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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.
Lick Observatory serves as a leading observational astronomy research and education center open to students, professionals and public. Each half hour, a 15-minute presentation on the history of the observatory is shown in the 36 inch telescope dome. Some of its attractions include the Great Lick Refractor, the Shane Reflector, astronomical catalogs, various displays and more. In the summer, it offers a visitor's program where the public gets the opportunity to gaze through two Lick telescopes as well as a concert series. An on-site shop sells souvenir apparel and gifts with an astronomical flair. Admission is free.
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.
Set amidst the Cruz Mountain Range, the Castle Rock State Park covers more than 5242 acres (2121 hectares), making it one of the biggest nature reserves in the region. Known for its uneven and challenging terrain, the park's trails attract a large number of hikers and adventurers who come here to put their skills to the test. If you wish to take a casual stroll exploring the wilderness, there are separate trails conducive to just the same. Campsites abound in the area, inviting visitors to cocoon themselves in nature's bounties.
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.
Almaden Lake Park is where San Jose residents come to bike, hike, fish and relax their days away. Located over 65 acres, the lake is expansive enough for an endless amount of personal space, ensuring plenty of space to accommodate a wide range of activities. The park has bocce ball courts, volleyball nets and even horseshoe facilities. For those that want to be closer to the water, fishing and pedal boating are allowed. There is a concession stand open on a seasonal basis that features light snacks and refreshing beverages. For a scenic, tranquil setting and plenty of activity options, it doesn't get much better than a day at Almaden Lake Park.
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.