San Jose Travel Guide

Get Your Bearings in San Jose

Where to Stay

When choosing a place to stay in San Jose, you have many options. The downtown area and gorgeously developed Santana Row complex are both great choices to find stylish accommodations. Travelers on a budget are also in luck in San Jose as there are many options to choose from, though they are often outside the city center.

Caution: San Jose is a busy business destination due to its close proximity to Silicon Valley, so book early to avoid hotels being sold out.


What to Eat

For an unforgettable dining experience in San Jose - especially when the weather is pleasant - head to Santana Row, which has an array of restaurants ranging from Mexican to sushi to California fusion. Many of the restaurants offer outdoor patio seating overlooking the car-free boulevard. Downtown also has a diverse range of restaurants. 

Avoid: National chains - you don't want to pass up the many delicious independent restaurants in San Jose.


Things to See

For a cultural experience, head to downtown San Jose and check out the city's many museums and art galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the many walking trails around the city, such as the popular Los Gatos Creek trail, plus outdoor attractions like the Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park. There are also many kids' activities all around the city. A popular one is the Children's Discovery Museum.

Hot Tips: Head to the SoFA district for the epicenter of San Jose's art scene.


Places to Party

In downtown San Jose, head to SoFA (South First Area), which is a hip and vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Head there for an eclectic night out on the town. Those who love to dance will enjoy downtown San Jose's club scene. For a more relaxed evening, head to one of the wine bars on Santana Row. 

Take It or Leave It: Beer lover? Los Gatos Brewing Company offers up locally brewed beer.


Where to Shop

From jeans bars to top-end designers like Louis Vuitton, San Jose has no shortage of shopping. Santana Row offers a more boutique-style shopping experience with an array of high-end and mid-range options. For fashionistas on a budget, head to one of San Jose's large Westfield shopping malls. For those who love shopping in marketplaces, head to San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. 

Hot Tips: When shopping on Santana Row, you can easily mix a gourmet lunch in with your shopping.


Ready for Your Dream Vacation?


About San Jose

Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, San Jose defines the area that surrounds it. The population is greater than that of San Francisco, making this the 10th largest city in the US. Once an agricultural stronghold, San Jose has become a mecca for arts and culture as well as a rapidly growing center for technology. The hands-on Tech Museum of Innovation is a popular illustration of the art of technology. Downtown, art galleries and arts organizations south of First Street keep their doors open late the first Friday of every month. This provides the opportunity for patrons and aficionados to meet the talents who are responsible for the extraordinary works of art. Here, California casual is always in style, but since San Jose is one of the wealthiest areas in California, visitors are also assured of excellent shopping and fine dining. And after picking up a cashmere sweater at Smith Alder, you'll have no problem finding a charming dinner spot at one the area bistros. Still up for more? The diverse nightlife scene has it all — dance clubs, ultra-cool lounges, even casual pubs. Health and fitness is an obvious lifestyle choice in this vibrant city, and for a round of concentrated exercise or the chance to "Zen out,"...  Read more »