This huge, multi-domed church was originally built in 1877 and was restored to its original splendor in 1990. This is actually the fifth location of the parish seat; the first was built in 1803. The present structure is a monumental building. Incredible stained glass work renders the sanctuary into a lovely, almost mystical space when the sun causes the colors to play across the walls, pews and floor. Masses are held in Spanish and English.
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 7.72 kilometers (4.80 miles) 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 off-roading enthusiasts and 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, mountain lions.
Sarah Winchester was heir to the Winchester repeating rifle fortune, and she was convinced that the spirits of all those killed with that gun were haunting her. So she moved from New Haven, Connecticut to San Jose to construct her dream home. To confuse the restless spirits, she constructed one of the oddest houses ever built and kept construction in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year until the day of her death. The Victorian-style labyrinth that resulted features a door on the second floor that opens onto thin air, and others that open onto walls and stairs and corridors that lead to dead ends. It features 160 rooms and only 110 can be explored. Don't miss this intriguing attraction when in town.
San Jose served as California's first capital in 1850, but it wasn't until the 1980's that the downtown area began to resemble the bustling district it is today. It is home to numerous landmarks, including the San Jose Museum of Art, the Tech Museum of Innovation, the De Anza Hotel, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, and San Jose State University's campus. Downtown San Jose is generally considered to encompass the area north of Interstate 280 and east of Guadalupe Parkway. Most of the downtown area is covered by a public WiFi network, fitting for such a leading tech city. With a slew of restaurants, nightlife, entertainment and shopping options, Downtown San Jose is a must-visit part of this historic city.
One of the United States' premier educational establishments, Stanford University's heritage, expansive curriculum and highly-qualified faculty attracts some of the brightest minds from all across the planet. Founded in the year 1891, student life is given tremendous importance by fostering a love for the literary, performing and visual arts, while athletics and fitness facilities abound throughout the campus. Spread across close to 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) of hilly land, its Spanish architecture inspired residential campus is one of the finest in California. The Stanford Memorial Church, the Lou Henry Hoover House, the Hoover, and 'The Dish' are some of its campus' most famed attractions. Notable alumni include the likes of Elon Musk, Reese Witherspoon and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
The Elizabeth Gamble Garden is a 2.5-acre (one hectare) property that includes a historic Victorian home, carriage house, tea house, a gazebo, and formal and demonstration gardens. The garden is home to fruit trees, a herb garden, several varieties of irises, perennials, roses, wisterias and a Mediterranean garden. If you come at just the right time of year, you may even see the garden at the peak of its cherry blossom season! Home gardening classes taught by master gardeners are offered throughout the year, and tours are available for groups of eight or more who call in advance; the property is also a popular site for weddings and wedding receptions. Admission is free to the public every day during daylight hours, though the office is only open during weekdays.
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.
Despite its more famous cousin to the north, San Francisco, San Jose actually claims the title of largest city in the Bay Area. Originally inhabited by the Ohlone, the city was founded by the Spanish in 1777, becoming the first city in the Spanish colony of Alta California. When California became part of the United States in 1850, San Jose acted as its first capital. Today, the area is most famous for its booming tech industry, earning the nickname "The Capital of Silicon Valley." Visitors to the city explore its many museums like the San Jose Museum of Art with its world-class collection of contemporary art, hike in the many regional parks like the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve located near by, and dine at one of the restaurants in the trendy downtown area.