15 Best Things To Do in San Jose, California [Weekend DIY Itinerary to San Jose]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor August 25th, 2021 Posted in North America Travel Blog, Travel Blog No comments

San Jose is the 10th largest city in the United States and the largest in Northern California. San Jose is a hub of technological innovation and has earned the city the nickname “Capital of Silicon Valley”. San Jose is a global city with an extremely high cost of living making it one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world.

However, with its 300 days of sunshine in a year, its glamour is beyond its technology. This is home to fine wine, cultural events, and diverse landscapes. 

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by rickinazaki CC BY 2.0

Best Things to do in San Jose, California

1. Winchester Mystery House

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Mike Shelby CC BY 2.0

The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, California, owned by Sarah Winchester. Built-in 1884, the mansion was claimed by many to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles. Today, it is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. 

2. The Tech Interactive


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Tech Interactive is a hands-on science and technology center. It features many exhibits dealing with energy efficiency, customization, exploration, and genetics. It allows visitors to engage in a unique learning experience.

3. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Michael Fraley CC BY 2.0

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum holds the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies in the Western United States. Its structure is constructed in Ancient Egyptian architectural style It has different informative exhibits about Egyptian history and religion and a composite replica of an ancient Egyptian rock-cut tomb. 

4. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, opened in 1961, is a 16-acre zoo and amusement park in San Jose, California. It has rides, Puppet theater, a Petting zoo with an animal barn and many more exhibits that are family-friendly

5. Children’s Discovery Museum 

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose opened its doors in 1990. The museum builds and displays interactive exhibits about science, humanities, performing arts, and health and physical fitness. This museum features programs and events that emphasize hands-on, experience- and inquiry-based learning.

6. Alum Rock Park

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

Alum Rock Park is California’s oldest municipal park. This a great place to spend time with mother nature. It includes trails for hiking and biking, picnic areas, playgrounds, lush plant life, and camping sight. 

7. Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Dawn Ellner CC BY 2.0

Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a park that includes the grounds of former mercury (“quicksilver”) mines. The mines have been closed but it is for the visitors to be aware of mining history and also enjoy the biodiversity of the natural setting. Experience the endless trail for hiking and walking. 

8. Municipal Rose Garden

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by John Menard CC BY-SA 2.0

The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is a historic rose garden founded in 1927. This is exclusively dedicated to roses with more than 3,500 shrubs and 189 rose varieties. Such an instagrammable place! 

9. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Travis Wise CC BY 2.0

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is a large and the oldest Roman Catholic church in Downtown San Jose. It has a great architectural structure with stunning stained glass windows. It has an excellent interior and a very peaceful atmosphere. 

10. Japantown

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Tzuhsun Hsu CC BY-SA 2.0

This neighborhood in San Jose, California exhibits architectural styles that reflect the Japanese culture with restaurants, shops, and other attractions. This district features hip galleries and karaoke bars. 

11. Mount Umunhum

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Ethan Dow

This is the fourth-highest peak in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. Sometimes called Mount Um by locals. Hike or drive to the top where the panoramic view of the bay area awaits you. 

12. Japanese Friendship Garden

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

The Japanese Friendship Garden is patterned after Japan’s famous Korakuen Garden.  This garden covers six acres of landscape. It features waterfalls, ponds with koi, bridges, and bonsai plants.

13. Willow Glen

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by San José Public Library CC BY-SA 2.0

Willow Glen is a popular neighborhood of San Jose, California known for its shops, boutiques, specialty food stores, and bookshops. A good place to spend your Saturday afternoon. 

14. Los Gatos Creek Trail

Things To Do in San Jose, California11
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is a 15.6 km pedestrian and bicycle trail that cuts through parks, ponds, and downtown Los Gatos. A trail used for running, cycling, walking, and skating. It also has a lot of space and trees along the way. 

15. San Jose Museum of Art

Things To Do in San Jose, California
Photo by Don DeBold CC BY 2.0

The San Jose Museum of Art, founded in 1969, hosts a large permanent collection of West Coast artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a small museum and easy to look around. 

Things to do with 3 days in San Jose, California

Day 1 in San Jose, California

Winchester Mystery House Discover the history of this haunted mansion in San Jose, Califonia. Look around its beautiful exterior and garden. 

Municipal Rose Garden – Appreciate the colorful and diverse garden of roses. With a variety of colors, you won’t regret visiting this place.  

Day 2 in San Jose, California

The Tech Interactive – You wouldn’t want to miss this hands-on science and technology center. Be a scientist and inventor in a day! 

Day 3 in San Jose, California

Japantown – Have fun in this Japan-inspired town in San Jose. Try Japanese delicacies and beverages. Shop in stores and look around the galleries. 

Where to Eat in San Jose, California

La Foret Restaurant

Serves French and European cuisines. Dine with nature views and a very nice interior in this restaurant. 

Operating hours:

  • Sun              10:30 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Tue – Sun     5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Address: 21747 Bertram Rd, San Jose, CA 95120-4329

Aqui Cal-Mex

This casual restaurant serves Mexican foods. Foods are fresh and flavorful and definitely one of the most popular dines. 

Operating hours:

  • Sun                   10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Mon-Wed        11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thu – Sat          11:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Address: 1145 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125-3002

Bill’s Cafe

Things To Do in San Jose, California

Serves American and international dishes. This cafe is the best place to have a great and satisfying American breakfast. 

Operating hours: Sun-Sat 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Address: 1115 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125-3158

How to go to San Jose, California from the UK

Via: British Airways(one way)

From LHR London Heathrow to SJC San Jose International

Ticket Price: $1,342

*Prices are subject to change. You can visit Skyscanner for more details about the ticket prices.

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]