Here is a solid list of things to do in San Jose whether you’re a long-time resident, San Jose renter, SJSU student, out-of-towner, or anyone in between!
Catch a San Jose Sharks game (pic via fearthefin.com)
There’s no better way to blend with the locals and get a feel for what being a San Jose resident is all about; they’ve loved the Sharks ever since they came to town in 1991 and remain die-hard, passionate fans to this day. SAP Center (or “The Shark Tank” as it’s known to locals) embodies the architecture of Silicon Valley, is one of the loudest buildings in the NHL, and is located in downtown San Jose; the spectacle of a Sharks game is truly something to behold. For some of us, this is hands down our favorite thing to do in San Jose.
Built in the late 1800s, this extravagant mansion was built by Sarah Winchester, widow of gun tycoon, William Winchester. The house is known for its bizarre architectural oddities like staircases and doors that go nowhere, winding hallways, and secret passageways. Legend has it that Mrs. Winchester purposely included such building plans to either appease or throw off the ghosts of people who were killed by her husband’s rifles. This creepy and mysterious mansion is definitely worth checking out. During the Halloween season, the Winchester House is defnitely among the top Northern California / Bay Area attractions and one of the most fun things to do in San Jose.
Located in Downtown San Jose, San Pedro Square Market has a little something for everyone. Teeming with activity throughout the day, you can find a ton of food and drink options. With indoor and outdoor seating, there are many places to hang out and spend a few hours. It’s a great date destination or a solid place to hang with a group of friends. PRO-TIP: Kill two birds with one stone, venture to San Pedro Square Market in the early afternoon for some food and drinks then walk down to SAP Center to attend an SJ Sharks game! Regardless of when or how you choose to visit, San Pedro Square Market is a key landmark of San Jose tourism.
Alum Rock Park (pic via roadtrippers.com)
Like many other marquee California cities, San Jose offers a little something for outdoor advocates. Alum Rock Park offers great trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and even equestrians. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife, geologic formations like mineral springs, and scenic views of the Santa Clara Valley. There is even a small natural history museum to check out if you want to learn more about the area. This is definitely one of our favorite free things to do in San Jose.
The Mystery Spot (pic via news.softpedia.com)
Alright so technically this is Santa Cruz, but given how awesome this place is, coupled with the close proximity to San Jose (roughly 45 minutes), we felt compelled to include it in this list. Advertised as a gravitational anomaly, The Mystery Spot seems to defy the laws of gravity and physics. Visitors are subjected to perplexing variations of perspective, height, and gravity. It’s quirky fun and as a bonus it’s located in the serene redwood forests!