FIPS 55-3 Code
US National Archive Codes
Coordinates Latitude: 37.3382082 Longitude: -121.8863286
Demographics & Economic Data
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The Santa Clara Valley was home to the Tamyen group of the Ohlone people since around 4,000 BCE. The Tamyen spoke Tamyen language of the Ohlone language family. With the Spanish colonization of California, the majority of the Tamyen came to inhabit Mission Santa Clara de Asís and Mission San José.
California was claimed as part of the Spanish Empire in 1542, when explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo charted the Californian coast. During this time, California and Baja California were administered together as Province of the California (Spanish: Provincia de las California). For nearly 200 years, the Californias were sparsely populated and largely ignored by the government of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Mexico City. Only in 1769 was Northern California finally surveyed by Spanish authorities, with the Portolá Expedition.In 1776, the Californias were included as part of the Captaincy General of the Provincias Internas, a large administrative division created by José de Gálvez, Spanish Minister of the Indies, in order to provide greater autonomy for the Spanish Empire's lightly populated and largely ungoverned borderlands. That year, King Carlos III of Spain approved an expedition by Juan Bautista de Anza to survey the San Francisco Bay Area, in order to choose the sites for two future settlements and their accompanying mission. First he chose the site for a military settlement in San Francisco, for the Royal Presidio of San Francisco, and Mission San Francisco de Asís. On his way back to Mexico from San Francisco, de Anza chose the sites in Santa Clara Valley for a civilian settlement, San Jose, on the eastern bank of the Guadalupe River, and a mission on its western bank, Mission Santa Clara de Asís.San Jose was officially founded as California's first civilian settlement on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe by José Joaquín Moraga, under orders of Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, Viceroy of New Spain. San Jose served as a strategic settlement along El Camino Real, connecting the military fortifications at the Monterey Presidio and the San Francisco Presidio, as well as the California mission network. In 1791, due to the severe flooding which characterized the pueblo, San Jose's settlement was moved approximately a mile south, centered on the Pueblo Plaza (modern-day Plaza de César Chávez).In 1800, due to the growing population in the northern part of the Californias, Diego de Borica, Governor of the Californias, officially split the province into two parts: Alta California (Upper California), which would eventually become a U.S. state, and Baja California (Lower California), which would eventually become two Mexican states.
San Jose became part of the First Mexican Empire in 1821, after Mexico's War of Independence was won against the Spanish Crown, and in 1824, part of the First Mexican Republic. With its newfound independence, and the triumph of the republican movement, Mexico set out to diminish the Catholic Church's power within Alta California by secularizing the California missions in 1833.In 1824, In order to promote settlement and economic activity within sparsely populated California, the Mexican government began an initiative, for Mexican and foreign citizens alike, to settle unoccupied lands in California. Between 1833 and 1845, thirty-eight rancho land grants were issued in the Santa Clara Valley, 15 of which were located within modern day San Jose's borders. Numerous prominent historical figures were among those granted rancho lands in the Santa Valley, including James A. Forbes, founder of Los Gatos, California (granted Rancho Potrero de Santa Clara), Antonio Suñol, Alcalde of San Jose (granted Rancho Los Coches), and José María Alviso, Alcalde of San Jose (granted Rancho Milpitas).In 1835, San Jose's population of approximately 700 people included 40 foreigners, primarily Americans and Englishmen. By 1845, the population of the pueblo had increased to 900, primarily due to American immigration. Foreign settlement in San Jose and California was rapidly changing Californian society, bringing expanding economic opportunities and foreign culture.By 1846, native Californios had long expressed their concern for the overrunning of California society by its growing and wealthy Anglo-American community. On July 11, 1846, with the onset of the Mexican–American War, Captain Thomas Fallon conquered San Jose in the name of the Bear Flag Revolt for the California Republic, officially ending Mexican rule in Alta California.
By the end of 1847, the Conquest of California by the United States was complete, as the Mexican–American War came to an end. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo formally ceded California to the United States, as part of the Mexican Cession. On December 15, 1849, San Jose became the capital of the unorganized territory of California. With California's Admission to the Union on September 9, 1850, San Jose became the state's first capital.On March 27, 1850, San Jose was incorporated. It was incorporated on the same day as San Diego and Benicia; together, these three cities followed Sacramento as California's earliest incorporated cities. Josiah Belden, who had settled in California in 1842 after traversing the California Trail as part of the Bartleson Party and later acquired a fortune, was the city's first mayor. San Jose was briefly California's first state capital; legislators met in the city from 1849 to 1851. (Monterey was the capital during the period of Spanish California and Mexican California). The first capitol no longer exists; the Plaza de César Chávez now lies on the site, which has two historical markers indicating where California's state legislature first met.In the period 1900 through 1910, San Jose served as a center for pioneering invention, innovation, and impact in both lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air flight. These activities were led principally by John Montgomery and his peers. The City of San Jose has established Montgomery Park, a Monument at San Felipe and Yerba Buena Roads, and John J. Montgomery Elementary School in his honor. During this period, San Jose also became a center of innovation for the mechanization/industrialization of agricultural and food processing equipment.Though not affected as severely as San Francisco, San Jose also suffered significant damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Over 100 people died at the Agnews Asylum (later Agnews State Hospital) after its walls and roof collapsed, and San Jose High School's three-story stone-and-brick building was also destroyed. The period during World War II was a tumultuous time. Japanese Americans primarily from Japantown were sent to internment camps, including the future mayor Norman Mineta. Following the Los Angeles zoot suit riots, anti-Mexican violence took place during the summer of 1943. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported San Jose's population as 98% white.
As World War II started, the city's economy shifted from agriculture (the Del Monte cannery was the largest employer and closed in 1999) to industrial manufacturing with the contracting of the Food Machinery Corporation (later known as FMC Corporation) by the United States War Department to build 1,000 Landing Vehicle Tracked. After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systems) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams battle tank.IBM established its West Coast headquarters in San Jose in 1943 and opened a downtown research and development facility in 1952. Both would prove to be harbingers for the economy of San Jose, as Reynold Johnson and his team would later invent RAMAC, as well as the hard disk drive, and the technological side of San Jose's economy grew.The Ford Motor Company relocated its factory in Richmond to a new location in the suburb of Milpitas, called the San Jose Assembly Plant, which was one of the primary locations for manufacturing the Ford Mustang.During the 1950s and 1960s, City Manager A. P. "Dutch" Hamann led the city in a major growth campaign. The city annexed adjacent areas, such as Alviso and Cambrian Park, providing large areas for suburbs. An anti-growth reaction to the effects of rapid development emerged in the 1970s, championed by mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes. Despite establishing an urban growth boundary, development fees, and the incorporations of Campbell and Cupertino, development was not slowed, but rather directed into already-incorporated areas.
On April 3, 1979, the San Jose City Council adopted San José, with the diacritical mark on the "e", as the spelling of the city name on the city seal, official stationery, office titles and department names. Also, by city council convention, this spelling of San José is used when the name is stated in mixed upper- and lower-case letters, but not when the name is stated only in upper-case letters. The accent reflects the Spanish version of the name, and the dropping of accents in all-capital writing was typical in Spanish. While San José is commonly spelled both with and without the acute accent over the "e", the city's official guidelines indicate that it should be spelled with the accent most of the time and sets forth narrow exceptions, such as when the spelling is in URLs, when the name appears in all-capital letters, when the name is used on social media sites where the diacritical mark does not render properly, and where San Jose is part of the proper name of another organization or business, such as San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, that has chosen not to use the accent-marked name. The city's name without the accent can still be found in its 1965 Charter document, as amended, which formally chartered the municipality as City of San Jose. Similarly, the city's website appears to use a mixture of both; for example, the "City of San José" in the text uses the mark but the "City of San Jose" logo image does not.San Jose's position in Silicon Valley triggered further economic and population growth. Results from the 1990 U.S. Census indicated that San Jose surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in the Bay Area for the first time. This growth led to the highest housing-cost increase in the nation, 936% between 1976 and 2001. Efforts to increase density continued into the 1990s when an update of the 1974 urban plan kept the urban growth boundaries intact and voters rejected a ballot measure to ease development restrictions in the foothills. Sixty percent of the housing built in San Jose since 1980 and over three-quarters of the housing built since 2000 have been multifamily structures, reflecting a political propensity toward Smart Growth planning principles.
San Jose is located at 37°20′07″N 121°53′31″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 180.0 sq mi (466 km2), of which 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2) (1.91%) is water, making it the fourth-largest California city by land area (after Los Angeles, San Diego and California City).San Jose lies between the San Andreas Fault, the source of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and the Calaveras Fault. San Jose is shaken by moderate earthquakes on average one or two times a year. These quakes originate just east of the city on the creeping section of the Calaveras Fault, which is a major source of earthquake activity in Northern California. On April 14, 1984, at 1:15 pm local time, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Calaveras Fault near San Jose's Mount Hamilton. The most serious earthquake, in 1906, damaged many buildings in San Jose as described earlier. Earlier significant quakes rocked the city in 1839, 1851, 1858, 1864, 1865, 1868, and 1891. The Daly City Earthquake of 1957 caused some damage. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 also did some damage to parts of the city. The other faults near San Jose are the Monte Vista Fault and the Hayward Fault Zone.
San Jose's expansion was made by the design of "Dutch" Hamann, the City Manager from 1950 to 1969. During his administration, with his staff referred to as "Dutch's Panzer Division", the city annexed property 1,389 times, growing the city from 17 to 149 square miles (44 to 386 km2), absorbing the communities named above, changing their status to "neighborhoods."
They say San José is going to become another Los Angeles. Believe me, I'm going to do everything in my power to make that come true.
Sales taxes were a chief source of revenue. Hamann would determine where major shopping areas would be, and then annex narrow bands of land along major roadways leading to those locations, pushing tentacles across the Santa Clara Valley and, in turn, walling off the expansion of adjacent communities.During his reign, it was said the City Council would vote according to Hamann's nod. In 1963, the State of California imposed Local Agency Formation Commissions statewide, but largely to try to maintain order with San Jose's aggressive growth. Eventually the political forces against growth grew as local neighborhoods bonded together to elect their own candidates, ending Hamann's influence and leading to his resignation. While the job was not complete, the trend was set. The city had defined its sphere of influence in all directions, sometimes chaotically leaving unincorporated pockets to be swallowed up by the behemoth, sometimes even at the objection of the residents.Major thoroughfares in the city include Monterey Road, the Stevens Creek Boulevard/San Carlos Street corridor, Santa Clara Street/Alum Rock Avenue corridor, Almaden Expressway, Capitol Expressway, and 1st Street (San Jose).
The Guadalupe River runs from the Santa Cruz Mountains (which separate the South Bay from the Pacific Coast) flowing north through San Jose, ending in the San Francisco Bay at Alviso. Along the southern part of the river is the neighborhood of Almaden Valley, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury needed for gold extraction from quartz during the California Gold Rush as well as mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945. East of the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek also flows to south San Francisco Bay and originates on Mount Sizer near Henry W. Coe State Park and the surrounding hills in the Diablo Range, northeast of Morgan Hill, California.
The lowest point in San Jose is 13 feet (4.0 m) below sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso; the highest is 2,125 feet (648 m). Because of the proximity to Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, San Jose has taken several steps to reduce light pollution, including replacing all street lamps and outdoor lighting in private developments with low pressure sodium lamps. To recognize the city's efforts, the asteroid 6216 San Jose was named after the city.San Jose lies close to the Pacific Ocean and a small portion of its northern border touches San Francisco Bay. Santa Clara Valley is the population center of the Bay Area and, like the hub and spokes of a wheel, surrounding communities emanate outwards from the valley. This growth, in part, has shaped the greater Bay Area as it is today in terms of geographic population distribution and the trend of suburbanization away from the valley.There are four distinct valleys in the city of San Jose: Almaden Valley, situated on the southwest fringe of the city; Evergreen Valley to the southeast, which is hilly all throughout its interior; Santa Clara Valley, which includes the flat, main urban expanse of the South Bay; and the rural Coyote Valley, to the city's extreme southern fringe.
San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb)., with warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. San Jose has an average of 301 days of sunshine and an annual mean temperature of 60.5 °F (15.8 °C). It lies inland, surrounded on three sides by mountains, and does not front the Pacific Ocean like San Francisco. As a result, the city is somewhat more sheltered from rain, giving it a semiarid feel with a mean annual rainfall of 15.82 inches or 401.8 millimetres, compared to some other parts of the Bay Area, which can receive about three times that amount.
Like most of the Bay Area, San Jose is made up of dozens of microclimates. Because of a more prominent rain shadow from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Downtown San Jose experiences the lightest rainfall in the city, while South San Jose, only 10 mi (16 km) distant, experiences more rainfall, and somewhat more extreme temperatures.
The monthly daily average temperature ranges from around 50 °F (10 °C) in December and January to around 70 °F (21.1 °C) in July and August. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 109 °F (42.8 °C) on June 14, 2000; the lowest was 19 °F (−7.2 °C) on December 22–23, 1990. On average, there are 2.7 mornings annually where the temperature drops to, or below, the freezing mark; and sixteen afternoons where the high reaches or exceeds 90 °F or 32.2 °C. Diurnal temperature variation is far wider than along the coast or in San Francisco but still a shadow of what is seen in the Central Valley.
With the light rainfall, San Jose and its suburbs experience about 300 fully or partly sunny days a year. Rain occurs primarily in the months from November through April. During the winter and spring, hillsides and fields turn green with grasses and vegetation, although deciduous trees are few. With the coming of the annual hot summer dry period, the vegetation dies and dries, giving the hills a golden cover which, unfortunately, also provides fuel for grass fires.
Measurable precipitation falls in downtown San Jose on an average of 59 days a year. "Rain year" precipitation has ranged from 4.83 inches (122.7 mm) between July 1876 and June 1877 to 30.30 inches (769.6 mm) between July 1889 and June 1890, although at the current site since 1893 the range is from 5.77 inches (146.6 mm) in "rain year" 1975–76 to 30.25 inches (768.3 mm) in "rain year" 1982–83. The most precipitation in one month was 12.38 inches (314.5 mm) in January 1911. The maximum 24-hour rainfall was 3.60 inches (91.4 mm) on January 30, 1968. Although summer is normally quite dry in San Jose, a very heavy thunderstorm on August 21, 1968, brought 1.92 inches (48.8 mm) of rain, causing some flooding.The snow level drops as low as 2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level, or lower, occasionally coating nearby Mount Hamilton and, less frequently, the Santa Cruz Mountains, with snow that normally lasts a few days. Snow will snarl traffic traveling on State Route 17 towards Santa Cruz. Snow rarely falls in San Jose; the most recent snow to remain on the ground was on February 5, 1976, when many residents around the city saw as much as 3 inches (0.076 m) on car and roof tops. The official observation station measured only 0.5 inches (0.013 m) of snow.
Neighborhoods and districts
The city is generally divided into the following areas: Downtown San Jose, Central, West San Jose, North San Jose, East San Jose, and South San Jose. Many of these regions were originally unincorporated communities or separate municipalities that were later annexed by the city.
Besides those mentioned above, some well-known communities within San Jose include Japantown, Rose Garden, Midtown San Jose, Willow Glen, Naglee Park, Burbank, Winchester, Alviso, East Foothills, Alum Rock, Communications Hill, Little Portugal, Blossom Valley, Cambrian, Almaden Valley, Silver Creek Valley, Evergreen Valley, Edenvale, Santa Teresa, Seven Trees, Coyote Valley, and Berryessa.
A distinct ethnic enclave in San Jose is the Washington-Guadalupe neighborhood, immediately south of the SoFA District; this neighborhood is home to a community of Hispanics, centered on Willow Street.
San Jose possesses about 15,950 acres (6,455 ha) of parkland in its city limits, including a part of the expansive Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The city's oldest park is Alum Rock Park, established in 1872. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, reported that San Jose was tied with Albuquerque and Omaha for having the 11th best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities.
Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 4,147 acres (16.78 km2) of former mercury mines in South San Jose (operated and maintained by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department).
Alum Rock Park, 718 acres (2.91 km2) in East San Jose, the oldest municipal park in California and one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
Children's Discovery Museum hosts an outdoor park-like setting, featuring the world's largest permanent Monopoly game, per the Guinness Book of World Records. Caretakers for this attraction include the 501(c)3 non-profit group Monopoly in the Park.
Circle of Palms Plaza, a ring of palm trees surrounding a California state seal and historical landmark at the site of the first state capitol
Emma Prusch Farm Park, 43.5 acres (17.6 hectares) in East San Jose. Donated by Emma Prusch to demonstrate the valley's agricultural past, it includes a 4-H barn (the largest in San Jose), community gardens, a rare-fruit orchard, demonstration gardens, picnic areas, and expanses of lawn.
Field Sports Park, Santa Clara County's only publicly owned firing range, located in south San Jose
Kelley Park, including diverse facilities such as Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (a child-centric amusement park), the Japanese Friendship Garden (Kelley Park), History Park at Kelley Park, and the Portuguese Historical Museum within the history park
Martial Cottle Park, a former agricultural farm, in South San Jose. Operated by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department
Oak Hill Memorial Park, California's oldest secular cemetery
Overfelt Gardens, including the Chinese Cultural Garden
Plaza de César Chávez, a small park in Downtown, hosts outdoor concerts and the Christmas in the Park display
Raging Waters, water park with water slides and other water attractions. This sits within Lake Cunningham Park
Rosicrucian Park, nearly an entire city block in the Rose Garden neighborhood; the Park offers a setting of Egyptian and Moorish architecture set among lawns, rose gardens, statuary, and fountains, and includes the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Planetarium, Research Library, Peace Garden and Visitors Center
San Jose Flea Market
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, 5 1⁄2 acres (22,000 m2) park in the Rose Garden neighborhood, featuring over 4,000 rose bushes
A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked San Jose the nineteenth most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.San Jose's trail network of 60 miles (100 km) of recreational and active transportation trails throughout the city. The major trails in the network include:
Coyote Creek Trail
Guadalupe River Trail
Los Gatos Creek Trail
Los Alamitos Creek Trail
Penitencia Creek Trail
Silver Creek Valley TrailThis large urban trail network, recognized by Prevention Magazine as the nation's largest, is linked to trails in surrounding jurisdictions and many rural trails in surrounding open space and foothills. Several trail systems within the network are designated as part of the National Recreation Trail, as well as regional trails such as the San Francisco Bay Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Early written documents record the local presence of migrating salmon in the Rio Guadalupe dating as far back as the 18th century. Both steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and King salmon are extant in the Guadalupe River, making San Jose the southernmost major U. S. city with known salmon spawning runs, the other cities being Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon and Sacramento, California. Runs of up to 1,000 Chinook or King Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) swam up the Guadalupe River each fall in the 1990s, but have all but vanished in the current decade apparently blocked from access to breeding grounds by impassable culverts, weirs and wide, exposed and flat concrete paved channels installed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. In 2011 a small number of Chinook salmon were filmed spawning under the Julian Street bridge.Longtime San Jose resident and conservationist, Roger Castillo, who discovered the remains of a mammoth on the banks of the Guadalupe River in 2005, recently found that a herd of tule elk (Cervus canadensis) has recolonized the hills of south San Jose east of Highway 101.At the southern edge of San José, Coyote Valley is a corridor for wildlife migration between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range.
In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau released its new population estimates. With a total population of 1,015,785, San Jose became the 11th U.S. city to hit the 1 million mark, even though it is currently the 10th most populous city.
The 2010 United States Census reported that San Jose had a population of 945,942. The population density was 5,256.2 people per square mile (2,029.4/km²). The racial makeup of San Jose was 404,437 (42.8%) White, 303,138 (32.0%) Asian (10.4% Vietnamese, 6.7% Chinese, 5.6% Filipino, 4.6% Indian, 1.2% Korean, 1.2% Japanese, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.2% Thai, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.2% Laotian), 30,242 (3.2%) African American, 8,297 (0.9%) Native American, 4,017 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 148,749 (15.7%) from other races, and 47,062 (5.0%) from two or more races. There were 313,636 residents of Hispanic or Latino background (33.2%). 28.2% of the city's population was of Mexican descent; the next largest Hispanic groups were those of Salvadoran (0.7%) and Puerto Rican (0.5%) heritage. Non-Hispanic Whites were 28.7% of the population in 2010, down from 75.7% in 1970.The census reported that 932,620 people (98.6% of the population) lived in households, 9,542 (1.0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 3,780 (0.4%) were institutionalized. There were 301,366 households, out of which 122,958 (40.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 162,819 (54.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 37,988 (12.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 18,702 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 16,900 (5.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2,458 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 59,385 households (19.7%) were made up of individuals and 18,305 (6.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09. There were 219,509 families (72.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.54.
The age distribution of the city was as follows: 234,678 people (24.8%) were under the age of 18, 89,457 people (9.5%) aged 18 to 24, 294,399 people (31.1%) aged 25 to 44, 232,166 people (24.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 95,242 people (10.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.
There were 314,038 housing units at an average density of 1,745.0 per square mile (673.7/km²), of which 176,216 (58.5%) were owner-occupied, and 125,150 (41.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.3%. 553,436 people (58.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 379,184 people (40.1%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city.
The population density was 5,117.9 people per square mile (1,976.1/km²). There were 281,841 housing units at an average density of 1,611.8 per square mile (622.3/km²). Of the 276,598 households, 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.62.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was the highest in the U.S. for any city with more than a quarter million residents with $76,963 annually. The median income for a family was $86,822. Males had a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,697. About 6.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation, according to 2004 data. Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by the ACCRA Cost of Living Index are above the national average. Households in the city limits have the highest disposable income of any city in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents.San Jose holds the distinction of being a United States Foreign-Trade Zone. The City received its Foreign Trade Zone grant from the U.S. Federal Government in 1974, making it the 18th foreign-trade zone established in the United States. Under its grant, the City of San Jose is granted jurisdiction to oversee and administer foreign trade in Santa Clara County, Monterey County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, and in the southern parts of San Mateo County and Alameda County.San Jose lists many companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe, Altera, Brocade Communications Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, eBay, Lee's Sandwiches, Lumileds, PayPal, Rosendin Electric, Sanmina-SCI, and Xilinx, as well as major facilities for Becton Dickinson, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, KLA Tencor, Lockheed Martin, Nippon Sheet Glass, Qualcomm, and AF Media Group. The North American headquarters of Samsung Semiconductor are located in San Jose. Approximately 2000 employees will work at the new Samsung campus which opened in 2015.
Other large companies based in San Jose include Altera, Atmel, CEVA, Cypress Semiconductor, Echelon, Extreme Networks, Harmonic, Integrated Device Technology, Maxim Integrated, Micrel, Move, Netgear, Novellus Systems, Oclaro, OCZ, Quantum, SunPower, Sharks Sports and Entertainment, Supermicro, Tessera Technologies, TiVo, Ultratech, and VeriFone. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County, and San Jose State University. Acer's United States division has its offices in San Jose. Prior to its closing, Netcom had its headquarters in San Jose.On July 31, 2015, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. purchased a 40-acre site in San Jose. The site, which is bare land, will be the site of an office and research campus where it is estimated that up to 16,000 employees will be located. Apple paid $138.2 million for the site. The seller, Connecticut-based Five Mile Capital Partners, paid $40 million for the site in 2010. Real estate experts expect that other tech companies currently located in Silicon Valley will also follow in Apple's path by purchasing land or property in San Jose.
The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.
San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city. On October 15, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office opened a satellite office in San Jose to serve Silicon Valley and the Western United States. Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies. By April 2018, Google was in the process of planning the "biggest tech campus in Silicon Valley" in San Jose.In January 2014, Forbes Magazine reported that Careerbliss.com had ranked San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area as the happiest place to work in the United States. The report cited a large concentration of technology jobs that typically offer a high salary and opportunity for growth, in addition to companies providing "fun and innovative work environments" as some of the reasons for the ranking.High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion was somewhat diminished. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city in the United States with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any U.S. city with over 280,000 people.
On March 14, 2013, San Jose implemented a public wireless connection in the downtown area. Wireless access points were placed on outdoor light posts throughout the city.
San Jose is served by Greater Bay Area media. Print media outlets in San Jose include the San Jose Mercury News, the weekly Metro Silicon Valley, El Observador and the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. The Bay Area's NBC O&O, KNTV 11, is based in San Jose. In total, broadcasters in the Bay Area include 34 television stations, 25 AM radio stations, and 55 FM radio stations.In April 1909, Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, constructed a radio station to broadcast the human voice. The station, "San Jose Calling" (call letters FN, later FQW), was the world's first radio station with scheduled programming targeted at a general audience. The station became the first to broadcast music in 1910. Herrold's wife Sybil became the first female "disk jockey" in 1912. The station changed hands a number of times before eventually becoming today's KCBS in San Francisco. Therefore, KCBS technically is the oldest radio station in the United States, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with much fanfare.
As of June 30, 2017, the top employers in the city are:
Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta San Jose International Airport (also evidenced in the above panoramic), there is a height limit for buildings in the downtown area, which is underneath the final approach corridor to the airport. The height limit is dictated by local ordinances, driven by the distance from the runway and a slope defined by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Core downtown buildings are limited to approximately 300 feet (91 m) but can get taller farther from the airport.There has been broad criticism over the past few decades of the city's architecture. Citizens have complained that San Jose is lacking in aesthetically pleasing architectural styles. Blame for this lack of architectural "beauty" can be assigned to the re-development of the downtown area from the 1950s onward, in which whole blocks of historic commercial and residential structures were demolished. Exceptions to this include the Downtown Historic District, the Hotel De Anza, and the Hotel Sainte Claire, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places for their architectural and historical significance.
Municipal building projects have experimented more with architectural styles than have most private enterprises. The Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Repertory Theater building have experimented with bold colors and unusual exteriors. The new City Hall, designed by Richard Meier & Partners, opened in 2005 and is a notable addition to the growing collection of municipal building projects.San Jose has many examples of houses with fine architecture. Late 19th century and early 20th century styles exist in neighborhoods such as Hanchett Park, Naglee Park, Rose Garden, and Willow Glen (including Palm Haven).
Styles include Craftsman, Mission Revival, Prairie style, and Queen Anne style Victorian.
Notable architects include Frank Delos Wolfe, Theodore Lenzen, Charles McKenzie, and Julia Morgan.
Public art is an evolving attraction in the city. The city was one of the first to adopt a public art ordinance at 2% of capital improvement building project budgets, and the results of this commitment are beginning to affect the visual landscape of the city. There are a considerable number of public art projects throughout the downtown area, and a growing collection in the newer civic locations in neighborhoods including libraries, parks, and fire stations. Of particular note, the Mineta Airport expansion is incorporating a program of art and technology into its development.
Within the early efforts at public art, there are notable controversies. Two examples include the statue of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent) in downtown which was controversial in its planning because some religious groups felt that it was pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham did not closely resemble a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics. This has resulted in locals joking that the statue resembles a pile of feces.The planned installation of a statue of Thomas Fallon also met strong resistance from those who felt that he was largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations. Chicano/Latino activists protested because he had captured San Jose by military force in the Mexican–American War (1846); They also protested the perceived "repression" of historic documents detailing Fallon's orders which expelled many of the city's Californio (early Spanish/Mexican/Mestizo) residents. In October 1991 after protests in part of Columbus Day and Dia de la Raza celebrations, the Fallon statue plan was scrapped and the statue was stored in a warehouse in Oakland for more than a decade. The statue was returned to public display in 2002, albeit in a less conspicuous location: Pellier Park, a small triangular patch formed by the merge of West Julian and West St. James streets.In 2001, the city sponsored SharkByte, an exhibit of decorated sharks, based on the mascot of the hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and modeled after Chicago's display of decorated cows. Large models of sharks were decorated in a variety of clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists and were then displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. Many displays were removed early because of vandalism. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. The sharks can still be found in their new owners' homes and businesses.
In 2006, Adobe Systems commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore by Ben Rubin, which is located at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is composed of four LED discs which "rotate" to transmit a message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore's message remained a mystery until it was deciphered in August 2007. The visual art installation is supplemented with an audio track, transmitted from the building on a low-power AM station. The audio track provides clues to decode the message being transmitted.
The city is home to many performing arts companies, including Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, sjDANCEco, Children's Musical Theater of San Jose, the San Jose Youth Symphony, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, City Lights Theatre Company, The Tabard Theatre Company, San Jose Stage Company, and the now-defunct American Musical Theatre of San Jose which was replaced by Broadway San Jose in partnership with Team San Jose. San Jose also is home to the San Jose Museum of Art, one of the nation's premiere Modern Art museums. The annual Cinequest Film Festival in downtown has grown to over 60,000 attendees per year, becoming an important festival for independent films. The San Francisco Asian American Film Festival is an annual event, which is hosted in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Downtown San Jose. Approximately 30 to 40 films are screened in San Jose each year at the Camera 12 Downtown Cinemas. The San Jose Jazz Festival is another of many great events hosted throughout the year.
The SAP Center at San Jose is one of the most active venues for events in the world. According to Billboard Magazine and Pollstar, the arena sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the United States, and third in the world after the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England, and the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, for the period from January 1 – September 30, 2004. Including sporting events, the SAP Center averages 184 events a year, or roughly one event for every two days, which is significantly higher than the average for NHL arenas.
San Jose is home to the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, and the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. The Sharks and the Barracuda play in the SAP Center at San Jose. The Earthquakes built an 18,000 seat new stadium that opened in March 2015. San Jose was a founding member of both the California League and Pacific Coast League in minor league baseball. San Jose currently fields the San Jose Giants, a High-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The NFL's San Francisco 49ers call neighboring Santa Clara home.
San Jose has "aggressively wooed" the Oakland Athletics to relocate to San Jose from nearby Oakland, and the Athletics in turn have said that San Jose is their "best option", but the San Francisco Giants have thus far exercised a veto against this proposal. In 2013, the city of San Jose sued Major League Baseball for not allowing the Athletics to relocate to San Jose. On October 5, 2015 the United States Supreme Court rejected San Jose's bid on the Athletics.From 2005 to 2007, the San Jose Grand Prix, an annual street circuit race in the Champ Car World Series, was held in the downtown area. Other races included the Trans-Am Series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the United States Touring Car Championship, the Historic Stock Car Racing Series, and the Formula D Drift racing competition.
In 2004, the San Jose Sports Authority hosted the U.S. Olympic team trials for judo, taekwondo, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics at the San Jose State Event Center. In 2008, around 90 percent of the members of the United States Olympic team were processed at San Jose State University prior to traveling to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The 2009 Junior Olympics for trampoline were also held here.
In August 2004, the San Jose Seahawk Rugby Football Club hosted the USA All-Star Rugby Sevens Championships at Watson Bowl, east of Downtown.
San Jose State hosted the 2011 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) national tournament. The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is also frequently held in San Jose.
Notable landmarks in San Jose include Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, History Park at Kelley Park, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, Plaza de César Chávez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Mexican Heritage Plaza, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Lick Observatory, Hayes Mansion, SAP Center at San Jose, Hotel De Anza, San Jose Improv, Sikh Gurdwara of San Jose, Peralta Adobe, San Jose Municipal Stadium, Spartan Stadium, Japantown San Jose, Winchester Mystery House, Raging Waters, Circle of Palms Plaza, San Jose City Hall, San Jose Flea Market, Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose electric light tower, and The Tech Museum of Innovation.
Museums and institutions
Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
History Park at Kelley Park
Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, home of the largest Beethoven collection outside Europe
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the largest U.S. public library west of the Mississippi River
Mexican Heritage Plaza, a museum and cultural center for Mexican Americans in the area
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, is an inclusive contemporary arts museum grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience
SoFA District, a downtown arts and entertainment district
Portuguese Historical Museum
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on display in the western United States, located at Rosicrucian Park
San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose East Carnegie Branch Library is notable as it is the last Carnegie library still operating in San Jose, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Tech Museum of Innovation
San Jose Steam Railroad Museum, proposed, artifacts and rolling stock are kept at the fairgrounds and Kelley Park
History San José
Japanese American Museum of San Jose, a museum of Japanese-American history
Old Bank of America Building a historic landmark
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the first museum in America dedicated solely to quilts and textiles as an art form
Viet Museum, a museum of Vietnamese-American history
Law and government
San Jose is a charter city under California law, giving it the power to enact local ordinances that may conflict with state law, within the limits provided by the charter. The city has a council-manager government with a city manager nominated by the mayor and elected by the city council.
The San Jose City Council is made up of ten council members elected by district, and a mayor elected by the entire city. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996. Each council member represents approximately 100,000 constituents.
Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member acts as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not succeed to the mayor's office upon a vacancy.The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, and must present an annual budget for approval by the city council. When the office is vacant, the Mayor proposes a candidate for City Manager, subject to council approval. The council appoints the Manager for an indefinite term, and may at any time remove the manager, or the electorate may remove the manager through a recall election. Other city officers directly appointed by the council include the City Attorney, City Auditor, City Clerk, and Independent Police Auditor. Like all cities and counties in the state, San Jose has representation in the state legislature.
Like all California cities except San Francisco, both the levels and the boundaries of what the city government controls are determined by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The goal of a LAFCO is to try to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl. The Santa Clara County LAFCO has set boundaries of San Jose's "Sphere of Influence" (indicated by the blue line in the map near the top of the page) as a superset of the actual city limits (the yellow area in the map), plus parts of the surrounding unincorporated county land, where San Jose can, for example, prevent development of fringe areas to concentrate city growth closer to the city's core. The LAFCO also defines a subset of the Sphere as an 'Urban Service Area' (indicated by the red line in the map), effectively limiting development to areas where urban infrastructure (sewers, electrical service, etc.) already exists.
San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County. Accordingly, many county government facilities are located in the city, including the office of the County Executive, the Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney's Office, eight courthouses of the Superior Court, the Sheriff's Office, and the County Clerk.
State and federal
In the California State Senate, San Jose is split between the 10th, 15th, and 17th districts, represented by Democrat Bob Wieckowski, Democrat Jim Beall, and Democrat Bill Monning respectively.
In the California State Assembly, San Jose is split between the 25th, 27th, 28th, and 29th districts, represented by Democrat Kansen Chu, Democrat Ash Kalra, Democrat Evan Low, and Democrat Mark Stone, respectively.
Federally, San Jose is split between California's 17th, 18th, and 19th congressional districts, represented by Democrat Ro Khanna, Democrat Anna Eshoo, and Democrat Zoe Lofgren, respectively.Several state and federal agencies maintain offices in San Jose. The city is the location of the Sixth District of the California Courts of Appeal. It is also home to one of three courthouses of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the other two being in Oakland and San Francisco.
The San Jose Police Department has consistently innovated in crime prevention, through programs like "CrimeReports.com", which made San Jose the first American city to make all 911 calls available via online. Crime in San Jose had been lower than in other large American cities until 2013, when crime rates in San Jose climbed above California and U.S. averages. Like most large cities, crime levels had fallen significantly after rising in the 1980s. Today it is no longer ranked as one of the safest cities in the country with a population over 1,000,000 people. The designation is based on crime statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft.
Recently, the city had the second lowest violent crime rate of any city with 500,000 or more residents, only behind Honolulu. However, homicides since 2011 have surged; there were 20 homicides in 2010, 42 in 2011, 46 in 2012, and 44 in 2013.
San Jose is home to several colleges and universities. The largest is San Jose State University, which was founded by the California legislature in 1862 as the California State Normal School, and is the founding campus of the California State University (CSU) system. Located in downtown San Jose since 1870, the university enrolls approximately 30,000 students in over 130 different bachelor's and master's degree programs. The school enjoys a good academic reputation, especially in the fields of engineering, business, art and design, and journalism, and consistently ranks among the top public universities in the western region of the United States. San Jose State is one of only three Bay Area schools that fields a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Division I college football team; Stanford University and U.C. Berkeley are the other two.
California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT) offers many degree programs, including MBA, Computer Science, Information Technology. Most classes are offered both online and in the downtown campus. Many of the students are working professionals in the Silicon Valley.
Lincoln Law School of San Jose and University of Silicon Valley Law School offer law degrees, catering to working professionals.
National University maintains a campus in San Jose.
The San Jose campus of Golden Gate University offers business bachelor and MBA degrees.
In the San Jose metropolitan area, Stanford University is in Stanford, California, Santa Clara University is in Santa Clara, California, and U.C. Santa Cruz is in Santa Cruz, California. Within the San Francisco Bay Area, other universities include U.C. Berkeley, U.C. San Francisco, U.C. Hastings College of Law, and University of San Francisco.
San Jose's community colleges, San Jose City College, West Valley College, Mission College and Evergreen Valley College, offer associate degrees, general education units to transfer to CSU and UC schools, and adult and continuing education programs. The West campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic is also located in San Jose.
WestMed College is headquartered in San Jose and offers paramedic training, emergency medical technician training, and licensed vocational nursing programs.
The University of California operates Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton.
Western Seminary has one of its four campuses in San Jose, which opened on the campus of Calvary Church of Los Gatos in 1985. The campus relocated in 2010 to Santa Clara. Western is an evangelical, Christian graduate school that provides theological training for students who hope to serve in a variety of ministry roles including pastors, marriage and family therapists, educators, missionaries and lay leadership. The San Jose campus offers four master's degrees, and a variety of other graduate-level programs.National Hispanic University offered associate and bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials to its students, focusing on Hispanic students, until its closing in 2015.
Primary and secondary education
Up until the opening of Lincoln High School in 1943, San Jose students only attended San Jose High School. San Jose has 127 elementary, 47 middle, and 44 high public schools. Public education in the city is provided by four high school districts, fourteen elementary districts, and four unified school districts (which provide both elementary and high schools). In addition to the main San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD), other nearby unified school districts of nearby cities are Milpitas Unified School District, Morgan Hill Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District.
Private schools in San Jose are primarily run by religious groups. The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has the second largest student population in the Santa Clara County, behind only SJUSD; the diocese and its parishes operate several schools in the city, including six high schools: Archbishop Mitty High School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, Notre Dame High School, Saint Francis High School, and Presentation High School. Other private high schools not run by the Diocese include two Baptist high schools, Liberty Baptist School and White Road Baptist Academy, one Non-Denominational Protestant high school, Valley Christian High School (San Jose, California), one University-preparatory school, Cambrian Academy, a nonsectarian K-12 Harker School with four campuses in western San Jose, and a high school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Apostles Lutheran High School.
The San José Public Library system is unique in that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library combines the collections of the city's system with the San Jose State University main library. In 2003, construction of the library, which now holds more than 1.6 million items, was the largest single library construction project west of the Mississippi, with eight floors that result in more than 475,000 square feet (44,100 m2) of space with a capacity for 2 million volumes.The city has 23 neighborhood branches including the Biblioteca Latinoamericana which specializes in Spanish language works. The East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library, a Carnegie library opened in 1908, is the last Carnegie library in Santa Clara County still operating as a public library and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As the result of a bond measure passed in November 2000, a number of brand new or completely reconstructed branches have been completed and opened. The yet-to-be-named brand new Southeast Branch is also planned, bringing the bond library project to its completion.The San Jose system (along with the University system) were jointly named as "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal in 2004.
Like other American cities built mostly after World War II, San Jose is highly automobile dependent, with 76 percent of residents driving alone to work and 12 percent carpooling in 2017. The city set an ambitious goals to shift motorized trips to walking, bicycling, and public transit in 2009 with the adoption of its Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan, but has so far failed to make progress towards these goals. In 2018 the city extended these goals to 2050 with its San Jose Climate Smart plan, when driving alone to work is expected to drop to just 12 percent and transit is to leap to 35 percent of commute trips and walking and bicycling (combined) also to 35 percent of commute trips.
Rail service to and from San Jose is provided by Amtrak (the Sacramento–San-Jose Capitol Corridor and the Seattle–Los-Angeles Coast Starlight), Caltrain (commuter rail service between San Francisco and Gilroy), ACE (commuter rail service to Pleasanton and Stockton), and the local VTA light rail system connecting downtown to Mountain View, Milpitas, Campbell, and Almaden Valley, operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Historic streetcars from History Park operate on the light rail lines in downtown during holidays.
Long-term plans call for BART to be expanded to Santa Clara through Milpitas and San Jose from the current terminal in Fremont. Originally, the extension was to be built all at once, but due to the recession, sales tax revenue has dramatically decreased. Because of this, the extension will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will extend service to a temporary terminal in north-eastern San Jose in 2019 at Berryessa station. Construction has been approved and funded and began in Summer 2012 and will connect with the Warm Springs extension to southern Fremont. In addition, San Jose will be a major stop on the future California High Speed Rail route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Diridon Station (formerly Cahill Depot, 65 Cahill Street) is the meeting point of all regional commuter rail service in the area. It was built in 1935 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and was refurbished in 1994.
VTA also operates many bus routes in San Jose and the surrounding communities, as well as offering paratransit services to local residents. Additionally, the Highway 17 Express bus line connects central San Jose with Santa Cruz. Intercity bus providers include Greyhound, BoltBus, Megabus, California Shuttle Bus, TUFESA, Intercalifornias, Hoang, and USAsia.
San Jose is served by Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (IATA: SJC, ICAO: KSJC, FAA LID: SJC), two miles (3.2 km) northwest of downtown, and by Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County (ICAO: KRHV, FAA LID: RHV) a general aviation airport located in the eastern part of San Jose. San Jose residents also use San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO, ICAO: KSFO, FAA LID: SFO), a major international hub located 35 miles (56 km) to the northwest, and Oakland International Airport (IATA: OAK, ICAO: KOAK, FAA LID: OAK), another major international airport located 35 miles (56 km) to the north. The airport is also near the intersections of three major freeways, U.S. Route 101, Interstate 880, and State Route 87.
The San Jose area has a large freeway system, including three Interstate freeways and one U.S. Route. It is, however, the largest city in the country not served by a primary Interstate; most of the Interstate Highway Network was planned by the early 1950s well before San Jose's rapid growth decades later.
U.S. 101 runs south to the California Central Coast and Los Angeles, and then runs north up near the eastern shore of the San Francisco Peninsula to San Francisco. I-280 also heads to San Francisco, but goes along just to the west of the cities of San Francisco Peninsula. I-880 heads north to Oakland, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay. I-680 parallels I-880 to Fremont, but then cuts northeast to the eastern cities of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Several state highways also serve San Jose: SR 17, SR 85, SR 87 and SR 237. Additionally, San Jose is served by a system of county-wide expressways, which includes the Almaden Expressway, Capitol Expressway, San Tomas Expressway, and Lawrence Expressway.
Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion on San Jose freeways. This includes expansion of State Route 87 including more lanes near the downtown San Jose area.
The interchange for I-280 connecting with I-680 and U.S. 101, a rush-hour spot where the three freeways meet, has been known to have high-density traffic similar to Los Angeles County interchanges. It was constructed years before its completion. The two bridges, with no on-ramps or off-ramps stood over U.S. 101 at a 110-foot tall during the 70's, before opening in 1981. In 2010, the interchange was named the Joe Colla Interchange.Major highways:
Central San Jose has seen a gradual expansion of bike lanes over the past decade, which now comprise a network of car-traffic-separated and buffered bike lanes. San Jose Bike Party is a volunteer-run monthly social cycling event that attracts up to 1,000 participants during summer months to "build community through bicycling". Unfortunately, fewer than one percent of city residents ride bicycles to work as their primary mode of transportation, a statistic unchanged in the past ten years. Typically, between 3 and 5 residents are struck and killed by car drivers while bicycling on San Jose streets each year.
San Jose is crossed by several major regional off-street paved trails, most notably the Guadalupe River Trail, Los Gatos Creek Trail, and Coyote Creek Trail. These trails extend from near downtown San Jose for dozens of miles to the north and south, and are connected with each other via bicycle routes of varying quality. The city is planning to construct new trail extensions in coming years including the Three Creeks Trail and San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail.
San Jose has one of the oldest Sister City programs in the nation. In 1957, when the city established a relationship with Okayama, Japan, it was only the third Sister City relationship in the nation, which had begun the prior year. The Office of Economic Development coordinates the San Jose Sister City Program which is part of Sister Cities International. As of 2014, there are eight sister cities:
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. And the rest is, as they say, history.
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.
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 located right in the heart of Evergreen and offers a mile long loop, basketball courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, and hiking trails.
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.
San Jose is home to one of the Bay Area's three international airports. The 1 Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC IATA) is located about 4 mi (6.4 km) northwest of the downtown area. The airport is located west of the junction between US Hwy 101 (Bayshore Freeway) & I-880. From both highways 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 Mexico, Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Nonstop flights are available with:
Terminal A (Gates 1-16): Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air China, American/American Eagle, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, United/United Express, VolarisTerminal B (Gates 17-30): Alaska/Horizon, British Airways, Hainan Airlines, Lufthansa, SouthwestThere used to be two separate terminal buildings. It has since been re-built into a single long building spanning north and south with the international arrivals building built in between the two original terminals and is accessible from both terminals. The international arrivals building 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), located 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. The below are directions on getting into downtown San Jose from the three bay area airports without a (rental) car:
From SJC to Downtown or Santa Cruz
Taxicab A cab to downtown San Jose will cost you approximately $15-$20 and take 10 minutes. Other neighborhoods will cost up to $50 and take up to 15 minutes.
Public Transportation Take VTA #10 bus to the Santa Clara Caltrain station. Then take either VTA bus 22 (local) or 522 (express) to Downtown San Jose or take the southbound Caltrain to Diridon Station. From Diridon station you transfer to a multitude of VTA and other buses to your final destination. Likewise you can also take the #10 bus going the other way to the "Metro/Airport" light rail station and take a southbound train (Rt#901 going to Santa Teresa or Rt#902 going to Winchester) to the "Convention Center" station in downtown San Jose. Transfer to or continue on the #902 train (to Winchester) to get to the Diridon Station. The Highway 17 Express continues from Diridon Station to Santa Cruz. Likewise the Santa Cruz Airport Flyer offers a direct ride from the airport to Santa Cruz.
From SFO to Downtown or SJC Airport
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 BART down to to Millbrae. At Millbrae take the Caltrain south to the "Diridon" station. From the Diridon Station there are multiple bus routes or the northbound light rail going up towards Mountain View (Rt #902) to get to downtown. To get to the SJC Airport get off at the Santa Clara CalTrain station and transfer to VTA Rt #10 bus to the airport terminals. A more direct way would be to use the Monterey Airbus which goes from SFO to SJC and then on to Monterey, Marina and Prundale, 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
Taxicab A cab to downtown San Jose will cost you up to $120 and take 40 minutes on average and up to 1h15 in rush hour traffic.
Public Transportation Take the BART (shuttle) train to the "Coliseum/Oakland Airport" BART station. Transfer to the southbound Orange or Green Line train to Fremont (end of the line). From the "Fremont" BART station, take VTA express bus #181 to downtown San Jose and Diridon Station. Outbound buses going from Diridon Station to Fremont pick up along San Fernando and 1st Ave. If going to SJC Airport get off at the "Civic" light rail station on N 1st & Mission. From there take a northbound train (Rt#901 going to Alum Rock or Rt#902 going to Mountain View) to the "Metro/Airport" station where you transfer to the #10 bus to the airport.
See also: Rail travel in the United StatesAll the below rail lines stop at 2 Diridon Station, San Jose's central train station. It is located downtown, at 65 Cahill Street, just across West Santa Clara Street from the SAP Center (also known as the Shark Tank):
Amtrak routes serving the South Bay Area are:The Capitol Corridor runs 16 times daily (11 on weekends and holidays) between Sacramento, Emeryville and Oakland Jack London Station with some trains continuing to San Jose through Hayward and Santa Clara in the east and south side of the Bay. Caltrain (see below) is the best bet to get between San Jose and San Francisco. Discount BART tickets can be purchased in the cafe car.
The Coast Starlight runs once daily between Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Emeryville (connections to San Francisco by Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach), Oakland, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard and Los Angeles. The train runs along the same route as the Capitol Corridor (see above) between San Jose and Sacramento but only with fewer stops.
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.There are two regional (commuter) rail systems which serve 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.
See also: Long-distance bus travel in the United StatesMost of the intercity bus lines connect San Jose to the Los Angeles Metro area and to the San Joaquin Valley (Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, etc) with some buses continuing south to San Ysidro and Tijuana. With the exception of Greyhound, Flixbus, Amtrak & CalTrain the other bus lines do NOT sell tickets for travel between San Jose and San Francisco and/or Oakland in the north or anywhere in between in the Bay Area. All northbound buses continuing to San Francisco and Oakland only drop off while the southbound buses only pick up in the SF Bay area.
The bus station for VTA, Santa Cruz Transit Hwy 17 Express, Amtrak Thruway, Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) and the CalTrain Weekend Dash is in the lot north of the Diridon Station building. The Greyhound, Megabus and Boltbus stops are along 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 & Tufesa pick-up and drop-off passengers in different locations. See below:
BoltBus, bus stop along Stover St in front of the Diridon Station, ☎ +1 415 495-1569, toll-free: +1-877-BOLTBUS (2658287). Service from Los Angeles and Hollywood via Fresno
Flixbus, (bus stop) Eastridge Mall at 2200 Eastridge Loop (Bus stop at NE Corner of the mall at the far end of the JC Penney and Olive Garden lot across from the VTA station. Be advised, the bus will not be loading in the VTA station.), ☎ +1 855 626-8585. Connects San Jose to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and anywhere in between..
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 separate routes); Interstate 80 (San Francisco-Reno); I-580/CA Hwy 99 (San Francisco-Modesto-Bakersfield-Los Angeles); and Interstate 5 (San Francisco-San Jose-Gilroy-Avenal-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 Amtrak Thruway Route #35 and VTA Rt #970 to Santa Cruz from San Jose along Hwy 17.
Hoang Express, bus stop at Lees 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 northern California (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento). $60-65 to Bay Area from Los Angeles.
International Bus Lines (formerly Intercalifornias), 7121 Monterrey St, Gilroy 95020 (Mexican style strip mall at S King & Story Rd), ☎ +1 213 629-4885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Connects Tijuana, San Ysidro (just over the border), Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose/Stockton (route splits/joins in Madero) and several other places in between. Prices vary depending on your destination.
Megabus, bus stop along Stover St between S Montgomery & Cahill Streets in front of the Diridon Station. San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to Burbank, Los Angeles and Anaheim. The bus from Sacramento only goes to San Francisco.
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) Rt #55, Bus stop at the VTA bus transit center north of the Diridon Station building. Travels to/from Monterey via downtown S Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy. MST also operates the Amtrak Thruway route to Salinas and Monterey.
Monterey Airbus, ☎ +1 831 373-7777. Operates a regularly scheduled shuttle from the airports in SFO and SJC to Monterey, Marina and Prundale around Monterey Bay to the south. Northbound buses continue contiguously from SJC to SFO.
Santa Cruz Airport Flyer, ☎ +1 831 423-5937. Operates a direct shuttle from the airport (SJC) to Santa Cruz.
Tufesa, bus stop at Joyeria Store Vanessa, 1642 Story Rd (Mexican style strip mall at S King & Story Rd), ☎ +1 702 254-6899. Connects San Jose to southern California and Tijuana. Prices vary depending on your destination.
Jass, ☎ +1 408 209-0304. Operates a regular shuttle from the SJC airport to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Marina and Prundale around Monterey Bay to the south. Prices depend on travelers choice of destination.
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.
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).
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.
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 (primarily the Mountain View-Winchester route and the Alum Rock-Santa Teresa route) also provides quick service to, from and around downtown and Diridon Station; a single fare, $2, is good for 2 hours.
A VTA day pass lets you use buses and Light Rail lines all day and costs $6 for an adult, and $5 for a youth as of 2014. VTA Route #10 serves as a free shuttle between the SJC airport, Santa Clara CalTrain Station and the Metro/Airport Light Rail Station. DASH (Downtown Area SHuttle Rt#201) is another free service connecting downtown San Jose to the San Jose Diridon Transit Center.
The 511.org website is a wonderful resource for trip planning, whether by car or public transit (or a combination of both). Its Trip Planner spans all Bay Area transit systems. On the go, you can call VTA Customer Service at +1 408 321-2300 and listen to bus schedules on their automated system or download an app on your iPhone or Android Phone.
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 are a limited but growing number of Bay Area Bike Share stations around Downtown and Japantown (but, as of 2018, not in other neighborhoods) which allow anyone to rent city bikes for 30 minutes at a time (time above that costs extra). As of 2018, a 24-hour pass offers an unlimited number of 30-minute-long rides and costs $10. A 3-day pass costs $20, so if you will be staying longer than three weeks in a year, then the $149 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-TECH (8324). A great interactive experience for all ages and backgrounds. The Tech Museum allows visitors to see how technology affects their daily lives. Permanent exhibits focus on the Internet, the human body, and exploration. You'll also find an IMAX Theater, a cafe, and a retail store featuring merchandise unique to the Silicon Valley. $16 (museum and IMAX).
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.
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.
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 sq. ft. 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.
5 San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 520 S 1st St (near E William St), ☎ +1 408 971-0323. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. 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. $6 general admission, $5 seniors/students with ID (free for everyone on the first Friday of the month).
6 Paseo de San Antonio. A four-block pedestrian-only space, running between SJSU and Plaza de Cesar Chavez, 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.
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 $500K price tag, its composite-cement construction, its unimpressive 8-foot height, its religious significance, and its resemblance to coiled excrement.
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. Beware: visitors have reported seeing paranormal objects in the house. Mansion Tour: $26, Behind-The-Scenes Tour: $23, Grand Estate Tour (combined) $31 (discounted rates for seniors and children).
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.
10 Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium, 1664 Park Ave, ☎ +1 408 947-3636, e-mail: [email protected] 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.
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.
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.
11 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 5 1/2–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.
12 Heritage Rose Garden, Spring St and Taylor St. half an hour before dawn to half an hour after dusk. This garden, initially planted by volunteers in 1995, has a collection of almost 4,000 plants of more than 3,000 rose varieties. free.
13 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.
14 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. 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
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.
1 Tree tours—Our City Forest (Start at City Hall Plaza, 200 E. Santa Clara St., and other locations), ☎ +1 408 624-1224. Self-guided tours, via your mobile phone, of trees which have been marked for identification. Recommended for ages 6–8 and up. Our City Forest also offers occasional docent-led tours at various locations. Free.
San Jose Sharks. The SAP Center, formerly known as HP Pavilion (aka "The Shark Tank"), hosts this National Hockey League team, which has enjoyed relatively good 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.
San Jose Earthquakes, Avaya Stadium, 1123 Coleman Ave, ☎ +1 408 556-7700. The Bay Area's Major League Soccer team. The "Quakes" opened their new Avaya Stadium for the 2015 season.
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.
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.
Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, ☎ +1 408-323-5200. 27-hole course ranked among the top ten in Northern California.
2 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+.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Teatro Visión, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, Suite 265, ☎ +1 408 272-9926. Known for putting on high-quality Chicano/Latino plays in San Jose for over 25 years, Teatro Visión celebrates community, culture, and the vision of a better world.
Ballet San Jose, 255 Almaden Blvd (Center for the Performing Arts), ☎ +1 408 288-2800. Oct-May. Formerly the San Jose Cleveland Ballet and more recently Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, this highly skilled and innovative company includes dancers from all over the world. Each season, they perform an extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary works. $25-85.
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, e-mail: [email protected] 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 will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2010. 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.
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 4-day event is for you. $40.
Consonance. March. A mid-sized convention devoted to fans of filk, a subgenre of folk music inspired by science fiction and fantasy themes. $40-50.
BayCon. May. A long-running regional science fiction convention. $50.
Fanime. May. The largest anime convention in Northern California. $30-35 one day, $60 full weekend..
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! $30–35 one day, $60 full weekend.
SiliCon. October. A small science fiction convention with a media track.
Pacificon. October. Amateur-radio convention of the Pacific Division of the American Radio Relay League. $28 at the door, discount for pre-registration, free to youth 17 and under.
Valley Fair, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd, ☎ +1 408 248-4451. 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.
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.
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
Berryessa Flea Market, 1590 Berryessa Rd, 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.
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 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
Fry's Electronics, 550 E Brokaw Rd, toll-free: +1-877-688-7678. Offering the best selection in town for consumer electronics and gadgetry, this particular Fry's branch is unique for its Mayan-themed architecture and decor. It's one of several Fry's stores in the Bay Area.
1 Arcadia – Modern American Steakhouse, 100 W San Carlos St, ☎ +1 408 278-4555. A 130-seat modern American Steak House with a cuisine of classic American Dishes. Wine from California and Europe. The Private Dining Room can accommodate up to 40 people.
2 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 4PM-9:30PM, Su 4PM-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.
3 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.
4 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.
Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery, 33 E San Fernando St (downtown, half a block from VTA Santa Clara Light Rail stop, the Camera 12 theaters, San Jose Rep, and various night clubs), ☎ +1 408 294-6785. Su-W 11:30AM-11PM, Th 11:30AM-midnight, F-Sa 11:30AM-2AM. California fusion cuisine and a wide variety of freshly-brewed Gordon Biersch beers. Eat inside or at a courtyard table. Recommended: Garlic Fries: French fries smothered in garlic, and parsley. $12-28.
Sonoma Chicken Coop, 31 N Market St (and 2 other San Jose area locations), ☎ +1 408 287-4098. Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Rotisserie chicken and California fusion cuisine in a casual atmosphere. As an added bonus, they brew their own beer and have a nicely sized covered patio area. $10-20.
Poor House Bistro, 91 S Autumn St, ☎ +1 408 29-BLUES (25837). M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 10AM-8PM (brunch 10AM-2PM). San Jose's "New Orleans Joint". Is close to the Shark Tank and serves a variety of New Orleans-style food including gumbo, red beans & rice, jambalaya and po' boys. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays and a regular Jazz Brunch on Sundays. $10-15.
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.
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.
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.
Morton's Steakhouse, 177 Park Ave, ☎ +1 408 947-7000.
Naglee Park Garage, 505 E San Carlos St, ☎ +1 408 286-1100. Tu-Sa 5PM-9:30PM, Su 9AM-1PM. A neighborhood eatery featuring contemporary and traditional American dishes. Locals congregate here for patio dining and weekly live music during summer months. Dinner entrees $12-20, sides priced separately..
Scott's Seafood Grill and Bar, 185 Park Ave, ☎ +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.
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 70s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dia de Pesca, 55 N Bascom St (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.
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, 260 E Santa Clara St and 6 other locations in San Jose. 6AM-9PM daily. 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. Under $10.
Thiên Long Restaurant, 3005 Silver Creek Rd #138, ☎ +1 408-223-6188, e-mail: [email protected] 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.
Vung Tau, 535 E Santa Clara St, ☎ +1 408 288-9055. M-Th 11AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM, F-Su 10AM-9PM. One of the first Vietnamese restaurants to become popular outside the Vietnamese community, Vung Tau continues to serve a wide range of Vietnamese favorites in a refined atmosphere. Vegetarian menu available. Dinner entrees $15-25.
5 Kaita Restaurant, 215 Jackson St, ☎ +1 408 287-5551. M-Sa 11:30AM-2:00PM Lunch & 5:00PM-9:30PM dinner. Cosy, quaint restaurant on Japantown's main strip. Authentic Japanese cuisine. Very good combo meals and whiteboard specials. $11-30.
6 Kazoo Restaurant, 250 Jackson St, ☎ +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 4PM-9PM. This Japantown restaurant has 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.
7 Gombei, 193 Jackson St, ☎ +1 408 279-4311. M-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM and 5PM-9:30PM. An inexpensive homestyle Japanese restaurant in Japantown. 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.
8 Minato Japanese Cuisine, 617 N 6th St (north of Jackson St), ☎ +1 408 998-9711. Lunch: Tu-Sa 11:15AM-1:45PM; dinner: Tu-Th 5PM-8:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-9PM. Good inexpensive traditional Japanese food in Japantown; favorite among locals and visitors. Closed Sundays and Mondays. $6-16.
9 Okayama Sushi, 565 N 6th St, Suite A, ☎ +1 408 289-9508. M-Th 11AM-2PM & 5PM-10PM, F 11AM-2PM & 5PM-10:30PM, Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9:30 PM. The oldest sushi restaurant in Japantown and a local favorite. Fantastic food at very reasonable prices. $10-20.
10 Shuei-Do Manju Shop, 217 Jackson St (Japantown), ☎ +1 408 294-4148. Tu 11AM–5PM, W–Sat 9AM–5PM, Sun 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.
Omogari Korean Restaurant, 154 Jackson St, ☎ +1 408 288-8134. M-Sa 11:30AM-9PM. A busy local favorite.
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.
Krung Thai. 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. $10–30.
New Krung Thai Restaurant, 580 N Winchester Blvd, ☎ +1 408 248-3435.
The Original Krung Thai, 640 S Winchester Blvd, ☎ +1 408 260-8224.
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.
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.
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.
Good Karma Vegan House, 37 S 1st St (between Post & Santa Clara, downtown), ☎ +1 408 294-2694. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-7PM. Even the local carnivores find something to love at this hipster vegan deli. The food is filling and flavorful, and the owners are friendly, mellow guys who donate what little wall space they have to local artists. They have a weekly bingo night, beer on tap and free internet access. They even offer vegan turkeys made-to-order during the holidays. Their menu is revolving, so there's always something new to try. $5-10.
Vegetarian House, 520 E Santa Clara St, ☎ +1 408 292-3798, e-mail: [email protected] M-F 11AM-2PM, 5PM-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.
Tofoo Com Chay, 388 E Santa Clara St, ☎ +1 408 286-6335. M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. A tiny lunch counter specializing in Vietnamese vegetarian dishes, including bánh mì, noodle soups, and rice plates. under $10.
East African and Middle eastern
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Lobby Lounge, 170 S Market St (in the Fairmont), ☎ +1 408 998-1900. Noon-midnight daily. An upscale piano bar inside the Fairmont Hotel, with an impressive wine list, over 500 different cocktails and martinis, and an array of single malt scotches. They offer weekly wine tastings, live jazz and piano nightly, and free dance lessons on Fridays. $10-20.
The Vault, 81 W Santa Clara St, ☎ +1 408 298-1112. Th-Sa 9PM-2AM. This hot spot for dancing and drinking is inside a renovated 1920s bank building, mixing historical architecture with a very contemporary club scene. Bottle service, pounding music, and usually a $20 cover on weekends. $10-30.
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.
JJ's Blues, 3439 Stevens Creek Blvd, ☎ +1 408 243-6641. M-Sa 5:30PM-2AM, Su 4PM-2AM. One of the most popular places in the Bay Area to hear live blues music, and one of the few San Jose clubs with live music every night of the week. JJ's has been around for two decades and hosts jam nights, unsigned acts and big names. There's a vintage Steinway that's up for grabs during intermissions, so you too can get the blues. $5-10.
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.
Tanq, 301 S Market St, ☎ +1 408 280-1300. 11:30AM-midnight daily. Downtown San Jose's newest hip bar with a great aquatic theme,located on the corner of Market and San Carlos. Great drink menu (try their signature "Kiss the Fish")and to die for small plate menu. Must trys are the Ahi Tuna Poppers and the Angus Beef Slider. Tanq is also open for lunch and has some really great dishes, the Skirt Steak Salad is a favorite.
Single Barrel, 43 W San Salvador St, ☎ +1 408 792-7356. Tu-Su 5PM-2AM. Speakeasy Style, without the passwords and gimmicks.
Hotels in Downtown
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.
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.
The Fairmont San Jose, 170 S Market St (near W San Fernando), ☎ +1 408 998-1900, toll-free: +1-800-527-4727. Two tall buildings connected by a skywalk over the Paseo de San Antonio. On the Plaza of Cesar Chavez and near the east end of the Convention Center, this large luxury hotel offers a day spa, fine dining in several restaurants, a fitness center and a rooftop pool.
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.
1 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.
Sainte Claire Hotel, 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.
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
Clarion Hotel San Jose Airport, 1355 N 4th St (1 mile east of San Jose International Airport), toll-free: +1-888-453-5340. 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.
Dolce Hayes Mansion, 200 Edenvale Ave, toll-free: +1-866-981-3300. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $114-197 per night.
2 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.
3 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.
Howard Johnson Express 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.
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.
Pruneyard Plaza Hotel, 1995 S Bascom Ave, Campbell, toll-free: +1-800-559-4344. A Tuscan-style retreat in downtown Campbell a few minutes drive from downtown San Jose. Smoke-free hotel with a pool and jacuzzi, fitness center and 24 hour business center. Free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, newspaper delivery and parking.
San Jose Airport Inn, 1440 N 1st St (near San Jose Airport), ☎ +1 408 53-7750. 24-hour service.
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.
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.
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.
Vagabond Inn San Jose, 1488 N 1st St (near San Jose Airport), ☎ +1 408 453-8822. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A discount hotel minutes from the airport. 24-hour Denny's restaurant on-site. Spa and heated pool, free continental breakfast and weekday newspaper. Pet-friendly rooms available. Business friendly rooms have work space, a larger TV with remote control, dual-line phones and a desk lamp with an additional outlet. Each room has free wifi, high speed Internet access, cable with ESPN, CNN and the Movie Channel.
Courtyard San Jose Airport, 1727 Technology Dr, ☎ +1 408 441-6111.
4 Holiday Inn Express & Suites 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.
Hyatt House San Jose Airport, 2105 North 1st Street, ☎ +1-669-342-0011, e-mail: [email protected] 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.
Hyatt Place San Jose Airport, 82 Karina Court, ☎ +1-669-342-0007, e-mail: [email protected] 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.
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.
San Jose Mercury News. Daily newspaper, sold in stores and news racks.
Most of the foreign consulates are located in downtown San Francisco. The following is in Santa Clara County:
Mexico, 302 Enzo Drive, Suite 200, ☎ +1 408 294-3414, fax: +1 408 294-4506.
Just east of the city lies Alum Rock Park, 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. 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 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 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 to 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 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 an hour and fifteen minutes 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 may neighborhoods with all kinds of restaurants, shopping, parks, beaches, and views of the bridge.
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.