San Jose Visitors Guide: Plan the Perfect Trip to this Northen California City With These Insider Tips!

Whether you enjoy hiking, attending sports games, exploring museums, or visiting historical treasures, San Jose is the perfect place for a fun getaway. Located about 45 minutes south of the world famous city of San Francisco and about 30 minutes inland from the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz, San Jose is a great home base to stay in while exploring Northern California.

What to do in San Jose

San Jose for Sports Fanatics

Sports fan? San Jose is the home of many different sports teams including the San Jose Earthquakes, Sharks, Giants and Saber Cats. Watch the outstanding San Jose Earthquakes play at the brand new Avaya Stadium, home to the largest outdoor bar in North America.

If you’re visiting San Jose during hockey season, make sure to attend a Sharks game. Since the rink is located downtown, you can spend the day exploring the cities shops and cafes.

San Jose is also the home of the professional arena football team, the Saber Cats, as well as the minor league baseball team, the San Jose Giants. Sports fans are sure to enjoy an afternoon cheering on these teams, as both produce players that make it to the major leagues.

San Jose Outdoor Attractions

  • San Jose Parks

In addition to being home to Silicon Valley, San Jose is also home to fantastic natural beauty, as demonstrated by its many hiking trails and parks. While visiting, make your way to Quicksilver Park, situated in San Jose’s Almaden Valley. Once home to mercury mines, visitors can explore the mine remnants while hiking.

Best San Jose Parks to Visit: Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, which boasts a peak that overlooks the breathtakingly beautiful Almaden Valley, Alviso Park, Campbell Park, and Hellyer County Park. Whether it be running, hiking, or walking the dog, these local parks are a top attractions for locals and visitors seeking fun outdoor time.

  • Calero Reservoir

Roughly a 15 minute drive from the scattered parks is Calero Reservoir. A playground for watersport enthusiasts, Calero Reservoir attracts those looking to have fun in the water, and around it. With barbeques and picnic grounds, come prepared with food and you can easily spend the entire day at Calero Reservoir.

  • Mt. Umunhum

The fourth highest peak of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mt. Umunhum, is also nearby. The home of the former Almaden Air Force Station, the radar tower is the last remnant of the station.

What to do with Kids in San Jose

  • Visit Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow is a great attraction for families with young children. With a zoo and fun rides, Happy Hollow is sure to entertain the kids.

  • Tour the Tech Museum of Innovation

Located just about a 10 minute drive from Happy Hollow is the Tech Museum of Innovation- a fun spot for both children and adults.

  • Explore the Winchester Mystery House

Another interesting place that you and your kids will enjoy is the Winchester Mystery House. This quirky house is said to be “beautiful but bizarre”. With260 rooms, stairways that lead to the ceiling, doorways that lead to walls, and chimneys that don’t quite reach the roof, Winchester Mystery House is a unique and mysterious attraction to add to your itinerary.

3 Visitor Tips from a San Jose Native:

  1. Eat at the Taco Trucks, they’re amazing!
  2. Avoid the freeways during the commute hours.
  3. Take a trip to the San Jose Flea Market.

San Jose itself has a lot to offer, but if you find yourself wanting to explore the Bay Area further, anything you could desire and more is within close proximity.

Cities Near San Jose to Explore


San Francisco

Santa Cruz



This article was written by Jessica Jimenez.