13 Best Things To Do In San Jose, California

In terms of both population and land area, San Jose is Northern California’s most populous and expansive city.

San Jose, which is situated on the southeastern coast of San Francisco Bay, is home to a plethora of exciting attractions and activities.

San Jose is located in the middle of Silicon Valley and is surrounded by the natural beauty of Wine Country.

Silicon Valley is known as the “birthplace” of contemporary technology by many people. It is the location of several technologically advanced companies, including Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, PayPal, eBay, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Samsung,  Cisco Systems, and Western Digital, to name a few.

The metropolitan region including Silicon Valley has the world’s third highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, behind only Zurich, Switzerland, and Oslo, Norway.

It has been determined that San Jose, which is located in the state of California, is the fourth most prosperous city in the United States.

In San Jose, whether you are there for a week, a weekend, or for a longer period of time, there are lots of entertaining things to do, things to see, and places to visit.

When it comes to vacation planning, we take the uncertainty out of it for you by providing you with a list of the best locations to go to while you’re in San Jose, California.

Your visit to San Jose, California, might be one of the most memorable vacations of your life if you take advantage of the many activities, sights, and destinations that are available to you there.

We have reduced the many parks, attractions, and historical monuments that can be found in San Jose, California, to the very finest of those that are situated there out of the several prospective locations to visit in the area.

You should be able to find the solution to the question of what to do in San Jose by consulting our guide.

List of Things To Do In San Jose

  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
  • San Jose Museum of Art
  • Kelley Park
  • Children’s Discovery Museum
  • San Jose Heritage Rose Garden
  • Alum Rock Park
  • Tech Museum of Innovation
  • Winchester Mystery House
  • New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum
  • Hayes Mansion
  • Japantown
  • Great America Amusement Park

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Mural, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose is a great museum that was built in the architectural style that was preferred by the ancient Egyptians. This allows you to have an immersive experience in the culture of the ancient Egyptians.

Additionally, it is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities that can be found in the western region of the United States.

Additionally, there is an observatory on the property that hosts presentations on the weekend.

You won’t want to leave San Jose without at least a little bit of time spent in Ancient Egypt.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

In its early days, the structure that is now known as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph was a humble adobe church that served the settlers rather than the local Indians.

The settlement that was once known as El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe saw the beginning of construction in the year 1803.

After the ancient edifice was rendered unrepairable by earthquakes in 1818 and 1822, construction on a new adobe church began in 1835 with the intention of eventually replacing the older one.

The second church suffered significant damage as a result of the big earthquake that occurred in Hayward in 1868.

The third church was constructed in 1869, but it was destroyed by fire in 1875 and never rebuilt.

A temporary structure number four was constructed a few blocks distant.

The majestic Basilica that remains today is the fifth and final structure to be constructed.

Construction on the cathedral started in 1876, and it wasn’t until 1997 that the Vatican bestowed upon it the title of Basilica.

Simply by virtue of the stained glass windows, this location is among the most stunning in all of California.

READ: 11 Best things to do in traverse city

San Jose Museum of Art


The permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art is comprised of some of the most outstanding examples of art produced by West Coast painters working in the 20th and 21st centuries.

There is a historic wing at the San Jose Post Office that was initially constructed in 1892 for the purpose of housing the post office and used in that capacity until 1937.

The building served as the City of San Jose Public Library beginning in 1937 and continuing until 1969.

The Fine Arts Gallery Association ultimately decided to purchase the building, and in 1991, they built a brand new wing of the museum.

This is one of the few museums that focuses exclusively on painters from the West Coast.

Kelley Park

In Front of Kelley School of Business

At Kelley Park, you can easily kill a whole day’s worth of time. You may take use of the 156 acres of activities, including the gardens, the park’s pathways, the zoo, and the museums.

Kelley Park is the location of a number of historical organizations and museums, including the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the San Jose History Park, the Vietnamese Museum, and the Portuguese Historical Museum.

READ: 11 Best things to do in pasadena

Children’s Discovery Museum

Children's Discovery Museum

One of the best children’s museums in the United States is the Children’s Discovery Museum, which is often ranked in the top 10.

Over six million people have been through its doors since it first opened in 1990, and they have all enjoyed the interactive educational entertainment that it offers.

It is widely considered to be one of the best spots to visit in San Jose, California.

The museum’s innovative BioSITE program delivers action-science education centered on environmental stewardship.

The Discovery Youth program at the museum offers students in fifth through twelfth grade a taste of the cutting-edge technology that is produced in Silicon Valley, which is located nearby.

The substantial contributions made by Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founders of Apple Computer, served as the primary source of funding for the museum.

San Jose Heritage Rose Garden

Rose Garden

A visit to the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden is an obligatory part of any vacation to San Jose and should not be skipped.

A rose is considered to be a Heritage Rose if it has been bred for an extended period of time, sometimes even for centuries.

Over 3,600 unique rose bushes, representing over 2,700 distinct rose kinds, may be found at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden in California.

Even though the majority of these species are thought to have originated in Europe, there are a great number of these plants that were found in the backyards of ancient houses, in old cemeteries, and even in some cases beside a dirt road.

The San Jose Heritage Rose Garden is cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers, and the City of San Jose provides funding for all of the gardening supplies that are needed.

Free access is offered to the general public to the garden; however, contributions are gratefully accepted at any time, and those interested in volunteering are always needed.

READ: 11 Best things to do in orange country

Alum Rock Park

Alum Rock Park trip

Alum Rock Park is a municipal park in California that has been around the longest. It offers walking and riding routes ranging in difficulty that total 13 kilometers in length.

Access to the park was provided by a Narrow Gauge Railroad that departed from the central business district of San Jose between the years 1891 and 1901.

The park has picturesque views over Silicon Valley, as well as picnic and play spaces, as well as a visitor’s center, and a small museum.

The location has free parking access and is ideal for a fun-filled day out with the family since there are many activities to choose from.

Tech Museum of Innovation

Tech Museum of Innovation

Everyone in the family will have a good time at the Tech Museum of Innovation.

The purpose of this is to provide visitors with a taste of the computer technology that is being brought to life behind the walls of the numerous firms that are located in Silicon Valley.

Additionally, it is supposed to motivate future generations to catch up to and even surpass the technology of today.

Due to the increasing number of visitors, this museum was moved from its previous location, which was a garage, to its new location, which is 132,000 square feet larger.

Because of the museum’s emphasis on audience participation, it has quickly become one of the most popular destinations for tourists in San Jose.

During your time there, don’t forget to check out what’s playing in the IMAX theatre and see what else they have to offer.

One of the most enjoyable things to do in San Jose, California, is to go to the view screen, which is eight floors high and offers a genuine one-of-a-kind experience.

Winchester Mystery House


Sarah Winchester, the widow of Winchester Rifle tycoon William Winchester, commissioned the construction of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose in the year 1884.

Originally, it stood at a height of seven floors; however, the earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1906 caused significant damage to it. The home currently has a total of four floors.

Sarah’s conviction that the home was haunted by people who had been shot to death with a Winchester rifle caused her to build her house without the assistance of an architect throughout the whole of the mansion’s building period, which lasted for a combined total of 38 years.

As a consequence of this, the architecture has a number of oddities, such as stairways and doorways that go nowhere in particular.

The home includes forty fully functional bedrooms, however, there is only one bathroom. She was under the impression that the actions she was performing on the building site were helping to throw off the spirits.

The mansion has now been transformed into a well-known tourist attraction in San Jose.

The American Firearms Museum may be found right on the grounds of the Winchester factory complex.

New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

Casa Grande 01

The Almaden Quicksilver Mine is the world’s most prolific mercury mine and also the oldest mercury mine still in operation.

This museum chronicles the mining activities that have taken place during the last 135 years.

There are several historical buildings still standing at the site, despite the fact that the mine itself has been shut down.

Do not pass up the chance to get insight into the fascinating past of mercury mining by not attending this event.

Hayes Mansion

Hayes Mansion, San Jose California

The Hayes Mansion is a destination that should not be skipped, and this holds true regardless of whether or not you want to stay there. Simply going there to admire the building’s design is worthwhile.

This ancient home was constructed in 1906 with the main plan of a Maltese Cross and a lengthy part in the middle that holds a solarium. The building dates back to that year.

The size, which is 41,000 square feet, has the architecture of a Mediterranean villa. Once upon a time, the site was home to its own power plant, railroad station, and post office.

It has evolved into a high-end hotel with more than 200 rooms for guests today.



One of only three remaining Japantown cultural enclaves in the United States, San Jose’s Japantown is one of the three remaining Japantowns.

It is also one of the greatest, and going there for a whole day is really something you should do if you can.

This town, which is 125 years old, is home to some of the nation’s finest genuine Japanese dining establishments, theatres, art galleries, and retail establishments.

Spend one day completely engrossed in the traditions and customs of Japan.

Great America Amusement Park

Six Flags Great America 077

The Great America Amusement Park in San Jose originally opened its gates to the public in the year 1976.

The park, which is now managed by Cedar Fair and covers an area of one hundred acres, is often regarded as the most impressive amusement park in the Northern California region.

The roller coasters vary from the Gold Striker, which is regarded as the new standard applied to wooden coasters, to the latest member, the Rail Blazer, which has an original design that is incomparable to any other roller coaster elsewhere in the globe.

The family will have plenty of fun with the thrill attractions, family rides, carnival games, and Boomerang Bay, which is a water park.

Planet Snoopy is a theme park that caters to younger guests by providing them with attractions such as rides, shows, and playgrounds, as well as the opportunity to meet and greet their favorite Charlie Brown characters.

Because the park is only open at certain times of the year, you will need to make appropriate preparations if you want to visit Great America during your trip.

The Great America Amusement Park can be found just across the street from Levi Stadium, which is the primary football venue for the San Francisco 49ers.

Final Words

It is stated that in order to really appreciate San Jose, one must see the city through the eyes of a native resident.

As a consequence of this, many of the best options for itineraries include areas that are significant both to the history of the region and to the region as a whole, as well as locations that are popular among the inhabitants.

Your time in San Jose will not be wasted, regardless of the length of your stay there or the number of days, you are there.

This ancient city is filled with sights, educational opportunities, and entertaining activities for people of all ages.