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When your flight to San Jose in California touches down on the runway of Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), you will find yourself in the third biggest city of California, which is mysteriously unfamiliar to the wider world. Only Los Angeles and San Diego have more inhabitants. The city with more than a million inhabitants on the southern end of the San Francisco Bay has a wonderful mild climate - it is never too hot in the summer and never really cold in the winter. The sun shines about 300 days a year, so San Jose is fulfilling nearly every cliché that one might harbour about California.
San Jose between the bay and the mountains
It is also quite unknown that San Jose is the oldest civilian city in California. When California was still part of the Spanish Empire, there were just the military San Diego (1769) and the mission of San Francisco (1776) when San Jose was founded as an agricultural settlement in 1777. How the city developed since then is beautifully shown in the History Park with ancient buildings and artefacts like a collection of antique technical gadgets from the 19th and 20th century. Out of that little farming town the modern day city developed in leaps and bounds, today it is mainly the home for the workers at the tech giants in Silicon Valley. The city has spread up the mountainside - you can climb to 3000 feet without leaving the city limits. A mountain bike tour up into the hills is a favourite pastime of the locals, there are several marked trails for beginners as well as aspiring athletes.
Welcome to sunny San Jose
There are many more highlights to be found in the city: If you travel with your kids, visit the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, the combination of zoo and amusement park will thrill your little ones. The Winchester Mystery House, built by the widow of the famous Winchester Gun Factory owner, is the most famous landmark of San Jose. Here some staircases go nowhere, doors have no rooms behind them, windows are put into the floor, some of the 160 rooms are left undone and there are rooms within other rooms. It is still not clear what Sarah Winchester wanted to achieve with this building. Another and much more fragrant destination is the beautiful municipal rose garden in the aptly named Rose Garden district. More than 200 different kinds of roses, some of them rare specimens, are displayed in the park. San Jose also has one of the last Japan Towns in the USA where you can visit authentic Japanese restaurants and theatres, as well as a museum about the Japanese immigrant’s history. Many more landmarks and highlights will make your stay in San Jose a most pleasant experience.
More to see in San Jose
- Japanese Friendship Garden
- Flea market in North San Jose on more than 120 acres
- The Tech Museum of Innovation
Information Airport San Jose
- Name: Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport
- IATA Code: SJC
- Distance to downtown San Jose: ca. 4 km
- Connection: Shuttle-Bus, Mietwagen, Taxi