San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, is a vibrant and diverse city with a plethora of attractions to explore.
From world-class museums and theaters to outdoor activities and scenic lookouts, San Jose has something for everyone.
Whether you are looking for a fun day out with the family, a romantic date night, or an adventurous excursion, you can find it all in San Jose.
The third-largest city in California, San Jose is renowned for its sunny, warm weather and welcoming community.
In the past, it has also been an important cog in the wheel of American agriculture and its past is wonderfully interwoven with contemporary society and architecture.
Downtown, there are a whole host of cultural attractions from art museums to the Tech Interactive Science Center.
If you like sports, you can even join the hometown fans and cheer on the NHL San Jose Sharks!
If you love history and exploring the great outdoors, you will love San Jose.
It is home to 18th-century missions and some of the country’s most beautiful open-space preserves where you can spend long sunny, summer days.
And, even if it’s raining, there is plenty to do in San Jose, such as visiting the world famous Winchester Mystery House or the iconic Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.
San Jose has some of the best tourist attractions in the country and public transport routes connect the city to other nearby destinations like Palo Alto and San Francisco.
Discover the best tourist attractions and activities with our guide below so you can plan your San Jose trip and have the best time possible!
Top Tourist Attractions
Love history? Check out the incredible Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.
This is home to the largest exhibition of Ancient Egyptian artifacts throughout the whole of North America.
You can explore the daily life of Ancient Egyptians as well as taking a glimpse into their afterlife with artifacts on show, including jewelry, treasure, hieroglyphs, and even tomb tours.
You can also enjoy Rosicrucian Park which the museum stands within.
This boasts beautiful Egyptian-inspired architecture and the historic Rosicrucian Planetarium. A perfect day out with the family.
Fancy a mysterious day out with the kids? They (and you) will love the Winchester Mystery House.
This sprawling 160-room mansion was built by the widow of William Winchester (the famed firearm magnate), Sarah Winchester, over a period of 38 years, from 1884 to 1922.
But, it isn’t any ordinary house.
The house is known for its architectural oddities, including doors and stairs that lead to nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms, and other strange and mysterious features.
It is said to be haunted by the ghosts of those who fell to the Winchester rifles.
Tours of the mansion are offered daily, with visitors able to explore the grounds as well as the inside of the house.
The house also contains a museum dedicated to the Winchester family and the history of Winchester rifles.
3. Santana Row
A popular shopping, dining, and entertainment destination, Santana Row offers a range of luxury retail stores, restaurants, cafés, bars, and entertainment venues.
It is also home to a collection of eclectic boutiques, galleries, and specialty stores.
In addition, Santana Row hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including live music, art shows, and festivals. You’ll rarely have time for a breather here, so if you like to keep busy, Santana Row is the place to be.
It is also home to a movie theater and a number of popular nightclubs. With its convenient location and vibrant atmosphere, Santana Row is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
You can also enjoy Santana Park for a more relaxed atmosphere if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while.
Formerly known as The Tech Museum of Innovation, the Tech Interactive is a science and technology museum.
It features interactive exhibits, educational programs, and innovative experiences designed to inspire the innovator in everyone, making it a perfect place for young and older curious minds to explore.
The Tech Interactive offers visitors a chance to explore the world of science and technology through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and educational programs.
It also offers an array of workshops, classes, and seminars for children, adults, and families. The museum also features a 3D theater, a special effects theater, and a robotics lab.
From nanotechnology to robotics and AI to Virtual reality, the Tech Interactive allows you to experience science and the world around you like never before.
Prefer to take it slow and enjoy the joys of nature? Check out the breathtaking, gorgeous historic site of the Municipal Rose Garden.
Even if you have a full day planned, this is a great spot to bring the family for a little picnic and grab half an hour to relax.
This wondrous garden is alive with several varieties of stunning roses and other flowers to take your breath away.
And, if you see yourself as a bit of a photographer, this garden is one of the best places to take scenic pictures of nature and the surroundings.
Although not a tourist attraction itself, Downtown San Jose sports some of the best activities and attractions in the city.
The downtown district is buzzing with life, including boutique storefronts, sidewalk cafés, and museums.
It also combines historic architecture with more contemporary scenes, creating a cultural appeal for everyone to enjoy.
Live music, restaurants, and shopping, downtown San Jose has it all, as well as the two acre Plaza de Cesar Chavez, where you can enjoy some green space and chill out.
When you’re ready again, hit the pedestrian-only San Pedro Square to enjoy some of the trendiest parts of California.
Time it right, and you can hit the Farmer’s market that happens every week here too.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is a Roman Catholic Church located in the downtown district of San Jose.
It is the largest and oldest cathedral in the state, and has been a San Jose landmark since 1877.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is a major tourist attraction for both religious and non-religious visitors, featuring an impressive collection of stained-glass windows, including one of the largest collections of 19th century stained-glass windows in the United States.
You can enjoy self-guided tours and explore the cathedral’s rich history and architecture, as well as special guided tours to the crypt, the cathedral museum, and the sacristy.
A wonderful place for history and architecture lovers alike.
Art critics and art lovers rejoice! The San Jose Museum of Art is a must-visit tourist attraction.
It is packed with all kinds of art exhibits and installations, and best of all, it is available for all ages so the little ones can enjoy it, too.
You can choose from a wide selection of artistic souvenirs in the Museum gift shop, as well as novelty items to hand out as gifts when you get home.
Art collections tend to change quite regularly at the museum so check ahead before you visit to see what is currently on show.
The Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is filled with all sorts of attractions from amusement rides and puppet theaters to some of the world’s most endangered animals.
You can see animals such as spotted jaguars, giant anteaters, and alligators, to name just a few.
You can also enjoy special animal encounters at the zoo, allowing you to have interactive experiences with the animals (hopefully not the alligators, though!)
There is so much to do and see in San Jose for the entire family. Above are just a few ideas to get you started.
We hope you enjoy your time in San Jose and let us know what you loved most in the great city!
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