San Jose Travel Guide

USA  #7 in Best Day Trips from San Francisco
Credit

Courtesy of by Frank Chen/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in San Jose

If you have extra time, Japanese Friendship Garden is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Santana Row
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    #1 in San Jose
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Where do Silicon Valley tycoons go to spend their money? To Santana Row, a chic shopping development just a short drive west of downtown San Jose. Here you'll find delectable eateries, a movie theater and designer shops like Gucci and Kate Spade. And the apartments and the Hotel Valencia built above the ground-floor businesses create an urban vibe that particularly takes off at night when Santana Row becomes a nightlife hub. Many recent travelers claim that this is the best people-watching spot in the city. Also keep your eyes on the parking lot: Exotic sports cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris are often spotted here.

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  • #2
    Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
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    #2 in San Jose
    Churches/Religious Sites, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Architecture buffs will want to set aside some time to see the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, a large Roman Catholic church located in downtown San Jose. This structure is actually the fifth reincarnation and sits on the site of former basilicas that were damaged by earthquakes or fire in the 19th century. It draws in visitors with its architectural beauty, both inside and out. Reviewers were particularly enchanted by its domes and stained-glass windows (of which there are 39 colorful panes to behold). Aside from its impressive structural elements, the cathedral wins praise for its peaceful atmosphere.

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  • #7
    Japanese Friendship Garden
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    #7 in San Jose
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Visitors frequently describe this small garden as "tranquil" and a nice place to let the kids run around. Built in 1965 as a symbol of everlasting friendship between the city of San Jose and its sister city, Okayama, Japan, the garden features Japanese bridges, waterfalls and koi fish (a favorite attraction among youngsters).

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