1590 Berryessa Rd, San Jose, CA
The San Jose Flea Market is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and continuing to deliver all the variety that the community has come to know them for. With miles of good food, great produce, collectible items, homemade crafts and more, the San Jose Flea Market maintains its reputation as one of the city's most beloved traditions. The Market is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from dawn to dusk (with a special holiday schedule with revised hours). There is no better place to explore than the 118 acres of shopping, rides and entertainment that the San Jose Flea Market has been offering for over fifty years.
5420 Thornwood Dr, San Jose, CA
When it comes to one-of-a-kind San Jose attractions, it doesn't get any better than 300 San Jose. This unique space features 59 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, as well as a private room that houses its own bar and wait staff, and 9 bowling lanes reserved for just you and yours. In addition to their weekly specials and special events, the venue features unlimited bowling Monday through Thursday starting at 9pm for only $15—shoes included.
180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110
Serving the needs of children, families, and schools as a center for learning and discovery, this museum in downtown San Jose features interactive hands-on exhibits, programs, puzzles, games, classes and much more.
15400 Montalvo Rd, Saratoga, CA
The Montalvo Arts Center—left as a gift for the California people by Senator James Duval—is a Mediterranean-style villa that serves as the breeding ground for the surrounding community's engagement with the arts. All 175 acres of the Montalvo Arts Center reflect a growth and passion for the performing arts, making it one of the most distinguished arts organizations serving Silicon Valley. And nestled within the foothills above Saratoga, Montalvo also houses an array of hiking trains and gardens, making it the perfect place to get lost in.
101 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA
The San Jose Repertory Theatre has been celebrated across the South Bay for its wide array of productions and one-of-a-kind seasonal performances. The theater has curated a unique assemblage of performances, from cutting-edge dramas to classic comedies—and often with visiting stars like Carrie Fisher and Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser. The theatre won the First Place price in the Best of Silicon Valley Reader's Survey two consecutive years—no easy feat in a city with more than a few ways to pass the time. And now, after over 20 years, the San Jose Repertory Theatre is set to begin a new era of expertly crafted productions and endeavors under recently appointed artistic director Rick Lombarodo's keen eye for what makes SJ Rep one of the city's most beloved locations.
51 N Central Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
The Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House may have been procured from the city of San Jose by Campbell, but this adorable English Tudor is still the perfect visiting stop for anyone in the county looking for a plush little getaway from modern times. The iconic English Tudor is elegantly restored and filled with many of the Ainsley's original furnishings (the couple built the house in 1925 to resemble the cottages of their native Britain). Bring a folding chair and a picnic basket for a series of free outdoor concerts every Thursday evening. Just because the setting is classic doesn't mean you can't engage in some modern fun.
White-knuckle Go Kart Racing Action
45957 Hotchkiss St., Fremont, CA
Thrill seekers wanted! LeMans Karting is the San Francisco Bay Area's fastest indoor go kart racing facility. With 9-horsepower go karts that reach speeds of 40-mph and a twenty-foot wide race track, everyone will enjoy the fast-paced, heart-pounding racing action. The private event room overlooks the entire race track and is perfect for meetings and parties alike. For extreme go kart racing, LeMans Karting offers racing leagues that allow novice and pro racers to test their skills in endurance and competition go kart racing. LeMans Karting is open seven days a week and reservations are required.
17 Conference Drive, Felton, CA
Redwood Canopy Tours at Mount Hermon Adventures is the only zip line / canopy tour experience in the south bay. Just a short drive over the hill to Scotts Valley and you will find the canopy tour that was the first of its kind on the West Coast. Built entirely in the redwood forest of Mount Hermon, Redwood Canopy Tours is the only way to see the redwoods! Featuring six zip lines and two sky Bridges this is a two hour experience you'll be talking about for years to come.
10123 N. Wolfe Rd. #20, Cupertino CA 95014
Located in the heart of Cupertino, Bowlmor Lanes Cupertino is a hip attraction where crowds can get more than the average night out. Bowlmor Lanes Cupertino features 32 lanes of glow-in-the-dark bowling, video screens on the walls, a top-notch sound system, a full sports bar and a billiards room. There is also a restaurant that serves up tasty fare lane-side so hungry guests don't have to abandon their game.
A Real Find for Food and Fun!
565 University Ave., Los Gatos CA 95030
Just outside of the San Jose city limits, Campo di Bocce is a unique venue that remains a favorite San Jose attraction. With a full restaurant offering delicious Italian cuisine, a bar doling out everything from sodas to cocktails, and several bocce courts where everyone from family to friends to co-workers can try their hand at bocce ball and engage in light competition or just a fun and casual game.
10700 Clubhouse Lane, Cupertino CA
Although San Jose is home to many attractions, few boast the natural beauty and scenic views of Deep Cliff golf club. San Jose visitors and locals alike enjoy playing this 18-hole par 60 course. Deep Cliff also offers golf lessons, a driving range, cafe and space for corporate events and private parties. This San Jose attraction is a welcomed escape from busy city life, allowing golf enthusiasts and beginners a lush place to hit the links.
110 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95112; Tel. 1.408.971.0323
The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is the country's original quilt museum, with a permanent collection of 450 quilts and special exhibits about the history and craft of quilts. Founded in 1977, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles promotes appreciation of quilts and textiles as art and provides an understanding of their role in the lives of the people who make quilts and textiles.
201 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113; Tel. 1.408.294.TECH
Chock-full of unique hands-on exhibits, this cosmopolitan museum in the heart of downtown San Jose singularly focuses on how technology functions and is changing every aspect of the way we work, live, play and learn.
110 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113; Tel. 1.408.271.6840
The Richardson Romanesque portion of this building in downtown San Jose (right next to the Fairmont Hotel) dates back to the late nineteenth century, when it served as the post office of San Jose. The other half, a modern addition of golden-hued sandstone, was built about ten years ago. A splendid combination of new and old, the museum employs state of the art temperature and humidity controls that allow it to share exhibits with New York's Whitney Museum and others. The museum focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century artworks, with an emphasis on West Coast artists. There's something new going on at the San Jose Museum of Art almost every day, whether it's lectures, poetry readings, events for children, classes, or concerts. Docent tours are available and the collection is constantly changing. Best of all, it's centrally located in downtown San Jose. Open Tuesday-Sunday.
1342 Naglee Ave., San Jose CA; Tel. 408.947.3636
Architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in the western United States--including objects from pre-dynastic times through Egypt's early Islamic era. Sure, it's not the British Museum, but thousands of vistors flock to this place every year, mostly to see the mummies and well-displayed dioramas of ancient Egyptian civilization. The museum even offers tours of a mock Egyptian tomb. There's a gift shop on site. The museum and its gardens are located in Rosicrucian Park, which dates back 75 years and is within walking distance of San Jose's Municipal Rose Gardens. Where else in San Jose are you going to see a mummified baboon? Open Tuesday-Sunday.
Mount Hamilton Rd., San Jose CA 95122
Whether looking up into the heavens or down into the valley below, the views from the high point of Lick Observatory can't be beat on a clear day or night.
16240 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose, CA 95127; Tel. 1.408.259.5477
A natural, rugged getaway lies just minutes from downtown San Jose in 720-acre Alum Rock Park, San Jose's first and largest park. Visitors can partake of many leisure activities, including bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking or taking a scenic hike.
Chinese Cultural Garden
2145 McKee Rd., San Jose, California; Tel. 408.251.3323
A 30-foot high bronze and marble statue of big-thinker Confucius forms the centerpiece of the Chinese Cultural Gardens inside Overfelt Gardens park in San Jose. Open daily 10am to sunset.
21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070; Tel. 408.741.4994
Tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just outside of Saratoga, about 25 minutes from downtown San Jose, this is one of the few truly authentic Japanese gardens in the US. With four unique gardens created to offer beauty in all seasons, twisting gravel paths, waterfalls, a koi pond, a bamboo park and a replica of a 19th century Kyoto tea merchant's home, it makes for a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley or San Jose. The terrain is uneven, so wear low-heeled shoes. Sumptuous meals and snacks can be had a few minutes down the road in nearby Saratoga. Open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm Sat, Sun.
History San Jose
650 Senter Rd., San Jose, California; Tel. 408.287.2290
A 14-acre complex of historic buildings inside Kelley Park acts as a time machine showing visitors what San Jose was like in the clapboard and picket fence era. The history park includes the Trolley Barn (with historic trolleys and streetcars under restoration), a turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor, a print shop, an early gas station, the circa 1888 Ng Shing Gung, a Chinese-American community center, and the Portuguese Historical Museum and the Hellenic Heritage Museum. Current Exhibit: Valley of the Heart's Delight: From Orchards to Suburbs in Santa Clara Valley.
Hours: The grounds are open Tue-Fri noon-5pm; exhibits and grounds open Sat-Sun noon-5pm; guided tours at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm and 3pm. Admission: Tue-Fri free; Sat-Sun $4/$6; parking $4 on weekends.
Japanese Friendship Garden Kelley Park
1300 Senter Rd., San Jose, california; Tel. 408.277.2757
Take some time to relax in a Japanese garden modeled after Korakuen Park in Okayama. The koi are large enough already, but they won't turn down a handful of fish pellets from the coin-operated dispensers at the edge of their pond.
Hours: 10am-sunset daily. Admission: Free; parking $4 on weekends
Mexican Heritage Plaza
1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose, CA 95116; Tel. 800.MHC.VIVA
This 55,000 square-foot cultural center includes a 500-seat state-of-the-art theater, thematic gardens, and La Galeria, a 4,000-square foot exhibition space with two art galleries celebrating the Latino legacy. The theater is a major South Bay performance venue and the center as a whole serves as a regional resource for cultural programming and education. La Galeria will also soon be affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.
Peralta Adobe & Fallon House
175 West St. John Street, San Jose, CA 95110; Tel. 408.287.2290
Built in 1797, the Peralta Adobe is the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, California's first settlement. The Fallon House is a 15-room Victorian Mansion built by an early San Jose mayor whose legacy is surrounded by controversy to this day. Tucked around the corner from the many fine restaurants on downtown San Jose's San Pedro Square, these two little well-preserved buildings represent a slice of California history and offer a quiet respite to the hi-tech hi-rises of downtown San Jose.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; Tel. 831.423.5590
California's oldest amusement park is about as original--and memorable--as boardwalks come. The only major seaside amusement park on the Pacific Coast, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk blends old-time nostalgia with modern thrills. You can buy a bag of salt-water taffy, get your fortune told in the old-style arcade, take a road rage-releasing ride on the bumper cars, or test your mettle on the giant wood-framed roller coaster, The Giant Dipper, whose unforgettable dips rival any extreme adventure in new theme parks. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk features a carousel and little cars and airplanes for the kiddies as well. Bring a swimsuit and a towel, as you'll be steps from a sandy, swimmable Santa Cruz beach. The Boardwalk is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, weekends fall through spring.
Winchester Mystery House
525 South Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA; Tel. 408.247.2000
By far San Jose's most famous tourist attraction, this beautiful but bizarre 160-room Victorian mansion was built and constantly added on to by rifle heiress Sarah Winchester over a period of four decades. An architectural marvel, this place is so bizarre, you just have to check it out. Windows are built into the floor, staircases lead to nowhere, a chimney rises four floors, and doors open onto blank walls. With 4 stories, 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys, and 950 doors, the guided tours can be quite head-scratching. Definitely worth the visit. And for after the tour, there's a theatre complex and restaurant next door.
Once a city in its own right, Willow Glen is located about 3 miles southwest of downtown San Jose, and includes all of the original town (founded in 1927 and annexed by the city of San Jose in 1936), along with many adjacent areas that have developed since then. The traditional boundaries of Willow Glen are the Guadalupe River, Los Gatos Creek, and Coe and Curtner Avenues. Founded and built by the city's Italian immigrant community, Willow Glen consisted of blocks of quaint bungalows and lush flower and vegetable gardens in its early days. Now, Willow Glen is regarded as one of San Jose's most walkable neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and well-kept homes. At its heart is its own main street, Lincoln Avenue, home to shops and a variety of restaurants--from old-style diners and delis to coffeehouses to modern Mediterranean trattorias. Neighboring streets make for perfect strolling, including a walk to Bramhall Park, with its mature trees, picnic tables, tennis courts and playground.
The San Jose area boasts a full range of top flight golf courses, including the Coyote Creek Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature course, and Cinnabar Hills Golf Club (pictured above), voted the best golf course in Silicon Valley by Metro readers. There are also excellent 18-hole courses at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, Pruneridge Golf Club, Santa Teresa Golf Club and San Jose Municipal Golf Course.
The Santa Clara Valley is the oldest continuing producing wine region in California. Local wineries include: J. Lohr Winery (pictured), Mirassou Vineyards, Sarah's Vineyard, Solis Winery, Sycamore Creek Vineyards, Thomas Kruse Winery and Troquato Vineyards. The region produces excellent Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, among others. Many of the wineries offer tours, picnic grounds, tastings and on-site purchases.