San Jose Overview
Many people have been flocking to California Bay Area’s biggest city for the past 50 years and it only takes a moment to see all the reasons why. Nestled in the middle of Silicon Valley, the booming Tech Industry calls this area home, the sun shines over 250 days a year, and the beauty of all of California’s diverse landscapes are all within a few hours’ drive. Its residents are highly educated and culturally diverse and the city offers many opportunities for them to get out of their San Jose apartments and meet your neighbors from annual festivals to enjoying a day at the 170 acre Kelley Park. If you prefer not to drive, the Downtown area caters to those who would rather walk, bike, or ride the train or bus.
San Jose History
San Jose was established almost 75 years before it became an official city of the United States in 1777 by the Spanish Empire. It is the second oldest incorporated city in California after Sacramento, its capitol. The economy was mainly industrial until World War II when it became a major supplier of military weaponry. Soon after, IBM Corporation established its west coast headquarters here and so began the major growth into the now booming technology industry. Many other companies started to relocate over the years due to the designation of Silicon Valley, and by 1990, the city had become the biggest in the Bay Area (over San Francisco) for the first time in history and currently houses over 1 million people.
San Jose Weather
San Jose is a refuge for those who prefer to avoid the snow as well as excessive heat. Living here, you will experience mild conditions in all seasons with summer temperatures averaging around 85 degrees and winters bottoming out at only the mid-40s with over 250 days of sun a year!
Getting Around San Jose
Spanning over 180 square miles, it’s highly advisable to own a car in San Jose. However, the city does provide several forms of public transportation including buses and trains run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (or VTA) and Caltrain. Finding apartments in San Jose near these stops and stations may be required, or you can join the growing number of multi-modal commuters who bike to the closest station and either bring their bikes on-board or strap them to the front of the vehicle. In the past 4 years, the city has also made it their priority to create “the most pedestrian and bike-friendly” downtown area in the Bay Area. Possibly the most convenient aspect of San Jose is the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, which is located in the center of the city.
Commuting in San Jose
There is good news and there is bad news for those electing to drive in San Jose. The good news is that you will have several major freeways to choose from. “The 101” is California’s main north-south highway and passes through the entire length of the city right down the middle. The 280 / 680 is the horseshoe-shaped interstate that covers most of the northern portion of San Jose. The 880 crosses the 101 going northeast and southwest, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. Also, traffic patterns are highly predictable and consistent. The bad news is that that traffic is bad at peak rush hour. If you can manage a schedule to avoid this hazard or find apartments in San Jose that avoid them altogether, this should not put too much of a cramp on your lifestyle.
San Jose Media
"The Mercury News is San Jose’s only local newspaper with a circulation of over 700,000. Radio shares the airwaves with San Francisco, with the notable stations being: KREV 92.7 “The Revolution"" , KYLD 94.9 ""Wild 94.9"" for Hip Hop, KRTY 95.3 ""The Bay Area's HOT Country"" and KQED 88.5 - Public Radio. "
San Jose is known for being at the leading edge of technology when the tech industry is in its Golden Age. Business is booming and the economy is growing so well that the city has dubbed itself the “Capital of Opportunity”. Young professionals will feel at home here with almost 40% of the population being between the ages of 20 and 40. And with a wide variety of options for homes and apartments in San Jose, finding the perfect place is a cinch.
San Jose Landmarks
The most popular and unique landmark by far is the Winchester Mystery House. This “house” is a 4-story mansion that was originally bought and purchased in 1884 by a wealthy widow and the myth states she built it as a place to house the ghosts of her lost loved ones. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this Mystery House is a sight to see with over 20,000 gallons of paint required to give the house its unique blend of bright colors. It has over 160 rooms, 47 fireplaces, and 10,000 panes of glass. San Jose’s version of Central Park is a 172-acre green space called Kelley Park located just south of San Jose State University in the heart of downtown. Like board games, but enjoy being outside even more? You’re in luck as the city also claims the world’s largest Monopoly board of 30 square feet in Guadalupe River Park.
Things to do in San Jose
A major draw to the area is the variety of activities available to residents. If you’re a hockey fan, you can head over to “The Shark Tank” and cheer on your new hometown team the San Jose Sharks (or against them when your team is in town). Popular among locals is the San Jose Flea Market, open every Wednesday, Friday, and Weekends featuring over 1500 vendors and is easily accessible from train or car. Speaking of shopping… and fresh food, the San Pedro Square Farmer’s Market is open to the public every weekend from May to November offering fresh, organic food from over 30 local growers. For the nightlife, the most popular bars and clubs include SoFA, Paper Plane, and 55 South for the “hipper” crowd. The best news is this all located in the center of town, making it accessible from anywhere in the city!
San Jose Festivals
Leave it up to San Jose to combine its two favorite things into a series of festivals. Food and technology have combined to create the Taco Festival of Innovation, Electronic Sriracha Festival, and the Bacon Festival of America all presented by Moveable Feast. Basically, the deal is that musicians and contemporary food trucks all converge at Plaza De Cesar Chavez near the city’s Tech Museum of Innovation once a year to offer all the combinations of food and music you could imagine. Cinco de Mayo and the Chinese New Year also bring in large crowds annually to celebrate the holidays in grandeur.
San Jose Vacation spots
This is middle California at its finest and finding great day trip vacation spots to get out of your San Jose apartments and enjoy is easy here. There are numerous state and national parks surrounding the area with many mountain hiking and skiing trails to choose from. The Pacific Coast is within an hour’s drive of downtown, and if you’re feeling lucky, you can take a short flight or scenic drive to Las Vegas or its baby sister city Reno.
Where to move in San Jose
If you’re young and single and ready to mingle, the best San Jose apartments will be located in the city’s Downtown district. It is the center of all the action and although a bit pricier, the need for a car may significantly decrease as most of your necessities will be within walking (or biking!) distance. Many of the city’s public transportation stops also serve this area and make commuting a breeze. For those who are looking to settle down into something a little more calm and private, or looking for a safe place for their families, the Willow Glen neighborhood southwest of Downtown offers a mix of that quiet, close-knit community feel at a distance that won’t significantly impact your commute.