San Jose is the largest city of the Silicon Valley. It is the third largest city of California, USA, and is located in the Santa Clara valley. It was the first civilian settlement of California. It covers an area of 179.965 sq kms and had an approximate population of 984,299 in January, 2013.
San Jose is located in the Santa Clara valley. It is situated at a distance of about 48 miles to the south of San Francisco. Structurally, it is sandwiched between the San Andreas Fault and the Calaveras Fault. This has led to the city being subjected to moderate and occasional earthquakes. The city is bordered by the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west and the Diablo Mountains on the east. The lowest point of the city lies 13 ft below sea level in Alviso, while the highest point lies at a height of 2,125 ft. The average elevation is 67 ft. The rivers Coyote and Guadalupe run through the city.
The city enjoys a mild semi-arid Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and dry, while rainfall mostly occurs in the mild winters with the greatest amount falling in February.
How to reach (transport)
You can travel to San Jose in the following ways:
- The city is served by the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, which is located about 2 miles to the northwest of the downtown area. Flights are available to all the major destinations of America as well as to Europe. You can also fly to the San Francisco International Airport or the Oakland International Airport, both of which are located 35 miles away.
- The city also enjoys excellent train connections. Three major rail tracks pass through here. These are the Cal train, the Altamont Commuter Express and the Capitol Corridor of Amtrak.
- US 101 and Interstate 280 are the two major freeways that pass through San Jose. A number of bus services are available; besides, you can also rent a car to drive to the city.
Summer is the best time to visit San Jose as it is dryer and warmer and you can take full advantage of the outdoor sights and activities.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions
Though it is sometimes known as the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose has developed at a modest pace and remains sober compared to San Francisco. Several festivals and events are celebrated in the city. These are:
- The San Jose International Auto Show is held in January when a number of models of automobiles by almost a dozen manufacturers are exhibited.
- The Vietnamese Spring festival and parade celebrates the heritage of the Vietnamese community in San Jose in early February with games and family entertainment.
- The President's Day Volleyball Tournament is held over three days in February.
- The San Jose Art festival is held in March with 170 artists displaying their works.
- The Annual Spring Style show is held in April. It is an expo of beauty products.
- The Annual Nikkei Matsuri is celebrated as a symbol of Japanese heritage with traditional crafts and cuisine on 1st May.
- The Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival is celebrated with parades and food on 5th May to commemorate the Battle of Pueblo.
- The San Jose gay parade in June is a major event.
- French Polynesian culture is celebrated with the Tahiti Fete of San Jose in July.
- A huge annual concert and jazz festival is held in August.
- The Silicon Valley marathon is celebrated in October.
- The San Jose Harvest Festival is a three-day event in November and features food, craft, and shows.
Some of the most important sights of San Jose are:
- There are a number of historic building and mansions in San Jose. The Winchester Mystery House is a 160-room Victorian mansion by Sarah Winchester and is a curiosity of the city. The Peralta Adobe, the Electric Light Tower, Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph etc., are some of the others.
- The Santana Row is a development complex where you will find restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, and pedestrian walkways.
- The San Jose Museum of Art carries a varied and rich collection of 20th century art from the area.
- The Tech Museum of Innovation is a must-see spot for science aficionados.
- The History Park and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum are other important landmarks.
Whether you are on a lavish stay or are eyeing on a budget stay option, San Jose will not disappoint you in any way. If you don’t mind spending a couple of extra dollars on your stay, then 4-star hotels like De Anza, Valencia and Sainte Claire and 3-star hotels including Country Inn, Avatar, Staybridge, and Silicon Valley will serve your purpose well. On the other hand, if you are running on a tight budget, then the city also offers exclusive options for you including Fontaine Inn, Flamingo Motel, and Clarion Inn.
Last Updated : November 27, 2013