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9 San Jose Landmarks to Look Out For
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9 San Jose Landmarks to Look Out For

With a rich past just waiting to be explored, these nine San Jose Landmarks will intrigue all the visitors to the area.

Natasha Kouyoumjian

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5 min read

October 16, 2022

Disclaimer: California.com is not receiving any type of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

With its influential history, refreshing museums, and stunning nature, San Jose has always had a remarkable space on California’s map. But its monumental structures are not all that draws sightseers in. Entertainment districts, nature, and the commitment to staying aware and aligned with the modern world reflect a huge part of the San Jose landmarks. Ready to kick off your voyage with undeniably good sights?

1. Municipal Rose Garden

The peak blooming season at the Municipal Rose Garden is in May.

Location: 1649 Naglee Ave, San Jose, CA 95126.
Fees: Free of charge.
Are you in for some aroma therapy? Established almost a century ago, this blossoming rose garden has become one of the most visited San Jose landmarks. Located in the middle of a lovely neighborhood, this garden is the rose of roses. An adorning fountain lies on the garden grounds, moistening the grassy lawns. It’s perfect for a picnic, so you might want to go prepared to pitch a checkered blanket. Keep on the lookout for the Hybrid Tea roses, which will leave your senses tingling with their impassioned fragrance. It’s super easy to find parking spots, but be mindful when you’re visiting in May as it is peak blooming season, and the garden is always packed.

2. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Location: 80 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113.
Fees: Free of charge.

Named after the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, this Roman Catholic church represents one of the most famous landmarks in San Jose. Damaged and rebuilt by a series of earthquakes and fires, a fifth church was finally completed in 1885. If you're gushing to visit, make sure to take a tour to explore the beautiful art and history of Saint Joseph Church since its inception. In this fun South Bay experience, learn all about the locals who assisted in the construction of the first church and the evolution that led the church into becoming the cathedral basilica that it is today. If you’re curious to see more, you should definitely visit the NorCal Missions.

3. Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The architecture of the museum is inspired by the Temple of Amun-Re.

Location: 1660 Park Ave, San Jose, CA 95191.
Fees: General admission is $10.
Whoa – once you’ve witnessed this place, you can't unsee it! Inspired by the Temple of Amun-Re during the reign of King Ramesses the Third, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an unforgettable trip back in time. Beyond having monumental architecture, the museum is ranked as one of the notable landmarks in the west of North America for its massive exhibit of priceless artifacts. If you’re a history buff, with minimal entrance fees, this indelible San Jose landmark is going to be an almost-free holiday to ancient Egypt. 

4. Santana Row

Best of the entertainment district in Santana Row.

Location: 377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128.
Fees: Free of Charge
If being the largest city in the bay area doesn’t stun you enough, the fact that it's the third-largest city in California might hack it. The downtown district of San Jose is a bustling city with ongoing activities and events. The best way to catch a good glimpse of the city’s flair is by walking through Santana row. Being the best of the San Jose landmarks, this avenue is a prime commercial and entertainment district. Enjoy a soft mix of dining, shopping, and a promenade in the best neighborhoods of San Jose. If you’re done with the shopping center, make time to see the great central space within the polished Santana park where people come together to enjoy various outdoor activities, including yoga workouts and meditation sessions.

5. Plaza de Cesar Chavez

The dancing fountains in Cesar Chavez park offer the most refreshing place for a summer walk.

Plaza de Cesar Chavez Location: 1 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113.
Fees: Parking fees are $6 and are subject to change
Monument of Cesar Chavez Location: 1 Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95112.
Dating back to 1797, this attraction is an important element in San Jose’s history. Driving down from downtown, you can't miss Northern California's oldest public area. This San Jose icon is a state treasure thanks to its parks and magical fountains that rise from the ground. The Plaza's namesake memorial is located on the San Jose State University campus, in focuses on San Jose monuments.

6. The Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Happiness is witnessing endangered species being taken care of.

Location: 748 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95112.
Fees: General admission is $18.
If you’re searching for the pride and joy of the city, look no further. Heading southeast of downtown, this zoo is a green space spanning 16 acres. Amusement parks, friendly rides, and puppet theaters are all ready to award you with fun times in San Jose. Being one of the most notorious San Jose landmarks, Hollow Park is also home to various animals. Though small, locals feel immense fulfillment for harboring endangered species in their town’s zoo. From lemurs and miniature horses, the zoo is definitely worth the visit. 

7. Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery Households has over 100 rooms available for guided tours.

Location: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Fees: $19.99 to $41.99.
This one-of-a-kind mansion comes with an even more one-of-a-kind story. Heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Fortune, Sarah Winchester’s obsession was a beautiful disaster. Aiming to snare the ghosts between trapped doors, the inheritor of this fortune unintentionally turned the house into a mysterious museum. The museum is of the major attractions of San Jose landmarks, and the tours ranging from $20 to $40 are worth every penny.

8. San Jose Museum of Art

The San Jose Museum of Art showcases a blend of modern and contemporary.

Location: 110 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113.
Fees: $10.
Showcasing a blend of modern and contemporary, this art museum features the best of San Jose landmarks. Bringing culture into action, the San Jose Museum of Art exhibits an endless collection of west coast artists extending from the 20th century. Opting to transform minds through the power of art, you can never visit this landmark enough. The community is dedicated to being a source of reflection, and inspiration, and prompting new perspectives, through the constant rotation and adoption of displays.


9. Roberto Adobe and Sunol House Museum

Location: 770 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95126.
Fees: Free of charge.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this house-museum marks itself in the history of San Jose. Making its way through a century of change, this place is the oldest and of the most noteworthy homes in Santa Clara County. If you’re looking for a house on Lincoln Avenue, you might pass by obliviously. With its simple and intact exterior, the house may seem to be in deceivingly fresh shape, but in fact, it has survived five eras. The adobe was once home to Native Americans, who spent most of their time outdoors. If you’re in San Jose, visiting this place will give you a very palpable glance into the past of San Jose.

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