The only place in North America dedicated solely to the works of Ludwig himself, this museum contains a wealth of material, including the much-heralded lock of Beethoven's hair. Original manuscripts, books, recordings, autographed materials, masks, sculptures, stamps, films and all sorts of things are here. The center sponsors many concerts and lectures throughout the year and several things are for sale, like coffee mugs, scores and a bibliography database. This is an excellent place for scholarly research.
This urban farm covers an impressive 47 acres (19.02 hectares). It has school tours, orchards, a barnyard, picnic areas and places to fly kites. It is a great place to bring kids, especially if they like animals as there are numerous breeds of rabbits, chickens, geese and ducks for them to befriend. The property was originally given to the city of San Jose with the intent that it be used as an agricultural learning center, and in this respect, it succeeds admirably. Admission is free.
Thousands visit this park each year to view the beautiful varieties of roses in a profusion of colors and types. A resplendent sight to behold, the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden also includes a few fountains and a reflecting pool, making it a great spot for a quiet stroll even if you aren't a rose aficionado. Take a look at the map of the place, which lists the names of all the varieties of roses, some of which are rare kinds.
Established in 1872, the Alum Rock Park is by far the oldest municipal-operated urban park in all of California. Located at a distance of just 6.3 miles (10.2 kilometers) from the heart of San Jose's urban surroundings, this oasis of greenery is clasped on the slopes of Diablo Range's verdant valleys. Spanning nearly 720 acres (291.37 hectares), the park's grounds are traversed by the roads and trails of Alum Rock Falls, Calaveras Fault, and Sierra, making every corner of its protected lands accessible for avid hikers. The park is dotted with classical wood-carved trail signs that add a rustic vibe to your overall outdoor experience. Wildlife includes red-tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk, turkey vulture, black-tailed deer, and mountain lions.
Santana Row is an urban district, a magnet for shopping, dining, entertainment and accommodations in North San Jose. There is something for the entire family: 14 full service restaurants; twice-weekly farmers market; WiFi Internet access zones; Hotel Valencia, a world-class boutique hotel; outdoor cafes, public parks, gardens, plazas and courtyards; and a six screen CineArts complex. Developed by Federal Realty Investment Trust, Santana Row is a project that successfully combines the best elements of an urban plaza with the convenience and variety of a mall. It is a place like no other.
Children's Discovery Museum has two floors worth of exhibits and activities, including a history of bubbles, face painting and all sorts of things to keep children busy and thinking. The museum is a giant structure straddling the Guadalupe River Park, so picnics are common for visitors. It is located right on the light rail station, which makes public transportation a snap. The museum offers facilities for birthday parties and special events for all sizes of groups, from small gatherings of 10 to large groups of 1000.
The San Jose Fire Museum features artifacts dating back to 1810 with fire hoses, ladders, hooks, fire engines, etc. You shall find here equipment, tools and uniforms of fire fighters. The objects of the fire department reflect the history of San Jose Fire Department.
The last lynching ever held in California took place in this park. Things are much quieter these days (not to mention law-abiding). Nowadays the place holds a few statues and a small clan of homeless persons, but during the summer, there are live concerts featuring a variety of music performed to an appreciative crowd of locals. You will spot everyone from hi-tech types taking a break to families with kids to senior citizens enjoying the fresh air. There are also forestry classes year-round that make the environment come to life in all new ways.
Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site is made up of two different buildings. One is the oldest address in San Jose, the latter is the home built by a former mayor in the late 19th Century. See what life was like in the 1900s and get a rich dose of fascinating local history. This site also contains an excellent bookstore. Tours are available by appointment only.
Once you get past the grand arch of the San Pedro Square entrance, you will find yourself in the famous restaurant area of Downtown San Jose. Foodies will delight at this square which offers them a mind-boggling range of cuisines, cafe-bars and fine dining restaurants to choose from. People watching becomes a past time at cafes which offer sidewalk seating. Art galleries and theaters thrive in the downtown area and attract tourists and crowds every single day of the week.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is the oldest church in San Jose and has been designated a Historic City Landmark for its architecture. Architect John W. Hammond created the design for this church, which was built in 1861 in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style. It is rich in history and is a different type of religious establishment, as it is the Cathedral Church for the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real. It is also a Downtown parish church and includes both Catholic and Protestant traditions.
Crawling for three miles alongside the Guadalupe River and harnessing Highway 87, this unique natural environment contains a rose garden, jogging trails, several species of birds and lots of picnic tables. Nestled in a particularly scenic spot in the South Bay, it is a great place for a day's outing or a slow leisurely walk. Improvements are ongoing and when it is finally completed, it will be a spectacular place for everyone in the family.