San Jose is California’s third-largest city, which means there’s never a shortage of new things to see and discover. With a population of over one million, there are more things to do in San Jose, CA, than one person will ever have time for.
With so many choices, it’s hard to pick the city’s best drivable attractions. This article looks at a mixture of tourist favorites and local gems. Whether you’re a resident of San Jose or just visiting for the first time, a drive through Silicon Valley’s largest city always carries the promise of a new discovery.
San Jose has a vibrant Japanese community, and a visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the best things to do in San Jose, CA.
The garden is located within larger Kelly Park. It’s designed to resemble the beautiful Korakuen Garden in San Jose’s sister city, Okayama. The Japanese Friendship Garden covers a full six acres.
Visitors will find themselves enchanted by the range of statutes, waterfalls, Japanese architecture, and a beautiful assortment of carefully maintained foliage.
For a further taste of Japanese culture in San Jose, visitors can find an immersive cultural experience by exploring San Jose’s Japantown district. It’s one of the three remaining Japantown districts in the U.S.
San Jose is home to so many amazing museums visitors will have trouble picking which to visit. Even if you don’t want to pay for admission, San Jose’s Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is worth driving by. Its distinctive architecture makes it one of the most popular attractions in San Jose, CA.
The imposing edifice towers above visitors, who are instantly transported to ancient Egypt. The outside alone is worth a stop for pictures. If you decide to venture inside, even better.
The museum holds the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America. There’s enough to do and see that you can spend hours roaming the extensive exhibits on ancient Egyptian culture and history.
The only thing harder than choosing a museum in San Jose is trying to choose which park to explore. But when you need to get away from the urban sprawl and breathe in some fresh air, the top pick is Alum Rock Park.
Alum Rock Park holds the distinction of being San Jose’s oldest city park. It was established in 1872 and spans 720 acres. Hikers are met with breathtaking views of the Santa Clara valley. Creeks and mineral springs flow through the park, and there’s no shortage of historic stone bridges, archways, and grottos for visitors to explore.
At the visitors center, you’ll find a small museum and an animal rehabilitation facility, which allows an up-close look at the wildlife healing under the care of the local rangers. When you need to escape, one of the best things to do in San Jose, CA, is a trip to Alum Rock Park.
Another can’t-miss sight in the city is the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. It’s one of the most popular attractions in San Jose, CA, for a good reason. The half-acre of carefully manicured roses is one of the most impressive rose gardens in the world.
Over 3500 rose plants across 158 varieties grace the garden, and blooms are guaranteed any time of year. To see the garden’s true magnificence, visitors should aim to stop by in May, when the roses are in full bloom.
When you’re looking for a taste of local flavor, the San Jose Flea Market won’t disappoint. Its size and variety make it one of the most interesting things to do in San Jose, CA.
The market holds the distinction of being the largest open-air market in the U.S. It began in 1960, and today it spans eight miles and hosts over 2000 vendors. Visitors can wander for hours, and there’s no telling what rare finds you might encounter.
The market houses two stages, one of which is reserved for the resident Mexican mariachi band. Arcades, playgrounds, carnival rides, and a vintage carousel can all be found amid the massive open-air market.
San Jose offers a lifetime of excitement for visitors and locals alike. Car troubles aren’t just an inconvenience — they cost you time, causing you to miss out on all of the amazing attractions in San Jose, CA.