60 Best Things To Do In San Jose, California - Updated 2021

things to do in san jose california
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San Jose is in sunny California and some of the best beaches, amusement parks, attractions, and hotels are found here. It has a great city center, much like San Fran or Los Angeles, and the San Jose jazz scene is also pretty impressive. Downtown San Jose has everything you need to have a great time – however, there are other things in the surrounding area that will make your trip worth it, too. Don’t miss out on these fun things to do in San Jose.

1. Check out the Hindu temple BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Dvarapala (door guard) statue at Hindu temple
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AntanO used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Itching for a culture trip and don’t know what to do in San Jose for starters? Located by the waterfront, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a local Hindu temple that is open to everyone - from locals to tourists and from worshippers to curious visitors. The temple often hosts several events throughout the year that are also open to the public, like their annual Diwali festival and Annakut. They serve food on-site and also have a gift shop if you’re looking to pick up a souvenir.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Address: 1430 California Cir, Milpitas, CA 95035, United States

Website: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

2. Visit one of San Jose's oldest Sikh temples - Sikh Gurdwara San Jose

Sikh Gurdwara, San Jose. Main entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sarbjit Bahga used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sikh Gurdwara San Jose is not only one of the most most beautiful temples in San Jose but it is also the biggest gurdwara (congregation) in North America. The building is pretty hard to miss considering its size. The temple was established in 1985 after the growing Sikh community in San Jose necessitated a place of worship. Building the gurdwara took time and it was officially completed in 2011. On its opening day, the temple saw over 20,000 visitors.

Sikh Gurdwara San Jose

Address: 3636 Gurdwara Ave, San Jose, CA 95148, United States

Website: Sikh Gurdwara San Jose

3. Visit the cultural community center of Shreemaya Krishnadham

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Bayvp on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Shreemaya Krishnadham is a local community center that is an important part of Milpitas. The center was established in the 1980s and continues to bring in worshippers and people of all backgrounds. Courses, philosophical talks, and a library are what visitors can take advantage of when they visit. The community often hosts volunteer-driven events as well. Be sure to drop by during some spiritual events and learn more about this culture.

Shreemaya Krishnadham

Address: 25 Corning Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035, United States

Website: Shreemaya Krishnadham

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

4. Visit the Shirdi Sai Parivaar temple

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Shirdi Sai Parivaar on Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shirdi Sai Parivaar has weekly prayers as well as daily chants both in-person and through online broadcasts. The community plays host to many charitable events, as well as events hosted throughout the year for the devotees of Shirdi Sai Parivaar. The temple aims to instruct people about the life of Sai Baba and his teachings. It is also a place where one can learn how to achieve inner peace. There are classrooms on-site for philosophical discussions, and food is provided for Sunday events.

Shirdi Sai Parivaar

Address: 1221 California Cir, Milpitas, CA 95035, United States

Website: Shirdi Sai Parivaar

5. Spend some time at Shri Krishna Vrundavana Temple

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Shri Krishna Vrundavana Temple on Thursday, November 19, 2020

Devotees of Shri Krishna Vrundavana Temple have called this establishment home for over five years, and although it is relatively new in comparison to some other temples, it is quickly becoming a center for culture and philosophy in the bay area. Worshippers around the world visit the place, and there are also other Shri Krishna Vrundavana temples located around North America, in cities like Los Angeles and Pheonix. Hindu festivals are celebrated here annually - if you’re lucky, you might be visiting San Jose just in time to participate.

Shri Krishna Vrundavana Temple

Address: 43 Sunol St, San Jose, CA 95126, United States

Website: Shri Krishna Vrundavana Temple

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 1pm, 5pm - 8pm; Sat - Sun: 7am - 2pm, 4pm - 8pm

6. Learn about Egyptian history at Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Main Entrance Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium San Jose
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michael Gray used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in Rosicrucian Park is one of the most unique and architecturally interesting buildings in the United States. Started by a local order of Rosicrucians, the museum is built in a Karnak style, with a white facade. It is home to the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the country. The museum’s founder aimed to collect artifacts with mystic symbolism and funded archaeological digs in the 1920s. Mummies, various artifacts, rock tomb replicas, and other permanent collections will definitely make your visit here an unforgettable one.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Address: 1660 Park Ave, San Jose, CA 95191, United States

Website: Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Price: 5-9 USD

7. Take the kids to Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user LPS.1 used under CC0

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is an important part of the San Jose community. It aims to make the subjects of science and technology more interesting and accessible to both local kids and visitors. The museum is located on Woz Way, which was named after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who was one of the largest donors to the museum when it was being built. The museum has interactive exhibits that encourage people to touch and play with the displays.

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

Address: 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110, United States

Website: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 15 USD

8. Bring the family to Discovery Meadow

Children's Discovery VTA 1608 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pedro Xing used under CC0

Discovery Meadow is a large outdoor space in Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose that’s open to the public and is a great place for families to spend the day outdoors. There’s plenty of cool exhibits that are on rotation in the park, so be sure to come by and visit often as there’s always something cool to check out. Hang out in the park and play a game of Monopoly or get a good view of the river from the Children’s Bridge, a suspension bridge above the Guadalupe River.

Discovery Meadow

Address: 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

9. Check out the roses at Municipal Rose Garden

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Menard used under CC BY-SA 2.0

What started as a small little prune orchard in San Jose has become one of it the city’s most iconic landmarks. In 1927, the small orchard was converted to a rose garden and then grew to be one of the country’s most popular rose gardens. A few little bushes soon grew to over 3,000 different shrubs with more than 150 varieties of roses. Several associations have consistently rated Municipal Rose Garden as one of the best in the country, and now it’s open to the public and sees thousands of rose enthusiasts every year.

Municipal Rose Garden

Address: 1649 Naglee Ave, San Jose, CA 95126, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6:30pm (daily)

Price: Free

10. Stroll the grounds of Montalvo Arts Center

VillaMontalvoMansion
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Frecklefoot used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Montalvo Arts Center is a landmark that is deeply rooted in the history of California. Currently, there are plenty of public spaces like parks, trails, and hiking paths around the area, but the grounds situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains were once private property. The building here is an Italian Mediterranean Revival mansion that was built in the early 1900s for a local businessman and politician named James Duvel Phelan. After his death, the property went to the state. During Phelan’s life, he became the mayor of San Francisco and later a senator who hosted many celebrities and notable personalities when he lived here.

Montalvo Arts Center

Address: 15400 Montalvo Rd, Saratoga, CA 95071, United States

Website: Montalvo Arts Center

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri - Sun: 9am - 5pm

11. See the stars at Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory
Source: Photo by Flickr user Anthony Alvernaz used under CC BY 2.0

Lick Observatory belongs to the University of California and is located on Mount Hamilton. The observatory was built in the mid-60s, but the history of using the summit of Mount Hamilton as an observation point has been popular since before the 1900s. So not only is Lick Observatory important for the local scientific community, but the area itself is home to a lot of local history. Aspiring astronomers and those interested in the subject will know that one of Jupiter’s moons was discovered here.

Lick Observatory

Address: 7281 Mt Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140, United States

Website: Lick Observatory

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

Price: Free

12. Learn about farm life at Emma Prusch Farm Park

Emma Prusch Farm Park 4-H Barn Exterior
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Runner1928 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in the heart of San Jose, Emma Prusch Farm Park is the perfect place to learn about farm life while still being in the city. The park was established in 1962 as a functioning farm that also aimed to provide education about how agriculture works. It also hosts a Harvest Festival annually. The property still has the original Prusch farmhouse as well as exhibits for guests to learn about what it takes to run a farm, including information on animal husbandry and crop growing. If this is an area of interest for you, be sure to add Emma Prusch Farm Park on your itinerary!

Emma Prusch Farm Park

Address: 647 S King Rd, San Jose, CA 95116, United States

Opening hours: 8:30am - 6:30pm (daily)

13. Hit the trails at Fremont Older Preserve

Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Baron used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in Santa Clara County, Fremont Older Preserve is a great place to enjoy family outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, or even horseback riding. The preserve is named after Fremont Older, who purchased the land in the early 1900s and built his home here, which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The views from the property are gorgeous, boasting picture-perfect sights of the valley.

Fremont Older Preserve

Address: 22898 Prospect Rd, Saratoga, CA 95070-6545

14. Take a walk by the lake at Almaden Lake Park

Almaden Lake Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

As one of San Jose’s nicest parks, you can expect to find a lot of great things here like picnic tables and even a lake. Take a stroll along the shores of the lake or head to one of the basketball courts or tennis courts and get a little exercise in. There are even concessions stands around so you can grab a snack if you’re on the go, and there is also an amphitheater for live shows.

Almaden Lake Park

Address: 6099 Winfield Blvd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free

15. Take in the views of a new park at Martial Cottle Park

Trees and Fence in Martial Cottle County Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Martial Cottle Park is a relatively new park in the south San Jose area that is also a historic landmark in the city. The place was established by the Cottle family and was maintained by them for four generations - up until 2014 when they donated the land to the state in order to make a natural area and a park. Back in the 1850s, the land was used as a grazing area for cattle, and there was even a fruit orchard.

Martial Cottle Park

Address: 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA 95136, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

16. Hang out by the water at Hellyer County Park

Cottonwood Lake in Hellyer County Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Hellyer County Park is a family-friendly park with tons of great activities for the entire family to enjoy. If you’re looking to work out a little and get some exercise with everyone, there are plenty of options here such as hiking, biking, and even splashing in the water during warm summer days. There is a playground on-site where your kids can enjoy standard features like a swing, a jungle gym, and slides. Also located here is an Olympic-size velodrome. The park is dog-friendly.

Hellyer County Park

Address: 985 Hellyer Ave, San Jose, CA 95111, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

17. Get back to nature at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

View from Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Enderminh used under CC BY 3.0

Located in the foothills and natural landscapes around Palo Alto, Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to some green surroundings. The place aims to preserve the natural order of the area, so there are a few trails and paths around. However, guests should note that some of the trails are closed at certain times of the year. There is plenty of wildlife here as well, such as bobcats, snakes, coyotes, plenty of birds, and even bald eagles.

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

Address: 1530 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

18. Spend a day by the lake at Los Gatos Creek County Park

Vasona Lake
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Los Gatos Creek County Park is a small park that offers the perfect place to get away from the city, if only for a little bit. This county park is bisected by the creek itself, with a trail and bike paths running through the area so people can jog or bike in the park. Dogs are welcome here, so feel free to bring along the whole family, including your furry friends, and enjoy an afternoon by the water with everyone.

Los Gatos Creek County Park

Address: 1250 Dell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008, United States

Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 7am - 8pm; Sat: 7am - 12am

19. Exercise in Cupertino Memorial Park

Easter at the park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pamela Carls used under CC BY 2.0

Cupertino Memorial Park is situated in the heart of town and is a popular destination for families and groups of friends due to its amazing location. There are picnic tables in the area as well as amenities like tennis courts, basketball courts, and a baseball field. There is also an amphitheater on-site where the park hosts various festivals and live events.

Cupertino Memorial Park

Address: 21121 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

20. Get a view of the city at Fowler Creek Park

Slide Silhouette at Fowler Creek Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Fowler Creek Park offers a great outdoor space that is popular with families. Bring the kids and make use of the tennis courts or take a walk up the hill and get a pretty view of the city of San Jose. The rolling hills make a great backdrop for your day out. Whether you’re here to relax or get some exercise or take some pictures from the top of the hill, you’ll definitely have a great time.

Fowler Creek Park

Address: Altia Ave & Cortona Dr, San Jose, CA 95135, United States

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

21. Get some fresh air at John D. Morgan Park

Clouds
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Sawyer used under CC BY-SA 2.0

John D. Morgan Park is a small park in the suburbs just outside San Jose, in a place called Campbell. This is a great place to bring the kids if you’re looking to get out of the house and have your little ones play in the park. There is a jungle gym on-site as well as benches and plenty of shade. There are picnics tables available as well as some athletic fields. If you want to enjoy some fresh air and avoid the crowd, this is a great option.

John D. Morgan Park

Address: 540 W Rincon Ave, Campbell, CA 95008, United States

22. Check out the animals at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo -San Jose, California, USA-2Oct2011 (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

There’s nothing quite like a day spent at the zoo, especially one found in Kelley Park. Learn about the animals and what it takes to care for them at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. The zoo is family-friendly and a perfect place to bring the kids. This attraction has been a staple in San Jose for over 40 years now, having opened in 1961 and undergoing renovations in 2008. There are tons of great learning opportunities for kids, from the puppet theater to the animal hospital where kids can learn about animal biology and animal care.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Address: Kelley Park, 748 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

Website: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Price: 14.25 - 17.25 USD

23. Hike around Joseph D. Grant County Park

Joseph D. Grant County Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Travis Wise used under CC BY 2.0

Joseph D. Grant County Park is the largest park in Santa Clara County, covering the Diablo Range. It is open to hikers and mountain bikers. The area is fairly popular with people who enjoy going on treks, so expect to see visitors all year round. The park was named after the land’s original owner, Joseph Grant, who owned a cattle ranch in the area. There is plenty of wildlife here, and it is also a popular spot for bird watchers.

Joseph D. Grant County Park

Address: 18405 Mt Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

24. Trek the trails at Shoreline Lake Park

Boating on Shoreline Lake
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

One of the nicest parks on this side of Northern California is Shoreline Lake Park. However, it didn’t start out as one of the best. The land was originally purchased with the intention of turning it into a recreational facility. However, due to some problems, it had to be sold to someone else. Soon after that, it became a landfill, taking in garbage from San Fransisco. In the 1980s, it was converted into a park, and now the land has hiking trails, golf courses, and tons of wildlife. Head out to the water and enjoy kayaking, or bring your binoculars and do a little bird watching.

Shoreline Lake Park

Address: 3160 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Website: Shoreline Lake Park

Opening hours: 10am - 5:30pm (daily)

25. Wander through the hills at Sunol Regional Wilderness

Sunol Regional Wilderness
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Baron used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sunol Regional Wilderness is for all the nature lovers out there who are looking for a great way to go out and enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors. The park is located in the Eastern San Fransisco Bay Area and was established in 1962. The area is filled with birds, wildlife, and a wide variety of flora, so if you’re into bird watching or flowers, this is a great spot to add to your itinerary. There are plenty of hiking trails around here as well, and you’ll even find some cattle grazing.

Sunol Regional Wilderness

Address: 1895 Geary Rd, Sunol, CA 94586, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

26. Take a walk through history at Rancho San Antonio Preserve

Rancho San Antonio Field
Source: Photo by Flickr user au_ears used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Rancho San Antonio Preserve is a beautiful, mountainous area that is historically relevant as well as important to the people of Santa Clara County. Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this nature preserve was home to the Ohlone Indians for over 3,000 years. In the late 1700s, the Spanish settled in the area nearby, using the hills as a reference point for ships coming in. These days, visitors can enjoy 29 mi (47 km) of trails, go for a picnic, or enjoy mountain biking, among other family and kids activities.

Rancho San Antonio Preserve

Address: Cupertino, CA, United States

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

27. Spend a day at Stevens Creek County Park

San Jose, CA from Stevens Creek County Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marker777 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Stevens Creek County Park is located right on the outskirts of Cupertino. The park features a large creek that is often used for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and having picnics by the water. There are also several paths around the creek so you can go for a jog or a walk. There is even an option for equestrians to go for a ride around the park. For fishing enthusiasts, bass and angler fish are commonly found here.

Stevens Creek County Park

Address: 11401 Stevens Canyon Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

28. Bring the kids to Rotary PlayGarden

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Rotary PlayGarden on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bring the kids to Rotary PlayGarden and they can learn about nature and conservation as well as play in the playground with their friends. This family-friendly park is located right in the heart of the city and offers the perfect way to spend the afternoon. It offers kids a place to learn about the environment and have some family fun. If your child is three to six years old, they can join the Beginning Environmental Explorers program for free.

Rotary PlayGarden

Address: Guadalupe River Park, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose, CA 95110, United States

29. Spend an afternoon at Edenvale Gardens Regional Park

oak tree, Edenvale Garden Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user vhines200 used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Edenvale Gardens Regional Park is a little park in the San Jose area that offers all the typical amenities available in a great park, including shaded areas to escape the hot summer sun, basketball courts, golf courses, hiking trails, a playground for children, and some reservable picnic areas, among others. Spend a day with the family or meet a friend for a game of tennis or volleyball while you’re here. There are spaces for barbecuing as well if you’re planning to have a cookout with some friends.

Edenvale Gardens Regional Park

Address: 200 Edenvale Ave, San Jose, CA 95136, United States

30. Head to Mount Allison and climb Mission Peak

Mission Peak Fremont CA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kevin Collins used under CC BY 2.0

Located in the area of Fremont, Mission Peak is a park located on the summit of a mountain. It is quite popular with people who enjoy hiking and trekking. The hills around here are a little tough and not necessarily ideal for beginners, but the paths are visibly marked and see frequent foot traffic nonetheless. Mission Peak is part of Mount Allison and borders Silicon Valley on one side and the Bay Area on the other. This place is also a major part of the outdoor culture for the people of Fremont, as the mountain is depicted on the logo of the city of Fremont.

Mission Peak

Address: 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

31. Head to Sanborn County Park

USA-Saratoga-Sanborn Park-Lake Ranch Reservoir-1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eugene Zelenko used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This park was founded in the 1970s and is interesting to visit, especially if you’re looking at it from a scientific perspective. The park has a distinct climate that is cooler than that of the nearby city. A reason for this is the massive California redwood trees that are located here. On top of the iconic redwoods, there are other massive trees as well as a myriad of flowers on-site. Sanborn County Park is popular with hikers, nature enthusiasts, and people looking to get away from the heat during the summer months. This county park also has some amazing views of the valley from the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Sanborn County Park

Address: 16055 Sanborn Rd, Saratoga, CA 95070, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

32. Explore San Jose's oldest municipal park, Alum Rock Park

Alum Rock Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dawn Ellner used under CC BY 2.0

Alum Rock Park is San Jose’s oldest municipal park. Established in 1872, the park has been considered public land since the Spanish established the first pueblo here in the late 1700s. This San Jose attraction is popular with hikers as there are 13 mi (20 km) of trails on-site, offering a decent workout while being surrounded by nature. The trees provide plenty of shade, which is a relief for those heading up the mountain. Speaking of heading up the mountain, you’ll get some amazing views of the valley from the top. The area is also home to plenty of wildlife like deer and hawks as well as native flowers.

Alum Rock

Address: 15350 Penitencia Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95127, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 8:15pm (daily)

33. Spend a day in the historic Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Hiking with the Dog
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

The historic Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a great place to spend an afternoon hiking and exploring. The park was originally the site of several mercury mines, hence the “quicksilver” in the name. The mines were still in use up until the 1970s and were important during the California Gold Rush. Afterward, the state used the land to build the park that’s here now. The elevation differs greatly depending on which area of the park you’re in, making its grounds popular for activities like trekking and hiking. There is plenty of wildlife around here as well, some of which are quite dangerous so always be on the lookout!

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Address: 21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

34. Go hang gliding at Ed R. Levin County Park

Paraglider in Ed R. Levin County Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Located in the Milpitas area of California, Ed R. Levin County Park is a nice park where families or hikers can head up the mountain to get a great view of the valley. This place is a part of the eastern portion of the Diablo Range. The park offers other activities and amenities if hiking is not for you. If you want something a bit more adventurous, go paragliding, hang gliding, or even horseback riding.

Ed R. Levin County Park

Address: 3100 Calaveras Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

35. Enjoy a day at Santa Teresa County Park

Deer in Santa Teresa County Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Santa Teresa County Park is a pretty large park that is part of Santa Clara County and located among the hills around San Jose. The park is full of wildflowers, so if you want to take some great pictures for your social media, this is a great place to do so. It is also an open space with little to no shade, so make sure you bring water and wear some sunscreen before you head out. There are hills and trail loops on-site, though they are not too difficult. This place is also popular for people who want to go biking and horse riding. The tables around the park are good for picnicking. Other standout amenities here include an archery range and a concessions stand where you can buy drinks and snacks.

Santa Teresa County Park

Address: Bernal Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

36. Explore the terrain around Little Yosemite Area

Yosemite 2013
Source: Photo by Flickr user ray_explores used under CC BY 2.0

Little Yosemite Area is a nice spot that is very popular among hikers looking for a short trek in the Sunol area of California. The trail is heavily trafficked and is quite short - it can be completed in about an hour. The trail is open all year round and has some off-path areas that are worth exploring, like a waterfall and even cattle grazing area.

Little Yosemite

Address: Geary Rd, Sunol, CA 94586, United States

Opening hours: 7am - 9pm (daily)

37. Trek through the landscapes of Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve, San Jose
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Srishti Sethi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve is a great place for people looking to enjoy a hike through the valleys and hills of San Jose. The trails here are pretty easy, and there are usually families with kids and the elderly who frequent the paths, so everyone from beginners to experts will enjoy hiking here. Besides the trails, this is a multi-purpose area that is not only popular with hikers - the primary function of the space is nature preservation, and it aims to connect people to the environment. The trails here offer some fantastic views of the city, so don’t forget to bring a camera!

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Address: Sierra Vista Point, Sierra Vista Trail, San Jose, CA 95127, United States

Website: Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

38. Hit the open trails at St. Joseph's Hill Preserve

St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve, Los Gatos, CA
Source: Photo by Flickr user 305 Seahill used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Located on a large expanse of open land, St. Joseph’s Hill Preserve is a great option for those who want to get outside and explore some of the greener areas of Los Gatos. Escape from the busy urban jungle and come here for a chance to be out in nature, trekking the hills and enjoying some pretty great sights of Santa Clara Valley, El Sereno, and the Sierra Azul mountain range. There are always people around, so the area is well-trafficked. Biking and horseback riding are other popular activities that you can enjoy in this amazing place to visit in San Jose.

St. Joseph's Hill Preserve

Address: Los Gatos, CA 95030, United States

39. Have a picnic among the trees at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

View from hilltop in Guadalupe Oak Grove Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is a park located along Thorntree Drive in San Jose. There are sparse trees that cover the trails and offer some shade from the sun. Rest areas and picnic tables are available for public use. The hiking and biking paths here are frequently trafficked. In terms of accessibility, most are not very difficult, offering a good option for beginners and people just looking to enjoy a walk or get some exercise. The trails go in a loop, so there’s no need for a map or GPS.

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

Address: 5982 Thorntree Dr, San Jose, CA 95120, United States

Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)

40. Enjoy traditional Oaxaca cuisine at Mezcal Bistro & Bar

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Chef and owner Adolfo Gomez came to live in San Jose over 20 years ago, and since then, he’s been active in the local restaurant scene. In the early 2000s, he opened Mezcal Bistro & Bar in an effort to showcase to the people of San Jose the complex and diverse cuisine from his home of Oaxaca. Specializing in traditional dishes as well as sauces and marinades that cannot be missed, there is also a wide variety of mezcal cocktails on the menu along with some more “out there” appetizers that you’ll have to try for yourself. Upscale and unique, Mezcal Bistro & Bar is a great option for people looking for something beyond tacos and fajitas.

Mezcal Bistro & Bar

Address: 25 W San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

Website: Mezcal Bistro & Bar

Opening hours: Sun, Tue - Thu: 12pm - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 9pm (closed on Mon)

41. Enjoy some amazing Mexican food at LUNA Mexican Kitchen

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

We have tacos, and it’s Tuesday. Okay, we give in... Taco Tuesday Vegetarian, Cochinita Pibil, Carnitas, Wild...

Posted by LUNA Mexican Kitchen on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

LUNA Mexican Kitchen delivers some of the best and the freshest Mexican food to the city of San Jose. The restaurant operates on a farm-to-table philosophy, so almost everything served to you is made with farm-fresh ingredients. This establishment specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine, but they also have dishes that offer a modern twist. The restaurant also makes a lot of their food from traditional methods like grinding the corn to make their own tortillas then flattening them with stone. Enjoy dining outside on the patio or order for takeout.

LUNA Mexican Kitchen

Address: 1495 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126, United States

Website: LUNA Mexican Kitchen

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 10pm

42. Enjoy fresh and delicious vegetarian dishes at Vegetarian House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


San Jose residents are pretty health-conscious, as seen from the many hiking trails, parks, and gyms in the city. In this area of California, veganism and vegetarianism are not just trends but a way of life. That said, take this chance to indulge in some of the best vegetarian food in the city at Vegetarian House. The restaurant has been open since 1994 and serves some of the best food around. All their food is non-GMO and organic, and they have an extensive menu ranging from Asian to European and American classics. Try some of their most popular dishes like the spring roll noodles, California tacos, gluten-free curry masala, and teriyaki bowl. After your meal, you can head over to San Jose City Hall on the same street and admire its unique architecture!

Vegetarian House

Address: 520 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

Website: Vegetarian House

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 2pm, 4pm - 8pm (closed on Tue)

43. Savor grilled meat and steaks at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Fogo de Chão on Friday, April 10, 2020

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse on Santana Row is an upscale Brazilian restaurant serving different types of meat. Be sure to come with an empty stomach because there are tons of dishes to try and you will definitely not leave hungry. The fancy restaurant not only has an extensive barbecue selection, but they also have a salad bar with a wide variety of options. They have different menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Indulge in premium cut steaks and some happy hour cocktails and you’ll surely leave the place satisfied.

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Address: 377 Santana Row #1090, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Website: Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 8:30pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 9:30pm

44. Have the perfect steak at LB Steak

Ribeye Steak @ LB Steak
Source: Photo by Flickr user Robert Scoble used under CC BY 2.0

Another great eatery on Santana Row, LB Steak is not your typical steakhouse. The food here is above average and the restaurant features a modern design. They also have their own philosophy about how food should be cooked and served. The seafood is sustainably caught and meat products come from various farms and are all USDA-certified, so everything served is fresh and high-quality. Whether you’re coming in for a romantic steak dinner or a casual burger for lunch, you’ll definitely enjoy dining here.

LB Steak

Address: 334 Santana Row #1000, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Website: LB Steak

Opening hours: 11:30am - 9pm (daily)

45. Savor flavorful noodles at Pho Bel-Air

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Pho Bel-Air on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pho Bel-Air is a casual Vietnamese eatery that has been serving delicious pho to the people of San Jose for years now. They’ve made a name for themselves in the local restaurant scene since their food is always fresh and flavorsome. They also offer other great Vietnamese dishes if you’re not in the mood for pho, such as vermicelli noodles, barbecue chicken, imperial rolls, and grilled shrimp. Other popular menu items include grilled chicken with steamed rice, grilled pork and shrimp, and their special beef combination noodle soup.

Pho Bel-Air

Address: 1751 N 1st St Suite 60, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

Website: Pho Bel-Air

Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)

46. Have a large bowl of pho at Pho Kim Long

Seafood Pho @ Pho Kim Long
Source: Photo by Flickr user Satoshi Nakagawa used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pho Kim Long can be described as a hole-in-the-wall eatery - the restaurant is nothing fancy, but it knows how to deliver a delicious and piping hot bowl of pho. It doesn’t matter if you’re here during the summer, because a large bowl of pho will definitely hit the spot. This is a popular place among locals because it is affordable and delicious. Plus points: if you’re in a rush, there is little to no wait time. Sit down, order, and enjoy your meal within a few minutes.

Pho Kim Long

Address: 2082 N Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95132, United States

47. Feast on some upscale Italian at Maggiano's Little Italy

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Introducing Carryout Classics >> 14 delicious classics available in carryout for UNDER $14 each! See all 14 and order online: https://orders.maggianos.com/

Posted by Maggiano's on Friday, May 14, 2021

Whether you’re craving a delicious veal parm or a hearty bowl of pasta, nothing quite satisfies a hungry stomach like a delicious, home-cooked Italian meal. Maggiano’s Little Italy is the place to go when you’re not able to get your nonna’s cooking - the food will make you feel like you’re there in her kitchen. This Italian eatery offers family-style dining, with specialties such as gnocchi and Italian sausage, eggplant parmesan, mushroom ravioli al forno, and chicken and spinach manicotti. Takeout and online delivery options are available as well, and they’re open for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Maggiano's Little Italy

Address: 3055 Olin Ave, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Website: Maggiano’s Little Italy

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm

48. Enjoy some Italian food at Original Joe's San Jose

Original Joe's Restaurant
Source: Photo by Flickr user Catchpenny used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The first Joe’s location was in Taylor Street in San Francisco, when a bunch of entrepreneurs from the area decided to open a restaurant named solely “Joe's”. During the 1930s, the restaurant went dormant for a while until they rebranded under the name “New Joe’s” and it became the first restaurant in the city where the food was prepared right in front of the customers. Partners of New Joe’s moved their business to San Jose where they opened Original Joe’s San Jose in the 1950s. The family still owns the restaurant to this day in its original location in the heart of downtown San Jose. While here, be sure to try the roasted tomato bruschetta, meatball platter, veal piccata, or veal parmigiana.

Original Joe's San Jose

Address: 301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

Website: Original Joe’s San Jose

49. Indulge in some award-winning Indian food at Amber India

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Amber India on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Amber India on Santana Row is part of a chain of restaurants that operate in several locations around California. The award-winning Amber India prides itself on bringing delicious Indian classics to the people of San Jose as well as new and inventive dishes that offer a twist to some of your favorites. Must-tries include tandoori salmon, Lahori sea bass, Hyderabadi chicken biryani, and butter chicken. Be sure to pair your piquant and flavorful main dish with tandoor-baked bread such as naan, roti, or paratha, or even a serving of fragrant basmati rice.

Amber India

Address: 377 Santana Row #1140, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Website: Amber India

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10:30pm; Sat: 12pm - 3pm, 5pm - 10:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 3pm, 5pm - 10pm

50. Dine at the casual Swaad Indian Cuisine

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by SWAAD Indian Cuisine on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Swaad Indian Cuisine is a restaurant that is almost like a secret spot amongst locals. They have a lunch buffet and a la carte options for dinner that range from favorites like butter chicken with jasmine rice to curry. Order online or head in and check it out for yourself. Regardless of how you choose to sample their food, make sure you add this local hotspot to your itinerary.

Swaad Indian Cuisine

Address: 498 N 13th St, San Jose, CA 95112, United States

Website: Swaad Indian Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10pm; Sun: 5pm - 9:30pm

51. Enjoy a glass of wine at Picchetti Winery

Picchetti Winery
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don DeBold used under CC BY 2.0

The historic Picchetti Winery is a well-known winery in California. The land on which it sits is semi-open to the public, with hiking trails and horseback riding trails nearby, so if hiking and drinking wine sounds like a good weekend activity, then heading to this place is a good option. The winery has been around since at least 1820, with several buildings here erected sometime between 1820 and 1920, along with the Picchetti Residence, which has been on the grounds since 1860 and belonged to the Picchetti family until 1976. This is also regarded as one of the first wineries in the area and a big reason for Cupertino’s prosperity in the 1890s.

Picchetti Winery

Address: 13100 Montebello Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States

Website: Picchetti Winery

Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)

52. Enjoy some Latin and Caribbean music at Club Caribe

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Club Caribe De San Jose on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Hang out on a Friday or Saturday night at one of San Jose’s best nightclubs. Enjoy the upbeat music while you dance the night away with your friends. Club Caribe specializes in the latest music from Mexico and Latin America, as well as tunes from the Caribbean. Bottle service and drinks are available in the club. Be sure to book a table ahead of time for your party if you’re out celebrating something special.

Club Caribe

Address: 1001 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95110, United States

Website: Club Caribe

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 9pm - 2am (closed from Sun - Thu)

53. Enjoy a night of live music at The Ritz

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Ritz on Saturday, March 14, 2020

Though this place is not affiliated with the luxury hotel chain of the same name, the Ritz is one of San Jose’s biggest and most eclectic nightclubs. They feature all kinds of music and welcome all types of clubgoers. They post a schedule of events at their website, so make sure to check it out before you go to see if there’s anything going on that you’re interested in. The venue also hosts live music events as well as DJ nights and themed nights like the “90s night” and “emo night”.

The Ritz

Address: 400 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

Website: The Ritz

54. Enjoy a night of hookah at 40 Thieves Hookah Lounge

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by 40 Thieves San Jose on Saturday, November 17, 2018

40 Thieves Hookah Lounge has been around for over 10 years now and is a staple in the San Jose area for people looking to relax and smoke some hookah. The lounge is the kind of place where you can sit back with some friends, have a cold drink, enjoy a good conversation, and indulge in various hookah flavors both well-known and exotic. Or, there is always the option to mix and match your own flavors and create something unique for yourself. If it’s your first time smoking hookah, try the pina colada, gummy bear, or cherry bomb blends. Bring some friends along, and lounge on their comfy couches while enjoying some flavorful hookah.

40 Thieves Hookah Lounge

Address: 2220 Business Cir, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Website: 40 Thieves Hookah Lounge

Opening hours: 4pm - 11pm (daily)

55. Have a stogie at Campbell Cigars Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting back in a comfy chair enjoying a drink and nice smooth cigar. If that’s the kind of night out you fancy, then check out Campbell Cigars Club in Campbell, California, located just outside of San Jose. The cigar experts are here to help you out - whether you’re into trying something new, want something familiar, or looking to pick up a few accessories, Campbell Cigars Club has you covered. Browse through their vast selection of cigars inside their in-store humidor and smoke in their lounge area or bring them home and smoke at your leisure. They also have a private lounge for members, where you can enjoy your cigar over a game of billiards or foosball or simply relax and chit chat with some friends while reclining in classic leather seats.

Campbell Cigars Club

Address: 831 Union Ave, Campbell, CA 95008, United States

Website: Campbell Cigars Club

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm

56. Relax at Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park


Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park is a standard park with some great amenities for the kids and for people looking to do a little workout. There is a softball field available, and there is plenty of green space here for picnics or for simply hanging out in the shade on a hot summer day. There are several paths around the park for jogging or biking and there is also a basketball court as well as a tennis court that visitors can make use of.

Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park

Address: 1320 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125, United States

57. Have a stroll in Houge Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re looking to spend a day out in the sun, head to Houge Park. This place has many great amenities, so whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or you just need a place to stretch your muscles, Houge Park has you covered. There are picnic tables around as well as sporting facilities like basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and tennis courts. The park is also family-friendly, with a playground and barbeque facilities.

Houge Park

Address: Twilight Drive & White Oaks Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124, United States

58. Visit the beautiful Pao Hua Buddhist Temple

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Pao Hua Buddhist Temple is a gorgeous and elaborately decorated Buddhist temple in San Jose. The temple is open to all people regardless of their religion. The temple itself is very emblematic of traditional Buddhist temples that are commonly found throughout Asia. It was founded in the late 1970s when the master came to America from Hong Kong and initially started the temple in the basement of his home. Eventually, he bought some land and turned it into Pao Hua Buddhist Temple. This place serves the community for events like Chinese New Year, and they have free food for visitors on Sundays.

Pao Hua Buddhist Temple

Address: 2946 McKee Rd, San Jose, CA 95127, United States

Website: Pao Hua Buddhist Temple

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

59. Enjoy flavorful Chinese food at Mandarin Gourmet-San Jose

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

At Mandarin Gourmet, you can expect high-class treatment while you feast on some of your favorite Chinese food classics. The restaurant offers amazing services whether you dine in or out. Featuring an upscale atmosphere with white tablecloths and comfortable seats, this is a great place to indulge in good food. They use only fresh ingredients, and the dishes are served family-style so diners can enjoy a little bit of everything. Must-try menu items include sweet and sour pork, broccoli with hot garlic sauce, prawns with lobster sauce, and Szechuan prawns.

Mandarin Gourmet-San Jose

Address: 5560 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95123, United States

Website: Mandarin Gourmet-San Jose

Opening hours: 11:30am - 2:15 pm, 5pm - 9pm (daily)

60. Party the night away at Avery Lounge

Editor’s note: establishment is permanently closed

Avery Lounge is the go-to spot if you want to spend your weekend partying. With a wide variety of drinks in stock, you can spend your night here and have a great evening in San Jose. Whether you’re here to celebrate something or just let loose, Avery Lounge has you covered. Their resident DJs spin the latest tracks and they have yearly events like their New Year’s Eve party and other live music events. You can check their events calendar and book a table and bottle service at their website.

Avery Lounge

Address: 399 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

Website: Avery Lounge

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 10pm - 1:30m (closed from Mon - Wed)

Sunny days in San Jose

If you find yourself in this sunny Californian city, you’ll be glad to know there’s a wide range of activities you can indulge in, from family-friendly parks to the most amazing restaurants and coffee shops. Some other attractions and establishments to visit are San Pedro Square Market, Peralta Adobe-Fallon House Historic Site, San Jose Flea Market, Winchester Mystery House, SAP Center, San José Museum of Art, and the lively Willow Glen district. Keep this list handy for your San Jose itinerary!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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