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San Jose Travel Guide


San Jose Introduction


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San Jose, California, is more than just the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley, the place where the U.S. computer industry took off and created a high-technology world. Palm trees and luxury hotels line busy boulevards in lively downtown San Jose, and the city's trendy restaurants, classy shops and lively nightspots attract both visitors and locals, including many who work in the world of technology. Despite its sudden growth during the tech boom of the 1990s, San Jose retains its small-town charm.  Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Geography


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San Jose is in the Santa Clara Valley, otherwise known as Silicon Valley. It is bordered by two mountain ranges, the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. Two rivers, the Coyote and the Guadalupe, run through the city. San Jose is at the southern end of the valley, about 50 mi/80 km south of San Francisco and about 40 mi/64 km south of Oakland.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose History


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The Ohlone people inhabited the San Jose region for thousands of years before Spanish explorers entered the valley in 1769. The Spanish quickly established settlements, and on 20 November 1777, Lt. Don Jose Moraga founded El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. With its name later shortened to San Jose, the city became the first civil settlement in what is now the state of California. San Jose came under Mexican rule briefly in 1821, during the Spanish American War. It became part of the United States in 1846. In December 1849—the year California's statehood was established—San Jose was designated the state's first capital. (It was later replaced by Sacramento.)   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Though it lacks a cohesive nucleus (the sprawl of San Jose brings Los Angeles to mind), many of the best sights are in the downtown area. There is enough to see and do to keep you busy for a day or so. You'll find traces of the area's history at San Pedro Square, where the city's oldest building, the Peralta Adobe, stands as a legacy of San Jose's Spanish origins. Most of the city's museums are not far away. And, if you like historical architecture, the post office on St. James Street—a WPA (Works Projects Administration) project during the Great Depression—has a beautiful interior. A must-see is The Tech Museum of Innovation. You can make a movie in its digital studio or be shaken in a simulated earthquake—just two of The Tech's more than 200 interactive exhibits.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Nightlife


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A lively nightlife scene has developed in previously sleepy San Jose, especially in the clubs of the city's trendy SoFA (South of First Area) district downtown. A handful of microbreweries, pubs and speakeasy-type bars are located downtown as well. The mild weather makes enjoying an alfresco brew, or glass of wine from a nearby winery, easy and pleasant most nights. Closing time for most bars is 2 am.  Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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San Jose Restaurants & Dining


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San Jose is a remarkably diverse community with large populations of Chinese, Vietnamese, Hispanic and Indian immigrants. The city's eateries reflect its diversity, offering a wide array of options for those seeking distinctive flavors.   Click here to see the full San Jose travel guide on Travel42 »

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