• Google Campus

    Google Campus

  • San Jose city scape

    San Jose city scape

  • San Jose mountainscape

    San Jose mountainscape

There is Spanish and Latin influence all over the state of California; you just need to look up to the billboards to see that half are in Spanish, half in English. You can discover where it all began in San Jose, California’s oldest Spanish settlement.

Since the 1700s, San Jose has been a Spanish settlement. Originally named El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, it is a diverse area with a juxtaposing background. While it still has large farms and ranches that are perfect for horseback riding and hiking, the futuristic tech industry has crept into the San Jose area, making San Jose the capital of Silicon Valley.

The merging of the world-famous tech brands, like Facebook and Google, with the old Spanish settlements leads to a really diverse and unique place. So, jump in the car and drive through the beautiful city of San Jose.

Parks of San Jose

San Jose is famous for its beautiful outdoor spaces, so make sure you set plenty of time aside to run around, chill in, and enjoy the parks. We know you might think that once you’ve seen one park, you’ve seen them all. That’s just not the case in San Jose- the parks are as diverse as they are beautiful.

Japanese Friendship Garden

A fun fact for your San Jose road trip; did you know that its sister city is Okayama in Japan? The Japanese influence can be seen clearly in San Jose, especially at the Japanese Friendship Garden. It’s based right in the centre of the city, and is a bit of welcome calm from the hustle and bustle. There are koi ponds, tea houses and quiet spots for you to meditate.

Big Basin Redwoods

From the peaceful, to the magnificent. Big Basin Redwoods is the oldest park in the state, and is home to some of the most famous trees in the world. Redwoods are the tallest trees you can find, and are so large that they can even be hollowed out to act as a tunnel.

You might strain your neck, as you look up trying to see the top of the trees nestled in the clouds, but it is all worth it to be in the presence of these famous Californian giants.

History of San Jose

As it is the oldest Spanish Settlement in California, there are plenty of historic sites to visit in San Jose. Some date back hundreds of years to the 1700s, when the area was founded, but some are more recent, like the tech boom of the late 80s and 90s. One thing is for sure, the history is so varied and in some cases, so strange, that you will find something that interests everyone.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

One of the oldest places to visit in San Jose is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, a beautiful church built in 1877. The cathedral is a California Historical Landmark, so you should definitely bring your camera to get some good snaps of it.

Cannery Row

You might first think of the famous John Steinbeck novel when you hear the words Cannery Row. In fact, the novel was actually the original Cannery Row, set in the famous San Jose canning street, Ocean View Avenue. After the success of the novel, the street officially changed its name to Canning Row, as a tribute to Steinbeck and his novel.

The street was once a made up of sardine canning factories, but is now a marine conservation area, where you can come see the Californian Sea Lions playing by the seafront. You can also see a whole range of sea life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, at the end of Cannery Row.

History Park

San Jose is very proud of its history, and strives to ensure that its visitors and residents know all about its rich past. In their dedication to keeping the history of San Jose alive, they created History Park. This outdoor museum towards the south of Kelley Park, allows you to literally walk through history. Visit a blacksmith’s shed, an old doctor’s and dentist’s office, a school house and ice cream shop. You can also see the old trolleys and trams that would take San Jose residents to work and around the city hundreds of years ago.

The Tech of San Jose

A bit of a change up from the historic Victorian part of San Jose, is the explosion of tech companies that have taken over the area. San Jose is now one of the leading tech centres in the world, with innovative companies springing up on every available lot. You can also go back and see the humble beginnings of the most famous tech brands in the world.

Google Garage

Can you believe that what is now arguably the largest company in the world, started out in a tiny garage? The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin rented the garage and three rooms in the attached house, while they were studying and living at Stanford, to develop Google. The house is now owned by Google, and open to visitors during the day so you can see this small, but important piece of tech history. If seeing the Google Garage wasn’t exciting enough, you can also see more of the Silicon Valley garages, where other companies were created.

Silicon Valley Tech Tours

It’s not just Google that has put San Jose on the map. Practically every tech company that you use daily, is based in San Jose. Because of the important cultural influence of the companies, plenty of tech tours have popped up, taking you to see campuses of companies like Facebook, Tesla and Apple.

Has the idea of walking through the history of California, and the future of tech in one city inspired you to visit San Jose? Well, then what are you waiting for? As is the nature of tech, the whole city could look completely different soon…