access.
  • 17 Sonesta Select San Jose Airport, 1727 Technology Dr, +1-408-441-6111. Check-in: 3:00PM, check-out: Noon.
  • 18 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, San Jose International Airport, 1350 N 4th St, +1-408-467-1789. Reasonable-sized well-furnished rooms. Area nothing special, just other hotels and local but convenient for airport access to the freeways. Basic breakfast buffet. Ample parking.
  • 19 Hyatt House San Jose Airport, 2105 North 1st Street, +1-669-342-0011, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Within five miles of the Santa Clara Convention Center, SAP Center and Levi's Stadium. Offers pet-friendly, contemporary suites and rooms with free breakfast, free internet access, fitness center, outdoor pool, and business services. Free airport shuttle.
  • 20 Hyatt Place San Jose Airport, 82 Karina Court, +1-669-342-0007, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. All rooms include a large workspace and sofa-sleeper in addition to king or queen beds. Pet-friendly and offers free internet access, free parking, and free shuttle within a 3-mile radius of hotel. Restaurant, fitness center, and pool on-site. Within 5 miles of convention centers, Levi's Stadium, and SAP Center.
  • 21 Hotel Valencia - Santana Row, 355 Santana Row, toll-free: +1-855-596-3396, . Only hotel on Santana Row. Features a meeting space, full service restaurant, and rooftop bar.



  • Metro Silicon Valley. Published every Wednesday, distributed in news racks, businesses, libraries. Arts, entertainment, night clubs, restaurant reviews, community events, local news and opinion. Free. Metro Silicon Valley (Q6824706) on Wikidata Metro Silicon Valley on Wikipedia
  • San Jose Mercury News. Daily newspaper, sold in stores and news racks. The Mercury News (Q575741) on Wikidata The Mercury News on Wikipedia


Most of the foreign consulates are located in downtown San Francisco. The following is in Santa Clara County:

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Just east of the city lies Alum Rock Park[dead link], a canyon through which Penitencia Creek flows, which is lined by sulfurous mineral springs and several small waterfalls. Above the park stands Mount Hamilton, one of the highest peaks in the Bay Area at 4,213 feet (1,284 m). The telescopes of Lick Observatory, operated by the University of California, crown the summit and are open to the public during daytime hours. Northeast of San Jose is the Livermore Valley, which includes wine country and the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore.

Other places to see in San Jose's backyard are the Scenic Drive in Saratoga Hills, the quaint and classy town of Los Gatos, and Mission Santa Clara at Santa Clara University. Palo Alto and Stanford University are about half an hour's drive to the north. About 45 minutes northeast, you can visit Fremont's Mission San Jose and the Ardenwood Historic Farm.

Less than an hour away over the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, the small coastal city of Santa Cruz is a nice day trip out of San Jose. Spend the day enjoying the beaches and Boardwalk, or make it the first stop on a longer coastal drive. From Santa Cruz, you can take Route 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway) south to Capitola, Monterey, and the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Hwy 17 Express bus links San Jose to Santa Cruz.

The Pacific Coast Highway is a nationally famous highway. It goes along the whole coast of California giving off spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Many movies have shown this highway in scenes that take place in California, and it is also a main tourist attraction to drive along the coast. Route 1 can take you up to Pacifica which is about 30 minutes north of San Jose. Pacifica is an ocean side residential town that has affordable housing and sit's on hills that overlook the Pacific. The beach here is typical of the Bay Area and has a very rough current.

Less than an hour away is Half Moon Bay beach. This beach sits on the bottom of cliffs with a very rough current. During most of the summer months the water is closed to swimmers because of rip tides and massive waves. The Pacific ocean is typically cold and in Half Moon Bay this is still very true. The sunsets here have been known to lure in travelers and those wanting to rent beach houses. Since Half Moon Bay sits on cliffs, the sunset goes down over the water and seems to create perfect scenery.

Only about 55 miles north, taking highway 101, is the city of San Francisco. San Francisco is the heart of the Bay Area and is the proud owner of the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco has many neighborhoods with all kinds of restaurants, shopping, parks, beaches, and views of the bridge. Caltrain provides train service to San Francisco.

The rolling hills of San Jose surround the city creating a valley. See the top of these hills by driving into East San Jose. The houses on the hills are spread out and ranch from ranches, farms, and even mansions. These houses can be seen from the valley and the picturesque drive leads to the top of the hills where you can see the entire landscape of San Jose. On the Fourth of July, many San Jose natives come up to the hills to watch the spectacular firework show over the city.

Routes through San Jose
San FranciscoCupertino  N  S  END
ConcordMilpitas  N  S  END
OaklandMilpitas  N  S  Becomes
San FranciscoSanta Clara  NW  SE  Morgan HillSalinas
Becomes  N  S  CampbellSanta Cruz
Mountain ViewLos Gatos  N  S  END
Daly City/San FranciscoMilpitas  N  S  END
RichmondMilpitas  N  S  END
San FranciscoSanta Clara  N  S  Morgan HillGilroy
END  SW  NE  Santa ClaraStockton

This city travel guide to San Jose is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.