The City of San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, the northern part of the Bay Area that rose to prominence for being the global hub of silicon makers. Originally a farming community devoted to growing grapes and apricots, San Jose City quickly became an important part of technological innovations and development when it became home to several manufactureres of microchip processors. Yet despite its huge involvement in the advancements of computer technology, the city government continues to connect the people and corporate stakeholders through arts and cultural activities.
The city acknowledges that much of Silicon Valley’s success is attributable to the humble San Jose suburban garages where innovators like Apple and Hewlett Packard built their life-changing devices. The original offices of the two tech companies, as well as the iconic building that Google built as its first tech playground, have been formally recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
San Jose City has expanded in size while its population is quite diversified. The richness of the city’s history and culture has made it important to showcase them by way of exhibitions and artworks in museums. Prior to the pandemic, SJC had as many as 6.3 million overnight visitors, although the numbers had subsequently dropped to less than 3 million. Mainly because of the ongoing health crisis that broke out in 2020.
San Jose’s Car-Centric Culture
Visitors have no qualms about driving their cars to San Jose, whether for business or pleasure, with motorists relying mostly on freeways. Nevertheless, San Jose’s car-centric population has been getting much support from towing companies that offer roadside assistance. Actually, an important app to have when travelling to and around San Jose and in other West Coast cities is for a towing company san jose car owners can summon whenever they encounter road or vehicle trouble.
Actually, the San Jose city government would prefer that residents start ditching their cars, not only to reduce CO2 emissions but to ease traffic and need for parking spaces as well. Ride-sharing apps have become popular for most visitors who prefer not drive in SJC’s busy streets.
Important Places to Visit When in San Jose City
Historically, before San Jose became a techno hub, the city was largely famous for the mansion built by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, the rifle magnate. Known as the Winchester Mystery Mansion, its construction began in 1886, yet up to this date remains incomplete despite having 160 rooms, a multitude of staircases and thousands of doors leading nowhere.
Local stories say that the purpose of the mysterious set up is to trap the ghosts, whom the Widow Winchester believed are restless spirits of those who had died by any of the Winchester rifles manufactured by her husband.
Another attestation to the glory of San Jose’s pre-Silicon Valley yesteryears is the Heritage Rose Garden, where visitors admire more than 2,800 species of heirloom, contemporary and miniature roses.
Other historical places to visit in San Jose include The Intel Museum and Headquarters, The Computer History Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation.
The more modern attractions that have been drawing large numbera of visitors to San Jose, are the family-friendly Children’s Discovery Museum, especially its outdoor learning environment called Bill’s Backyard. There is also the Happy Hollow Park located in Kelly Park, which serves as a mini zoo showcasing a collection of interesting animals native to other countries; such as the capybara, meerkats, a giant anteater and its most recent addition, a male jaguar named Kianto.