San Jose is located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, covering an area of 179.97 sq mi (466.1 km2). San Jose is not one of the top destinations in California, often shaded by San Diego, San Francisco, and Napa Valley, but it’s worth visiting. This northern located hidden gem is oozing with interesting places, fun finds, and lots of cultural events all year round.
The Weather in San Jose
Unlike some popular destinations in the South, San Jose can get a bit colder in the winter months. On average, San Jose gets 257 days of sunshine, with the others either cloudy overcast skies or rain. The average high in July is around 82 degrees and the low in winter averages about 42.
The climate is mild, and rainfall is most common in the spring months, with an average of around 17.2 inches. When visiting, be sure to pack a few light sweaters, as the temperature tends to drop when the sun goes down.
Getting To San Jose
A lot of travelers choose to go to San Francisco thinking that fares will be much cheaper. However, if San Jose is your primary destination, keep their airport in mind. It’s large and serves several domestic and a few international areas, making it a good choice for flying in.
You might need to plan to rent a car or take a taxi if you’re staying downtown, so be sure to factor that into your travel. It’s just under 4 miles away, so it’s a quick trip that won’t cost much.
Getting Around in San Jose
If you’re planning on flying in and booking it straight downtown, you’re in luck. San Jose is slowly becoming a perfectly connected city, with bus and transit options that are both affordable and convenient. If you decide to bring along a car or rent, you’ll find it’s easy to get around.
If taking off and discovering more of the city is on your list of things to do, then you’ll need a car. Venturing further outside of town requires a car, which is more cost-effective to rent or bring. Options like Uber and Lyft are abundant, though using them to travel back and forth to the outskirts can add up.
Things to Do in San Jose
You might not know it but San Jose is home to around two million people. The reason for the massive population has to do with its ties with Silicon Valley, with many financial and cultural hubs located right in the center.
Having that said, the city is booming with things to do, including a bit of everything for everyone. When you give the city a visit, here are some things that you can’t miss.
Take a Stroll on Santana Row
One of the top-ranked areas of the city is Santana Row. If you have a car you can take it, park it, and walk the entire row, taking some time to check out the local shops, eateries, and events. You’ll find a ton of outdoor seating with experiences from luxury to affordable all around.
If shopping or going restaurant hopping is not part of your favorite things to do on trips, you can still enjoy a walk along the row, enjoying the sites and sounds of the buzzing and busy shops.
Check Out the Winchester Mystery House
If you haven’t heard of the Winchester house, we suggest giving it a look. It’s shrouded in mystery and is said to have some spooky sensations coming from within.
Designed by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Winchester of Winchester firearms, this house has curious architecture, strange surroundings, and colors that follow no pattern. Tours are offered to take a walk through 110 of the 160 rooms, making it an experience you don’t want to miss out on, especially if you’re into the paranormal.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
If you’re into the ancient Egyptians and their mysterious ways of life, give the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum a visit. It’s filled with mummies, artifacts, and more, making it the largest collection on the West Coast of the United States.
Even if you’re not that into Egyptian artifacts, you’re sure to be amazed by the collection, with plenty that will leave you filled with wonder about ancient civilizations.
Smell the Roses
If there is one thing that San Jose is known for across the globe, it’s the rose garden. If you’re into flowers or looking for some creative backdrops for your social media posts, you’re sure to find them here. Plus, the smell, wow.
Inside, you can take a walk around and see 3,500 total plantings with 189 different varieties. You’ll find a ton of colors and beautiful scenery all around, making it a must-do part of your trip to visit San Jose.
Alum Rock Park
If you’re an outdoorsy person and need some time to take a walk with nature, then Alum rock Park needs to be on your list. It’s a unique setting with curious rock formations and flowing streams. You’ll find wooded areas and tranquil paths that are perfect for a walk away from the city.
San Jose is home to one of three traditional Japanese cultural communities in the United States, and it’s worth a visit. Wandering through the streets you’ll find a ton of traditional shops and restaurants, some of them still run by the same families that started them.
It’s a close walk from the center of the city and covers blocks and blocks. Get lost in the streets, find something new, and enjoy a cultural experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Is San Jose Safe for Tourists?
San Jose is considered a major metropolitan area, which comes with good and bad. Compared to other cities in the state, San Jose is much safer, with much lower numbers of crimes. However, being a highly-populated area, tourists are advised to use caution with belongings.
San Jose is no stranger to petty crimes like pickpocketing, so it’s always recommended to have important items properly secured and vehicles parked safely and locked in a location that’s known to be safe.