San Jose Travel Guide

  • Nice mural on a wall
    Nice mural on a wall
    by Gypsystravels
  • San Jose
    by Gypsystravels
  • San Jose
    San Jose
    by matthieuxjames

San Jose Highlights

  • Pro
    Anthro profile photo

    Anthro says…

     Nice weather all year round, plenty of parking, loads of restaurants 

  • Con
    MDH profile photo

    MDH says…

     It can feel like Los Angeles #2 with the freeways, smog, flatness and surrounding hills. 

  • In a nutshell
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    boardingpass says…

     A paradise for computer geeks, mallrats, and sun worshippers 

San Jose Things to Do

  • Winchester Mystery House

    Its most famous landmark is the Winchester Mystery House , 525 S Winchester Blvd, just off I-280 near Hwy-17 ($12.95-22.95; daily 9am-5pm, until 7pm June-Sept). Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, was convinced upon her husband's death that he had been taken by the spirits of men killed with Winchester rifles, and believed...

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  • Santa Clara Mission

    Mission Santa Clara de Asis was established in 1777 as the 8th of California's 21 Spanish Missions. By 1779 flooding threatened the religious center, so it was temporarily moved to higher ground, then a permanent site was selected in 1781. The original church at this new site (actually the mission's the 3rd church) was built in 1784, but it was...

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  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    This beautiful museum and park are in the middle of San Jose, yet when you're there it's easy to forget everything except the ancient architecture and artifacts which are close enough to touch. Walk down into, and through, a life-sized Ancient Egyptian burial vault, complete with antiqued hieroglyph paintings and much, much more. Check out my...

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San Jose Hotels

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San Jose Restaurants

  • Original Joe's

    Original Joes's is well know for huge steaks and chops. Sit at the bar and get a real treat as you watch them on the grill. Pretty tasty with their own special sauce. Doesn't kill the wallet as well. The overall atmosphere is average. Just a long bar and restaurant. No outlandish artwork.

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  • Teske's Germania Restaurant-Bar & Beer...

    Teske's has been a fixture in downtown San Jose for many years. I first was here back in the early 1990's and felt like a newcomer. It hasn't changed much since then. It is in an old, Victorian era building on North First Street, with an old, dark wood bar room, two large dining rooms (lots of stags' heads on the walls) and an outdoor beergarden....

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  • The Old Spaghetti Factory

    Just by San Pedro Square is the Spaghetti Factory, part of a chain of restaurants in the US. This place give fantastic value for money and very eatable meals. The meatballs we had a sometimes were massive servings and very tasty. That's the main dish I remember but there must have been others because we came here quite a few times. Comboof...

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San Jose Nightlife

  • Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery

    One of my biggest complaints about San Jose has always been the lack of casual nightlife. The city has a huge trendy club scene with big bouncers guarding the doors of the hottest clubs and ensuring only the most beautiful and well-dressed people enter. What is there for those of us who wear ratty blue jeans and t-shirts to do? I occasionally like...

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  • Great speakeasy bar

    On the outside, there's no names or hanging signs. Just a barrel. This place is pretty awesome. Why? Well, it's like you walked into the prohibition era (maybe why that's why they don't have hanging signs outside). The whole vibe is like you stepped into the 1920s-30s. You don't order drinks. They ask you questions like:Do you like something sweet...

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  • After work drinks with friends!

    Located here at Santana Row where all the restaurants and bars are is the wonderful wine bar. After a long day of interviewing I decided to meet Ro, Danny and Curtis for a few needed drinks. The Vintage Wine Bar is located in the middle of Santana Row Park. It's a nice outdoor bar with quite a few tables and an excellent place to enjoy a few drinks...

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San Jose Transportation

  • By Train / Bus

    It is very easy to go to Winchester House by Caltrain train and the by a bus. From San Francisco Caltrain Sation to Santa Clara station and from there take a bus number 60 Southbound to Winchester house.

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  • By Car / Motorcycle

    There is little to do in San Jose. I suggest a car rental from Dollar rent a car. I managed to rent a compact car for $42 USD for 2 week-end days. It served me really well. I visited Stanford University, Palo Alto, San Francisco and drove around San Jose to see if there is actually anything to do there. I drove 132 miles and it only cost me $20 USD...

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  • By Plane

    If you live south of the Bay area like I do, San Jose Airport is easily the most convenient of the three biggies (San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose). Cost for long-term parking here is the middle of the three: SFO is $12 per day, San Jose is $15 per day, and Oakland is $19 a day (for even cheaper parking in the area, you can try Monterey ($8 per...

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San Jose Shopping

  • Santana Row

    Santana Row is newly developed shopping and dining area in San Jose. It is claimed to be an European styled district with a lot of cafés, restaurants, boutiques and decent pavements to walk on. In some sense, the place has gained sort of poshy European appeal. On the other hand, the district is mere one street with three blocks of stores, so the...

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  • Other Shopping Areas

    Valley Fair is the biggest mall in San Jose and has a pretty wide selection of stores. It has recently been expanded and now houses over 100 stores in this two floor indoor complex. Some of the major stores include Macy's, Nordstroms, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel among others. In addition to clothes and accessories you'll find plenty of places...

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  • Speciality Shops

    Nijiya is a small chain of grocery stores with about 11 stores in central and southern California, as well as one in New York. They specialize in Japanese meats, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), spices, snacks, and candies of all varieties. They have a huge amount of imported items, but also a selection of locally grown vegetables and rices...

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San Jose Local Customs

  • Wealthy but not flashy

    This is a place where people are affluent (the real estate is pricey) but the locals aren't necessarily flashy (the cars are Priuses and such). People dress very conservatively and people are low key. I'm sure there are outliers who like to be flashy too but for the most part, people are pretty down to earth. I suggest that you probably remain low...

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  • San Jose Taiko

    This is an AWESOME performing group. They do drum concerts around the area, and even the country. Their energy is so energetic, and it resounds with everyone. I was lucky to only have to drive 90 minutes to hear them. Catch a performance if you can!

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  • The first quarter

    The first quarter released in 2005 honors California, and is the 31st in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming our Nation’s 31st State. Nicknamed the "Golden State," California’s quarter depicts naturalist and conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite Valley’s...

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San Jose Warnings and Dangers

  • Areas to Avoid

    The area between Story, King and Capitol This is among the roughest area of town...not a good place to hang out as tourist at night. San Jose is among the safest cities in the US but if you look for bad spots, you will find them ! For details on crime rate see web site below:

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  • Alum Rock, East San Jose

    The area between Story, King and Capitol This is among the roughest area of town...not a good place to hang out as tourist at night.San Jose is among the safest cities in the US but if you look for bad spots, you will find them !For details on crime rate see web site below:

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  • Winchester House Dangers

    As fun and as lovely this house is, it is a mystery. Its is also a little dangerous and they will tell you on the tour to stick to it. Lots of dangers lurk in the house because Sarah believed the spirits would be confused by having stairs leading to walls or ceilings. Some doors ways opens up to unfinished floors and doors leading into walls. The...

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San Jose Tourist Traps

  • Winchester Mystery House

    This well promoted attraction has been popular for years, even more so now that it has been televised on the Travel Channel. True, there is an interesting bit of history here, but I am not sure the place merits its steep entrance fee of about $25. That's your call.That being said, I've heard that some visitors were very pleased with the garden...

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  • Winchester Mystery House: I fell asleep...

    I thought it was the most boring thing ever. I would definitely have fallen asleep if i was not walking the whole tour. There are advertizements for this place like 500 miles away, it does not live up to the hype. Plus this costs an arm and a leg to do. Instead of spending your money here, walk across the street and stay a night at the Hotel...

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  • Wichester Mystery House - no mystery...

    San Jose so lacks in any true tourist draw that you find an unusual push for the Winchester Myster House.The problem is, it is lame. Just not very exciting unless you have grade school children with you.Even when I was young I found this boring. I suppose it is worth popping into, but if you are from anothe rpart or out of country- don't waste your...

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San Jose What to Pack

  • September: pack for warmtand cool...

    Do both sweaters and t-shirts as temperatures fluctuate greatly throughout the day. These days everyone has a camera phone, and there's not much to take pics of in San jose but if you're venturing out of there and are taking a roadtrip down the coast, definitely bring a better camera. I brought both a camera and my old polaroid camera to capture...

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  • Casual Clothes will do!

    Roll-along bags work well. A sling backpack is pretty common too. There are nearly 300 sunny days annually in San Jose. Unless you're here for a convention, business meeting, or other professional reason, I'd go with jeans, T-shirt, shorts, and a light jacket or sweatshirt. Our days aren't excruciatingly hot, so swimsuits are needed only during a...

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  • San Jose Hotels

    68 Hotels in San Jose

    718 Reviews and Opinions

San Jose Off The Beaten Path

  • Walking / Hiking / Biking

    The new San Jose City Hall was constructed in 2005 to consolidate most city services into a single, impressive location. The ultramodern city hall consists of a water garden and a bamboo garden setting the stage for a huge tower of offices (including the mayor's office on the top floor), a bright glass-domed rotunda, and a separate wing of council...

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  • Day Trip

    Little Kabul is a small area of Fremont's Centerville District, about 10 miles from San Jose. Though just a block long, the area hosts some 20 Afghan businesses and the city of Fremont has some 15,000 Afghan immigrants, making it the largest Afghan community in the United States. Little Kabul has a good market called the Maiwand Market as well as a...

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  • Japan Town

    This is a wonderful little museum honoring the heritage of those who are Japanese Amercian (which I'm not, but I found it very interesting). It focuses on the internment of Japanese Americans in WW2, including a room set up like a typical family residence at one of the camps. There is also a section on Japanese Americans who served in the military...

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San Jose Sports & Outdoors

  • Take a Hike

    Alum Rock ParkThis park in San Jose's eastern foothills is highlighted by the constant flow of Penitencia Creek. Some vigorous legwork is rewarded with exceptional views of the valley.

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  • Vasona and Los Gatos Creek County Parks

    Vasona Park includes 45 acres of lawn which can be used for informal play such as frisbee tossing, softball or soccer. There are several picnic areas available on a first-come, first-served basis. Eight reservable group areas are placed at scenic locations throughout the park.Vasona Lake is open for non-power boating year round. Paddle boats and...

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  • San Jose Arena

    Located in downtown San Jose the San Jose Arena (aka HP Pavilion) is where you can catch a Shark's game, a Monster Truck rally or a WWF match in addition to a variety of musical events.

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San Jose Favorites

  • Museums / Theaters

    I hope this map helps you find the Winchester Mystery House. We found it very easily! Located on Winchester Boulevard, between Interstate 280 and Steen Creek Blvd. Follow the Winchester Mystery House signs. Here is link from the web site with more directions. Directions to Winchester Mystery House

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  • Seasonal Events

    In summer 2008 we saw country artists Jason Aldean and Emerson Drive at San Jose Municipal Stadium. Tickets were $15 for general admission and about $75 for the seating immediately in front of the stage. This is a nice little venue for a concert. This historic stadium's beer stands, snack bars, and barbecue restaurant were open for concert goers....

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  • Sports / Recreation / Shopping

    Santana Row and Valley Fair mall (both across the street from each other) provide great shopping of most major retail shops, but if you're like me who's more into great restaurants, window shopping or being outdoors, this area is perfect to spend several hours at! Both shopping centers have great restaurants, and Santana Row has outdoor seating...

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Explore Deeper into San Jose
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If you don't have a car
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Mission San Jose
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Mission Santa Clara
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One of the best places to eat in Santana Row
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Mount Hamilton, Lick Observatory
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