Based in California, San Jose is best known as ‘The Capital of Silicon Valley’ along with some areas of San Francisco, famous for its involvement in the technology boom since the 1960s. However, whether you’re interested in this particular boom or not, the city is so diverse that each neighbourhood offers very different experiences. There is an interesting blend of natural landmarks in the form of parks and walking routes combined with highly industrialised luxury areas throughout the city, making each neighbourhood feel very different to the last. Its location near the Pacific coast means that a trip to the beach is always an option to consider.
A family car will give you the space and comfort to enjoy the sprawling area thanks to the wide roads and great quality of the road surface.
Driving in San Jose
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
While Downtown is fairly compact and easily navigated by foot, the outer area is much more sprawling and certainly requires a car for transportation.
The city promotes the use of bicycles, and while it is necessary to be aware of cyclists at all times, the cycle lanes and shoulders of the road are wide enough for all.
San Jose is connected to San Francisco by the Interstate 280; a journey should take roughly an hour. Rush hours are at 7.30-9.30am and 4.30-6.30pm on weekdays.
Highlights & Hotspots
The central area of interest for any visitor to San Jose is Downtown, containing the main area of work for the city’s residents. Events take place all year round in the area, with festivals and celebrations, but there are some areas open all year around that are certainly worth visiting.
The Tech Museum of Innovation showcases what the area is most famous for – it’s technological advancements. The museum is interactive and a great site for families to learn about topics such as the internet and technology.
Sport is a major event in San Jose, with nationally renowned teams in several areas. The San Jose Sharks are perhaps the most famous of the teams in the area, as their ice rink is The HP Pavilion which is home to a 17-foot shark head from which the team skate out!
Finally, along with adult entertainment in the form of clubs, bars and comedy clubs, there are a number of great amusement parks. California’s Great America is arguably the best theme park in the area, with rollercoasters, a water park and Vegas-style live shows.
While San Jose is located close by to three airports in the area, the area is primarily served by the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport based two miles to the northwest of downtown.
The airport is alongside the Guadalupe Parkway, which takes you southeast towards the centre of San Jose and further down the Californian coast.