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Things to do in San Jose, CA

Posted on May 19, 2024

Welcome to San Jose, known as the tech capital of the world. Here, you’ll find major players like Google and Apple, as well as a diverse arts scene and dining options. There’s something here for you whether you’re into tech, outdoor activities, or the arts.

Therefore, explore cultural attractions, visit historical landmarks such as the Winchester Mystery House, or get lost in shopping. Plan your trip and discover the top things to do in San Jose today!

Cultural Attractions


Are you a fan of iconic venue tours? If so, visit the San Jose Museum of Art, Tech Interactive, and the California Theater. These locations offer a lot of networking opportunities, chances for reflection, and technology exploration. So, don’t miss out on these incredible places:

 

San Jose Museum of Art


It is located in the heart of downtown and contains a wide range of modern and contemporary art. The focus is on West Coast artists, but you will enjoy various art forms – from paintings and sculptures to photography and digital media.

 

Japanese Friendship Garden


It’s an escape from the city’s noise to Japanese architecture, koi ponds, and lush greenery.

 

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum


Discover authentic artifacts, mummies, ancient Egyptian tombs, and temple replicas.

 

Mexican Heritage Plaza


If you want to learn more about the Mexican-American community, look no further. From a traditional dance performance to a culinary festival, something is always happening here.

 

Downtown San Jose


If you enjoy street art, you should visit to see some unusual murals and interactive installations by local artists.

 

Historical Sites


Visit iconic landmarks like the Winchester Mystery House and the Peralta Adobe and learn more about San Jose’s rich history.

The Winchester Mystery House, built by Sarah Winchester, widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester, is renowned for its architectural marvels and intriguing lore. Visitors are captivated by its labyrinthine corridors, staircases to nowhere, and mysterious design choices.

On the other hand, the Peralta Adobe is San Jose’s oldest structure, dating back to 1797. This adobe showcases the city’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, with period furnishings and artifacts.

Both sides provide unforgettable experiences, so step into the world of the Winchester Mystery House or step back at the Peralta Adobe.

 

Shopping and Dining


When you want to take a break, explore San Jose’s shopping and dining scene. Here’s the list of must-see shopping places:

  • Santana Row is the go-to spot for high-end shopping.

  • San Pedro Square is a shop where you can find unique stuff you won’t see anywhere else.


Now, let’s move on to the food scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to global cuisines, there’s something for everyone’s craving.

  • La Victoria Taqueria offers local favorites.

  • Falafel’s Drive-in is a great place if you’re craving some Middle Eastern flavors.

  • The original Joe’s menu has a classic Italian-American retro vibe. You’ll enjoy everything from pasta dishes to mouthwatering steaks and seafood.

  • The Boiling Crab will get you messy with a bucket of spicy shrimp, crab legs, or crawfish, all served with your choice of sauces and sides.

  • Tandoori Oven serves authentic Indian dishes, curries, biryanis, and naan bread straight from the clay oven.


Whether you are in the mood for Mediterranean, Italian, or Indian cuisine, San Jose has you covered. So, pick your first spot to go and try some new dishes.

 

Entertainment and Nightlife


When the sun goes down, there are many fun things to do in San Jose! Depending on your current mood, opt for some of the most famous clubs:

  • The Ritz or Cafe Stritch is where local talents and renowned artists perform.

  • Aura or Temple Nightclub is the right place for those who like to dance until the early morning.

  • California Theater is our recommendation for everyone who wants a more refined evening because you will catch unforgettable performances.

  • San Jose Center is a place you cannot miss if you like theater productions, ballet, and concerts.


Whether you are in the mood for a crowded dance floor or a live show performance, the nightlife and entertainment scene promises a good time.

 

Family and Kid-Friendly Activities


Every weekend, you can enjoy a variety of family activities in San Jose, CA! There are also a range of seasonal events and attractions, so it’s an excellent opportunity to explore some of the best neighborhoods in San Jose, CA.

From holiday gatherings to summer concerts, there are plenty of opportunities to create lasting memories at these must-visit spots:

  • Happy Hollow Park & Zoo offers a variety of attractions, including animal exhibits, rides, and play areas.

  • Emma Prusch Farm Park contains a picnic area, walking trails, and farm animals.

  • Alum Rock Park is the place to go if you want to connect with nature through scenic trails, lush forests, and beautiful views.

  • The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is a true oasis of peace, ideal for a relaxing afternoon outing. It contains over 3,500 rose bushes in full bloom.

  • Lake Cunningham Park has playgrounds, picnic areas, and a skate park. So, here you will find something for every member of the family! Coyote Creek Trail is for families who enjoy biking or exploring wildfires together.


Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities in San Jose, CA or a relaxing day out, there are many things to do in San Jose with kids. But, consider exploring education opportunities to find the best San Jose, CA school. Here’s an overview:

  • San Jose Unified School District is one of the largest school districts in the area, with more than 30,000 students.

  • East Side Union High School District offers various academic programs, activities, and student support services.

  • Campbell Union School District, located in the western part of San Jose, is focused on personalized learning.

  • Santa Clara Unified School District prioritizes college and career readiness.


Additionally, there are private and charter schools with specialized programs and educational philosophies.

 

Outdoor and Recreational Activities


If you’re looking for adventure, check out some of the great outdoors in and around San Jose:

  • Alum Rock Park contains exciting trails, so bring your hiking boots and enjoy nature.

  • Guadalupe River Park & Gardens is a perfect choice for cycling while enjoying a green and urban environment.

  • The Santa Cruz Mountains are an excellent choice if you want to escape to the wilderness for hiking, picnicking, or simply basking.


Moreover, one of the best things about this city is that there are many free things to do in San Jose.

 

Festivals and Events


Festivals and events in San Jose take place all year round, so you will never be late to attend celebrations of art, music, culture, and innovation.

  • The Cinequest Film Festival is visited by film buffs worldwide to attend premieres, panels, and parties.

  • San Jose Jazz Festival: Jazz musicians worldwide perform here, offering everything from smooth jazz to avant-garde improvisation.


So, if you need help figuring out what to do in San Jose, CA, check out the first festivals and events. That’s always a good start!

 

Pros and Cons of Entertainment Options


There are entertainment options as diverse as the city itself, offering pros and cons of moving to San Jose, CA.

Pros


San Jose offers a wide range of entertainment options to suit every interest.

The city provides nightlife, cultural events, outdoor adventures, and family-friendly attractions, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Cons


Popularity can lead to crowds, especially during peak seasons or major events, requiring patience and strategic planning.

The cost of living in San Jose, CA can be relatively high, affecting accessibility for some.

 

Partner With Us and Move with Ease


You are not mistaken if you think San Jose is the right place to live. You will never be bored here, because you will have your whole life ahead of you to try new activities and attend new events! However, before the party, ensure everything arrives at your new home.

Don’t worry; our team of professionals understands the ins and outs of moving. Clutch Moving Company will handle the logistics from packing and transportation to unpacking and settling in. Thus, partner with us and move with ease so you can focus only on the fun part!

For more information on what to expect when moving to San Jose, check out our comprehensive guide on Living in San Jose, CA? Things to know before moving.

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