San Jose's Top 10 Hidden Gems
Welcome to San Jose, capital of Silicon Valley and popular San Francisco Bay area escape city! Within San Jose, you will find all the high-tech headquarters, museums, and shops you can handle, but you probably already knew that.
What you may not have known, however, is the amazing attractions and sites to see outside of the tech world all throughout the city, from natural wonders and parks to life-size board games waiting to be played! We think San Jose is a Hidden Gem city itself, so you can guess we have a lot to say about the hidden gems within!
Check out our top 10 choices for secret spots to see!
- San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
This historic garden is home to over 3,500 shrubs and over 189 different rose varieties. Blooming April- November, this 5.5 acre rose wonderland provides guests with bright blooms, fragrant scents, and the opportunity to admire and learn more about various rose varieties and hybrids. Check out the climbers, grandifloras, and hybrids like the Bon Bon and San Jose Sunshine.
- San Jose Flea Market
The San Jose Flea Market is a family tradition in San Jose and has been for almost 60 years now! Here at the market, you will find crafts, food, vendors, and entertainment, with live music, festivals, and kiddie rides available regularly. You will find a 1/4th-mile long Produce Row, a minimum of 1000 vendors selling various products from comic books to fine jewelry, and over a dozen onsite restaurants and food carts! This is a great 'hidden gem' to see if you happen to be in San Jose on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
- Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Learn all about ancient Egyptian beliefs and practices here at the Rosicrucian Museum, the San Jose museum founded in 1927 that provides some of the coolest exhibits and artifacts surrounding this culture. See galleries such as Tomb, Afterlife, Daily Life, Religion, and Rulers, explore over 4,000 authentic artifacts, and even visit the onsite planetarium, Peace Garden, or Temple!
- Monopoly in the Park
That's right, it's your favorite family-friendly board game, life-sized! Totaling at 930 square feet, this Monopoly in the Park game board is perfect for your visiting group or family. Groups can reserve game pieces for their visit, the game tokens, dice, and houses made to scale and a ton of fun to throw around! This entire game board is the only officially licensed Hasbro life-size board and has earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records!
- Winchester Mystery House
Sara Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester, has made her own claim in history with her 'Mystery House', a San Jose landmark mansion that holds staircases leading nowhere, trap doors, and false walls. The ultimate reason behind Sarah's constant expansion until her death is unknown (some say ghosts, some say psychic), though you can visit the 160 room house yourself and try to figure it out!
San Jose's Japantown is actually one of the last 3 authentic Japantowns in the United States, this unique ethnic neighborhood providing a 'rare blend of business, cultural, and historic resources' for over 125 years now. Your group will find a fantastic Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiin food based dining scene, unique boutiques and shops, and the Japanese American Museum while here, as well as the highly popular Farmer's Market if you are visiting on a Sunday.
- Guadalupe River Park
If you want gorgeous natural scenery and a place to escape the urban jungle without ever leaving the city, Guadalupe River Park is the place for you. This 3-mile ribbon of parkland holds an Education Center providing tons of fun and educational workshops, an epic kid's playground, a community garden, a rose garden, and 2.6 miles of trails to walk, bike, skate, or wildlife watch on!
- Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies
The largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe, the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies is one of the most musically magical places you can visit in San Jose. This museum and library is located on the San Jose State University campus and provides guests with several different exhibits, artifacts, tours, and education programs 'devoted solely to the life, works, and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven'.
- Santana Row Chess Plaza
Santana Row is an upscale dining, shopping, and living community in west San Jose that provides tons of entertainment for guests, from the theater in the district to the fine shopping and eating options. While the entire area is certainly not considered a 'hidden' gem, on the 300 block within the district you will find something that is, the Chess Plaza. This is another larger than life-sized game board that doubles as interactive public art, a great spot to think through a few moves or simply admire the handiwork of the pieces!
- Alum Rock Park
Welcome to Alum Rock Park, one of our personal favorite San Jose hidden gems. This park is one of California's oldest municipal parks, boasting 720 acres of spectacular natural beauty within the Alum Park Canyon in the foothills of the Diablo Range. Here you can enjoy hiking, biking, picnicking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, or simply relaxing and enjoying the views!
For more extensive details on these amazing San Jose attractions visit our sister site, Adventure Student Travel for full descriptions, or give us a call today to find out more!
Be sure to check out our other amazing Top 10 Hidden Gems blogs as well!
- San Jose Municipal Rose Garden