The home of Silicon Valley, San Jose is tech-mad, that’s for sure, but it’s also California’s oldest Spanish civilian settlement and has vibrant Latin influences. Add in its unique global food scene, cultural neighbourhoods and wild scenery and you’ll soon see why this is such a buzzing hub.
Whether you’re interested in Facebook or flea markets, you won’t be bored here. Follow our tips of the best things to do in San Jose and you’ll have an absolute blast…
Best things to do in San Jose
1. Explore the spooky Winchester Mystery House
This 160-room, sprawling labyrinth of a home was built to appease spirits who died at the hands of the Winchester Rifle. You can tour the house and gardens; with 10,000 windows and a $5 million price tag way back in 1923, you can imagine the sort of grandeur you will be seeing.
2. Look into the future…
The future is now in San Jose. For real. Learn about Silicon Valley science and technology at The Tech Interactive (one of the nation’s premier science and technology museums) with interactive exhibits. Take a peek into the future at the Tesla Showroom and explore new gadgets at the Netgear store on Santana Row.
3. Take a hike through Alum Rock Park
Alum Rock Park is within a canyon in the foothills of the Diablo Range and is a top spot for a hike. There’s over 720 acres of beautiful scenery to explore, with 13 miles of trails including six miles of horse trails and three miles of bicycle trails.
Plus, the park has plenty of barbecue pits and picnic tables if you want to make a day of it.
4. Wander around the San Jose Flea Market
The San Jose Flea Market is basically a small city with a life of its own. It’s BIG – on weekends there’s over 1,200 vendors! Wander through treasure-laden corridors, grab some Californian corn dogs or tacos and chill out to live mariachi bands.
The selection of goods for sale is so varied that you’re sure to get lost in your search for items on your shopping list, but you can search for specific vendors and where to find them here.
5. Visit the San Jose Museum of Art
The San Jose Museum of Art is a popular tourist attraction for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts. The funky museum specialises in art and artists from the West Coast. There’s a huge array of art that includes paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and much more.
Tickets are just $5 on every Third Thursday evening of the month.
6. Go on a local winery tour
Explore Santa Clara Valley, which has been making exceptional wines and produce for the region, long before the birth of Silicon Valley. Sip your way through more than two dozen historic wineries, tasting rooms and gorgeous vineyards. Daily tastings are available at most wineries.
Some of them, like Clos LaChance Winery and Guglielmo Winery, also have entertainment and live music.
7. Play a life-size Monopoly in the Park
You have to play Monopoly in the Park, a larger-than-life sized version of the world’s most popular board game. Property is traded on a 930 square foot permanent Monopoly board installed in Discovery Meadow near the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Everyone has a chance to “make it big” in Silicon Valley real estate playing with jumbo dice, gigantic token-shaped hats, and even wearing jailhouse garb if you “do not pass go and go directly to jail.”
Just take note that you need to book a game in advance.